The last few weeks have come and gone. Things seem to be moving at lightening pace with no hint of slowing down. My journey so far has taken me from an Ashram in the desert of Maharashtra, to the monsoon rain drenched beaches of Goa, to the hustle, bustle, and polluted streets of Mumbai.
Some of the highlights have included:
– Eating on the Arabian Sea and taking a quick dip afterwords in the lively sea late at night
– Getting attacked by a monkey on Elephanta Island in Mumbai over a bottle of Coke
– Being cast as an extra on the set of a Bollywood film
The state of Goa was an experience. The beaches were set in a nice backdrop yet extremely polluted and the monsoon rains drenched us all right down to the bones. I was extremely impressed with the group I was with. Despite the rains we all made the best of it. Walking through many of the towns soaking wet, haggling with the various shop keepers, and even taking a late night dip on the beach. The food was excellent there, tons of fresh seafood done up in Indian spices Goan style. I have loved the food here although my stomach has not, no solid bowels for three weeks now.
Mumbai is an interesting place: polluted, loud, smelly, and chaotic. The poverty is the most apparent thing here as you have beggars and the homeless sleeping on the streets right next to 5 star hotels. As we traveled around town we got to experience a boat ride in the middle of a storm and an intermission during a film in a movie theater (I know I was puzzled too.)
The start of my solo trip has just begun as I left all of my traveling companions Friday as they flew back to the states. Immediately after I left them I was cast as an extra on the set of a Bollywood film. The shoot was extremely long (5pm to 5am) and extremely hot. There is no way that any Hollywood actors would have put up with such miserable conditions. It was thoroughly entertaining as the film was about a terrorist attack on a hotel in Mumbai. I got to run around screaming in panic like a chicken with its head cut off; it came pretty natural to me. The cast was quasi friendly and I got paid 500 rupees (10 dollars) for my effort, which was nice since I was clearly doing it for the money.
Heading up to see the Taj Mahal in the next few days, 17 hour train journey here I come!