I feel it's time to 'fess up about something, or shall we keep with today's theme and instead say, clear the air?
Many of you kind folks have written me emails or left comments on the blog. I love getting each of those message, so thanks much. Keep 'em coming. Did you know that you all seem to have one thing in common? Yes, yes you do. You all seem to believe that I'm cooped up in a bomb shelter and work in the slums.
When I read Ann's comment earlier today (by the way, she sells splendid fabric and I went through her shop for this dress) and she remarked that she guessed I didn't much like Mumbai I felt a rush of success and a pang of guilt. Success because the undeniable truth is this place is raw. To quote a book I've been reading per a friend's recommendation, "...the city feels like a cosmopolitan tropical third world New York....It's grimy, steamy, and bohemian." Word. So if I have conveyed that to you in any convincing manner then this little ol' blog has some purpose.
That being said, I don't dislike this town. My time here has been much better than I had anticipated it being. I've gotten to do a lot of incredibly cool, eye-opening things in just a short week and a half. Obviously that is foreshadowing of more tales to come. But because I've really only shown you pictures of the third world grime it's time to dispell the bomb shelter charade.
To be clear, I'm staying in a 5 star hotel. To be clearer, this is pretty much out of necessity. Mumbai does not have moderate level anything and that includes fan favorites like Hampton Inns and Hyatts. It's either a 19th century crumbling concrete mass that looks like an old set from a horror flick or it's top-of-the-line luxury. To wit:
Welcome to Conference Room P. Conference Room P serves delightful snacks, the temperature's always right, and the seats put the Aeron chair to shame. Bombay gin never tasted as good as it does in...Bombay.
Welcome to the Executive Lounge. Here and elsewhere I'm called "Madam" approximately 132,536,862 times a day by the insanely nice hotel staff. They're so nice they even threw me a birthday party, gave me my third cake of the weekend, had the lobby piano player crank out "Happy Birthday To You," and presented me with a dozen long stemmed red roses. Note that the furniture suite is not comprised of milk crates and camping lanterns.
And last but not least, my laundry. As if having your laundry done by your hotel isn't overkill (remember, out of necessity), I think we can all agree that having your clean laundry delivered in a picnic basket and wrapped in a pressed linen cloth is absurd. But there it is, next to my roses. Is it a romantic date? No, just a Tuesday.
So that's the story, kids. You can go back to worrying about me now because I've just completed an 18 hour work day and another one is waiting in the wings. :)