Mumbai is everything anyone has ever said about it.  I feel very Alice-in-Wonderland-meets-Dorothy-in-Oz.  This was no where more prevalent than in the 2 hour taxi ride I had the night I got in to the city after traveling for 14 hours.

The taxi drivers here are notorious, and knowing this, I at least had the presence of mind to get a pre-paid taxi at the airport.  Even that is easier said than done, because non-pre-paid drivers vie for your business in the hopes of confusing you and taking you for a ride both physically and financially.  So after fighting off about 10 different ‘please get in’s, I finally found the right taxi line (with the help of a police man who I shamed into helping me), and in a state of post-airplane travel torpor, I slumped into the back of the taxi, and gave myself up to this jaunt.

True to all of the taxi drivers that have ever taken advantage of an out-of-towner, my driver took the ‘scenic’ route.  I wish I had been more awake, because this scenic route was amazing.  Moving from the main highway, my driver ventured into a side street barely wide enough for the taxi.  We snaked through this warren of pathways in what I can only describe as an angular luge shoot.  So, picture the smoothness of what one of these shoots is like at the Olympics, then replace the smooth sides with market stalls, people, cows, goats, bicycles, dogs, small children, then replace the smooth bottom with pot-holed dirt and brick, but keep the same plunging speed, sudden twists and turns, and you can just about imagine what this ride was like for 20 minutes.  What a welcome to Mumbai.

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