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Over the last weekend five members of the iSTEP team wandered over to ammchi (our own) Mumbai. Well, it is mostly Aditya-chi (Aditya’s) Mumbai since the others who went with Aditya are from Bangalore (me, obviously), Boston (Madeleine), Pittsburgh (Maddie) and Dallas (Avia). Before we left Ms Muktha made Aditya promise that would bring everyone back to Bangalore in one piece which he reluctantly accepted. So the ladies from around the world left with Aditya hoping to experience Mumbai like locals.

On Saturday everyone decided to head into town for some good ol’ SoBo (South Bombay) tradition of shopping. Everyones first “local” experience was taking the train. Trains form the backbone of Mumbai’s public transit. Buses, autos and taxis are not hard to come by in Mumbai but traffic can seriously impede daily commute. So millions of Mumbaikars choose to take the train. It was Avia, Madeleine and Maddie’s first time on a local train. I’m personally not new to the Mumbai train system but I’m also not an expert. It took me a few minutes to get the hang of it but it was simple enough. For Rs 5 each we were able to get tickets all the way to SoBo.

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Avia and Madeleine showed me how the pros ride the train

The weather in Mumbai was hot and humid. Luckily it did not rain the first two days we were there. While Aditya hung out with his family, I took on responsibility for our first girl’s day out (We missed Poornima a lot of course). First stop was Mondy’s for lunch and then shopping on Colaba causeway. I introduced Maddie to the legendary chilli cheese toast, chocolate milkshake (Indian style) and continental food. We managed some good bargains on anklets, scarves and other trinkets. Everyone got the hang bargaining and I’d like to believe we got some good discounts. I managed to buy a vintage camera, jewelry and Indian outfits. I’m hoping to decorate my house (when I do find one in Seattle) with things I buy around India.

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I tried really hard to be cool and hang on to the train.

After shopping we dropped by Leopold’s for some snacks and then headed over to the Gateway of India. Enjoyed the sea breeze before heading homeward to freshen up.

Our adventures did not end there. Part 2 of our Mumbai travels is coming up!

UPDATE: You can read the second part of our adventures here

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