Sometimes its really revealing to see the city you live in through a tourist's eyes. Just had some cousins down from Aussie-land, and spent three days showing them around Bombay - and came away with a renewed sense of wonder about the city I have started taking for granted in the past couple of years. They were bowled over by the strangest of things:
1. Bombay's black-n-yellow taxis: Have you ever noticed how customised and ornate some of the interiors can be? We actually found cabs with chandeliers replacing the ceiling bulb, hand painted seats, and much more. Ritu spent the better part of two nights trying to catch the neon blue-lit cabs on a camera!!
2. The sheer number of top-of-the-line BMWs, Porsches, Lancers et al on Bombay roads.
3. The vast variety of indigenous cuisines - especially the seafood at Mahesh Lunch Home and the Parsi dhansak at Paradise.
4. The phenomenal in-house DJ and percussionist at Seijo & the Soul Dish - they fell so in love with the place that I was dragged back there every single night, which is phenomenal coming from people who hail from Australia, a land renown for its pubs and night spots.
5. The fact, that depsite having great places like Seijo, Bombay's nightlife is dying out - the main culprit being the 1 am curfew. They simply could not believe that such antiquated rules could be enforced in a major metro like this!!
6. The amazing stuff that you can find at the pavement stalls in Colaba Causeway - semiprecious beads, costume jewelry, hip clothes, CDs, funky bags...I never realised that it was such a treasure trove.
7. How staggeringly low the prices for CDs, books and magazines is in this country, in comparison to international standards.
8. How the surrounding waters are such an integral part of daily living. There are few other cities in the world that are so intrinsically built around the ocean, and where the waters are never more than a few feet away from wherever you might be.
So, thats our list - would love to hear what you think makes Bombay unique??