Wednesday, 20 August 2008

18 August 2008: Farewell Mumbai

Checking out of the plush West End Hotel, our standard of living plummeted as we moved to the Hotel City Palace. This was just to kill time until we caught the midnight train to Jalgaon. The only interesting thing about Hotel City Palace was that the lift played 'Jingle Bells'.

Our last afternoon was spent gorging ourselves at Indigo Delicatessen again – our last western meals for sometime. The deserts were great – croissant bread and butter pudding and a trio of chocolate mousses. Yum yum!! Some final sightseeing included University of Mumbai and the High Court.

With eight hours still to pass, we watched our first Bollywood film whilst in India – Singh is Kinng. Not sure about the plot as the dialogue was all in Hindi. The big set piece dances around Luxor, Egypt were impressive though. We saw the film in the beautiful, art deco Eros cinema. It must have been nearly 80 years old and harked back to a time bfore huge out-of-town mutliplexes. The cinema was as much part of the experience as the film.

The overnight train trip to Jalgaon was very pleasant. The train was very long - it took us 10 minutes to walk along the platform to get to our carriage. Once there, we chatted with a very knowledgeable Indian Army major before the sheets, pillows and blankets arrived. We slept well although Jen got a little motion sick with the swaying train. It was great to wake up in the early morning and see the sun shining over the green fields.

It was a relief to be seeing a different side of India.