Jet lag and thick curtains got the better of me today; I woke up at 1pm!
I'm convinced my Auto-rickshaw ('Auto') driver from last night, Sanjeev, should be working in a sales job in the US; he's tenacious and has great follow up skills. He could earn more in a week than he would in a year here.
No sooner had I turned my phone on this afternoon did Sanjeev call, asking if I still wanted his services to roam around town- now that's great CRM!
I took him up on it but then things started going downhill with Sanjeev. Soon after we started zipping along, I told him a few places I wanted to go to in South Bombay, an area I later found out is out of bounds to 'autos'. Rather than be truthful, he decided to tell me that every market, mall and museum I wanted to go to was "closed, sir", but luckily if I wanted to go 'sopping' he had just the place.
Faced with limited options I took him up on his offer and thus spent most of the afternoon in the back of an auto-rickshaw; going over every potholed, dusty street and fly-over to many dodgy shops on many dodgy streets.
I saw a Bombay you can't see on the Cox and King's tour- the Real Bombay.
I had Kunal's (my cousin's cousin's) phone number and was planning on meeting him later. I called him a little early, after Sanjeev offered to take me to a really nice place for lunch. A place called "Pizza Hut". I needed OUT!
Luckily Kunal was free for lunch; on his recommendation, and after ditching Sanjeev, we ended up at Basilica in Bandra which has great Italian food and even more amazing cold coffee.
Finally we ended up having drinks at The Mumbai Times Cafe, a laid back bar with a rooftop terrace, just off Linking Road, and finally Kunal introduced me to Theobroma, a pastry shop that serves the best brownies I've ever had!
Today I'm begining to realise how quickly (I've only been here 2 nights) one can overlook things like stray dogs, dusty roads and uneven pavements when good food is so cheap and delicious, and people are so genuine.
Will my changing perceptions of India revert to the 'this is gross I want to go home' days of previous visits as the novelty wears off? I am keen to find out.