11 Apr 2011

Arrival and early birthday celebration in Mumbai ;-) [SERIE: SOCIAL TRAVELING IN MUMBAI] #1

This is the first post of a serie about my social travel adventures in Mumbai.

Find out all about it and just click 'Read More'.

Left Colombo excited to finally discover India. Heard so many epic stories about this enigmatic country so I was really eager to go and explore Indian culture, way of life, food, people, nightlife... 

It would turn out as one of the best experiences on my trip. I really fel in love with this country and I just LOVED Mumbai. Many travelers I've met didn't agree with me. They claimed it was too busy, too loud and especially too dirty. Heard so many stories about that before and after I went. 

Now I have to say, it's indeed busy and some places are really dirty but because of my way of traveling I managed to discover the soul of this vibrant city.

When I sent out my request on Facebook and Twitter for a couch in Mumbai I wasn't hoping too much on finding something in Mumbai. Luck was on my side though and my voice was heard by Heleen, a Belgian expat living and working in Mumbai. She waited for me at the airport, pushed me in a Tuk Tuk and like this I got launched into the city!

She invited me to her apartment in West Bandra which would be my home in Mumbai for the coming days.

As a true Belgian Heleen offered me some beers before heading out to the city for an early birthday celebration :-) I was turning 32 at midnight

We used her window as a balcony and talked about her experiences with Mumbai and my travels thusfar

After a few beers we jumped into a taxi and drove off to Blue Frog.

This is the place! There was a reggea evening planned with live performances.

We enjoyed the music over a few more beers and after some time I noticed that Indians around me were all talking english. One of them started talking to me and we got invited in their group of friends. Turns out that many young people in India speak english instead of Hindi with eachother... No language barriers there!
We had some good laughs with them and hit the dancefloor all together. 

And then it happened... The lights went on and music stopped... 
Damn! They have curfews as well here. We still were very much in the mood to continue the party... Our new Indian friends then invited us for an AFTER party at one guy's place. Apparently that's very common here :-) 

So they pushed us in a car and we got a lift to the 'place to be'. In the meantime it was passed midnight and they all started singing 'Happy Birtday' :-) What a cool way to celebrate a birthday hey ;-)


There were actually a lot of people there. A few also from Spain :-)

After a few drinks we got in a taxi back 'home' and enjoyed the view over the city skyline until early in the morning.

My first encounter with India was just perfect...
Thx again to Heleen and the whole Indian bunch who made it a night to remember

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