Thursday, March 30
Room 721, Marriott Courtyard, Mumbai, 08:20
Last night we arrived feeling tired and slightly unwell. We unpacked in Room 133, I showered, and Irma spotted that she could hear a lot of background noise. Either next door had a party going on or we could hear the bar downstairs. Irma went to reception and got us a room on the seventh floor: the executive floor.
We wake up earlier than expected and look out of the window at the view. I can see some fog and a mass of unfinished buildings and urban sprawl. I cannot see any of the clear blue sky I have got used to. When I turn round I will see through the glass that separates the bedroom and the shower and toilet and turns all ablutions into performances.
We will go downstairs for a buffet breakfast. To my delight this will include samosas. We will both still feel queasy, so we will skip the European and Indian cooked food and the cakes and pastries.
Irma has found a gallery/shop called something like Electric India, and looked up its address. We will ask for a car, and show the driver where we want to go. He will take us to the right part of Mumbai, a journey that takes ninety minutes, but insist that we mean this shop. Inevitably we will find ourselves on the receiving end of an attempt to rob us with fine silks and wonderful jewelry. In Kochi we got a free ride for this. Here we will have to pay for the privilege.
We will pass a museum and insist on stopping. We will find two very interesting prints and buy them. Eventually Irma will find a small shop called Good Earth. We will see much more of Mumbai than strictly necessary but will deem it educational.
When we return we will decide to go for the evening buffet, but as soon as we start we will realise how queasy we feel. Irma will negotiate a large reduction in price if we promise not to have any of the main courses.
I will also skip the desserts.