Destination: Mumbai and Goa
Mumbai is one of the most populated city in India and despite this fact one can find nature and peace of mind by just driving three hour from the heart of city to clear up your mind and soul.
6 days in India is so much memorable, I’ve faced sort of negative and positive sides about this country, and as a first-timer I found some interesting facts which will amaze you!
P.S. I have heard lot of things back home and my curiosity land myself to this mesmerizing country. –
- A foreigner is not allowed to check in with a local in a single room
This is the most shocking and unexpected part. FYI I came to India with friends and one of them is Indian boy. On the last day in Mumbai we need a room to keep our luggage and rest t our body after tiring five days continuous trail in various parts in India. The receptionist of a hotel in Mumbai does not allowed us to check in a single room and we end up renting two rooms after couple rounds of arguments.
I happen to connect with one of the hotel staff about the reason of such regulation and came to know about the strict rules to prevent prostitution and drugs trafficking. An Indian man and a foreigner girl in one room? Any illegal thing can easily happen indeed. Back again I can’t control people’s mind. The interesting thing I am unable digest about this regulation is it is not same in every part of India. I am able to check in with my friend in Lonavala and Goa which is nearby to Mumbai.
- Bargain and Bargain.
A friend of mine calls me stupid if I don’t bargain for cab price, buying souvenir, ice cream, and any single thing. Bargaining is one of the core thing in Indian culture and it’s a common thing to bargain even if it is already labeled with a price. The habit to bargain stretch to other tourist place such as my home town Bali where Indian tourist will be spotted bargaining and It is an annoying habit for many of us.
- Cricket all the way!
When you’re asking about what’s the one thing which can make all Indians sit idle in a cafe for couple of hours 5 days in a row? The answer is Cricket. It’s so popular in India on the similar lines of football in Indonesia, and many Indians will be seen betting on the cricket matches as well almost everywhere.
- Rickshaw (Small Taxi) is not allowed in several places.
Rickshaw or auto or Bajaj in Indonesia is a well-known transportation in India. It’s easily available in Goa, Mumbai, Lonavala, and many other places. They are like the life line of the cities. But a different situation encountered in Mumbai when I travel to Lower Parel from Andheri with Local Train, I traveled Lower Parel through Local Train from Andheri and Voila! No Auto Rickshaws were on the streets to travel further. I came to know that the Riskshaws are not allowed in this area and only Car Taxies are allowed (in Indonesia we call it Angkot, but this one is private only)
- Casinos are illegal on Indian Soil? No Problem Let’s make one on water!
Yes you heard it right I sailed in Casino Pride yacht on Mandovi River in Panjim Goa playing PokerJ (not Poker actually only Roulette and it did not work well :p). They charged INR 2.000 for entry and INR 500 as an entry coupon. Three story yacht provides free buffet until 2am, and open for 24 hours.
- Not all Indian knows Hindi!
One of my friend told me that there’re different local language in every 200 km in India, so no wonder you can find two Indian speaking in English with each other that they might not understand each other’s local language, either Hindi. Another of my friend based out of South India admits that he can’t speak Hindi and most of his friends too. So he had to speak English if he travels to another part of India.
- KFC Chicken with Biryani Rice and curry sauce? Hmm…..
Indian food is great. No doubt. But, as I used to eat kind a plain Indonesian food (not much sugar,salt,pepper,etc) I had stomach ache after having regularly for almost 4 days. I was really starving for another meal at day 4 and visited to Mcd and again, what I found is burger (no chicken wing:(). But at least I got chicken Mc nugget and cola. My happiness is getting in heal after I found KFC @Mumbai Airport. I ordered chicken rice bowl and French fries. The fries is good. But again in chicken rice bowl I end up getting biryani rice and downside was its combo with Indian curry sauce. Ah, again……….. But I ate it anyway as I thought this is my last chance to experience Indian food at least for next 4-5 months.
P.S. I found a fried rice in Goa as well. It was so amazing!
- Goa resembles Kuta.
If you ever visited my hometown, Bali. You must be known there is a popular beach area and party place, Kuta. I visited Goa and really felt the similar vibes as in Bali. Club, restaurant, shack, and even the bar umbrella (seriously they both using wall’s ice cream umbrella as it’s shack cover) are mostly the same. One different thing is Goa is a little cheaper than Bali
- Scrap heap
I do aware that Indian dirty city photo spread all over net. But I was in a better impression until I see it with my eye! Well not all cities I visited was that bad, but Mumbai….. Is dirties one. Mumbai city is more like Jakarta. Like a coin with two different sides. On the other side you can see a high end building, advanced infrastructure, a progressive industrial complex with a hundred companies evolving. But if you flips it and see the other side, you’ll see kids begging on the street, scrap heap on the side of the roads, slums next to train rail way poverty all around.
- India is safe for woman travelers as long as……
Tbh, I didn’t even have my willingness to begin my Trip to India without any Indian boy co-traveler. Actually Indian people seems nice to me, they see me as a common tourist only, little weird about what kind a species I am, chopper hair blue eyes brown skin (alien?), and still some tried to make some money from my ‘tourism’. But to be honest people in Lonavala, Goa, and Mumbai treats me well. I assumed this is only because I come with another Indian male friend. It might be really different and difficult scenario if I had travelled alone. My friend said Mumbai is safer city for tourist and warned me about the adverse situations of the capital of India, New Delhi.
So I conclude India is safe for women travelers as long as you don’t travel alone at least come with 2 co traveler, mind your attitude, and last but not least watch your clothes Behan!
This is my first article about India and will be writing few more article about my itineraries.
So keep an eye on HTTA blog! Thank you for reading
Original article by : Ayu Putri , edited by : Arpit Gupta – thanks dude!