Saturday, December 6, 2008

Cheguei!

So, I arrived in Mumbai on Thursday morning and it's been a whirlwind...
The hotel was good, they picked me up as scheduled, and it was a little moldy smelling but clean and breakfast was good (Hotel Airport International, very close to Mumbai Int'l airport in North Mumbai).
From India: Mumbai
From India: Mumbai

And thank you so much to Reza/Baba, who picked me up from the hotel a few hours later...
From India: Mumbai
He is from Grupo Cordao de Ouro, and the only capoeira group in India.
From India: Mumbai

I am staying with Aarti, who is a really cool chick who has hosted me very graciously in her place in North Mumbai. It's walking distance to stores, internet, food, bunch of stuff, so I can wander around during the day while she's at work.

The couple of evenings I've been here have been filled with capoeira, capoeira
From India: Mumbai
and... capoeira- oh yeah, and Mumbai totally reminds me of Brasil- the same trees, tall bldgs, and crazy traffic, although it's probably worse here. There's also slums very similar to favelas, and little street kids selling stuff when you stop your car at a street light.
From India: Mumbai

Tonight we celebrated Reza's son's 6 year birthday, at the backyard/park of the complex where they live. There was a huge inflatable slide, a DJ, tons of delicious food homemade by Reza and his mom (he used to be a chef in Israel, where he learned capoeira over 12 years living there...). Oh yeah, and a roda... Capoeira India is in the infatuation stage - the students all hang out and drink beers after class, playing atabaque on every available surface, practicing take downs on unsuspecting classmates, singing - great singing! even though they don't know (some of the) words! They've been here about 3 years, and there are some very dedicated students. They have been so nice, so welcoming.
I made plans today to fly to Udaipur next Wednesday... After that to Jodhpur, then Jaisalmer, and from there I am still adjusting the itinerary.
As far as the terrorist attacks- Monday or Tuesday I will try to make it out to South Mumbai where it all happened. Going to run that one by the locals tomorrow and see what their suggestions are, but I think things are pretty much back to normal. The problem with normal is that security is not that good to begin with, so... whatever that means, I guess. There are more guards sitting outside the hotels behind banks of sandbags.
From India: Mumbai

There are risks involved here, as far as traveling in India- I'm trying to stay on top of the news and choose the safest options, listen to the locals, and stay away from major tourist hotels and red alert airports. Wish me luck and I'll keep you updated...
Love to everyone!
-Akemi

3 comments:

Anand SV said...

Hi Akemi...came here frm ur CS profile...
very nice read!!
happy traveling!!

Su-Rmi said...

very cool!

Son said...

Glad to hear you're using your noggin to stay out of trouble.