Tuesday, December 3

In Mumbai all this week for work. What can I say about Mumbai that hasn't been said already? It's pretty much exactly as second-world as you'd expect! I'm glad I went to Guangzhou already, as Mumbai has all the same problems but on a smaller scale from what i've seen so far (not much) but it's much less of an eye-opener because i've seen worse. Of course, the worst real estate is nearest the airport, and here the shanties and shacks come right up to the concrete runway apron, and the smell of rotting vegetation and smog starts creeping in before you even get off the plane. Our driver for the week(!) Laurence, met us at the airport in his little white Hyundai. He's got aircon, which is great, not because it's super-hot, not as hot as singapore, but because the air is thick with crud. I tried to get my bag off Laurence but he's very insistent and quite quick for a little fella, even with both our bags.

Plane landed about midnight local time. Every light on the way to the hotel from the airport was surrounded by a little halo of smoggyness, not helped any by the low-wattage lighting they seem to use everywhere. The hotel is out on the end of a peninsula, as far as i can tell, surrounded by some half-hearted attempts at high-rise apartments, most look like they've been half-built for the last 50 years. every now and again a near-derelict old european house from the turn of the century that you'd pay a million dollars for in Sydney, just like a fancy Woolahra mansion only rotting to bits and half-occupied, half-falling over. lots of narrow windy little streets on the way here, with dogs, chickens, people, etc on the road even at midnight but no cows yet. I think there must be a lot of cows who wander off the end of the half-finished freeway overpass a few blocks away - beware, falling cows! And there's a lovely shipping container terminal just next to that. But with the lack of urban planning, the smog, the ruins and the lighting, it was quite an interesting ride. Got the camera with me so look forward to some piccies. The hotel is pretty generic but pretty nice, certainly 5 star, though they arent quite able to get rid of the rotten cabbage smell.

Got to sleep about 2am but woke up several times to wee and then from 6am Sydney time onwards woke up pretty much every hour, especially since the front desk were kind enough to give me not just my 8am wakeup call but also an extra complimentary 6am wakeup call. Ah well, got some work done, did some gym for an hour, and i'm going to meet Goche for breakfast now, then Laurence is taking us to work. I could get the hang of this limo thing ;-) This morning an amazing sunrise thru the smog and palm trees, with lots of weird looking raven kinda birds and a few very vulturish vultures wheeling around, probably scavenging for cabbage.

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