First Impressions Can Be Hard to Forget: Mumbai, India (Part 1)

Moving to India was hard pill for me to swallow for many reasons; but the primary reason was because of my first trip there.  After moving to Singapore, most people were shocked to learn that my first major trip outside of Singapore was to Mumbai, India for 10 days, to meet up with a friend from the states, whose sister was getting married.  When I first decided to travel to India to meet my friend Dhara for her sister’s wedding, I had no idea what to expect and what I was in for.  India is like no other country I’ve been to, and I would say that I have been lucky enough to travel to quite a few places.  

I stayed at the Kemps Corner hotel, a hop skip and jump away from Dhara’s apartment.  The hotel was booked (not by me) for convenience of location, definitely not for comfort.  Each morning I was woken by a rooster and the drone of cars incessantly honking.  To call it a relaxing vacation would be far from the truth.  I was on the go from the moment I touched down in India, and could tell right away that India was going an experience unlike any other.

Toot Toot, Beep Beep. Honk Honk….All Night!

We quickly checked into the hotel, small room, but it was perfect for what it was needed for, although the bed was frightfully uncomfortable.  It was like sleeping on a piece of wood with a slight pillow-top covering it.  I did not sleep well most nights due to the traffic noises and the uncomfortable bed, but fortunately, I wasn’t in the hotel room that long during the days.  Below is the rooftop patio where our complimentary breakfast was served (pictured below).  It doesn’t look like much but the breakfast was simple and quite good, and the view actually very nice.  It felt like the only place within the city where you could actually see greenery.

Kemp’s Corner Roof Top Terrace

But don’t be fooled by the greenery, the honking still persisted right below the canopy, ruining any type of possible tranquility.  At the end of my trip, I did check to see how many stars the hotel was rated and I was surprised to learn it was a three-star hotel.  If there was one thing this trip taught me, it was that if I were ever in India again, I would never be booking a 3-star hotel in India again.   

I found India to be quite polluted.  From the moment I stepped off the plane, there was a haze of smog that covered the city.  To get into the city from the airport, into the “suburbs”, you crossed what is called the ceiling of India over the Arabian Sea.  The architecture of the bridge would have been beautiful and so would the cityscape, if you could only see it through all of the smog. You could barely see the Sea beyond the bridge let alone any of the features of the bridge.  To be frank, it was not the best first impression of India. But more to come about the actual country later, the first part of my trip was pure wedding mayhem and necessary for its own post

Photo by
Dhobi Ghat