Mumbai > Opposites attract. Or do they?

Hello again, World.

Mumbai greets the weary eyes of the train-borne traveller with the images we all know now. The slums.

Imagine a city in which every space that is not explicitly walled in, fenced off or protected by automatic weapons is used as living quarters. Or farmland.

The camps of blue plastic (even cheaper than the tin, apparently) crop up wherever space exists and the people haven't been beaten away yet. Just 5 minutes from the Taj Mahal Hotel, the monument to luxury erected by the Parsi industrialist Jamseti Tata, you can find seafront housing of the basic kind.

The "beaches" consist entirely of plastic, and the blue roofs behind it fit in perfectly. I guess at a high development value of this peculiar abandoned wharf.

Back to the trains: Travel in second class sleeper cars is absolutely up to european standards, if not a bit further up the scale. The friendly (tip-coveting) wallas pamper one with free food that's ages away from the fare airlines serve, and the air-con is a good reason to bring a fleece jacket to India. All in all: Quite an enjoyable experience.

Even more enjoyable when, looking out the window, the normal kind of train passes your island of comfort, commuters literally clinging to whatever surface they can find. (The roof is no longer used, probably because of the high casualty rate)

so long,
the d.

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