Final Thoughts: Turns out my Indian-American friends were right when they told me I should not come to India. If I had to sum up my experience I’d say the ‘cost of living’ is too much for what you get (see pricing table below). The rent is high for rather dumpy accommodations. The coolest part of Mumbai were the ricksaws because they were metered and always available. Additionally, the fruit and veggies stands and butchers all over the place were fantastic.
- The head wobble means yes. I think. It’s a side to side movement.
- Straight men hold hands (I think as a sign of friendship). It’s not too common, but definitely unusual. I hear it’s done by folks of lower class as it shows extreme friendship.
- A male wasteland. When you walk around on the street, you will see 80%+ men. At night, they restrict single men coming into bars.
- I’ve never had so many people ask me for a photo.
- The city of car horns. Very annoying.
- Street food is generally eaten with your hands.
- The pricing is this city is off. My rent is $1800, but I can take a ricksaw taxi halfway across the huge city for $2; my 2kg laundry costs $22, and a month gym pass is $140, but I can hire a daily cleaning person for $100/month or get my haircut for $4.
- Watch out for the human shit on the sidewalks, even more on the beaches.
- Uber is fully functional and encouraged at the airport. The local Uber is OlaCabs. The rickshaws are metered and you can go for about a 5-minute ride for 18INR ($0.26).
- Fruit and vegetable stands all over the place. Very convenient.
- Vibrant stand-up comedy scene
- No modern shopping centers in Bandra West area
- No one walks on the sidewalk, yet seems so dangerous and crowded to walk on the street
- Even though the air is similarly polluted here, no one wears breathing masks.
- Royal Enfield is the motorcycle of choice. It seems at least 50% are RE.
- Many of the gyms function as a one-on-one personal training facility only where you have to pay for a personal trainer to enter the gym. One costs 35,000INR ($500) for 20 days per month.
Known For: Vada Pav, Bollywood, Holi (the color festival)