Sunday, December 23, 2007

Flying to Bombay (Mumbai)

I could not wait to leave London airport. I hate crowd, noise, germs and authoritarian people. This is typical in most airports, but thus far I have mostly hated London and New York airports.

We arrived in Bombay at 10 minutes before noon. Bombay airport was less hectic and dramatic than that of London. The difference was not only in the way the airport looked from inside, but even the way people interacted with and stared at each other. For few hours after my arrival, I kept assuring myself that I am in India and it was not a dream.

Pankaj, my friend since 1982, whom I haven't seen since 1987 (when he left Boston with his wife), was waiting to pick me up from the airport. When I reached the hotel, I was surprised by how it was maintained and its location considering the price. It charges 3500 rupees per night or about $95!!

The room was okay, but it has been used before by smokers. Knowing I have allergy from cigarettes, I spotted the smell. Despite sleeping at 1 am (after brief reading), I woke up at 4:45 am coughing and feeling a little short breath. I called the reception desk to ask for time. "It is 5 O'clock" he said, so I went back to bed trying to sleep, but couldn't until about 5:45 am. At this point, I decided to arrange my luggage in a way convenient to me and not to there majesty the airport authorities. After I finished, I began writing my diaries.

Time now is 7:10 am. I have been writing for 45 minutes.

Last night, Pankaj and I finished few errands including buying a sym card for my mobile). Later I had dinner at the Pearl of the Orient Restaurant, which is located at the top of a hotel overlooking Bombay (Mumbai).

Bombay is a darkish city. It reminds me of Baghdad during war and occupation!

Monday, December 3, 07

At 9:37 am, actor Shammi Kapoor returned my call while in hospital. It was so wonderful to hear his voice. The call was dear to me knowing that he called me from hospital while waiting for his dialysis routine!

Today's newspaper, Indian Express (which is in English), covered nothing on the war on IRAQ!!