Free hit counter


By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.


My daily life in Mumbai - The morning rickshaw ride

So here's how it starts: with a 10 minute rickshaw ride (sometimes I drive my car also, when I am well awake and have the courage to go play Mario Kart TV reality style  – being well awake has its importance here, because otherwise I have to work my way through the crowd with my mirrors and somehow people don’t seem so happy about that...):






View from the sky: My itinerary from Home to Office in Mumbai




My daily life in Mumbai

I have been asked what my routine looks like many times so here we go!

Every morning I wake up at the sounds of the bells of the Hanuman temple next door. Actually no, they don’t wake me up anymore even if the first time I heard them at 7:30 I kinda freaked out! The wedding season is ending, so I hope that there will be fewer weddings: I like the spirit but much less the damn noise just downstairs they make almost every night with the band and all!

I live 15 minutes away from work by car/rickshaw and I cross a slum each time, not easy to move through! But I also have the option of walking 30 minutes on the beach. The only downside is all the Indians (especially the kids actually) staring at me; it discourages me to take that way...

I work a lot, often ten hours a day. For lunch I eat fruit or else I order Indian food (butter chicken is my favorite).


In the evening I often go for a drink at the terrace of the Novotel, with a colleague or friends. I try to do some sport but at this time of the year it's a little too hot to even walk (so running forget it). I often get my groceries delivered (I go to the market on the weekend for fresh products) and I cook dinner – so finally I don’t eat a lot of Indian food.


My daily life is often punctuated by annoying little things like repairing a broken cupboard door, fixing the AC, fighting with the neighbour because of the water leakage, the car washer who disappears, my cat attacking the maid, Internet bugging, electrical wires burning because of overload, a dead car battery etc. But I have learned to take things easy: it will all work well in the end... And the good part is that in India people (electrician, plumber etc.) will come even at 10 PM (at least in my area which is a slum area)....


During the weekend I rest. Or I go to the pool. I fill up the fridge or go shopping. I go for massages. I party in one of the happening places of Mumbai (we have about 20 of them I’d say). There is nothing really exciting to do! Ah yes, I read, play Sudoku and I also spend a decent time writing my blog.


That being said I don’t have much of a routine because I travel a lot, for my job and personally, in India and abroad. I’d say that I am in average out 2 days a week minimum... And in India something “extraordinary” happens almost every day so there is no much space for a daily grind!


Stories about driving licenses, and cops

What a joke! 

I have been driving for a year now in India... 


I had tried to get a driving license in Delhi but since all my documents were registered in Mumbai (including my residence permit), I had to give up (but not without spending half-a-day in the Kafkaesque labyrinth of the Delhi RTO...). 


I tried again in Mumbai. I first found the driving school and I gave them my papers: passport and visa, French driving license, residence permit, renting agreement and invoice. Obviously there was a snag because since I had moved in for less than a month I did not have any invoice... But I kept my cool, Indian style, I left my papers and came back a month and a half later with an invoice! And 3,500 rupees (about 60 euros). 


Then all it took was to harass the driving school so that they would take me to the RTO. Which was kinda of a empty hangar, two desks, four chairs, two antique computers and two people who take your photo and your fingerprints. Surreal. But in 30 minutes it was done.  

I was not convinced when the driving school guy told that I would receive the license by mail – because I'm never home during the day – but it was useless to put up a fight, there was no other option. I told myself that I would go and sit and wait in the Post office after a month if I had not received anything and that would be about it! 


Three weeks later, by a beautiful Tuesday, my friends received the famous license at home! See, there was nothing to get excited about... 

The following Saturday we went out for a drive to try out the much awaited license. 


Since I have started driving I never had a problem: I adopted the local style of driving so I am difficult to spot ;)  

I got stopped only twice (and only in Delhi). The first time: the cop got excited because I was talking on the phone on bluetooth. I told him that no, I was singing, and when he wanted to take my cell I just left. I think he was just curious to see a foreigner driving and looked for an excuse to stop me and talk to me... 


The second time, I don’t really know how but I managed to get stuindia,mumbai,delhi,driving,driving license,rto,driving styleck in the middle of a huge crossroads going on the opposite way I should have. A little stuck by panic and by all the cars that were coming on me on I stayed still. And when I saw a policeman who was waiving at me from the other side, I took him as a target and drove slowly slowly towards him. When I reached him, I lowered my window, gave him a sweet look, said « sollllly » and continued driving. Here we go, you have not seen me! 


Here we are, back in Mumbai. I was driving, happy to have escaped the cops who stopped the vehicles for speed excess on the Sea Link. When I reached the end of the bridge I saw a red light. Which seems to be of no use. So here I was, wondering whether it was really worth it to stop when my right neighbour just went through! Obviously I followed him... And obviously I got arrested. 


I was almost happy to hand my brand new license! Except that the cop told me the procedure was to keep my license at the Worli police station and that I should go there and get it later. 

So I lost it: no freakin way! C'mon give me back my license right away. We can’t even see your signal. And why didn’t you stop the other car? I want my license immediatelyyyyyy! 


100 rupees (€1.5) later (quite cheap considering all the signals I have missed...), a receipt in hand (yes I did not bribe the police officer) and my license in the pocket we left for other adventures...