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06/22/2013

Mumbai, maximum city

Mid-May a friend of mine made me discover an area of Mumbai I had never heard of before, Kamathipura, Mumbai's Red Light (inspired from this blog)! 

It was not easy to get there... Mainly because his driver (provided by the company) was not keen on going. Not only did he take us for a tour, but then he took me for an idiot, swearing that we had reached Grant Road station while we were at Marine Lines. When he started to show us churches I understood that he was trying to divert my attention to tourist monuments. All he managed to do is that I took out google map and guided him to the nearest junction of Kamathipura (Rusi Mahata Chowk)! 

 

Then we walked down Bapty Road and I started to act less smart and wonder whether I should start listening to locals: there were only men in this street, tottering and bloodshot eyed. Not cool... 

 

Walking ahead we fell into a crowd like you see only in India. An anthill... What surprised us and almost made us turn back is that we were in the heart of a Muslim area: prostitutes in such a place (with veiled women and all) seemed incongruous... 

 

At that point of time we reached a lane (the 9th lane I think) and I saw women on braided beds waiting for clients. I dragged my friend in this lane! But I must admit I mostly watch my feet and even walked a little fast – not that I felt unsafe but kinda out of place! And obviously I didn’t take any picture.  

It was completely trash, especially at night. Old women, young girls, skinny ones, fat ones (mostly fat ones), women, men dressed as women  – you can chose it all, especially since, Indian style, there are 10 of them per square meter – all in a dark, dirty alley, and overflowing with people, and in the background some kind of rooms where they do their business. It was all the more surprising in a country where sex is a taboo and showing your ankles is indecent. At the same time, God bless these women... Since in India you don't get sex until you are married and you don't get married until you are settled, you have a lot of 30 year old virgins and sexual frustration...

 

From there we wanted to take a taxi and we disturbed an old driver preparing his dose of crack.

Perfect to complete a tour in the "slums" of the city! 

 

Since it was my turn to make him discover something, I took him for a drink at Aer, the terrace of the Four Seasons, which offers stunning views of Mumbai, the "chic du chic".  

 

From the poorest to the richest in less than ten minutes… 

Incredible India in a day in Mumbai... 

Without hiding anything….

 

 

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Kamathipura (Internet pictures)

india,mumbai,brothel,prostitutes,kamathipura,red light area,aer,four seasons

Aer, Four Seasons (Internet pictures)

 

 

 

 

06/20/2013

Yogic workaholic??

You know you have been living in India for a very long time when... 

You insist your colleague organise yoga classes in the office.  

 

You go to the yoga class on a Friday evening – not just any Friday, it is a closing day (for my sales). But you go anyway because you need to do a little exercise and to relax: in the past two days, despite the jet lag and a huge work load inherited from a week of business travelling in Europe, you have had to spend 8 hours in the car to encourage your teams in the warehouse located in the freaking suburbs.  

But today is a closing day and you have a professional conscience so you keep your blackberry within reach. 

 

So you know that you have been living for a very long time in India when at 7 pm on a Friday evening you are on all fours on your office floor (in the "cow" position for yogics), the phone stuck to your ear and you negotiate a last minute promotion (and this slightly edgy bargaining continues in other exotic positions...).

 

 

yoga

 

 

06/18/2013

Driving in the monsoon rains

I know that given the weather in Europe this year, it would not be welcome of me to complain about the rains here (all the most since it is still 28 degrees outside!). 

But see, this afternoon I opened my car and there was 2 centimers of water on the floor! And then half of the roads were blocked because of floods - and this, my GPS (this idiot!) doesn't detect it yet!! I also banged a car, like a big accident. It was a combination of factors like we say: a moron who didn't know how to drive, my foot that slipped in my Crocs (I had to take on me to wear again these ugly shoes, quite practical in the rains) and a moment of distraction where I couldn't remember which pedal was the break! I don't know how but not even a scratch...

Here is how it looks (with a music I find quite adapted ;) ):