mumbai's tendencies

today's our last day in the city, day number six. our flight leaves at 6:40 am tomorrow morning, meaning we'll be hopping in a taxi at 3:30 am.

buh bye, restful night's sleep. eh, i can't really muster up the anger, though; when we finish this leg of flying, we'll be in cairo among literally too much history for my brain to hold. OH BUT FIRST we have a layover in kuwait. lol.

anyway, i've noticed some things around here in the last six-ish days.

the indian head bobble
it's not a nod...it's not a shake...it's a side-to-side tipping of the head. they do it all the time.
"hey, can we get this taxi to colaba? on the meter?" response: head bobble..."okay." we get in the back of the taxi and he starts the meter
"four hundred rupees! that's way too expensive. can you do 200?" response: head bobble..."okay." and i buy said thing for 200 rupees.
"we're from america." response: head bobble..."good country."
i can't figure out what the head bobble means. i thought at first that it meant no, but it seems like maybe it means a moment of uncertainty followed by a yes. 

"what's your good name?"
people are always asking for our names and where we're from. i've had a couple indians sidle up next to me just to ask where i'm from, then walk away once they know. whenever people ask for our names, they always repeat them and go, "nicki. good name." or they'll ask for our "good name" right off the bat.
and by the way, when we respond we're from america, a handful of people have gone, "obama! good, good. bush, no good!"

indian women have taken street clothes to the next level. they have sarees of every color and they never look foolish in these neon bright colors or mismatched patterns; they can rock it like it's nobody's business. they have jewelery hanging off every limb, including the most ornate (and what must be painful) nose piercings ever. they're making me want to buy a saree and get my nose re-pierced. (i might give in to both of these things, but the latter will have to wait until america.)

i'm famous in india
you'd think we were, anyway. we've been in pictures with at least 50 indian people; this is not hyperbolic in any way. when we sat at the hanging gardens for an hour or so the other day, families would come up to us and just rotate through, snapping picture after picture. when we were at elephanta island, as soon as one group stopped us to take a picture with them, it was free rein for every other group to step in and take pictures with us, too. yesterday at haji ali, as we were sitting and quietly reading our books on some rocks off to the side, minding our own business, a family tapped our shoulders and asked us to be in their family portrait. you'd think we were a mumbai attraction.

i wasn't ready to leave don det, laos, and i wasn't ready to leave hanoi, but i think i'm ready to leave mumbai. i'm done being a spectacle here, i'm done with the pollution of the city, and i think i've seen enough for now. i've loved it and i think it's a wonderful city filled with characters (mostly charming and friendly, but you can't win'em all, eh?), but i'm ready to move on.

egypt, here i come.

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