Leaving the airport in Mumbai was quite an experience. As soon as we were on the road, there was just chaos which I knew was coming however I didn’t know the extent of it. There were multiple times in which I thought that we were going to witness an accident but it didn’t happen. Everyone makes their own path however they are so in sync with each other! It just amazes me. Another part of Mumbai that I didn’t understand the extent of was the slums. The streets are lined with dilapidated buildings housing many people and their businesses. There was one street we traveled down where we saw the polarity between the wealthy and the poor. On one side of the street there were large, well-kept buildings such as hotels, apartments, and car dealerships, and on the other side were the slums. Driving and walking through such areas caused me to reflect on my time here. There were people sleeping on the street outside our hotel where we were treated like royalty. It’s heart-wrenching to be in a country where tourists are pampered to the nines while so many it’s own citizens are struggling for the necessities, which isn’t a unique situation to India. It’s a global issue.
Despite the fact that more than half of the citizens in Mumbai are living in slums, so many people are laughing and smiling. The sense of community within the part of Mumbai we visited is so strong. Leaving the airport we saw so many people hanging out outside and talking with each other. Families were out walking and children were playing with each other. It seemed as if the distractions of the world today were gone and all focus was on each other which is something I really admire.
(Train station in Mumbai)