Guest post by Artjom.
On the 17th of August I've arrived in Mumbai and headed straight to Dodo, which I've met at Vipassana centre. He kindly invited me to stay at his place so I accepted his invitation.
When I took a taxi from the station to the city the driver was so nice he was showing me all the famous places in Mumbai which we passed by and also during the ride driver stopped and bought my strawberry milk and said that it is a very famous Indian brand.
In Mumbai I stayed for 6 days. And during these 6 days a did a lot of things. Firstly I met a guy Laurens from Belgium. I don't remember exactly how much but around 4 months he was travelling around Asia and now he's in Mumbai.
My friend Nadja from Riga is studying at Whistling Woods. It's a very good film making university in India. Nadja arranged me a trip around all Whistling Woods campus. After the trip around campus we even participated in movie conference. And what is a movie conference you saying ? In Whistling Woods they have movie days where all the students watch a movie together and on the next day the actors, producers and other people who participated in film production come to conference and talk with the students about this movie.
One evening we went with Laurens to a Mumbai club called Blue Frog. In this club there were a lot of white people so I wasn't feeling special anymore ( joke ). On the day we went to a club there was band "Soulmate" performing, it is a very famous Indian rock/blues band. Honestly I extremely loved their songs and now I even listen on youtube to "Soulmate".
Fun story, after we left the Blue Frog at about 00:00 Laurens told me that he knows this special place where are the best chicken rolls( similar to kebabs ). We took a taxi and because that taxi in Mumbai is cheap comparing to Rigas prices, so we were driving for about 2 hours around Mumbai and finally got to this special chicken roll place. After we ate driver took me straight to home but on the next day probably my stomach didn't liked this chicken roll, I was feeling a little bit sick.
There is a company called "Reality Tours and travel" which organizes tours around Dharavi slum city in Mumbai. By the way Laurens advised me to go there. These tours work like this: I have to be at the exact time at the train station and look for the young man in light blue shirt.
So I went to find that guy. The guy ( I forgot what was his name ) was around 18-22 years old. He was living in the slums all his life and now works for the organization . When I came to the station there were already 3 girls waiting also for this guy in light blue shirt. While we were driving to slum city by train young man introduced himself and told about what is going to happen in slumcity and that we are not allowed to take pictures.
When we arrived to slum city first we went to the commercial zone where people sorted plastic by color with hands. Next we went to the place where people made different parts and objects from metal without any safety rules. After that we visited cloth factory where people worked on Armani, Levis Jeans and so on. And in the same area was an embroidery factory which makes really detailed handicrafts and mainly exports to Europe and USA. The quality is very good, the price is very cheap and the work is simple - that's why big brands choose the slum citizens as their employees.
After a commercial zone we went to the living zone where we saw slum citizen apartments. In fact they were really clean comparing to the outside of the slums. In the apartments people had TV, internet, kitchen, shower, only one problem there was a public toilet in slums. So the queue in the morning to use toilet is extremely long and people just talk to each other while waiting for their turn.
Overall I really liked the city's atmosphere and rhythm hope someday I'll comeback there.
From Mumbai I took a train to New Delhi and on the same day when I arrived in Delhi I took a train to Haridwar which was around 5 hours. From there I drove to Rishikesh by bus around 2 hours where I spent one night in a hostel.