Monday, 20 December 2010

Mumbai and suspected malaria

As we were now very much on the home straight through southern India we opted for a cross-country flight from Kolkata in the east to Mumbai on the west coast rather than a not so brief 33 hour train ride. We’d contacted a guy via Couch Surfing and headed to his residential part of the city. Couch surfing always gives you a different take on a place compared to visiting as a true tourist in a hotel. We spent a couple of nights with Chan and as the Ashes had just started our cricket knowledge was put to shame (not for the first time).

Cricket at the Oval Maiden in central Mumbai

Mumbai wasn’t the huge modern metropolis I had in mind. The city centre is reasonably compact and there are plenty of historical sites to check out and according to statistics more than half of India’s most populous city live in slums.
The Gateway to India overlooking the Mumbai Harbour

"The Victoria Terminus is to the British Raj what the Taj Mahal is to the Mughal empire"
The roof of the Victoria Terminus, Asia's busiest train station 
Bombay University had the same designer as St Pancras Station
By our second day we decided Tom ought to see a doctor as he’d starting feeling dreadful in Kolkata and still wasn’t feeling any better. The doctor immediately advised he have a Deng-Mal blood test as India seems to be suffering from Dengue Fever quite severely at the moment and of course Malaria is always on people’s minds as they travel. All results were negative so we breathed a sigh of relief and put it down to some dodgy beef momos (steamed dumplings) that he’d eaten in Sikkim a week or so earlier (the blood tests did show that his intestine was working overtime).

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