Is it fun to live in Mumbai?

Mumbai - First impressions count

Anyone who sets foot in India in Mumbai for the first time will be overwhelmed by the city. Hectic traffic, lots of people, extreme contrasts and new impressions for all the senses challenge the newcomer. An exciting start to a trip in India.

The “first time” is always something very special for me. Arrive in a foreign country. A strange city. A foreign culture. Many trips to Asia and a premonition of what to expect here mitigate the culture shock in India. But it's still an exciting new experience.

Many travelers told me in Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh City, for example, that the cities are far too hectic for them and that they only make a short stop. The many cars, the crowds, constantly concentrated not to be knocked over or run over. Yes. These cities are hectic, but Mumbai tops everything we've seen so far.

Landmarks of Mumbai: The Taj Mahal Hotel and the Gateway of India

The largest city in India is unmanageably large, so the distances you have to cover are correspondingly long. Taxi rides offer opportunities for hard bargaining when the taximeter is not turned on.

On many routes you can walk faster anyway. Or with the suburban trains, which are probably nowhere else in the world as full as in India.

Street scene in Mumbai

The first few days after arriving in a new city, I always take it easy. I like to explore the area. Travel life also needs to be organized. Get a SIM card for the mobile internet, buy toilet paper - it is missing in my accommodation - and also gain my first experiences with eating in India. I forgot the pocket knife and the hair clipper at home, but there are remedies for that too.

My beard has never been so lovingly cared for as by this barber

The onward journey should also be organized. Travelers should get train tickets as soon as possible, as trains are sometimes fully booked well in advance.

Encounter in the Dhavari slum

All of this often takes a lot of time. Just getting the SIM card here in Mumbai takes several days. When it is clear “how it really works”, there are only a few minutes left until the mobile connection to the Internet. Buying a train ticket can also be time consuming. But organizing the trip on your own is also a lot of fun.

In Mahalaxmi, 5,000 men wash Mumbai's dirty laundry

So you learn a lot about the country and its people, and you have to deal with the local conditions. You can also see a lot of the city which offers all shades from “unimaginably rich” to “unbelievably poor”.

Cricket is a popular popular sport in India

The encounters are not always pleasant because they do not correspond to our usual image. But that's why we travel to get to know other things.

The unbelievable bureaucracy in India was completely unexpected for me. Everything is registered, noted in thick books and copied. To visit a small park alone, I have to fill out four (!) Forms with details of the name, address, passport number and time of the visit.

Endless stroll along the Marina Drive

Four officials help me, everything is registered again in another office and then the entry fee of Rs 10 (approx. 12 cents) is collected. In state institutions, bureaucracy is part of everyday life.

The cave temples on Elephanta Island a few kilometers from the coast are impressive

The first impression of India is exciting. Actually, one shouldn't even speak of “all of India” as such. Every region is different, has its own culture and language. Mumbai is in the state of Maharashtra, Marathi is spoken here.

Young Indians on a Sunday excursion

Soon the journey continues towards Goa. This region is strongly influenced by the Portuguese and many Indians live there according to Christian beliefs.

The pottery produces and sells

I am looking forward to you traveling “virtually” with me through the south of India in the next few weeks. The beginning of New Year's Eve in Mumbai has been made. I will also share some helpful travel tips from India.

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Category: India