My First Night In Mumbai, India4
It’s very, very late here in Mumbai. I’ve just gotten situated in my hotel, but I can’t stop thinking about what I’ve already seen. After leaving the airport (still called Bombay), I met up with several members of my group. We’re all here to report on child survival with the International Reporting Project. We were met by hotel staff and split into two groups. I got into a very nice van and we took off on a very short, 15 minute journey to the hotel.
It was already dark. Already past 10 p.m. But the city was alive. Shops looked open It seemed everyone was awake. People were walking around, and some cars were packed full of small children. This would be considered pretty unusual in America on a school night.
Then, on the side of the road, I noticed families I thought to myself, “They must live there. Under that bridge. How do they do it? How do they stay safe at night?” Our car continued on. The driver asked me if I wanted them to stop so I could take pictures. I said no, as I snapped a few pictures from my seat. It was so dark, my photos were coming out blurry.
Our car pulled up in front of our hotel, in front of a stylish barrier and security took a quick look. Our bags were once again placed through an x-ray machine and we each walked through a metal detector. The hotel was beautiful. The people working there spoke English extremely well. They all asked where I was from. I asked a couple of them if they had been to America. No, they said, but they wanted to visit.
The hotel is luxurious. It will be a complete contrast to what I see each day as I report from the slums, hospitals, and even the trash pile. I’ve been told over and over again India is the land of contrasts. And so far, it’s been true.