Got off the plane in Mumbai today. The familiar smell of India hit me before I was even out the door of the airplane. That musty, oily smell of heavy air that seem to fall to the bottom of your lungs because of the weight of it. Next I was greeted by the hot air, like putting on a sweat suit right out of the dryer. They heat wraps around you in an instant and you feel like you are swimming through it because the humidity is so high.
Once again I made my way through the long terminal to immigration. I was helped by a friendly lady that thought it was cute that I smiled for the camera. Every time anyone enters or exits India they take a picture of the person's face. Then out the doors to the largest queue I had ever seen for exiting the airport. While waiting in line to exit (they have to scan your bags on the way out of the airport) I found out my taxi to Pune decided not to wait and canceled. I tried the prepaid cabs but the cost was triple what I normally pay. So I gave Ola a try, took a while for the driver to arrive but the price was much more reasonable. It was only about 50% over what a normal book in advance cost. One thing I have learned in my travels here is that people will try to over charge for anything they can.
Traffic was really bad in Mumbai and it took us almost 1.5 hours just to get out of Mumbai. During the cab ride out of Mumbai hit a sudden downpour, it was like the roof of the car became a drum-skin and I was sitting in the middle of the drum. The rain came down like a flood for about 10 minutes or less then slowed to just a steady rain fall.
We slowly made our way to Pune and Lemon Tree hotel that would be my home until I could locate a flat (apartment). I slept off and on through the ride trying to stay awake so I would be ready to sleep a full night once we got to hotel. We arrived at the hotel about 10:30 PM and I checked in. The staff members that were at front desk recognized me immediately and asked how long I would be here for this trip and how was the miss (Jeanine).
I got in the lift and took it to the fifth floor. Room 511, at least I would be in an upgraded room for my stay here. It's slightly larger and has a tub. I am on the 5th floor also so traffic noise will be less and the work out of climbing the stairs will be good.
For now this will be "home". G'nite all.