Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas in India

Being great Indian food enthusiasts and having a THREE! WEEK! winter break, we were excited to go to India over winter vacation.  India is so vast that we knew we'd only be able to see a tiny portion of it, and even that would take extensive travel and plenty of planes, trains, and automobiles.  We left Taiwan and headed to Bangkok, Thailand for a few days because it was a free stop on our flight to India.  We visited some temples, admired the excessive idolatry of the King, and just had a relaxing time.
From Bangkok we still had nearly 5 more hours to fly to arrive in Mumbai, on the west coast of India. Mumbai is supposedly formerly known as Bombay, but I think Indians still call it Bombay.  I digress!  Mumbai was a bit of a shock, initially.  Traffic was insane, and as we wove our way through the city toward our hotel, it was sad to see such extensive poverty and slums.  Perhaps you've seen Slumdog Millionaire (I haven't), but it was shocking to see miles of tiny improvised dwellings and young children playing in the filth.  Here is an aerial view I grabbed from flickr that depicts the largest slum in Mumbai:
Of course, besides the slums, Mumbai also had lots of cool colonial buildings and delicious food. 

After a day in Mumbai, we caught a flight down to Goa, a much more wealthy (and interestingly, Catholic) state in the southern west coast.  Goa is basically a tropical paradise- the Cancun of India.  We have few images of our time in Goa because my camera batteries died.  E has a few more on his iphone

By now, both of our families know that our time in Goa was cut short due to a motorcycle accident.  We feel very fortunate to have weathered the crash without terrible injuries, but now we need to get back to India to see Agra, Varanasi, and much, much more. Someday!