I'm back in India. For a holiday. To see some sights. Rest my mind. And relax the body.
At the moment we're in Mumbai, doing some city action before hitting the beach. After a full day of travelling and 4 hours sleep we decided to go on a tour of the Dharavi slum.
I don't know what I was expecting, in fact I don't think I had any expectations at all, but it was one of the most enlightening mornings. Amazing, surprising and disgusting all in one go. The tour company run community projects inside the slum, meaning they're granted unique access - we literally walked through the heart of the entire thing. Seeing some of the 10,000 small businesses that operate there. We walked through both the Muslim and Hindu parts, and waved at both. We ducked under wires. Pressed oursleves against walls in the narrowest of sections to let the residents pass. And we averted our eyes as children did their business out in the open on top of the rotting refuse. It was quite a morning. There's no doubt what we saw of life in the slum was hard. Very, very hard. But there was also lots of urgency to make the most of the day, lots of laughter and lots of joy. It was an upilifitng trip.
Once back at the hotel we played one of my favourite games. It's called 'oh look, Paul's just over there waving in the Oberoi'.
Here I am just over there waving in the Oberoi, by the stairs that lead to all the shops we can't afford to shop in.
And look, there I am again just over there waving in the Oberoi, by the massive black pillar that doesn't go anywhere.
Look up! That's me again just over there waving in the Oberoi, on the 16th floor looking down into the lobby.
And finally - yes you guessed it - I'm just over there waving in the Oberoi, across the 16th floor (a classic).
Tomorrow we're heading to Goa. I won't be able to play the game there, which I'm pretty sore about, I'll probably just read the Bible and paint instead.