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A taste of Mumbai

At least I have started typing Mumbai instead of Bombay after all these years.. that is a sign of accepting the changing times. 

Our day 2 in Mumbai was mostly spent shopping. There was a plan for me to go meet my college buddies that did not come through. Also I was going through some emotional pain.

There is a back story that starts on day 0 of the trip. I was on an Air Asia to get to Chennai via Malaysia. Given I booked it on Cheapo Air, it came as a surprise to me that the ticket included NO check in bags at all. I assumed that the one suitcase 23kg default is there. Apparently the base ticket they sell online has no baggage allowance and if you need that one suitcase, you have to pay 60 USD. We did pay that 60 USD last minute to reserve that weight. Usually I have a backpack and a single carry on. This time I was lugging a camera bag and a larger bag that was going to be checked in. 

The lady at the Air Asia counter was so adamant in breaking each bag to 7 kg that she insisted that my camera bag go into the big suitcase. I was explaining to her that my total allowed weight was still under what I paid for and it is all going into the same plane. What difference does it make if it is on the overhead bin or check in. She said "I am okay but if any supervisor catches you, I will lose my job". So in front of an audience of 100 or so folks in line, I had to open my suitcase, check in bag and distribute the contents of my camera bag to meet the weight standards for check in vs. carry on. She said she would put a "Fragile sticker" on the bag given the 2000 $ lens and with a heavy heart I agreed. 

On my one day in Chennai, the camera bag never came out. The first time I opened it was to take pictures of San's cousins baby. While looking at the photos, I noticed that there was light streaks on most of the pictures. Turns out the lens cap had come off on the 24-105 and it was scratched badly!  Luckily they had a long living room and the 70-200 worked.  This also meant that I had to go shop for a UV filter in Mumbai. The actual Air Asia flight was pleasant and nice. Just that they messed up my lens. Where were we? Emotional pain.. yes.

We went to a few shops in the CHembur area and they all had new cameras, but none of them carried filters. They all said we had to go to Dadar area to get accessories. 

Spent most of day 2 just shopping in the local area, visiting Siddhi Vinayak and having some yummy sweets and savories at the local Jhama store. It is now becoming a new tradition for the family to visit Jhama while in Mumbai and it is an experience that does not disappoint!

One funny thing that happened was that at Siddhi Vinayak, all the flower sellers were calling me "sethji", because I was wearing a fancy shirt with gold buttons and embroidery.

So the wife and kids kept making fun of me and called me Sethji for the rest of the day and in return I called Jr. "sethji ki beti". 

At night we tried a few more shops for the filter and found out that the only bet was JJ Mehta and sons in Dadar West and that was where the next afternoon was spent.. 

More later. . .


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