I have now spent just over one week away from home.
I expected unexpectedness from this trip, but every single day I have encountered something that I never would have expected just one week ago! I’m going to share a few of my daily unexpected experiences with you below.
Day 1: Upgrades
Before we had even left Auckland we had an unexpected spanner thrown in the works. Our flight to Kuala Lumpur was delayed for a full twelve hours. This terrible start to the trip however turned into an amazing stroke of luck, as it meant we caught a new connection to Mumbai, and had a chance to explore Kuala Lumpur for a full day! This was an amazing opportunity that we took full advantage of to explore a new city that we weren’t supposed to stay in at all! We visited the Petronas towers, did some shopping, awed at the lunar new year decorations, and even managed to fit in a swim in the pool before heading off to the main event: Mumbai.
Day 2: Kaali Peeli’s
Our first day in Mumbai was calm, for the most part, as we were introduced to the city by the GCC team: Naveen and Mala. The exception to this was lunch. We split into four groups to take Kaali Peeli’s (taxis) to and from lunch. Observing and navigating the traffic was a challenge by itself, but it got worse when our taxi driver dropped us in completely the wrong place. This caused a little stress at first, but I began to enjoy being thrown in the thick of it as we explored the surrounding streets for a new taxi. The most unexpected part of this however was the amount of taxi drivers that were taking a nap in their cars, lounging back with their feet sticking out the window!
Day 4: Adventures
Day 4 of our trip was the first time I ventured out into the unknown completely by myself. I was searching for a squash court, and Google had told me there was one about a 15 minute walk away from our hostel. As I approached the address I realised what the CCI in ‘CCI squash court’ stood for: Cricket Club of India. I realised this due to the absolutely massive Brabourne cricket stadium to my right being where I had expected a humble squash court to be. Nevertheless I ventured inside, got a glimpse of the field, asked the security guard for directions, and was swiftly shown out. No squash for me, but it was well worth the walk anyway!
Day 6: Rainbow’s End!?
The most unexpected thing of all however, was what we encountered on our way to dinner at the end of our first week. There were large, strange looking structures being wheeled along the road towards where we were having dinner. Eventually we put the pieces together and worked out it was a mini theme park on the street, with merry-go-rounds, pirate ship rides, and Ferris wheels! The best part of all, was that it was all running off man-power, without a generator in sight! After dinner we gave some of the rides a go, and it was great fun from a truly unexpected source.