Mumbai is known by titles- ‘City of Dreams’, ‘Financial Capital’, ‘Mayanagari’, etc. And these titles stand true to their word rightly so. However, Mumbai is more of a transit zone, connecting national and international travelers to the rest of the Indian cities effortlessly.
While Mumbai is not the typical tourist zone, it’s definitely worth spending a couple of days exploring the city.
Here are 9 things that every tourist must know while visiting Mumbai:
9. You won’t be mis-guided by the locals for any help or information
If they know how to help you, they will speak up, if they don’t they’ll tell you who could help; else they’ll shut up. But it’s rare that locals of the city will ever misguide you.
8. Street Food is not unhygienic (if served hot)
Admit it, if you’re ever passing by the Mumbai streets with food vendors, you’ll definitely feel the temptation. As delicious as it looks, the street food in Mumbai is not as unhygienic as it is projected to be. Provided you’re away from any contagious places, most food served hot is extremely safe!
Did You Know? The native Mumbaikar usually settles for vada pav or the hot food plates served by the roadside.
7. Your meal could range anywhere between 10bucks to 1000 bucks depending on what you pick
Mumbai is the place for both the Prince and the Pauper. A Vada Pav worth 10 bucks could just be the cheapest meal to fill your stomach. On other occasions you could be the prince who could splurge money on gourmet dishes on a normal day. Also, you could never go Hungry withe variety of restaurant and eatery joints in the city.
6. 8/10 Cabbies will be honest (will go by the meter)
Understandably, being fooled by the cabbies is one of the greatest concerns of any tourist. In Mumbai, 8 of 10 cabbies can be relied upon taking you through the best route and without cheating on the fair. About 85% Taxis and Autos in Mumbai go by the meter. So you know how much to pay! You can always look up the Internet for maps and fares if you need assurance at any point.
5. You will find road traffic even at 12AM
It needn’t be the New Year’s Eve or Christmas, or a Saturday/Sunday. In Mumbai there’s always traffic. How? Why? Where? Tough to answer, easier witnessed. The traffic is almost always there!
4. A Ride In The Local Train Is Quite An Experience, Not For Everyone
The famous Mumbai Local is quite a talking point for the way of life that goes along with it. I’d say, The Mumbai Locals are actually the hub of some of the best stories, relationships in the city.
But again, it’s really not for all. As easy as it sounds, get in with the crowd and get out with the tide. If you can’t take the crowd, it’s really fine. Don’t force yourself to end up feeling exhaustive or pained with the rough crowd. That’s one of the pictures of the city.
3. Mumbai is one of the safest cities
Yes it is. I say that because women can move about freely, be out till late and still be unperturbed by all that’s going on. Mumbai Police over the years has proven their supremacy adding to the confidence of the state of the city.
2. The people living in Dharavi aren’t the poorest
Not too long ago I realized how tourists pay about $300 on trips to Dharavi to get a perfect picture and feel the plight of the poor. However, people in Dharavi are infamous, defamed, and anything but poor. Dharavi is a hub to various illegal activities that fill in the home with money and hope while foreigners continue to feel bad. Some of these locals even own a flat that has been rented out.
1. To see Mumbai is not to see the structures but the life!
You want to see Mumbai? Gateway of India, Siddhivinayak, Prince of Whales Museum, Juhu Chowpatty are not the Mumbai you’ll truly remember. Go meet the locals, the milk delivery guys, the drivers, the poor people, the food, the traditions and the way of living. That thing about Mumbai will never leave your mind!
Remember the beauty of Mumbai is not the monuments it contains but the people it accommodates, more so each day. The dreams they live with and their actions to achieve their dreams. Also their failures, what they’re missing and of course all they have added to this city’s culture in the process of fitting in!
Share this with all those who speak of the misconceptions. Mumbai’s spirit is what deserves to be spread and celebrated!
This article was first published on Awara Diaries