Everyday people: Bex + Mumbai

Illustration by @roeqie 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/roeqie

Posting this, I realize it’s been a while since an “Everyday people” testimony in their city hasn’t been posted. So, I’m even more excited to publish this one, from my dear friend Bex who lives in Mumbai for a few months now.

Bex is a case of “friendship at first sight”. We met at an event organised by Stylist UK with our favourite authoress Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. After that, every encounter was deep conversations and discoveries (& also good food). She is everything that I love: kindness, intelligence and openness to the world. Funny thing is she is living in one of my dream city: it’s a promise to myself to go one day in Mumbai to discover more about my Indian inheritance, and now I’m glad I will also be around my friend.

This is her Mumbai, Enjoy!

Since when do you live in Mumbai?

I moved to Mumbai in November 2017. I had wanted to move to India since I taught and travelled here eight years ago. I am very lucky that an opportunity came up!

What makes Mumbai so special?

Mumbaikars are welcoming, accepting and kind. The sea is close meaning a breeze blows through the city jumble of palm trees and temples and street food and shops and cows and SUVs and a flexible attitude that makes anything happen. It is like nowhere else.

Pros/cons of living in this city?

Pros 
People are used to foreigners so you are either welcomed or allowed to go about life as normal without any fuss. If you speak Hindi or are smiley, you will be very welcomed.
Everything is so much cheaper and more accessible as a foreigner because you are so privileged here, it is cheap to travel by taxi but there is also an autorickshaw whenever you need one or a local train can whizz you across the city. The shopping on the local trains is so fun – food and hair accessories fly through the carriages.
The food and drink scene has a great vibe and again, you can eat at very trendy places for a fraction of the price.
The food and drink here are delicious! For a vegetarian it is heaven. And veg and fruit is cheap and delicious and seasonal and varied. Traditional tasty local food is available on every street.
It feels very safe.
It’s much easier and affordable to get things mended or fixed here rather than just buying something new.
I am also lucky enough to have a cleaner called Nancy who comes every weekday here. It is seen as important that foreigners and middle class and above Indians support the economy by employing as many people as possible. Many people also have drivers or cooks. Nancy has been so friendly and kind to me and is also teaching me to cook.
There are history and sights but also places to relax and unwind.

It is warm! And people are wearing thick jumpers in 25 degrees.

Cons
The inequality of people living in tiny shacks next to air conned Gucci shops.
The lack of social infrastructure for people who are struggling.
The polluted sea and river water.
The traffic and in particular menacing SUVs clogging up the road. There is a hierarchy on the roads so it is seen as the low class to walk and if you do, then you are fair game for advancing cars who don’t see any reason to stop.
Building work is constant and noisy.

Air pollution can be really bad.

What is your most memorable moment as a local?

I’m volunteering in the counselling team of an NGO and placed in different schools for first generation school goers. The most memorable moment has been dancing with the school team and a group of mothers for Holi festival and putting turmeric on our faces and eating delicious food cooked by the mothers for us.

Your favourite restaurant/brunch/pub/social venue:

Vrindavan Veg Restaurant … great dosas

French crepes! Suzette, Bandra https://g.co/kgs/negvxZ

Birdsong Organic Cafe

Your favourite clothing/beauty shop:

The Shop
Fab India

You favourite bookshop/museum/music venue:

I need to visit more museums but this one was good:
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Title waves for books with cake
Really like for traditional dance and music and jazz.
National Centre for the Performing Arts
Give us 5 hotspots right now including restaurants, shopping, clubbing:
Shopping at my local station – Santacruz
A Bar Called LIFE
Pa Pa Ya, BKC
Khar Social
Kulture Shop

In your opinion how would you qualify the way of life where you live or Can you tell us more about the quality of life there?

The quality of life here is so spoilt for me and I am very much enjoying that while trying to also learn Hindi and volunteer and assimilate somewhat into the local culture.

What is the best with People from Mumbai?

People are friendly and like to laugh and are very open and tactile and also self-aware about cultural norms that are different.

Give one word that describes your relationship with the city:

Fascination.

0 nouveau
Répondre
I think it’s perfect!
Love it!
Got it, thanks!

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s