After our last long haul flight to Mumbai we had finally arrived! After what seemed like an eternity waiting for our bags we got a prepaid taxi to ship us safely to the flat. We purposely took the 10 hour layover to arrive during the daytime to avoid being frazzled by a late night rip off. My first impressions of India reminded me of South East Asia. The bustling traffic, horns, smells of exhaust and the pure rawness of the city.
Quickly you can see the disparity between rich and poor. A make shift favela could be seen right across the street from a residential building.
Without incident we arrived at our humble abode. Our home and base for the next few months. Although it doesn’t look like it has everything we need and man I’m actually pretty excited for the authentic Indian experience.
Although severely jet lagged we dropped our bags and headed for the street to take in the surroundings. We wanted to exchange some money quickly and get some food and beer to celebrate.
Kiran quickly took us to one of his childhood favourite corner vendors to eat this delicious – Vadapau (12 rupees) it was a fried potatoe ball squished between bread smeared with tamarind and spices. The flavour this simple treat packed was amazing.
To exchange money we walked to a local jewellery store of a place Kiran’s mom usually went. The guys behind the counter gave us an exchange rate I couldn’t believe. 1 USD to 62.4 Indian rupees. A better than market rate! They seemed very interested in only 100 dollar notes. I couldn’t believe the interaction as the guys nonchalantly gave me bricks of bills and we were on our way.
We picked up some beer and more Vadapau and headed home. Beer was about 135 rupees for a 650ml bottle.
Next was getting internet our badly needed Internet connection. Kiran called the company and the guy came within the hour to install our Internet. All they had was one CAT5 uncapped cable in the apartment. He put a male end on the wire as we chatted about the infrastructure. Most apartment buildings have one modem that share a connection, unlike in North America were each house seems to have at least one dedicated modem line.
The two gentlemen were impressed with the amount of technology we brought and the routers we travelled with. Kiran and I brought an ASUS WL-330N/NUL routers. The Internet company used PPPoe to connect their wan which gave us some trouble with our devices. They called a third engineer to help us set it up on our routers but Kiran and I managed to get everything working just before their guy showed up. Just needed to spoof the MAC address of Kiran’s network card onto the router 😉
We decided to get the 10mb connection with a cap of 20gb for 725 rupees for 30 days. Which is about $12.75 CAD. Not too shabby at all.
At last we had setup our chindian tech support center
Completely beat and tired we called it a day and headed to bed. What a long first day.