Day 4 was suppose to be Mumbai day. I forgot to mention that on Day 3, at 3 am in the morning, concierge called us that our taxi to Mumbai was waiting downstairs. Waht?!?
Once outside the Westin Pune Hotel, it was very hard to talk to taxi drivers, as they do not speak English so well, some of them, not at all. I had asked someone from concierge to help me book a taxi that could bring us to Mumbai, it was a 4 hour drive away. Again, things got lost in translation, and instead of booking the taxi for Sunday morning, it got booked for Saturday morning. Poor guy. I felt soo bad that the taxi driver had to wake up soo early to come to the hotel, to find out that it was the wrong day..
Anyway, when we got home from our Day 3, our whole day sight seeing in Pune, it started to rain hard. Marco, being a smart ass, checked google and found out that it was pouring in Mumbai too, and that Sunday would be even worse. Rain with thunderstorms. Nice going baby!
2 problems with heavy rain. 1 is that most of the places we were going to see in Mumbai were outdoors, rain will definitely ruin the fotos :D, and problem number 2 is coming back to Pune from Mumbai. We’ve never been to Mumbai, we didn’t know the road situation, and how rain and flooding correlates here in India. Our basis at this point was Manila=heavy rain=traffic jam=horrible floods. So, we were worried that no taxi would want to drive 4 hours in the rain in the dark, plus, it didn’t sound safe.
So at around 7 pm Saturday night, I asked concierge to call the taxi service and to just cancel the Mumbai trip all together. This is where the problem started. Man from concierge said that they had already cancelled the taxi service, and booked us a hotel driver who rented a car from where ever, he was going to drive us to Mumbai, show us around, and bring us back to Pune.
Here lies the problem. The taxi service was 1800rs one way to Mumbai. Coming home would have been the same. Hiring a taxi in Mumbai for 8 hours would be 1400rs. The total for all travel expenses would be 5,000rs. This “new solution” that concierge construed was going to cost 9000rs. Almost twice of what we had budgetted for.
And don’t forget the heavy rainfall and thunderstorms.
At about 8 pm, Marco and I decided that spending that money and being rained was not worth it anymore. Mumbai is not going anywhere and there would be other opportunities to visit it. All the odds were against it. We went down to cancel the hotel driver with the rented car.
Concierge was asking us to pay 1500rs because the guy had already rented the car. We didn’t want to be pain in the butts, but honestly, I believe that the 1500rs was not our responsibility since we did not approve this new plan.
To make the longg story short, we did pay for it cause we felt bad for the driver. But still, 1500rs. We could have used that for food! Or kurtas. Yes, beautiful, colorful kurtas…
This “short” story doesn’t end here! Sunday morning, 3 am, deja vu. The phone started ringing again. Same taxi driver from Saturday 3 am was back. Concierge did not cancel it! Poor guy….!!!!
Accuweather.com’s real time forecast for weather in Mumbai.
On to Day 4 in Pune!
We had an early morning breakfast at the hotel, walked around and took some fotos in the lobby.
Our itinerary for the day was to shop in the Mahatma Gandhi road, or MG road as they call it. Have a late lunch at George’s Restaurant, and just relax in the hotel afterwards. After yesterday’s busy day, Wub deserved a light day. I took it upon myself to make his load lighter by carrying his wallet too. And emptying it.. 😀
Our first stop was Clover Centre at MG Road. It was already about 12 noon when we arrived there, but being it a Sunday, not all stores were open. This made husband very, very, veryyyy happy.
From Clover Centre, we had to walk a bit to get to the actual MG road shopping area. Again, not all stores were open. Husband’s smile got wider and wider.
On the way to MG road, we saw some cows crossing the street. It was interesting how they were not being shooed away.
I do remember from high school that cows are considered sacred in Hinduism. I did a little research on Google.
“In Hinduism, the cow is revered as the source of food and symbol of life and may never be killed. However, many non-Hindus interpret these beliefs to mean that Hindus worship cows. This is not true. It is more accurate to say the cow is taboo in the Hindu religion, rather than sacred. This is just one example of the misunderstandings people have about the Hindu faith.
In ancient India, oxen and bulls were sacrificed to the gods and their meat was eaten. But even then the slaughter of milk-producing cows was prohibited. Verses of the Rigveda refer to the cow as Devi (goddess), identified with Aditi (mother of the gods) herself. Some scholars believe the tradition came to Hinduism through the influence of strictly vegetarian Jainism. But the cow continued to be especially revered and protected among the animals of India.
The cow remains a protected animal in Hinduism today and Hindus do not eat beef. Most rural Indian families have at least one dairy cow, a gentle spirit who is often treated as a member of the family.” www.religionfacts.com
It is always nice to learn something new, or remember what you’ve been taught years ago.
More cows crossing! I wanted to take fotos with them, but Marco said that it might appear disrespectful to the Indians. Which I later asked a friend and they said it was ok, the Hindus wouldn’t have minded.
We ordered the Chicken Tikka which is grilled chicken marinated in tandoori masala. And the rice dish is the Mutton Pulao. The chicken tikka was amazing, very soft, and full of flavor, the pulao was also delicious!
We were back in the hotel by 4 pm, and we just stayed at the lounge to have some tea and fruits.
At the Westin Pune’s SPG lounge.