Yep, there ARE cows in the road…

…even in bustling Mumbai!

I arrived last night around midnight, after 26 hours and three flights (Albuquerque to Atlanta, then Amsterdam, and finally Mumbai). I was greeted outside the customs area by my brother’s friend Daniel, who must be the  most hospitable expat in the country.  Turns out he left his own birthday party to come pick me up! He led the way to the auto-rickshaw line, where he engaged in a bit of debate with a small army of  drivers over who would get our business. I was grateful to be the female, entirely ignored, as the obvious decision-maker of our pair was barraged with offers and arguments. We were then whisked into the rushing sounds and sights of Mumbai at midnight. An auto-rickshaw is a three-wheeled motorized vehicle with no doors or windows –  you just hop in and out, and hold on tight on the curves. I knew again (as if reminders are needed at this point)  that so little is in my control in this life!

Daniel has another friend from our high school , Alex, who is visiting right now, so the two of them camped out in the living room, insisting on giving me the bed. With adrenaline still pumping through my veins, we caught up on each other’s lives for a little bit before falling into bed at 3am… only to have my mind jump back to life at about 7:30am, alert and racing.

We have just returned from lunch and a long walk around the neighborhood, where I did indeed get to witness not one, but three cows (and two donkeys) in the road. They really do wander unattended through the middle of the street. Daniel’s neighborhood, Bandra West, is scattered with beautiful tall trees with lacey leaves, and old “bungalow” style houses sandwiched in with modern high-rise apartments. The winding brick roads leading back from major throughways acually have a somewhat European feel.

Tomorrow I will meet up with my friend Aditya’s parents, who live across town. Today, I am grateful for this embracing web of connections – I have landed here in the comfort of relationships whose roots lie halfway across the globe. What a small, vast world!

17 thoughts on “Yep, there ARE cows in the road…

  1. Amy says:

    Nice to see your smiling face and good to know you made it there safely. Looking forward to keeping up with you from the currently frigid Austin.

  2. Gretchen says:

    Wow wow WOW! So it all begins. I can’t wait to be a backseat driver to this adventure, Ivy. Sending you lots of love– G

  3. Melissa MIllard says:

    Yea!!! So glad you made it there and had such a warm welcome waiting for you. I love Daniel already if he would leave his own party to pick you up! Tell him I said thank you. I join the host of others who will see India vicariously and so appreciate your willingness to share your experiences. I am on my way to Austin to spend time with JL and K so maybe JL can get a little rest. Rest assured you will be part of the conversation there – “Iiiiiiivy!”

  4. Sally says:

    WOW! You look incredibly rested and relaxed – and the camera managed to catch you with both eyes open (we know that can be a challenge!) What is the body of water that I think I see in the background (behind the donkey)? I know embarrassingly little about the geography of India.

    • ivyingram says:

      Well, looks can be deceiving! I was still pretty UNrested. My eyes were open, though, that’s true. It’s the Arabian Sea behind the donkey, which is on the west side of India. Nothing like going to a place to start learning the relevant geography! I’m sure I’ll know a lot more in a few months…. xo

  5. virginia ellenberg says:

    ok, this is my third try………….clearly i am not really ready for an ipad if i can’t get the hang of posting! i’m so happy to hear you’re surrounded by friends, cows, and lacy trees, ives. india is going to be sweet for us all . love you, mom

  6. virginia ellenberg says:

    having awakened to a massive power shortage here in santa fe, i feel a little like this web of relationships is pretty tricky!!!!!!!! surrounded by cows and lacy trees with friends to enjoy all with is just the way one wants her daughter to begin this wonderous adventure! thank goodness richard thought of this battery powered laptop so we could join you. maybe we’re one step ahead of you on the rural leg of your trip? i’m lighting a fire so i can have my morning cup of hotwater ,honey, and apple cider vinigar…recommended by my ayurvedic practicianer. love you sweets, mom

  7. Blair Woolverton says:

    Oh Ivy, this is going to be such fun. I hope you have the energy to post on your blog every day; reading of your experiences will become my morning constitutional!! You’ll be like my first cup of java– thought I’d use that word because you’re on that side of the world. I will look forward to tomorrow. You paint word pictures for us. Thanks. Blair

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