Bombay, 02:00. The cab-driver didn’t speak a word English, but when I showed him the name of the hotel I had booked, he nodded his head… We drove and drove. Outside it was horror. People sleeping naked in the open air; weird agglomerates of shelter-roofs made of corrugated iron, plastic and other, tied together junk. People, kids, dogs, chickens and little fires underneath them. And then that awful smell. The cab-driver started to make noises and gestures which gave me the unpleasant feeling that he hadn’t the slightest idea where to bring me. “Victoria Railway Station”, I said, because I knew my hotel was somewhere close to that station. And we drove on. Suddenly he stopped and pointed at a huge, old building: Victoria Railway Station. While I showed him the address of my hotel, three noisy guys came towards us. Fortunately one of them spoke a little English and they managed to explain to the cab-driver where my hotel was. Great guys! According to my little diary, that I traced this morning, I entered my hotel-room around 03:45. The boy that brought me to my room poured me some water; and then he waited. After a small tip, he left the room. I switched on the rusty ‘airco’. It made a terrible noise. So I had to decide: heat or noise. I chose noise, because it sounded a bit familiar, like the engine of the Boeing that had brought me to this place.
Next morning I walked to Victoria Railway Station, to buy me a train-ticket to Bangalore. It took more than an hour; and the extreme airco almost gave me a cold.
While walking through the streets of Bombay, a police officer joined me. He offered me a banana and asked where I was from. Then he asked whether I wanted to buy some drugs. I said no and immediately he crossed the street and disappeared. Astonished I moved on.