Arriving in the heat of the day was a good hit after the coolness of London, and I enjoyed knowing right away the temperature high that i would be living in over the next month.
After some questions from immigration, backwards and forwards conversation in their own language, and more questions by the gentlemen, they agreed to grant me a visa and allow me into their country. Although they would only grant me the visa until the night before my outbound flight, I was happy to get the all clear, collect my bags and then go meet my ride from Vision Rescue that had been patient for over an hour while the whole scene unfolded. You can imagine me, a single girl travelling by herself to meet an Indian man that had invited her to come and stay for a month, provided many questions to the immigration officers.
Two Vision Rescue staff, Marshal and Islam, welcomed me and we proceeded to weave through the busy and overcrowded streets, a much different picture to the village in America that I was in. All around I saw some similar sights to things I had seen in other countries, but I also began to see new sights, experience new smells and take in everything that Mumbai has to offer. The roads are full of people and things to dodge, within mere centimetres sometimes.
We arrived at St. Pius College where I will call home for the next month. It is a simple room and complete with 2 small single beds (which I have now combined to be like a tiny double), a hard pillow, a wardrobe, and a 'European' style bathroom. The buckets and jugs in there slightly concern me, and I have not attempted the open shower (or should I say facet in the wall) as of yet. I am thankful that I at least have that.
After dropping my bags, we were soon out on the road that would be a 10 minute walk to the Vision Rescue office, that I'm sure will become very familiar to me. It was good to see some new and old friendly faces and they all greeted me warmly. There was an excitement and nervousness as introductions were made. Thoughts invaded my head like 'What are you doing here?' 'What are you going to talk about?' ' You have nothing in common with these people' 'You can't do this for a whole month, you're crazy'. So throwing those thoughts and fears aside, I delved into conversation and silence was broken.
There were so many questions unanswered about my stay, but I was feeling a little more comfortable. We made plans for me to be picked up at 8am and taken out for a day in the buses the next day, and then we left. I was taken back to my room, feeling overwhelmed, uncomfortable and unsure of what I should do next.
And now, in my 4am jetlagged state, I am writing this, so better try and sleep some more.