Meet my new neighborhood

OK, I expected Mumbai to be noisy...but not quite to the extent that I'm experiencing now.

View from my apartment
Santacruz is my home for next nine month. As I sit in my apartment on the fifth floor, with nice breeze coming in, I look down rikshaws constantly coming and going on the street, and I look up airplanes flying high into the sky from the airport nearby.

Well, let's add the sound effects here. 

It means I am sandwitched by roaring aircrafts and honking rikshaws continuously from 6 am to 3 am, if not 24 hours. To make best use of the environment, every morning before I leave for work, I decided to do voice training. However loud I become, I'm pretty sure I will not disturb any neighbors because I hardly hear hearing my own voice!

Despite the sound effects, I do love my neighborhood. 

The streets are filled with vegetable and fruits vendors. I buy tomato from this person, garlic from next, potato from next, and cauliflower and cabbage from yet next person. There's a buffalo milk shop nearby, too. The same man is always standing in front of a huge barrel of milk. Every other day, I stop by and ask him to give me a smallest scoop of milk. He silently nods, pours fresh milk into a tiny plastic bag, ties it very tightly, and hands it over to me with a smile.

Home-cooked food
from my neighbor
I don't know if it happens all over Mumbai, or all over India, but at least in my neighborhood, people are very open, frank, honest, and helpful. It does not matter if they speak English or not. In my building, families leave their doors open. So whenever I pass by, they say hi or wave hand and smile. In a shop, a lady customer, not a shop keeper, recommends me different brands of soaps to try. In a milk shop, another old lady customer told me to get curd, not milk, and make lassi at home. (I actually followed her advice and it was really good!)

In a big city, at least in Tokyo where I am from, people tend to be indifferent to one another. Some people try to take advantage of foreigners, or even those from the countryside in the same country. Those were the experiences I had in the past, which made me a little defensive this time, too. To my pleasant surprise, Mumbai has overthrown my presumption so far. I am curious how this metropolitan city can also keep local flavors. 

And my everyday adventure continues…


  1. Chika,

    Great post! Have you really started voice training-can I expect to hear a song from you when I see you?!? Glad to hear that you’re making lots of friends in your neighborhood, and that you're learning to make local foods! Keep us updated!!


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  3. that is so great to know chika....i am from trivandrum....read ur post on ambulance 108 also

    well chika we find all sorts of ppl from all over the world and surely there are no barriers to it...the best thing is you got the experience of having a great time in mumbai!

  4. Thanks for your comments. I enjoy meeting new and different people because that is how I learn to stretch and discover myself,too.