21 Aug

How Not to be a Tourist in Mumbai

It’s fairly easy to spot tourists anywhere. They attract locals like a moth to a flame, which is why they may be harassed, stalked or even flashed at. Tourists in India have a hard time for many reasons, but take heart, we are with you. Here are some ways to blend in with locals in Mumbai.

Female tourists in Delhi, India

Get used to the attention
Mumbai has people from all over the country, and some of these places are really remote. So, you might be stared at or scrutinised. Relax, some of these folks have never ever seen a white or black person and might look at you quizzically. Just enjoy the attention and take selfies maybe?

Take a Virar Fast
This is how majority of Mumbaikars travel, despite the super-dense crushload. Even though trains might seem like a deterrent, you’ll feel very much a part of the city being jostled and pushed around in a carriage, with abuses being hurled at you for something you didn’t do. Yeah!

Stay calm in traffic
Traffic can go on and on during peak hours. Mumbaikars are so used to being
stuck in traffic that they don’t notice it anymore and appear to have achieved zen-like calm. Also, don’t be surprised by the incessant honking. It’s just part of the charm.

Look people in the eye
Mumbaikars are generally warm and will look you in the eye while conversing. Directions will be given, whether or not they know your language, and you’ll even be invited to their home if a chance conversation goes well. Yes, it happens.

Ditch the bottled water
Nothing screams ‘tourist’ more than people carrying bottled water. You may get dehydrated, or require to sip more than you usually do in humid Mumbai. And that’s fine because water is freely available in the Seven Islands. And anyway nothing beats thirst like replenishing ‘nimbu pani’. Ask any local. The Delhi belly wanes off after a while.

There are more ways to enjoy Mumbai. Tell us about your experience as a first-timer in the city.

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