We popped a complimentary bottle of champagne (which hubby was mixing with Hennessy for some reason– not I tho, #BrownWillBringYouDown), listened to T.I. go in on “About the Money” #MissMeWitIt and let our eyeballs feast on the spectacle— 5 independent firework shows, spotlights, candle-lit lanterns and hella people on the street. So instead of heading to the club (to be subjected to lame house music), we simply got fresh, and stepped just outside the hotel doors onto the waterfront to #GoUp with the locals. #AsRealAsItGets
I woke up on the first day of 2015 with a mission… to do absolutely nothing. Not even blog… and I love y’all more than Kanye loves Kanye, so you know I was tired. We knew we had scheduled a brief street food tour with Reality Tours that evening, so the plan was to chill all day in our hotel-house, get a little culture and then turn-up that night with our new friend Nyasha. She was coming down for drinks with an associate and then planned to hook up with us later that evening so we could hit these streets. Oh, and because she lives 40 minutes away, we invited her to crash with us! #SleepOver
That WAS the plan.
For some reason, we were under the impression that the tour would take around 2 hours. We expected an easy stroll through the city, featuring a couple of stops at local food stands and hole-in-the-wall restaurants, to try genuine Indian cuisine. #AsRealAsItGets And I was told not to wear booty-bearing shorts or mid-drifts because the second leg of the tour was in a predominantly Muslim area. No problem. #IAintRatchet
Fun fact- Our Indian friends state-side warned us about eating and drinking all willy-nilly during our stay in India. We were told to pack ALL the Imodium, keep hand sanitizer on deck and to eat only at hotels and highly recommended establishments. And since I generally have the bubble-guts, I heeded the warning with the fierceness- eating only at hotels and avoiding the water, even going as far as brushing my teeth with bottled water and drinking only bottled water, wine (of course) and/or soft drinks #NoIce. So we were definitely excited to go on the Street Food Tour, but I was planning to mostly document it for y’all… the gastrointestinal distress of IBS is real, and I needs no help, lol.
The tour began at 5:30pm and we expected to be back at the spot no later than 8 to immediately hit the streets with Nyasha, so hubby and I dressed for a night out on the town… we had no idea that ish was about to get real. After getting fresh to death, we stopped by the hotel bar for
a glass two glasses of Pinot and a plate of crispy calamari. Then we bounced it out– the impecably dressed Sikh doorman hailed us a cab, and hubby and I jumped in. We immeditaly tried to buckle up, but the cabs here all have a “Craig’s Cupboard’ operating situation – they either have a buckle with no strap or a strap with no buckle.
Fun fact- Previously, one of our drivers told us not to worry about putting on a seat belt because only the drivers are required to wear a seat belt in India #MissedThePointTho
We should’ve known things were going to go left that night after we got what can only be described as a bad omen. After stopping the car (in the middle of two lanes) to chat with a friend for 5 minutes, the driver makes an immediate wrong way turn down a one way street. Instinctively hubby and I looked at eachother like, ‘dafuq!?’. Rather than make a u-turn, he tried going the wrong way down said one way street to cross into the correct lane . This didn’t work, as we were almost immediately t-boned by an oncoming car. #BuddhaTakeTheWheel
We survive the 5 minute trip to the train station, jump out and make our way to the meeting place for the street food tour. After passing through two sets of metal detectors that were both unattended #WhereTheyDoThatAt, we meet up with our guide and our tour-mates. #WhiteFolk
What we all thought was going to be a short walking tour, begins with us boarding a train and riding for two stops straight in to Pakistan… basically.
He knew we were coming so he decided to surprise us and tag along! By the way, he’s been reading the posts and your comments and loves them! Make sure to #RealityGives !
Forty-five terrifying minutes, one oxen, and a thousand scooters later, we arrive in a Bohri Muslim neighborhood (which is a subset of the Shia). The driver dropped us off on Mohammed Ali Road. I’ll spare you the history lesson, but it’s like going into any oppressed minority neighborhood, anywhere in the world. #ThinkMLKBoulevardAt3am There is a history of tension and violence between Muslims and Hindus, and particularly between Muslims and the Indian Government. #WildWildWest We saw not a single Indian flag. #LotsofPakistaniOnesTho
Remember when we were walking down the street in Dhavari and a motorcycle came through? Imagine that times a million. There was a sea of people going about their business, shoulder to shoulder and every 5 seconds, a honking moped or motorcycle would race through the crowd. #HideYoKidsHideYoWife I almost lost my life twice. Folks walking in front of me would get out of the way at the last minute and leave me staring down a speeding motorcycle. It was crazy dangerous and ridiculously intense. But even more terrifying than that, was actually crossing the streets. Cars are flying pass and motorcycles are weaving between them, and traffic rarely stops. You have to walk between cars and hold your hand up and hope they hit the breaks for you. Locals bang on the hoods and sides of cars with their hands, like ‘let me through, boo!’. I can’t cross a regular street (without a crosswalk and light… #I’llWait) so y’all know I was losing it.
Meanwhile Nyasha was at the Trident lobby, sipping on a cocktail, waiting for us. I texted her about the situation and she said, ‘THIS IS INDIA! No worries, be safe and have fun! But be safe, tho’ She went back home and any hopes for a turn up were dashed. *ugly cry* Back to the adventure–
Then back to the spot–
And there you have it folks. The Reality Tours Street Food Tour. Mayur went above and beyond, it’s just that, #WeWasntReady. Adventures are dope, but only when you plan to go on one. Maybe we’ll turn tonight?
*** GIVEAWAY ***