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紫色奇幻之冒險體驗筆記
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[從觀光客變背包客的印度行]起點:曼谷到孟買 My first time to be a backpacker in India_from Bangkok to Mumbai

tailand style house


從曼谷到孟買的飛機上,旁邊坐了一個印度中產階級的商人Raju,他主動和我聊天,雖然他的英文帶著印度腔,雖然偶而我要想一下才能把中文轉成英文,我們還是很愉快地聊了2個多小時並互留聯絡資訊,「找機會讓我請客吧」這句話埋下我們再見面的伏筆,Raju也成為我第一個印度朋友。

In my flight to India, an Indian businessman named Raju next to me started the chat. Although his English has a little bit Indian accent, we still had a good time during our flight. Before taking off we left contact info to each other. Raju also invited me to have a dinner with him during the period I was in Mumbai.


我在孟買總共待了4天,住在Taj Mahal Palace超高級飯店對面的Salvation Army Red Shield Guest House。雖然行前就聽說環境很克難,但比想像得還糟,浴室似乎有一層千年汙垢,也許這就是孟買髒亂的大環境縮影-空氣不好、街道上遍地「黃金」。

When I was in Mumbai, I stayed in Salvation Army Red Shield Guest House which is near famous Taj Mahal Palace. The guest house was very cheap but the environment was much worse than I’ve heard. For example, the bathroom is full of dirt. Maybe it was the miniature of Mumbai City…


去了服務機構Asha Daan二次,第一次只到門口及附近的貧民窟,當時覺得光往返那裡就是大工程,不論坐公車或火車,單程大概就要1個小時左右。第二次服務了半天,發現志工比開放給我們服務的院童還多,院童都是重度發展遲緩,絕大部分無法語言溝通,我們就盡量陪伴,但很多狀況仍需要修女的指教及處理,讓我覺得其實是他們在成全我們,因為他們得適應一群只來服務幾次的新面孔,也許還不太適應時就要說再見了。我找不到這種短期服務的意義,也許那比較適合正常能溝通的兒童吧!至少還能進行一些文化交流。

I went to Asha Daan twice. At the first time, we just got to there and visited the slums nearby. No matter we took train or bus, it would take 1 hour around to get there and the traffic in Mumbai was terrible. At the Second time, we did service for half day. Volunteers were a little bit more than the disable children. Most of the children didn’t have the ability to communicate. We tried our best to play with them, but sometimes we still needed help from sisters there.

In my viewpoint, it seemed like they satisfied our experience needs, since they had to adapt to a group of people who only showed up for few days. When they became more familiar with us or still not adapted, we already had to say goodbye. I think maybe this kind of short term service is more suitable for common children. At last, we can have some culture exchange during few days.




Kanheri Caves


關於孟買的觀光景點,共去了1.Elephanta Island 2.Kanheri Caves在團體中有領隊幫你處理好交通、票的問題,並約定好集合時間,這二者的風景對我來說很普通(印象深刻的是孟買的海永遠是灰咖啡色),在團體中也遇不到什麼新鮮事,因此照片拍很少,想盡量減少身上觀光客的氣息。

We have visited Elephanta Island and Kanheri Caves during our sightseeing day off. The leader handled all the trivial matters, like transportation and tickets. All we had to do was remembering to gather at the appointed time and place. The view of these two places was nothing special for me. I was only impressed by the color of Mumbai harbour. It was always brown or grey and caused me quite missing the beautiful blue sea in Taiwan east coast. Therefore, I took very few photos during those days.


在孟買最特別的際遇是某天傍晚被「搭訕」。那天,我站在超商門口等朋友,有一位中年男子從超商出來,友善地問我”where are you from? Why are you here?”他的英文不錯(沒很重的印度腔),於是我們聊了不少,我問他孟買哪裡好玩,他說你是自然愛好者孟買不會有吸引你的地方,他首推GOA海岸,然後說假如我想去他很樂意奉陪。我說要回去看看資料考慮一下,他竟然說不如我們先去PUB跳舞然後到他家過夜,我心想假如你是年輕的帥哥我可能會考慮,於是當下想盡辦法婉拒他。


The most special encounter was someone trying to flirt with me in front of the supper market. I was waiting my friend there and a middle-aged man just came out. Since his English is well, we chatted about many ideas. He told me Mumbai is not suitable for me who is a nature lover and recommended me to visit GOA. However, he suddenly suggested going to pub and then his home tonight. It surprised me and he was not the type I like, so I just thanked him but declined.


回去翻GOA的資料,果然是很值得一去的地方,那是孟買中產階級的渡假盛地。於是我聯絡Raju,想問問他GOA相關資訊,及這次有沒有可能去。我和比較熟的團員Yvonne分享我的想法,她也頗認同,於是某天傍晚我們一起坐火車去找Raju。

Raju只有很直接地說能幫我們訂火車票,於是我們訂了隔天傍晚3AC的票(一人約700RB)。下班時間我們在車陣中塞了一小時才到他家,他說如果不塞車15分鐘就會到,但每天上下班必塞,他說這些話時沒有無奈或抱怨,有點「這就是生活」的意味。他家雖然不很大,但共住了含父母等7個人,表面上看起來蠻和樂融融,老父母雖然英文不是很好卻依然主動交談。

後來Raju帶我們到Juhu海邊頗高級的餐廳吃飯,他知道我們不愛辣,特別點了一些口味較清淡的印度料理,那是我在印度吃過最棒的一餐(可惜太享受當下忘了拍照),Raju人很好,不僅自己很主動和我們聊天,甚至也鼓勵他太太把英文講慢一點多和我們講話。

I read some introduction of GOA in my Lonely Planet afterwards. It’s really worthwhile to visit. Many middle class India go there for vacation. Therefore, I contacted Raju and took a team member Yvonne with me.

When we arrived Raju’s office, he just agreed with our GOA dream and booked the train ticket for us. Then he drove us to his home during the rush hour. He said if there is no traffic jam, we’ll arrive in only 15 minutes, but now we have to wait 1 hour. He didn’t complain it at all. Maybe for him, traffic jam is just a common part of daily life.

There are 7 family members living together in Raju’s tiny but cozy home. Most of them are like Raju, warm and very willing to talk with us. Finally, Raju took us to a good restaurant near Juhu beach. He knew that we prefer light taste food, so he ordered this type dishes for us. That meal was the best one I had in India this time, but I enjoyed that moment too much and forgot to take any picture. At least, I had a photo with Raju to remember the happy time we had.



with Raju


隔天早餐時,我和領隊姜老師講我們想去GOA,本來以為他會樂觀其成,卻不如預期,Yvonne當下決定放棄,我卻很不想但要一個人去又有些顧慮。這時前幾天傍晚在餐廳遇見的獨行中國人出現了,當時他向我們問住宿資訊,我對他印象深刻(他雷鬼風的打扮很難讓人不印象深刻)。於是我主動和他攀談,問他有沒有可能一起去GOA,他說他要一路往北走最後經尼泊爾回中國,往下一個城市Ahmedabad的巴士票也訂好了。當下我覺得只要離開孟買哪裡都好,於是決定和他一起走。


那天我們在孟買沒有特別去哪裡,只是在街上邊逛邊聊,處理買電話卡、訂車票、聯絡機票延期等事宜,最後學印度人在印度門前的廣場坐。他是攝影師,那裡是捕抓人像的好地點,但其實我們也被很多印度人拍,甚至有人前來閒聊。那是很愜意的午后,印度門Gateway of India,也是我這次在孟買最懷念的地方…

We Also SitHere


Next morning, I told the leader my GOA plan. He agreed with some unhappiness, so Yvonne decided to give up her 700RB train ticket. I still didn’t want to give up but I dare not to go there by myself that time. Suddenly, the China boy (Diky) I met few days ago showed up in the Hostel. He registered here because the information I gave him. I had good impression on him since we met. Therefore, I tried to persuade him to visit GOA with me, but he told me he had to go north to Nepal and the bus ticket to next city (Ahmedabad) has been booked. I thought as long as leaving Mumbai City, any other place was okay for me. So I decided to go with him finally.


The last day in Mumbai, I and Diky had no special sightseeing plan. We just went around the street and deal with some travelling matters, like buying phone SIM card and postponing my flight ticket. Before leaving, we sat at the square of Gateway of India. Besides talking more about ourselves, we observed different kinds of people here. I found many Indians are curious about us too. Some took pictures of us covertly and some came to chat with us friendly. For me, it’s a memorable evening and Gateway of India is my highlight in Mumbai.

Gateway of India


[後記POSTCRIPT]


決定當背包客的那天我在日記上寫著:「跟著一個剛認識的中國人走有些瘋狂,但來到印度這瘋狂的國度又何妨?雖然有些冒險,但我想深刻的體驗及特別的收穫只會出現在冒險的旅程中。」

變成背包客後,和其他國家背包客交談的機會不少,有一個法國女生獨自在孟買旅行,她的旅行並沒有特定計畫,只是在孟買閒逛,她說光是走在街上每天就夠多新鮮事發生了,這是在歐洲不可能的,所以…她愛孟買。

後來我和Raju一直保持聯絡,即使回台灣後也是。孟買會吸引我再回去,正是這位善良且熱情的好朋友!


After I decided to become a backpacker in India, I wrote in my diary, “It seemed somewhat crazy to go with a China boy I just met, but it seemed possible in this crazy country. Although it had risks, I thought profound experience and unexpected gain would only be met in adventures.”

I had several chances to talk about Indian experience with other backpackers. A French girl travelling in Mumbai by herself shared that many special things happened just on the street, so she had no special sightseeing plan and just walked around everyday. It’s quite different from the orderly Europe, so she loves Mumbai.

Raju often concerned about my India journey even when I have backed to Taiwan. I miss this kind-hearted friend so much and maybe I will return to Mumbai for reunion one day!


**MORE PHOTOS IN MY FLICKR** 



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