Mumbaikers are all a bit surprised as November rain is virtually unheard of.
Apparently it is also bad news, despite the lovely break in the heat, because important food crops that should be ripening around this time will, according to my acquaintances here, be spoiled with even a few days' rain.
I am loving the coolness but sad for this news.
Hopefully the rains (a tropical storm in the Northern Indian Ocean drifting NNE inland even towards Rajasthan) will pass quickly.
As the storm moves inland toward Rajasthan, so do I.
Today is the big day.
In about 3 hours from now, I'll be heading out in a taxi for Bandra Terminus where I'll board my 17 hour overnight train for Udaipur.
My host had an office meeting and is unable to take me to the station, so he is sending me with his (non-English-speaking) servant who will make sure I get the correct train, car, and so forth.
I have faith that I will be taken care of, but it is still emotionally stressful.
I am armed with two India-versions of well-known fashion/home making magazines for the train as well as my notebook, camera, and old iRiver music device.
I plan to buy bottled water and snacks for the journey at the station as I have heard train food is not good for the belly especially as mine is still very delicate, to put it nicely.
I have done everything I can to make detailed arrangements for my arrival in Udaipur, although in India plans do not seem to count for much.
My experience so far is that you get told a different thing every time you ask the same question!
(yes, even when asking the same person!)
My guesthouse is supposed to have arranged someone to meet me at the station and bring me to their location....first I was told a "driver" would pick me up, but when I emailed to "confirm" was told something to the effect of a "taxi" will be there to guide me to a "stand" at the station where I will be "met" be an unidentified-someone-else.
So really not sure if there will be anyone waiting there holding my name placard as originally arranged, or if I'll have to take my chances and spend the money getting a taxi on my own.
This rain is giving Mumbai, and my soul, a much needed bath.
Yes, I am still anxious. That is just how I am (for those who are commenting that I need to relax and just let go).
I take medication for severe anxiety, folks. It's not like you can just turn off the wiring and say ok now I'm gonna do it differently. It's chemical!
I fret, I cry, I make detailed plans, I freak out to everyone who will listen.
And then I just do it.
I know that the rest of my travels will be different from Mumbai.
I know that I CAN manage on my own, like it or not.
Undoubtedly there will be much more to report as soon as I can get connected from Udaipur!
My current "plan" is to first get settled into the guesthouse, determine level of safety and room security there, and probably take a nap to settle my nerves.
If I feel up to it, and weather permitting (70% chance of storms in Udaipur Thursday), I may wander the immediate area of the guesthouse before sunset.
I have no set agenda other than a list of places to see, not date specific (even that is a a major improvement for me, folks!)
City Palace, Lake Palace, Jagdish Temple and so forth are my main destinations, plus I intend to sit on the rooftop terrace writing a lot.
If I feel comfortable, I may try to find a spot right on the lake front from where to write, also.
I am scheduled to meet my couchsurfing.org host for my next destination on 19 November and will be going next to Jaipur.
All his references on the couchsurfing site are positive, and hopefully he already understands my p-o-v regarding being a guest not a party partner!
My friend here in Mumbai has his name/contact info in case, heaven forbid, something bad happens.
A reminder, again, that my posts from here on may become far less frequent. The guesthouse told me they had WiFi.
Their listing on hostelworld's website says "internet available".
I am sure there is a cyber cafe there somewhere if I need to go that route.
So, if you do not hear from me on this blog, on twitter, or via email for several days, do not panic!!
If you do not hear from me before the 22nd...THEN panic!
Thanks for following my adventure!