At least once a year, postcrossers from Mumbai in India get together to celebrate their hobby and send some postcards. Last year, the Little Mail Carriers’ cousin was invited by Amit Surana (aka indianfriendszone) to tag along and discover his beautiful country. Here’s his report of the trip:
Hi everyone! It’s been a while… I hope you’re doing well!
Man… it sure feels good to get out of that envelope! :) Ooooh… and what do we have here?
Well hello ladies! Nice to meet you! Are you all coming to the Postcrossing meetup as well?
The local postcrossers are celebrating a special quirky date: 11/12/13! This sequential date only happens once every 100 years – how cool is that?
We met at Starbucks, and then moved to the General Post Office, who made a room available for us to share and write our postcards in a quiet environment. That was very nice of them!
A great crowd turned up, and it was really nice to meet everyone in person! And the postcards were really nice too – some where even especially designed for this event:
By the way, the building of the Mumbai General Post Office is stunning – one of the largest post office buildings in the world with 101 counters and 11,000 square meters of area. As you can imagine, it handles massive quantities of mail everyday! Do pay it a visit if you’re around…
… you might even get to meet a friendly postman, like I did!
After the meeting, I stayed in Mumbai for some time, and got to do some sightseeing with Amit, and learn a bit more about the biggest city in India. Mumbai is amazing: everywhere you look, there’s a piece of history waiting to be discovered.
We stopped at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (also known as Victoria Terminus), built in 1887 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It’s made in the Victorian Gothic Revival style blended with traditional Indian architecture – and so remarkable that it earned UNESCO recognition.
Mumbai is also known for the Bollywood industry, which is based here in the city. We went to see one of these movies, and the songs were stuck in my head for hours afterwards… I even learned a dance move or two! I didn’t understand much of the story since everyone spoke Hindi… except now and then, when the characters would speak in English for a sentence or two! Amit explained that this is called Hinglish and it’s a mixture of the two languages.
I also got a chance to see the magnificent Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and the Leopold Café nearby. This was a solemn moment in my trip, as I remembered the many people who died or were wounded here during the November 2008 terrorist attack.
After that I was feeling contemplative… Since Mumbai lays by the sea, this was the perfect occasion to take a stroll on the beach, and dip my feet in the Arabian Sea while watching the sunset. Chowpatty beach is one of the most famous in Mumbai. It’s here that people come to try the local delicacies or just relax at the end of a long day. There were monkeys dancing, snake-charmers and even fortune tellers!
A short walk from the beach was Kamala Nehru Park, which features…
… a boot house! Isn’t that amazing? Who wouldn’t want to live in a boot? It’s inspired in the nursery rhyme There was an old woman who lived in a shoe – though I didn’t find any old women there, only happy children!
On my last days in town, there was another Postcrossing meeting, where we visited the Elephanta caves, a famous UNESCO heritage site on an island 10km from the coast of Mumbai. The caves have a series of sculptures, from the 5th and 6th centuries, depicting the cult of Shiva. They’re amazing! I felt even smaller than usual next to them…
Glad I wasn’t alone! There were a lot of friendly postcrossers there with me :)
I had an wonderful time in India with Amit and all the postcrossers, but now it’s time to go! Into the mailbox I go… who knows where I’ll pop out! :)
Thank you Amit, that was lovely! Keep an eye on the blog, we have a feeling we’ll be hearing from the Little Mail Carrier’s soon…