I reached Mumbai (Bombay) late last night after an incredibly comfortable 18 hour plane ride. Somehow I was given 3 seats to myself, a personal tv with on demand hollywood, bollywood, tollywood, and any other “ollywood” sounding place movies. Not bad for a $700 coach ticket. Check out Jet Airways if you make it this side.
Upon arriving into the state of Maharastra, I was met by my first official scam in India…Indian Customs. I was threatened to have my bags searched because I had brought 1 laptop, 1 digital camera, 1 video camera and 1 ipod. When combined, these moderate devices exceeded $200, the limit of goods allowed to bring into India. I could have bribed this particular customs officer $50 under the table to let me pass without any problems. I humored this fellow for a few minutes, and pointed out that my camera had a crack in it, and would not be very marketable if i was to sell it. My Sony Handycam was straight out of the early 1990’s, and was more of a liability to me than an asset. He finally agreed, and began begging me for any us dollars I could offer him. I offered him my empty wallet, since I spent my last American dollar on a chicken salad in NYC. (the leather in the wallet could have possibly exceeded the value of my photography equipment) He smiled, and wished me a good trip.
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