on my birthday i thought i died and learned to let go. a bit self conscious for wearing a salwar on the plane cause they're so damn comfy, i was quietly approached by an indian woman descending the escalator at the mumbai airport, "looking nice in salwar kameez." i felt my face turn red, but i beamed. the weight of self-consciousness dissolved.can i tell you how great it was to get a government taxi on a saturday at 6 am? a trip normally taking 2 hours + took a mere 40 minutes. imagine NO traffic in bombay!those familiar exhaust fumes, the burning smells brought back an emotional wave of familiarity which brought me to tears. i felt like i was finally home.of course 7am is too early to check into the bentleys hotel, so we wandered to the bombay harbor for some air and immediately spotted the world famous gateway to india, and the only place for coffee was at the 5 star astounding taj mahal hotel (which i thought of staying just one night for b-day, but just can't stomach the 250US$) i feasted on piles of fruit (after many meals of butter, cheese, rolls and all things dairy on the plane) including the chiku fruit. i thought about you, miss lal and your right about bombay rocking.the room is similar to the kaveri in mysore, only twice the size with a phone and color tv with god knows how many indian channels. (i repeat, i am NOT ashamed of watching indian television). not only that, probably a dozen stations on the radio! i love all india radio, but a dozen? sweaty palms.interesting birthday so far, having wandered out to the tourist thick beach only to be accosted by aggressive friendship bracelet wallas and wrist flower wallettes-"i don't want your money-just buy my baby milk." no time for that, she took 10 rupies instead. always making new friends. it's pretty damn crazy here, like mysore times 100, and contrary to popular belief, not really like new york, but like london on speed. already exhausted by mg road's miles of street stalls, pulled in every direction, charged 12 rupies for coconuts!! had to take a break at the famous leopolds for one beer. place opened in 1871, and chock full of travelers of all stripes, it was a bit annoying, but close and easy to have a beer and a snack.haven't slept in 2 days, wondering when it will hit me. of course i'm scouting for a bollywood film tonight, but SRK's 2 new movies aren't showing yet. fortunately the tv is chock full of movies from every era possible.this is just the beginning as i hope to get into some trouble to share.bindifrywho has to go indoors cause it's so DAMN hot!