We then went for a stroll to take in Opera House. I rarely see another white person. There are plenty of stray dogs, and they all have (if they are not sacked out), a 1000 yard stare. The dogs here look very philosophical. As perhaps do the cows, though I may be projecting. We decided to go to Chapati Beach, nearby. We couldn't get a cab for a while. Finally, we did, and a fight broke out in the middle of the street. I really wanted to get out and get very close to take pictures, but I restrained myself. A huge crowd gathered around the fighting people and swayed back and forth, sometimes like a sea anemone, sometimes amoebic, among the cabs and motorbikes. It looked like a riot, and I could easily imagine how violence could spark and spread.
A bystander leaving the fight caught me taking his picture. I'm not sure he approved. My impression is that people are not well-disposed toward the media, and a guy like me with a camera... though people sometimes don't like it for the usual reasons.
We got to the area near the beach and had some delicious pan. There was a huge array of different kinds of edible substances. We went to a well-known bookstore, the name of which escapes my enfeebled mind. I bought several comic books, the kind children read, depicting different tales such as the well-know Birbal (in Birbal the Wise) and an excerpt from the Ramayana (Ravana Humbled). I was sad because they didn't have any graphic novels. Just a matter of time.
We went to the beach, and I could see Nariman Point through the haze of smog, where I'd been yesterday. I imagined a beach landing of armed men. But there were just many people watching the sunlight at the end of the day.
We then stopped for a light snack at the New York bar, where the waiter took an uncomfortably strong liking to me, demonstrating this during the photograph with the placement of his hand. I will spare you the photo but I have an odd expression on my face. Again, we had trouble hailing a cab, and when we finally got one two middle aged women in saris brushed us aside and got in, without nary a word. When we arrived back at the Phoenix Tower, we worked again for quite some time, laying out the framework for a few meetings coming up, and consolidating information from several conversations with colleagues throughout the day.
Dinner was preceded by a funny, all-to-familiar and frustrating misunderstanding which is characteristic of everything being quite different here than in the US. In the morning our hosts asked when we wanted dinner, and we said 9pm. Around then they told us dinner was ready, and we kept working expecting them to bring it to the table. We wondered why it was taking so long, and the attendant Moti just sat in the kitchen. Finally we asked, about an hour later, and they said it was upstairs on the 26th floor. It was quite good. We then worked more... and now it is time for bed. More of the same, tomorrow. A full day workshop on the 25th, and 3 hour workshops on the 27th and 28th, along with a slew of other activities.