Falling Asleep & Opening Doors – Mumbai, India

Mumbai traffic. How can I possibly find the words to justly describe the chaotic mess that is the traffic system of India’s most densely populated city? I don’t ever want to be a driver in it & I take my hat off to anyone who has braved that task.


I’ll focus on two incidents I experienced with taxi’s in Mumbai.


The first was after we’d spent the afternoon at Elephanta Island & we needed to get to another suburb of Mumbai to collect race numbers for the next day. We opted for a standard black & yellow metered taxi.

This wasn’t the taxi, but I just wanted to show what a standard yellow & black taxi looks like to any readers who haven’t been to Mumbai.


We weaved through the streets with the driver who tried his best to make conversation over any & everything, but he spoke no English & we spoke no Hindi… Interesting to say the least. He then started singing loudly, turning up the volume of his radio in the hopes that we’d feel the music & join in. It didn’t work.


We started discussing plans for the next day & he quietened down. He got far too quiet. I leaned over to look at him because he hadn’t moved & just as I suspected, he was asleep! The music blaring, the noise of Mumbai traffic, the vehicle moving & he was sound asleep. A quick nudge & a “Hey!” & he was back to singing as if nothing had happened.

The only picture I managed to take while on this taxi ride.

The next incident happened while transferring between the domestic & international terminals of Mumbai’s airport.


Our flight into Mumbai arrived at about 1 A.M. & we needed to get to the international terminal for a flight scheduled to leave at about 6 A.M. Although arriving at & departing from the same airport, the terminals are about 4 kilometres apart so we needed to take a taxi. There appeared to be one taxi company open at that time, so we used them.


In a chaotic whirlwind of shouting drivers & mass confusion, we found the taxi. The driver took our bags & threw them on the roof, without strapping or tying them down. My brother got in on the left hand side, I tried to open the door on the right hand side. It was unlocked, but wouldn’t open. I pulled so hard that the taxi rocked back & forth, but no success. I went around & got in on the left hand side & my brother moved over.


The driver drove so fast; it really was like someone was chasing us. I didn’t understand the need to be driving at that speed. Anyway, he took a left turn & the door that was jammed shut just swung open. My brother tried to keep himself from falling out & I pulled his arm. I wasn’t much help because in true laughing at inappropriate times form, I was overcome by a fit of laughter. The taxi driver stretched his arm out his window & closed the door, giggled a bit & continued driving.


We managed to get to the terminal in one piece & surprisingly, so did our bags. We also managed to get strange looks at the check in counter because I couldn’t stop giggling about what had just happened.

Again, I have no pictures of this incident, but I did get a picture of the beautiful interior of the international terminal.

194 thoughts on “Falling Asleep & Opening Doors – Mumbai, India

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  1. Hey Dan ! Welcome to India, the land of incredible chaos (wink). The experience does sound funny but unsafe for sure. It’s better to stick to the app bases taxi services, specially UBER.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for reading my blog. I actually really would love to spend some time in your country, I’ve read about some amazing places there & I’ve seen beautiful pictures of different places in Pakistan. The problem that I faced is that I need a visa to enter Pakistan & it is quite a long process to obtain one, unfortunately.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Traffic in Bombay is bad, but nothing like as awful as in Bangalore! At least Bombay has an easy to use cab yellow/black service even if the drivers are often bad-tempered!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I had a livery car driver fall asleep on me in Brooklyn. My friend and I also suspected a driver in San Francisco of drinking vodka out of a water bottle. You have to be a vigilant passenger anywhere!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice Stories!! I would suggest rather than travelling by personal transportation opt for Public transportation (Local Trains). Mumbai has got the best spread of Rail try to use it, Its fun, cheap, fast and easy way of transportation.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hey dan! This is Janhavi from Mumbai. Loved the post! And being a mumbaikar( that’s what people of mumbai call themselves) we have survived everything all our life. The traffic is nothing as compared to the local trains 😂 I hope you had a wonderful time in my country and do visit again

    Liked by 3 people

  6. There is nothing more comical, more fascinating, more of a head***k than India. I travelled all over it and I have honestly never laughed so hard, sobbing tears, ever. Love the place and the people!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Oh man, I shouldn’t laugh but I have seen the gate-swung-open incident first hand myself so I know! Hopefully the rest of the trip was okay and less adventurous? Lol. I am born and brought up in India but I have never been to Mumbai. Also, now you know why driver was trying to have a conversation – so he doesn’t fall asleep.

    I m surprised you didn’t mention about Local trains in Mumbai though.


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