What a journey, and an amazing set of contrasts. (As I called it before I left, the “great contrasts tour,” and I was right!”) Mumbai was a lot like I expected – hectic, exciting, historic, overcrowded and yet very comfortable. The colonial influence prevails especially in the Colaba area, with the Taj Hotel, the Prince of Wales Museum, the train station and the University of Mumbai. I loved those sights, and more, but I also loved walking around, shopping in stores of every kind and going into small art galleries and restaurants, where hundreds of Indians and tourists were doing what I was – enjoying themselves. I was in the middle of Katherine Boo’s amazing book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, about life in a Mumbai slum. So, I took the Mumbai slum tour, which was an amazing insight into the micro-city that exists in slums, which are fairly well organized and full of stores (my favorite was the one selling motorcycles), cafes, outside barber shops and small businesses sorting recycling and creating some of the plastic items we use every day. (I will never look at a plastic wastebasket in quite the same way, or a water bottle.) Then off to The Maldives, where my daily decisions involved what to have for breakfast and when to go snorkeling. Very different. But, both places were gave me access to wide open spaces and mobility, two things that I don’t often feel I have.