So, upon reflection, I have decided that my blog posts may leave the impression that I see nothing positive in Mumbai, so I've resolved to highlight a few fun things.
Andrea and I enjoy the fact that almost every business in Mumbai will deliver their product for free. We are currently enjoying membership in Librarywala, an online library (somewhat like Netflix) that charges us about $4/month for 6 books per month. Librarywala delivers them to our door via courier, and often makes the delivery or pickup within one business day of our request. Since we don't own a television, have no English language radio, and the only other way to get books is to buy them for ~$10 each, the library option is desirable.
Our local grocer, butcher, and newsstand deliver their products to our door. The big hypermarket delivered the ~$10 power strip I needed for free, from about an hour away (they also called about 6 times to confirm that the order had been delivered successfully).
I work late pretty regularly, but thankfully, all the local food we often order is delivered to our door for free. An order of chicken tikka masala and rice is delivered to our door for less than cooking our own food at home!
On the downside, there is apparently no structured address system either for Mumbai in general, or perhaps just for this part of town. Instead, our address includes two lines that basically give the postal workers landmarks within our PIN code (zip code). Getting deliveries from outside the neighborhood can get interesting, because I think the folks often end up driving miles of back roads until they spot the name of our housing cooperative. They arrive to our door sweaty and apologetic, having raced up 6 flights of stairs.
I need to figure out whether the older section of the town also lacks addresses.
GPS would really be handy here!