India is a shocking place, which may be why I LOVE IT.  It really is that filthy, it really is that colorful, it really is that poor or that rich.

I’ve already accepted that I won’t be clean for another two months. After five minutes in the mugggy Mumbai monsoon, your clothes are damp and wrinkled, your face is covered in sweat and the smog has seeped into your pores. What shocks me is not just how dirty I have become, but the savage level of filth that I have quickly become immune to and can calmly ignore.

Today we took a walk along the most famous beach in Bombay, Juhu Beach.  This posh suburban area is where Bollywood stars walk their dogs and  recently, where a massive tanker has run ashore and it currently beached right in front of the 5-star Marriot hotel.

With these adjectives: ‘posh’, ‘5-star’, and ‘famous’, one would expect a level of cleanliness and possibly serenity.  Here is what it looked like.

A great place to enjoy some street food or get a tattoo, no?


A wonderful place to enjoy some chaat

Effective trash removal from front of the beach to the back

Sanitary tattoo, I swear!