>Travel Pictures


Mumbai - Chor Bazaar

One of the things that we had to do fairly early was get some furniture for our apartment. There were several reasons for this, despite having a 'furnished' place. The first was that, while much of the basic stuff was there, we still have a lot of empty room that can be used well. The second reason is that, despite the school's best intention, much of the supplied things were pretty ugly (think green, yellow, and brown squares on a couch to get a picture in your heard). Third, after being exposed to Mumbai's humdidty for much of the summer, the stuff stunk like mold. And fourth, everybody else has such cool stuff we figured we'd better get some too.

So on the weekend after everyone got their first paycheck, a couple of the administrators set up a trip to one of the bazaars in town. We headed down to Chor Bazaar, which sells everything under the sun, and were going to spend part of a morning heading up and down Mutton Street, where many of the furniture dealers are.

Of course, nothing about getting around Bombay is easy, so we did have to endure a bit of traffic, even at 10 in the morning on a Sunday, but we eventually made it down to the waterfront near the downtown area.
People were out and about enjoying the day (ok, some were enjoying it more than others)
And pilgrims were lined up on the causeway leading out to the Haj Ali mosque.

When we finally made it to the bazaar area, we found a warrent of winding roads centered around several main paths leading through. Our guides got us to the furniture district, and we were off! 
The stores themselves were often no more than 8-10 feet wide at the street, but then they extended back 3 or 4 times that amount.
The streets were colorful - with shoppers in pink scarves passing the old-school cabs parked in front of the latest Bollywood fare, people out enjoying the shopping, workers hauling loads everywhere, and animals all over (I like the view of the poster children under the goat in this picture Breck snapped!!)

And of course, the reason we were there - the furniture. This is a section of town where there are many old pieces as well as many new works. Several signs around advertised set construction of the Indian film industry (based in Bombay - hence Bollywood). In almost every shop we could wander to the back or to the attic and come across men working on the newest creations. 
While some of the pieces were ornately styled and decorated, like this one with the Hindu god Ganesh and the ancient swastika symbol in silver, many others were much more reserved. We eventually settled on a glass topped coffee table, which was stripped, refinished, and delivered to our living room two days later.

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