>Travel Pictures



February 2009

For our second annual Mathcounts tournament, we organized a scavenger hunt around downtown Mumbai for our students and visitors. It never ceases to amaze me what we can see in an afternoon of cruising around the town...
As we left the school, we passed by giant pipes bringing water to housing complexes on the other side of the Mithi River. People use these as walkways to get from one side of the channel to the other, while slum dwellers take advantage of leaks in the pipes to get water. You can see people collecting water in the center of the first picture and then carrying it back with them in the second.
The school is just down the road from the (in)famous Dharavi slum, home to more than a million of Mumbai's poorest. Skirting the outside, we past an old man, a working man further downtown, and a young boy on his way home from school - on three distinctive stages of life for citizens of Bombay.
We passed up a construction site, where the barefoot and flip-flop wearing heavy machinery operators were taking a newspaper break. It is always amazing to me the lack of safety equipment used here - although these guys did have hard hats on (so they must be working for a foreign company)

As we got into the downtown area, we passed this tiffin wallah on his way to deliver lunches to office workers. Every day he picks up different colored lunch bags from wives that contract with him and delivers them to office workers who want a hot, home-cooked meal.

We finally made it down to the Gateway of India and the Taj hotel, which was still under heavy security after the November attacks. But our group of students had a great time running around the courtyard, and we were not the only tourists in the area! We had our pictures taken by many Indian groups and reciprocated the gesture!
And then it was off for our scavenger hunt! I won't post those pictures - the palindromic license plates, the words that spell mathematical expressions, the prime numbers - but suffice to say we had some fun. We were helped by a group of street children near the bay, and these guys cooking chicken (in bare feet - yum) were helpful too.
Our hunt ended at the Oval Maidan cricket ground. In the heat of the day, there were not many takers out (although the umpires were all ready to go).
After a day of chasing down tea drinkers, fending off fabric sellers, and taking in Bombay landmarks, we were ready for the bus ride home. But our guide threw an alternative suggestion - how about a quick stop over to the Dhobi Ghats...

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