I went out for a drink with new friends I met that day on a Dharavi tour. It was after 1 am when we took a taxi back to the hotel. The idea was to leave the two girls at their hotel and continue to mine.
The taxi ride was insane, even for Indian standards. The driver was disrespectful to all other drivers to the point that he forced the other cars out of his way. I remember stopping at a red light and the guy forces his way between the two cars in front of us. One of the cars had to move over so we could fit. This crazy driving made me uncomfortable.
When we arrived at the girl’s hotel, the taxi driver wanted to charge us four times the expected value. I refused to pay and we started a not so nice discussion. The guy went from his initial value to half the price, and to me, that’s a sign of dishonesty. The discussion ended when the girls suggested a fair price divided between the three of us. I gave him the money and got out of the car. The driver was not happy, even making more than the normal price, but I didn’t care.
After the discussion, I couldn’t continue to my hotel as planned. I said goodbye to my friends and walked all the way back to my hotel, about 15 minutes away.
By now it was around 2 am and I was walking alone in Mumbai trying to go unnoticed. I couldn’t walk on the sidewalks because there were people sleeping on the floor and it was also quite dark. So I walked on the road at a fast pace, staying away from any narrow or dark passages and keeping alert.
I admit I felt the adrenaline pump in a bit, but I safely made it back to my hotel. This was an uncomfortable walk in Mumbai, but it could have been anywhere. Walking alone at night in a big city is never a relaxing experience.