Sometimes when you visit a large city, it can seem like every other city; the food and language may be different, but the high-rises seem similar, shops are familiar. At the same time, I often seek out the recognizable in the new to help understand a place. This was definitely the case when I arrived in Mumbai, a city unlike any I’d visited before.
The tricked-out auto-rickshaws reminded me of Bangkok’s tuk-tuks. The honking car horns reminded me of Hanoi. The elaborately designed and decorated trucks and buses reminded me of chicken buses in Central America. Yet Mumbai is entirely unique, even among the large cities of India. This became even more clear on a dabbawalas and Dhobis morning tour.