It turns out that you should really have your ticket number before trying to make a connection in Mumbai. If not you will learn how archaic computer systems are unable to look up a passenger by name or passport number and how the planes close for passengers one and a half hours before departure.
Once your flight is rebooked for the same time the next day, make sure you don’t leave the airport before visiting an ATM. You might find yourself in Mumbai at 3:30am without cash, in the middle of a monsoon, no internet on your phone and no idea of the name of a hotel.
It was probably the dumbest set of circumstances I’ve come to on this trip. I now want an app with a basic list of hotels, restaurants, exchange rates, and transit information to/from airports for every city in the world. The app would take just a few megabytes to cache everything onto a phone’s internal storage: the bare necessity information if you find yourself dropped into a foreign country in the middle of the night.
Anyway I spent 24 hours in Mumbai. It’s a gorgeous city, the people are friendly and speak English well and the monsoon rains harder than any rain I’ve seen in my life. I’ll be back — maybe as soon as next week — and I’m looking forward to exploring India a lot more. My favorite parts of India so far are the chai on the street for 5 rupees per cup (about 9 cents), the curry flavored cookies for 10 rupees (17 cents), and the cows eating from dumpsters in downtown Mumbai.