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Just a Little Farther

MUMBAI—We journeyed to Colaba today, old south Bombay with its Gateway to India, Taj Palace Hotel and other colonial era buildings. The outing was more expeditionary in nature than anything else, a learning experience in hailing local cabs and pushing the envelope of our tiny Indian bubble. It is too easy, in a place so hot and overwhelming strange, to stay in with the curtains drawn, the outside sound blocked by the hissing white noise of air conditioning, air filters and four dehumidifiers, to eat a bowl of cornflakes and blame the still present jet lag. And it would be too easy to fall into that as a pattern.

The effort it takes to get up and face the heat and noise and chaos, to strap a toddler to your back and pull on your cap and sunglasses is invariably rewarded, however. You get a new meal in a new setting, feel freed from the oppression of your own space. You solve a small set of logistical problems that lead the way to solving larger ones. If you can navigate Mumbai then maybe you can make your way south to Goa, to Kerala and lie on a beach ‘neath swaying palms. If you can make your way south then you can make your way north to the Himalayas, to Everest. So, catching a cab in Mumbai is the possible first step to climbing the world’s highest mountain.

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