From Mobay to Mumbai

Arrived in Mumbai on Friday, where I will stay for a couple of days before heading southward. Like many international arrivals, my plane lands around Midnight. After clearing Immigration and Customs, my taxi heads out into the routine 2am traffic morass that Mumbai is famous for. I sneer at the thought of the "405 Carmagadeon" that is looming in Los Angeles. It has only been six months since I was last in Mumbai, and the transformation is yet again stunning. The Four Seasons Hotel is up and running in the gentrifying (former slum) area called "Bandra", new skyscraper scaffoldings and more luxury brand shops have popped up out of nowhere. We pass a gleaming new Porsche dealership. There are cars in the showroom window that I have never seen in Los Angeles! On Saturday, I have dinner at "Koe" a 'thai-fusion trendy eaterie' that I read about in Time-out Mumbai. The restaurant is full of chic and prosperous looking young Indians. I remember when I came to India for the first time --only 3 1/2 years ago, I would never see an Indian in a restaurant like that. Tonight I am the only Westerner in site. Instead of a menu, the waiter brings over an IPAD to the table, bound in a custom made gold cover. Using the touch screen, you can see every detail of Koe's tantalizing offerings, together with pictures and a list of ingredients. As they say here, the Indian tiger is indeed on a tear!