So I decided that I'll write this post in parts because I'm taking too long to write just one. I started writing this one long back, and it had been lying stale in my drafts folder for over a month now. Procrastination. Anyway, so here's the first part. Enjoy. Hope you like it!
Aha! Hello everybody! Yay this is my first (now second) ever post since coming here! For people who don't know what I'm up-to, I'm at Boston, MA for pursuing further education! I arrived here just a fortnight ago, and I guess it'll be a month (Two months hah!) by the time I actually post the blog. Boston's being good so far. Soon I might not describe it using the same adjective! I do love winters though. Snow, Christmas, so much to look forward to.
So as you can make out from the title, I'm gonna compare Boston and Mumbai based on what I've noticed in the past 14 days. (soon 30 days or a year? Procrastination) I haven't seen much of Boston, but I noticed so many differences, some of them might be too random or useless to even give a thought to. That's just another way of saying I'm gonna talk about pigeons and other random things (Sorry about that :P). Bear with me. Okay, so here we go!
I. Commuting/ Transportation:
A. The cheapest and the most common way of transportation:
|Irrelevant, but funny!|
Boston: WALKING. Yes. People here, literally walk to every place. Since the day I arrived here, I've been walking to places. I spent all my jet-lag recovery time walking, though I did sleep for 12 hrs straight on the second day! Once you get on the road, you see people walk walk and walk. There are cars, buses, etc. on the roads, but maximum people walk or skateboard!
Mumbai (or in India basically): You got them Rickshaws! In India, you can just catch an auto rickshaw and travel! We also have tons of 2 wheelers zooming on the roads, which is so not the case at Boston. There are hardly any two wheelers here.
B. Traveling by the bus
|People should start using the bus more often!|
Boston: The buses in Boston have very few seats, and there's no conductor! You collect your ticket when you get on the bus from the driver!!!! And you aren't returned back the money just because they don't have a change. You can also purchase a ticket with your card (How cool is that?). The kind bus drivers wish you a good day, and ask you where you have to get down. All buses are air-conditioned. I travelled by the bus here just once, but it was the best bus experience I've ever had. Also, the buses here are always on time.
Mumbai: You have to be a wrestler to get on the bus, because they're always overflowing with people. The frequency of buses is less and they're almost never on time. You have to wait for hours and hours at the bus-stop to catch a bus. And when you actually get on the bus, you have to wait for a very long time to get your ticket. Buses have conductors who are responsible to sell tickets. Some conductors are sweet, some are not. And when I say not sweet, I mean evil. Before you even hand over money to the conductor, they bark out "sutte kadha!" (That's Marathi for 'tender exact change'). And if you don't do so, they give you the most frustrated expressions they can manage. Bus transport needs improvisations like increasing the frequency, punctuality so as to decrease the rush. Other than these few things, bus travel is quite cheap. And I used to quite love it, especially when I got window seats!
C. Cabs/ Taxis
Boston: You have so many options here. There's the traditional public cab, and private cab services like Lyft, Uber, etc. Most of them accept cards, so you don't have to worry about carrying money. Plus, cab drivers are so polite. My very first ride (from the airport) was in a Lyft cab. The cab driver greeted us, and talked to us on our entire ride to home. It felt so unlike the cab experiences I've had in Mumbai.
Mumbai: In this aspect, Mumbai is just at par with Boston. Though it's a bit more advanced in Boston, but pretty much the same.
|Waiting for the train|
Boston: (While I write this, I've already completed over 2 months here, so you know how good I'm at procrastination!) The trains here are way too awesome. They refer to the train as the "T". MBTA, the transport authority here, controls everything. Buses, trains, etc! Owning a Charlie card makes travel smooth. You just have to tap it and off you can go! I haven't had much of train traveling, but I did experience Khopoli-like crowd during one of my journeys! (Khopoli is a train station back in Maharashtra, India. The trains which travel to and fro from Khopoli are always overflowing with people) The only difference I would say is that you won't find people hanging outside train doors here! Train drivers wait to see if everybody has boarded, and the doors close, so people who like to swing outside doors stand no chance here. People don't walk on train tracks, and have to pay a heavy fine if they are caught crossing tracks.
Mumbai: Nothing could really beat traveling by trains in Mumbai! Though train travel isn't all that developed like it is here. Mumbai trains have the Smart cards, ATVM machines. Train travel is on it's way to becoming better. I have an entire post dedicated to train travel in Mumbai! Go check it out > Traveling by Local Trains. A really positive thing about Mumbai trains is that.. Oh chuck it, I can't think of anything. Just kidding. Traveling by trains is way too much fun, unless you're in a Khopoli train at the peak office hour time, of course.
Boston: Boston has beautiful roads, which are regularly cleaned and well maintained. All roads have sidewalks and guess what! People actually use them! Pedestrians are given first priority, and cars wait for pedestrians to cross the road even if they have a green signal. How kind is that! Also, the funniest thing I've encountered after coming here is that while crossing a road, we have a habit of looking to the left. While here, it's completely opposite. Cars drive on the right side of the road. The vehicles have a left hand drive, unlike in India. All roads have signals, road signs which are visible and not faded.
Mumbai: Aah. The roads in Mumbai. Walking/ Driving on roads is nothing short of a hiking experience. The roads have such huge potholes like tortuous hilly routes! Okay, I'm exaggerating. But roads do need improvement because every monsoon, roads end up getting damaged.
Pedestrians walk on the road even when the roads have sidewalks. Crossing the road earns you a free Adrenaline rush! Because no vehicle wants to wait and let people cross. Vehicles hardly wait at red signals, why even expect them to wait at green? (unless they've run out of petrol) Who cares about the left side, right side? The road is all ours, and we can drive on any side we want. Not exaggerating here.
F. Google Maps*
Boston, Mumbai and anywhere else in the world :
The Google maps lady is insane! Sorry about that Google. She makes me take the longest route almost always. And keeps re-navigating the route. Maybe it's Google's conspiracy to keep people in good health, because it sure does make me walk a lot. Let me explain some more. I and a bunch of friends wanted to visit the Reflection pool. So, one fine evening, we all decided to go and finally have a look at it. Opened Google maps, searched for the location. The app said 30 minutes walk, off we went. Saw the reflection pool, clicked tons of photos. Now we decided we'll walk back home via a different route. Guess what! We just walked for about 5 minutes around the area, and saw our apartment street. Now just tell me Google maps, why do you do this!! Why would you make us walk for 30 odd minutes to get to a place which was just a 5 minutes walk from our place.
*Okay, I admit that there's a possibility that Google maps doesn't work too well for me might be because of my inability to use it properly. But, it has fooled us into walking for hours for a 15 minutes route not just once, but trillions of times. And my friends would agree to that.
Number of times I've used the word Procrastination: You tell me!
Second part coming up soon!
Have a great day!