Day #287 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…5 days and counting…One major document down, one to go…

An elderly man walking his cow down the road.

Today’s photos are a continuation of those we posted during our first few months in India on tour, in today’s case on March 24, 2020, when we included some favorite photos. See the post here. (It was this particular post in which we described the challenge of finding a place to stay when all of Mumbai (and India) was locked down. We’ll continue on this path, sharing more tour photos until it’s time for us to hopefully depart on January 11, 2021. From there, God willing, it will be an entirely new world!

Last night, around 11:00 pm, Tom’s India visa extension to February 3, 2021, arrived in his email. Although we both filed on the same day, in the same time frame, mine has yet to arrive. Now, with only five days remaining until we depart, we’re hoping mine comes through soon.

A Marwari horse with curly ears at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. 

Receiving the two Indian visa extensions is an important aspect of giving us some peace of mind, knowing the exiting immigration process won’t be any more complicated than we usually anticipate. My email is set up for a bell notification each time I receive a new message which I turn off at night.

I’ll certainly be paying lots of attention to incoming messages, as I’ve already been doing, fearful for a message from Emirates Airlines that the flight has been canceled. When I received a message from them yesterday afternoon, my heart skipped a beat for the few seconds it took me to read the message. It was a reminder to follow the upcoming flight’s COVID-19 protocol and to pre-pay for excess baggage online, or end up paying more at the airport.

An Indian Roller.

Of course, we always pay online to save on the cost of excess baggage, usually around the time we check-in for the flight, when everything is packed and weighed. If all continues to be a “go” we’ll accomplish this task on Sunday for the upcoming Monday flight.

Our Covid-19 test will be conducted here at the hotel on Saturday, January 9th, barely meeting the 72 hours time frame for our first arrival in Johannesburg, South Africa on January 12th. Since the test results take 24 hours we had no choice but to do the test on Saturday. If we had it done on Sunday, we wouldn’t have the results in time for our Monday morning flight to Dubai, UAE.

Statues made from stone and granite offered for sale to locals and tourists.

Yesterday, after posting, we handled most of the required documents we’d listed in yesterday’s post here. Once my visa extension arrives, we’ll be able to ask the hotel to print both copies for us. Fingers crossed again.

This morning, I received a text from Louise that  South Africa’s President Cyril Ramphosa may be speaking about further lockdowns tonight. If so, I’ll stay awake to listen to this to discover if he’s going to close the borders once again. This is worrisome for Louise and Danie as well as for us. If the borders close again, this seriously impacts the bookings they have logged for holiday renters for their many holiday homes in Marloth Park. We’ll all be out of luck.

Gorgeous leis of flowers offered for sale as offerings.

The stress is palpable. I must admit I am a little “touchy” right now, even a little snappy at poor Tom. But, he’s holding up well and putting up with me. I am rarely snappy or moody. But, under these circumstances, it’s hard not to deflect some of the worry and concern. It’s not as if I cry, or complain aloud, or even raise my voice. Instead, I may respond with somewhat of a “tone in my voice,” as Tom describes it.

The highlight of our day continues to be at dinner when now while dining, we’re watching Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen, a good diversion. The more diversions right now, the better, keeping our minds off the next five days until we hopefully can depart.

Women weeding the peanut fields.

We’ve decided on a Plan B this morning. If we can’t board the flight to South Africa while at the Mumbai International Airport, on Monday, we will return to this hotel, process our refunds for the flights, seats, and excess baggage, and make a new plan, based on available flights out of here.

Doing this, while at the airport will only be stressful and frustrating. It’s not as if we will be able to jump onto some other flight to some other country without reviewing Covid-19 restrictions, available places to stay, visa requirements, and flight dates and times. If we were 25-year-old backpackers, this may be easier. But, for us old-timers, we need a solid plan.

A termite mound in Kanha National Park.

So there it is, dear readers, another “day in the life” of these two senior citizens of the world, making every effort to create a safe transition in light of the worldwide pandemic, with countless restrictions every step of the way, and yet somehow maintain a degree of the quality of life we’d chosen over eight years ago.

May you have a safe and healthy day.

Photo from one year ago today, January 6, 2020:

This was the only photo we posted on this date in 2020. The photo is from two years ago today. Tom and I hid in the bedroom and once the others arrived for friend Don’s birthday dinner, we suddenly appeared surprising everyone. In the background are Keith (Don’s brother) and Ken, with Don and Linda in the center and Robin and Karen in the foreground.  It was a fun surprise. We had a fantastic stay with Kathy and Don in Pretoria, South Africa, at one of their several homes. For more photos, from the year-ago post, please click here.

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