So when the situation in Thailand went pear-shaped, I started looking at other places to go. One of those places was Mumbai.
Then, of course, Mumbai was struck by a horrific series of terrorist attacks, which are still unfolding. They’ve targeted places popular with Westerners, which means places I’ve been. I’ve met people and relaxed in the Taj Mahal Palace lobby, even bought a shirt there. I’ve caught trains at Shivaji Terminus.
And Leopold Café! Friggin’ Leopold’s! For a New York equivalent, it’s as if terrorists attacked not just the Waldorf-Astoria and Grand Central Station, but also Katz’s Delicatessen. It’s just wrong — and yes, I know that the whole thing is about as wrong as can be, but bringing Leopold’s into it is so dementedly off-script for this sort of thing. It’s horrible, and I’m sad.
Meanwhile, Thailand seems to be moving towards a confrontation with the protesters who have shut down the airports. Will I still be going there? We’ll see. If there’s not any actual fighting, and the airport is open, I probably will. And if things suddenly get nasty again? Well, “I was trapped in a foreign land by a military coup” would be the most interesting excuse I’d ever given for missing work.
Update: A Mumbai Chabad House has been attacked as well, and there are hostages inside, and probably some people have already been murdered. Horrible.