Welcome to the Mumbai Xpress, everyone! Last night, all 27 participants from 8 different countries gathered at the Mixx Lounge in the new Country Inn and Suites in Chennai. What a great time! The first drink was on us (as well as all the Red Bull), which had the party going until after midnight. They had to kick us out! New friends were made as the participants of Auto Mates, Beast Crew, Poos-N-Roos, Chai Rollah, Historic Racing, Tuk Tuk Wallah Wallah Tuk Tuk, Quickshaw, The Birds, Crud Bug, Los Pacos, Mystery Machine, Nigel Manzil, and Ruby Murray all shared their stories of how they ended up in India, about to embark on the amazing Mumbai Xpress Rickshaw Challenge!
The night started young… by Indian standards, at least. At 20:00, the not-so-weary travellers met at Mixx. I was impressed by the lack of jet lag among the party bunch, though some participants arrived a few days early. With the music jammin’ (pretty loudly, too), the dance floor shining, and the drinks pouring, it made for the perfect introduction to what’s going to be an incredible and crazy two weeks! I managed to get on the dance floor with Edit, Gabor, Melanie, and Lynda at one point, but with my lack of dancing skills (as well as the lack of drink to excuse my lack of dancing skills), I didn’t groove for long. I think that’s best for everyone involved, however. 🙂
Pictures of previous Mumbai Xpress and other Rickshaw Challenge events have proven that the costumes attract the attention. So, it was no surprise that Zach and Malcolm of Chai Rollah got some fantastic looks from everyone in the room and were instant ice-breakers for this first get-together.
There’s nothing like an excellent party to start the Mumbai Xpress. I can only imagine how much fun we’re going to have as we celebrate the triumphs and challenges of this incredible adventure when we reach Mumbai! If the party is any indication of how the 2009 Mumbai Xpress will go, I’d say that it’ll be exciting, colorful, and loaded with stories we’ll all be able to tell for a very long time!
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Here we come!