Even though I have converted to the awesome religion of ‘Punerkarism’ pretty fast, it required some hacks here and there, a little ‘Bumbaiya’ attitude alteration and some serious searching on the World Wide Web.
For all the Mumbaikars, Bangaloreans, Chennaites – the whoever from wherever moving to Pune, here are some dos and don’ts and some general things about this city that you ABSOLUTELY MUST KNOW and DO!
Ditch your car. Get a bike. And DO NOT PASS ON THE HELMET.
Pune city = Bike city. Courtesy the sheer density of two-wheelers on the road, driving your car is pretty pointless. Also, parking is pretty much a pain on public roads; bikes are better off to squeeze in those tiny spots. A car must only be kept for weekend getaways.
Whaaa? “But Pune is such a nice quiet place na?” Um. No. The sheer decibel level of honking is unbearable! Even if they want to stop at a signal, riders will honk from a kilometer away signalling their esteemed arrival.
Get a rickshaw rate card.
Ain’t no travelling by meter here! “Madam, chaalis rupaye tar lagnaar” is the common reply for a 20-rupee journey! So carry a rate card or download an app for the same, so that you know when swindling happens!
Don’t expect much from public transportation.
If you haven’t gotten a bike yet and are relying on public transport- don’t expect much. There are rickshaws and PMT buses that run sometimes, but get that bike – on the double.
Know your chaha aani pohe place. Pronto.
When in Pune, do as the Punekars do. And chai and pohe is first on the list. Sure you may like your eggs all sunny side up and fancy, but nothing gets your day going like chaha, biscoot and pohe! So ask around and know your 5 am pohe place asap.
Bedekar Tea Stall and Joshi Wadewale must be at the top of your Maps list.
Being a newbie, until you get your king swagger on, you are going to be using maps to get everywhere. No matter where in the world of Pune you are, you must find the quickest way to get to Bedekar tea stall for Misal and Joshi Wadewale for a much needed spicy bite!
Know what a “Wada Sample” is.
There is misal pav, Wada pav – now ditch the pavs and you get a wada sample! A delicious batata wada with some misal and life is beautiful in a Puneri instant!
Haldiram and Bikaji are out. Lakshiminarayan is where it’s at.
There is no better chakna to accompany your fresh brewed beer than Lakshminarayan rice chiwda! Available almost in every kirana store, this home grown snack packs quite a punch!
Get them veggies online!
This is now becoming a common thing in Pune, I have met more people ordering veggies online here than anywhere else! So why go out? Get them delivered right at home from puneexpress.com, onlinesabjiwala.com or greentokri.com! Easy peasy!
Super late night home delivery orders FTW.
Gone are the days when Punekars could only order food until 10 pm. Here are some awesome joints where you can get late-night food delivered to your doorstep from. Enjoy!
Also, welcome to Pune!