A Beginner’s Guide to Pune
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 main roads; bikes are better off to squeeze into those narrow spots. A car must only be kept for weekend getaways.
- Get earplugs.
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. Fast.
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 Pav and Joshi Wadewale for a much needed spicy bite!
- Know what a “Wada Sample” is.
There is Misal Pav and 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 Mumbai, 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!
- Last order for home delivery is 9:30 pm!
If you are used to starting your party at only 10 pm and then get your eat on later, then sorry boss- most restaurants do not deliver post 9:30 or 10:00 pm! Sure, your Dominos might, but the local guys ka time bandh. The same goes for your night beer run as well.
Image Credit: Aditya Kuber