Had to make a rather unexpected and sudden trip to Pune yesterday to pick up some stuff from a vendor out there.
Anindya was supposed to go, however since his dad was here from Calcutta I was asked to do so. Agreed because it was work and because I knew it would be an experience.
And it was an experience indeed!
Firstly, I never ever been to Pune by myself and hence know absolutely nothing of it.
Booked a Volvo from Vashi and headed off to Pune. After much enquiring and thanks to the help of a local I landed at somewhat the right stop. As suggested by my vendor I caught a rickshaw to the place. First mistake.
The vendors place is 20Km from Pune in some really obscure location. I had the feeling of actually travelling through a village!
The meter itself came to 200 (which I think was too much) and I like an idiot paid the guy. Second and last mistake.
After a lot of haggling by me and one of the guys from the vendor we finally gave up.
Moral: Never trust rickshaw drivers in Pune as they are scoundrels. (atleast if you are new)
I can’t believe I payed 300 bucks for a rickshaw ride. And I felt even worse when I realized that if I came by the local jeeps I would pay just 20 bucks!
Had no option but to take that route back as we chased away the rick chap.
Caught a local 6seater rickshaw which carries 15 and got down at the phata (which is actually a junction of four roads, three from villages in the area and one back to Pune.
Next after a long wait and at first opportunity jumped in the jeep which took me to Kothrud. Paid just 14 bucks (which made it a total of 19 bucks from the vendor to Kothrud 🙂 )
Lesson: Always sit in the back seat of these vehicles as you won’t have people on your lap then. I did this and ride was rather comfortable (though not luxurious)
Was rather lost but walked into the first travel shop. The owner happend to be an old man, who was very very very helpful. Not only did he arrange for a ticket, but also pointed me to a nice hotel for my dinner. Paid him a visit on my way back after dinner. And he kindly offered all his services whenever I am in Pune and in need of help. I’m hoping I don’t need to make trips back there for a while!
Got the Volvo back home. Got into an earlier one as there was place. Surprisingly the journey home took full five hours and I reached home only at 2 in the morning, extremely sleepy, exhausted but satisfied with a job well done.