The weekend passed as quickly as it came and like most people my weekend was filled with an all important “To-Do” list. The highest priority errand was to get fresh vegetables and fruits for the house. The go-to place for fresh vegetable stock and best prices is Pool Gate. Don’t get mistaken, there is no pool even remotely near this area. Shopping at Pool Gate is of a different kind: be ready to push your away through the narrow alleys, haggle with the vendors and come out drenched in sweat.
My husband and I have, I think, have mastered the shopping at Pool Gate. We carry our own shopping bags, in our attempt to be all recycle friendly, but most vendors don’t provide plastic bags so they just dump the vegetables in your bag, take the faithful Activa (two wheeler) to the market and follow a shopping list. I think it takes us may be 20 minutes to complete all of our shopping 🙂
I use the strategy I follow at amusement parks, particularly Cedar Point, we start at the back of the market in our hope to get the best deals and then work our way to the main entrance. One thing about Pool Gate is that you can find almost anything you need there-tomatoes, potatoes, corn, mangoes (yes, it’s mango season), mixes for local food such as Misal Pao, corn, eggplants, pomegranates, etc.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Pune does have its fair share of air-conditioned supermarkets, such as Reliance Fresh & Big Bazaar, however for my household of 6, buying at Pool Gate is definitely more cost effective. Yes, you do have to sometimes push your way through the market as it can get quite busy and sometimes carrying back 5 kilos of potatoes isn’t ideal. Haggling is there but sorta limited-the vendors might give you a break in price if you are buying a large quantity (2-3 kilos of particular item). I try to bargain as much as possible, but am not all that successful-sometimes I even ask my husband what the price is in English as I don’t know the Hindi number system completely.
We are usually spent by the end of the trip, but I get a feeling of satisfaction. Yes, I conquered Pool Gate! If you want a unique shopping experience and are bored of pushing your shopping cart around the endless lanes of a supermarket, try checking in at the Pool Gate.