14.5 , Wednesday
We entered Surat with kilos of stuff and the plan to do the training which would keep us busy for at least the next two months, but we did not have any idea where we would be living during all these weeks. More than that , we did not know anybody here, so getting a house seemed almost impossible. In retrospect (and also as many people said) it was foolish of us. Our only hope was getting accommodation in the ONGC township. So we took an auto,went to the nearest hotel with reasonable rates and put our stuff there, so that we can arrange for our accommodation.
The hotels here deserve a special mention. I dont know much how much of tourist spot Surat is , but the number of hotel,guest houses ,lodges that you will see near the station is just crazy. I bet the whole of surat can fit into these hotels.
We stayed in Hotel Citizen. The rent was Rs.600 with many facilities including 'Free Masaj Service' which we came to know after we booked our room. If you are looking for still cheaper rooms then look for guest houses like Uday guest house or many more like it,which will provide you a bed in an AC dorm at Rs.110 per night !!
We waited till the offices would open i.e.9.30 and then went straight to the ONGC ,Hazira plant which is quite far from the station.
What I liked-The roads are wide and with flyovers built in excess, the traffic was smooth. After having to deal with autos in Delhi for a number of years, the prices here seemed very cheap. The autos run on CNG ,but the prices are exactly half of what anybody would charge for the same distance in Delhi. Also you have to see it to believe how clean the city is. The roads are almost shiny and dust-free.
What I disliked-nothing till now.
The desperate visit to the plant proved fruitful for us, as Mr. Arora,who was our in-charge at the training center, turned out to be a really nice person. He arranged for us to live in the guest house in the ONGC township near the plant for a few days or in some quarters from the next day onwards.
In the evening Niraj,another of our friend, joined us and we just roamed about looking for something good.
For dinner we went to Lagan Gujarati Thali which was around the station area. Obviously , we had gujarati thalis. It was very different from anything that I have ever had. There were way too many sabzis. The food was very spicy but for the first time I had dal and chhole which had sugar put in it. The puris were smaller than my thumb in diameter. The best part was the mango pulp which was so sweet that you can have only a few tea spoons. The food you can eat was unlimited. And all this for just Rs.60 !!!!
The first day ended for us while watching the Jayasurya innings vs Chennai Superkings with 11 sixes. So all in all the first day was way better than I(or the mumbai indians) had hoped.