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Sula Powell: No longer a newbie
February 06, 2015
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I have been back in Dubai for almost four weeks now. Oh how I have been craving that sun and my weekly Spinneys trips. However, holiday time is well and truly over. No more long lies, sadly the jet lag excuse simply does not cut it anymore. Sigh!

Semester two has officially begun, I am no longer a university newbie and according to our lovely teachers we are not babies nor will they continue to hold our hands and nurse us through university. Not sure why, I was quite complacent and very self-approving with the idea of being spoon-fed.

Okay, I am not so dependent actually. In fact, I consider myself very independent, but just one more semester with teachers being overly helpful and pleasant would have left me feeling eternally grateful.

The new semester sees a brand spanking new set of subjects. This includes Finance (just as I was starting to recover from the grief of Accounting class and those pesky Balance Sheets). Maybe you have gathered I am not a numbers person.

My other two classes (Business Skills and Enterprise & its Business Environment) involve group work, and luckily for me I get on with the majority of people. However, I know cracks will soon begin to show. An amalgamation of different personalities and backgrounds is the perfect recipe for disaster.

Already in the early stages I have witnessed one group member fail to arrive to meetings due to, in my eyes, their abnormal sleeping habits. Being asleep until 1pm in the afternoon is surely not normal is it? Although, I can treat this as a learning curve as I have soon come to understand that throughout Dubai the laidback persona of many individuals is somewhat normal.        

When one says they will arrive in ten minutes that simply translates to mean that they will either arrive whenever they are ready or anytime in the next hour. My only advice is to be and stay patient.

This year I have only one official day off, Wednesday. I have decided to take it upon myself to deem this day beach day (I still have some tourist needs in me). So, for the time being, whilst waiting for the UAE winter to pass, all I seem to have done is engage in my second favourite past time, eating. My new Tuesday ritual is to have dinner at Kcal healthy fast food, emphasis on the word healthy.

Thankfully my student allowance stretches to accommodate Salmon Ragout (my favourite) and a Pinkberry frozen yoghurt topped with fruit and peanut butter crunch. I also visited Markette at the Dubai Mall for the first time. Salt and pepper calamari with a direct view of the aquarium was possibly not the most sympathetic of actions but I have no regrets, it was delicious.

I also ventured to Shakespeare and Co in Souk Al Bahar. I was simply in awe of the beautiful décor, but even more in awe of their food. I would like to congratulate them on devising the creation of piri piri prawns. Who knew a prawn could taste so splendid?

Continuing on the food theme, even more convenient for myself, a new restaurant has opened a mere five minutes away from the university called The Taste Kitchen. I am so easily amused by their cute utensils; the jars containing smoothies and juices (the ginger and lemon juice is scrumptious) are just adorable. Admittedly though, I would happily turn up purely for their homemade bread and balsamic vinegar never mind a full meal.

However, I do remain realistic especially in keeping with my New Year resolution to remember who I am and where I came from. I am a student, I am here to study, I do live on a budget and yes it is possible in Dubai. I have to live normally and not partake in too many of those tourist activities, no matter how appealing they may be.
Sula Powell is a Scottish/Jamaican business student at
Heriot Watt University in Dubai. Sula is a keen horse rider
and a part time model holding a number of prestigious titles
including Europe’s Perfect Junior Teen. For the remainder
of her journey in the UAE, Sula will be sharing her experiences
on the ups and downs of student life.

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