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Sula Powell: No meltdowns
July 08, 2016
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I really, genuinely did not think the day I would be leaving my little desert hovel would ever transpire. Even more sincerely I did not think I would in reality, deep, deep down even care!

Being truly honest and pushing all my hatred and dissent for the rock hard, awkward and inhumane bed, the completely impractical kitchen and the depressing, arduous thirty minute journeys to normal civilisation — a small, tiny, minute piece of me is really (really) missing my 12x14 box room and those hazy Burj Khalifa views. Maybe because it is what I have called home for the past two years? I was very reservedly holding back a tear (only one mere tear obviously, which was of course partially influenced by the gusts of sand being blown everywhere) and managed to remain somewhat composed.

I was more concerned and focused on my three, 30kg suitcases (I promise the majority of the weight is consumed by university books and not unused and potentially unnecessarily bought clothes and shoes complete with tags still attached) and how I was ever going to successfully blag them on to a flight without paying Emirate’s nauseating excess baggage charges!

The best — and most positive — part of moving out was being able to gift all the accommodation staff the things I do not longer need or use. To help console myself with the fact I was leaving I really did seek solace in seeing how genuinely full of joy they become just by receiving some little things I would consider insignificant. However, I am not entirely sure any of the staff (particularly the cleaners) had any great need for dish washing sponges or Matalan bedding. Additionally I am not completely convinced the balsamic vinegar will compliment their Filipino dishes but I have always been told it is the thought that counts. I was also actively practicing the art of giving to coincide with the spirit of Ramadan.

Naturally though, and typically unsurprisingly I could not vacate my accommodation without enduring just one last unnecessary, aggravating bit of drama. In order to receive our initial deposits back, the university issue a room inspection. Apparently, I had ‘misplaced’ the bathroom’s ladle and bucket (who on earth uses that sort of equipment in the bathroom and why?) and broken the wardrobe. I know I had around 90kgs worth of clothes but I can assure you no wardrobe was broken by me, most definitely not purposely anyway. Plus imagine the hysteria that would overcome me if I did not have somewhere to hang my outfits!

After a firm and very succinct discussion — complete with no meltdowns — with the head of accommodation and frantically showing them the room records I submitted at the beginning of the year to prove I had not stolen that ever so important bucket and ladle I was finally given my deposit, which I of course plan to spend on yet again more clothes.

My mum and dad also decided to come and visit me one last time before I leave the UAE in August (yes, I am foreseeing you are all slightly gleeful at the thought of never having to read another one of my food obsessive articles again). Allegedly the primary purpose of their trip was to entail helping me move out of university and transit the majority of my clothes back to Scotland. Somehow I encountered no help moving from university nor did any of their cases possess any space for my clothes!

Either way I was extremely happy to see them, and not precisely because I knew good, wholesome, non-student meals were heading my way. I was especially pleased to see my dad as he has refused to visit me the throughout the time I have been here in the UAE; apparently Dubai is not his ‘thing.’ In his defence, his first experience of Dubai was around 15 years ago when I was just a baby. My dad was in absolute awe of the ‘new Dubai,’ but all he could recall from his first visit was that ‘really, really, really long road’ (Sheikh Zayed Road).

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