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Sula Powell: Spontaneous living
June 24, 2016
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Now the second year of university is complete and I have an abundance of spare time to allow myself to live unrestricted and spontaneously. No homework, strain, stress, pressure or burdens until September absolutely infuses me with joy and delight, although I am already fearfully, foreseeing and envisaging the drama that will transpire when I arrange to cancel my visa in August.

For as much as I am embracing university and willingly adjusting well (ish) to student life, there is certainly no secret that I am most definitely counting down the days until I graduate (if I miraculously manage to graduate that is). I just need to have serious faith and remain optimistic that the next two years will go as rapidly, more rapidly if possible, than the first two.

The customary thing (purely according to my own, self-suiting rules with appetite being the main concern and not in keeping with how your stereotypical student will celebrate the end of exams) to do once exams end is to gorge on a somewhat decent, non-student meal. It is even more convenient when the bill is discounted just because you are female (I am usually all for equality by the way but I will not overlook 50% off the bill), ladies night must catch on in Edinburgh for when I am home!

We ate at INKA, which is a Peruvian restaurant. Being a typical, predictable veggie I devoured the quinoa dish which sounds equally as impressive and exotic as the restaurant’s name. I was not entirely convinced it was a true, traditional Peruvian delicacy though but I stand corrected.

I do, however, know how to pronounce it correctly, after having a very lengthy and intense public dispute with my mother in the middle of the swimming pool at the Westin Hotel, where she rather juvenilely stated it was not pronounced ‘KEEN-WA0.’ Thankfully someone with too much time on their hands made a YouTube video dedicated to its pronunciation (proving me right of course).

With all that time to myself, to avoid getting bored and potentially becoming mildly unhinged and insane in my desert room, I had to try and cram in some new places to help enhance my list of Dubai jaunts — I think Nikki Beach on the Pearl Jumeirah has to be my ultimate favourite. Seeing as though it is very, very unlikely I will make it to their branch in St Barths or Bali, it makes perfect sense to enjoy and utilise the one in Dubai.

As expected, the whole experience was all about the food for me, the massive, wooden boat filled with sushi is incredible. It is clearly outlined in the menu in bold, that the boat is equipped to feed around five people, but I always take it too far and could have easily consumed the whole thing to myself. It’s just extremely awkward and unsightly when the food baby cannot be hidden in a bikini!

Two of my old school friends visited Dubai for a few days before travelling to Thailand, so I was very kindly appointed as tour guide for the weekend. They know I am competent and have admirable taste, just a real sin that particular ‘taste’ is more suited towards individuals not residing under a student budget.

I decided to opt out of the super touristy excursions like visiting the Burj Khalifa and sitting in the open top tour bus striving to endure the excruciating 45 degree heat whilst enthusiastically trying to take photographs of the Burj Al Arab. Realistically, I would much rather be inside the actual building enjoying afternoon tea and a generous amount of scones or ideally dinner at Al Mahara.

However, I could not decline a desert safari, mainly because I knew it would entail camel riding (the camel obsession is still very much intact) and copious amounts of hummus and tabouleh.

Although, I do think after partaking in at least five different safaris I do not want to withstand anymore whiplash from ‘dune bashing.’ I am incredibly content just trying on an abaya and drinking the Arabic coffee. It also seems I still fail at electing a desert-appropriate outfit and am in denial that no amount of Urban Decay setting spray will support your make-up in overriding the desert heat!
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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