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Sula Powell: Last but not least
September 09, 2016
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Two years and thirty plus, slightly melodramatic student drama scenarios and fabulous food related articles later, my time at university in the UAE has officially expired. I am hectically trying to convince myself it is a lie and I will be in Dubai forever and ever, just not particularly consolidated in terms of legitimacy when the Emirates flight reminders flash up every other day! I predict as soon as I am in Scottish airspace cue an extreme crying face x 1000 and induced S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) and potentially a case of vitamin D deficiency.

Leaving Dubai also meant the end of my internship, a short but sweet experience, very sweet in fact. My lovely, enormously compassionate and giving co-worker — known as the office mother or as I quickly deemed her, the feeder — from India filled my working days with a vast array of gorgeous Indian snacks. Think fruit chips, potato chakli, jalebi, kesari, thattai and muthusaram. I am extremely grateful and appreciative to the ‘Office Mother’ for the insight into some new Indian culinary delicacies and expanding my palette; on meeting her and instantly declaring my love and adoration for Dal we saw food as a mutual talking point. Admittedly I am not entirely thankful for the expansion of my waistline whilst working there, it seems I am still trying to burn off the artery clogging (but exceptionally appetising) Krispy Kreme caramel pretzel donut I was gifted from a colleague one afternoon.

One expansion I am positively jovial about it is the growth and development of my intellect, confidence and overall progression as a budding business student during my time in the working world (also similarly impressed with amount of new LinkedIn connections I made). The advancement of my vocabulary is somewhat notable too. Many of the duties I had undertaken heavily involved writing and of course, in keeping with the architecture industry I had to incorporate the use of words like aficionados, commodious and ornate.

Alongside this, the majority of the work I was tasked with revolved around the upcoming Cityscape Global convention and striving to organise colleagues for the video the company was showcasing (fairly frightening sending persistent emails to all the regional directors but when you highlight ‘student intern’ in your email signature everyone is definitely more accommodating). Typically my flight home was already arranged before the convention commenced but partaking in the run up to such an event is a privilege in itself. I was even given a glimpse of some incredible and simply astonishing new projects taking place all over the Middle East, from Saudi Arabia to Oman. However, I am sworn to secrecy.

My last few days in the UAE were a bit of a whirlwind if I am honest. I purposely tried not to plan anything too grand and ostentatious, I prefer to be low key about these things. Ideally from my perspective my departure was more of a ‘see you soon kind of bye’ rather than a sombre and disheartening ‘no return and bye forever.’ Helpful tip, to support the soul and comfort you in overriding those negative emotions the truffle mac and cheese from Slider Station is perfect.

Needless to say, there was absolutely no way I could vacate Dubai without one final piece of baffling, unnecessary drama. An overweight case coupled with trying to locate the post office within the Dubai airport to ensure my visa cancellation documents reached the university was quite simply the stuff of nightmares. After around three hours and arriving at my gate with five minutes to spare, going through five different securities and riding three buses I finally found the post office, albeit all puffy eyed with a tear stained face.

Despite the dramas and laughable spectacles I seem to come up against, my experience in the UAE has been incredible. Very cliché, but I have blossomed so much as a person and met so many remarkable people; I am even more independent, confident and courageous. I have this burning drive to progress and succeed more than ever; especially knowing how much is out there in this limitless world. I could not end this piece without a cheesy, cringe worthy thank you to everyone (you know who you all are) for their support throughout my time here in the UAE, I expect you will all endure some withdrawals but I can assure you I will be back soon!

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