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Sula Powell: Grabbing opportunities
December 25, 2015
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After my mum returned to Scotland after her holiday here, it was straight back to student life and no more dining out everyday. Cooking, or student style cooking for me, consists of cutting all ingredients with a soft edged butter knife — yes, I some how mange to cut rock hard, raw sweet potatoes with this knife, it is truly a miracle! I wouldn’t say I am a completely stereotypical student, but I suppose I do fit the lazy category for certain things. Last year I used a broken pan (with no handle) and spatula for months until I had nearly severed all my fingertips due to manoeuvring the equipment with a painfully thin dish towel which basically meant bare hands.

One of the perks of being a Heriot Watt Edinburgh student is the free movement between all of the campuses. I think we are extremely lucky and spoilt to be given this opportunity, but it seems only a small handful of students exploit and grab it with both hands. I most definitely grabbed it. So hard in fact that I did not let go, I am still here!

Only one girl transferred this year, however, we are so similar and in sync it is spooky and we are most definitely on the same wavelength.

Admittedly, sometimes interacting with other peers at university can be somewhat difficult, between very different interests, the language barriers and very tight knit cliques. Although, I must say I am thankful for being constantly exposed to new and different people as well as cultures, as I know being able to adapt and overcome obstacles will help serve me well for when I am ready to enter the working world.

My friend’s father also lives in Dubai so if we ever need time away from the desert/uni halls (prison) or simply some normality we know where to go. Conveniently surrounding his apartment block sits a mini souq equipped to cater to ones every need (mostly food for me, no surprises there). In particular the souq consists of two lovely organic farm shops with lots of extremely, yummy homemade food and ingredients. One of the stores, Baker&Spice sells the most delicious sweet potato mash, which I washed down with a fresh, ginger, orange, and grapefruit juice.

Afterwards — I myself still cannot believe I actually did this — I had a sunbed session. Yes a sunbed in Dubai, a place with constant sunshine. I may have completely lost the plot after paying £20 for the 12-minute holiday. I am still swiftly, smacking myself for it today. To be fair, my skin colour was back to a more healthy bronze shade but I could have sat outside in it for free. I shall refrain from repeating this idiotic act again as I am pretty sure we are meant to learn from our mistakes. More annoyingly I am just imagining what I could have spent that £20 on — more sweet potato perhaps?

A week after my mum left, my friend was due to fly over. She had come to visit me last year and was in complete awe of the country, so much so that she secured some job interviews in hopes of a more permanent stay. I booked us a table for dinner at Na3Na3 in the Dubai Mall Address Hotel (which I never knew existed) using my trusty entertainer voucher. Unintentionally, but quite conveniently our booking happened to fall on seafood night — my absolute favourite food!

In Scotland “na” is slang for no, but I was not entirely sure how to pronounce this specific restaurant’s name. I was thinking there was some complicated Arab pronunciation behind it — apparently not so.  The receptionist probably thought I was completely stupid and illiterate as I proceeded to literally spell out the two letters “N and A.” It is possibly up there with the stupidity of the sunbed situation.

Further to this, my friend and I arrived at two completely different hotels.  Apparently there are three Address Hotels, two of which are located within five minutes of each other — the Downtown and a Dubai Mall Address Hotel. I always thought Dubai Mall was in Downtown so I am still utterly perplexed by it all. However, in the end we both made it and got to eat the most amazing lobster mac and cheese. Bonus!
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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