Gettin’ Paid

Last night I spent all but my last 20-30 AED on beers, late night McDonald’s, and a cab ride home, so getting the first chunk of our stipend today was very helpful.  And, best of all, it was in straight cash.  Before this morning I was about 750 AED in debt to various other students (about $205 USD), not because I don’t have any money but because accessing cash here is expensive without a local bank account.  So today I can pay off my debts and get back to living free and clear.

But, speaking of last night, we had quite an evening. We had another big Iftar dinner (it was the holiest night in Ramadan, Laylat al-Qadr) at the aforementioned Emirates Palace Hotel. It was a helluva spread and there were probably 200-300 people there, all in some way related to Masdar City or the Masdar Institute.   They gave out raffel prizes that includes free airline tickets on Etihad Airways and a weekend stay at the Emirates Palace. Unfortunately, none of us had any luck.

What a spread!

What a spread!

It was deeeelicious!

It was deeeelicious!

The good news is that Ramadan ends this weekend, so we can get back to normal life. In celebration of the end of Ramadan is the Eid Al Fitr (say that ten times fast and see what you get) Holiday, so no classes until September 27th, 10 days off! The other good news is that now all of the bars and clubs that were closed during Ramadan are back open. The bad news is that from what we’ve heard, it will be much harder to get into them.  Plus, you need to have a good male to female ratio to get into some of the places and with nearly 70 guys to 30 girls in our program, it’s might be tough to manage. We may have to play survivor before going out each night to see who the lucky guys are.

And when it comes to games to keep us occupied, there’s nothing like an engineering school. Last night, for lack of anything better to do, we confiscated some ethernet cables from the supply room, hooked our computers up together, and played video games from about 10 pm until nearly 4 am. Can’t say it wasn’t fun, even though I was borderline the worst player there. Now I feel like an engineer.

Starcraft never gets old

Starcraft never gets old


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Namsu on October 16, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Hi Brian, hope you enjoying your time at Masdar (if you are there). I am considering Masdar. I just wanna know roughly how much stipend do the pay to their MSc students? I live in London, how’s life there? Is it cool?


    • Posted by bashay48 on October 17, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      I graduated in 2011 so I am not sure what the stipend is these days, I recommend you contact admissions at Masdar. Life there is fun but quite different from London. Feel free to email me at if you have more detailed questions.


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