$3 Holla

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Today I attended my last official lecture at Otago. That means it is 8 days until my first exam of the semester and 12 until my last. It also leaves me only 24 days left in New Zealand before I head home to the UK which is really sad. Whilst my first semester here felt like I had all the time in the world, this semester has felt like a countdown until I go home. The date of my flight home has been steadily looming closer and closer and I have been quietly ignoring it but I probably can’t anymore! Over the next 2 weeks I will be knuckling down and studying for those pesky exams before I have planned a final 10 days of adventure and getting stuff done.

That’s talk enough of exams and going home. Today I wanted to address something that is far more important and close to my heart and that is, of course, food.

I’ve managed to get away almost the entire year without mentioning it on here (some people would say that is surprising) but I’m confessing to you now: I’m a vegan. There, it’s out, I hope we can still be friends. This means that when I first arrive in a place it can be more difficult to find good food on the go (that isn’t chips) and especially around campus. Normally, I try to take my own food but often I forget. However, the OUSA has the answer to every hungry student’s prayers – vegan or not and to be honest even if you are not a student – and that is $3 lunch.

When? Monday – Friday 12 – 2 (ish)

Where? OUSA Clubs and Socs Building on Albany Street

Each day the Hare Krsna group cook up a delicious and nutritious meal ranging from pasta, to soup, to lentils and rice which is jam packed with veggies and goodness. And all for $3 which doesn’t break the bank on a student budget. And its all vegetarian (and mostly vegan) too. Mmmmm….

You are normally greeted by the ever wonderful Jma who I have been told has been running $3 lunches for over 25 years. She always welcomes you with a smile and her energy and singing just shows that she absolutely loves what she does. “Hello, just a $3 lunch please” from the next student waiting in line is often followed by the enthusiastic reply of “$3 holla coming right up” from Jma.

$3 lunch is a great place for a catch up with friends or to read Critic (our student magazine). In winter you can sit in the warm and have a hot meal at lunchtime. As long as you wash your plate afterwards and say thanks on the way out, you’re all good. Some students come every day, others just once in a while. Some people bring a container and grab some lunch on the go.

Over the last two semesters you could probably find me here at least once a week. If its a particularly busy time of assignments or I have not had time to meal prep then probably more! Thursday lentils are my fave but Wednesday soup has been growing on me, especially as it’s the time when I am able to catch up with friends who I don’t always see in classes.

I’m going to miss $3 lunches back in Durham for sure! And if you are ever in Dunedin (student or not) I would 100% recommend heading over to OUSA for a $3 lunch.

Bye for now,


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