It’s been a long time since the last time I watched How I Met Your Mother continuously. I used to watch it while having meals in my dorm room back in bachelor’s. I was so engrossed in it. It was one of the shows that accompanied me going through college. Every time I had a hard or leisure time, I watched the show. Over and over again. It felt very relatable for me, for some reason. I was pretty emotional and dramatic back then. It helped that my then love interest liked to watch the series, too. He and I talked about the show right away after the new episode came out. It was lovely. Until one time I identified myself as Ted and him as Robin. I started to feel a little uncomfortable watching the show after that. The show reminded me of how such a fool I was. I watched it less since then. Quite a while later, another man came into my life and things ended pretty abruptly between us. He used a How I Met Your Mother reference by calling me Robin Scherbatsky. I think that was when I stopped watching the show altogether. Too many unpleasant memories.

I was in Prague about two weeks ago. I visited A, a best friend from college. When I was in her flat, we watched How I Met Your Mother together very often. I still knew all the stories and scenes by heart. And I thought, you know, watching the show didn’t hurt as much anymore. It was nice and nostalgic. Made you think of those more innocent, cheerful days. So now I’ve been watching the show again when I eat my meal in my flat in Milan. It’s nice.


Not necessarily in the wee hours, but

I’ve been listening to the same song over and over. Now I can sing the lyrics carelessly as if I’ve been listening to this song my whole life. I miss going to independent music gigs back home.


banda neira

Milan, Italy (in hindsight?)

It’s been over two months since I moved to Milan, Italy and still no pictures of this town. Strange, huh? Yeah, I’ve been busy with school and stuff. But here you go, all the pictures I took while I wandered around the city so far. There are Duomo di Milano, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, San Siro/Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, Navigli, and an afternoon sky from the windows of my apartment. I have some more pictures but sadly I don’t know where I placed them *sigh. The mix of 12th century buildings and behaviors of 21st century human beings is just around the corner. I especially like that I can get to Duomo di Milano in 15 minutes and the fact that a lot of people still use Duomo as a meeting point even after over 800 years since it was built. So far, I find this city quite attractive.


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Danang, Hoi An & Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Okay, I admit I have been very lazy about posting my travel trip notes. It’s just that after my trip to Vietnam, everything was go go go in terms of my departure to Italy. So here it goes, my Vietnam travel pictures. So, my Vietnam trip was a funny story. It started after I arrived home from my Burma trip. I was lounging on the living room chair or something when my mom said, “Hey Dina, don’t you want to fly to your father? He’s in Vietnam right now”. I was pretty taken aback by her comment. But then not long after, I had a round trip ticket Jakarta-Ho Chi Minh City-Jakarta. Voila, Vietnam, I’m coming!

The idea was to go there visiting my father in Da Nang in central Vietnam and then went south again to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) by myself, because my father would fly straight to Jakarta after he finished his business trip in Da Nang. Da Nang is an industrial town by the sea. It is pretty cool to walk there at night. While we were in Da Nang, my father and I visited Hoi An, too. It is an old pretty town and just about 30 minutes by car from Da Nang. After my father left Vietnam, I continued my travel alone to Saigon and met new people along the way which was nice. I fell in love with Saigon. I think I’m going to visit Vietnam again some time for Saigon and northern Vietnam, like Ha Noi and Ha Long.

I love traveling with my father. We share pretty much the same interests and have a pretty similar nature of being reserved and quiet. Also, my father and I love to walk. We walked a lot in our visit to Da Nang and Hoi An. Besides that, I also love traveling alone. I met people from many different countries and also met fellow women solo travelers. It was cool.


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I’m sorry

4 months ago I was very content about myself. I just got into a university in a country I had been wanting to live in since I was a little kid. I also got accepted into a government scholarship program for my master’s degree. I already got over my last heartbreak and felt that life couldn’t be better. Being with family and friends and preparing for my master’s degree abroad were the two top priorities back then. I already imagined so many possibilities that could happen in my 2 years living in another country faraway. But then one afternoon, Life knocked on my door and explained that things would turn a little differently.

This evening you called me three times. Before, during, and after watching a football match. When you called the first time and were about to hang up because the match was about to begin, I didn’t believe when you said you’re going to call after the match. I thought for sure you’d forget or decide that you were too tired and just go right off to bed. I thought, oh well you must have been tired after all day of working anyway so I will let you be. But then you actually called. During the commercial and after the match actually finished. It was sweet.

Today I saw this online live report about an independent music concert out of town back home. If I were still there you and I might have gone to the concert. There were so many cool events back home that I wish I could attend with you. But, as unfortunate as it is, I’m here and you’re there and I felt so trapped sometimes because I can’t just appear in front of your doorstep and say hello to you face to face.

Maybe i should have stayed and then things would have been so much easier for us. A gig in the park over the weekend, occasional dinner dates after work, going to the movies whenever it’s convenient for us. But instead i left. I left you all alone in a city that is so big. Now all we have is occasional skype calls and texting and it feels like it will never be enough but we have to be content about it because we are 7,000 miles away from each other. And for that i am so sorry. I’m sorry i have to make you go through this.

I just wish you were here. Or I were there. Or we were together, side by side.


Milano so far


I haven’t written for a while. Well, what can I say. It might sound cliche, but the truth is Life gets in the way. Sometimes you just have to let Life gets in your way, you know. Okay, so, where to start?

I’ve been in Milan, Italy for almost two months. Currently I live in a flat about 10 minutes by bus from my campus. My landlord is a good guy and the people I live with are such nice persons. I started school about four weeks ago and my classes are getting busier day by day. I have found some great friends here and feel happy about it. Things have fallen into place, more or less.

Today I went to see a friend for breakfast at 9ish to talk about our group project for one of our classes. What was supposed to be an hour or two meeting turned out to be an all-day work. But in between, I headed out to a sushi place with some friends. It was an all you can eat sushi for a very reasonable price (even in Indonesian currency!). We ate a damn lot. We came back to the campus with full tummies in the late afternoon. Then we worked for a while in our group project and it was time for me to have an Italian lesson for two hours. I made friends with two kids from my class, which was nice. They were very nice and funny. It is always nice to make new friends, after all. I went home at 8ish then had a cute chat with some of my flatmates. I offered them the broccoli soup I made yesterday and they loved it! One of them even asked for the recipe. I also cleaned up my room and took a shower this evening. In conclusion, today is such a good day.

I have a lot of assignment to do though, seriously. I don’t even know how I can handle these *laughing in despair.



Can’t sleep tonight. Strange. Indulging myself with some Jake Bugg and scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard. It’s less than two months before my leaving for Italy. I don’t know, man. I just read a tweet of a really good friend of mine who is abroad right now and it’s like.. I want to have my life in Milan all figured out and just settle the fuck down pronto! This whole waiting thing is annoying. I get all restless and shit and can’t even do something about it. I mean, ugggh just fast forward to three months from now or something!

I’m done reading Hemingway. His writing is so, so good! As I told a dear British friend of mine “His writing is simple and quiet, but strangely it gives dimension to the story”. My host dad from USA told me he had an intense Hemingway phase when he was in high school. I got the book from him, actually. Gosh, I can’t wait to read another Hemingway. I’m trying to get one here and bring it to Milan, maybe. English books are freaking expensive here, gosh dang.

Currently I’m reading Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. I borrowed the book from a friend like a couple of months ago but haven’t gotten to read it until today. So the book is basically like looking through the backstage of life. It’s interesting. I gobbled like 70 pages just in a day! I think I can finish it off by tomorrow.

I’m almost through with Dr. Who season 2 now. Fuck it, Rose will be gone! I love her! I can’t even imagine the show without her! It’s like the whole Chris Eccleston is gone all over again. I just can’t! Dr. Who has shredded my heart into a million pieces at least once and another one is coming right up.

A lot of things keep buzzing back and forth in my mind right now and they are all mixed up with the sweet and rough voice of Jake Bugg. Gosh, I love him. I can hear my sister playing the violin rather vaguely from the next room. Maybe it’s time to go to bed after all.