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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I am stranded in Changi again until 6.40 PM local time today when I will have a flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. Those are the only things I bring along in this solo 10-days trip: one backpack and one purse. I left my backpack at the luggage station so I don’t have to carry it around with me all the time. It’s pretty heavy. I can’t wait until I get to Vietnam and explore places!
I’m going in a trip to Myanmar (Burma) with a friend for six days. We are going to visit Mandalay, Bagan, and Yangoon. Right now we’re waiting to board the plane from Changi Airport Singapore. Whoops, that’s the announcement! The plane is ready for boarding.
Talk to you all later!
I went there in September 2013. I found a weekend gateaway package (I know, I know. My life actually consisted of weekend getaways back then) for a very cheap price, I think it was IDR 285k per person or something. Harapan Island is located about 4 hours by boat from Muara Angke harbor. It is definitely farther away off shore Jakarta than Tidung. I went there with friends. We went to many islands around Harapan: Dolphin, Gusung, Perak, Bulat, Macan, and also Matahari Island. We tried out local street food at night in the nearby food center, too. We had delicious grilled corns and squids. It was a lot of fun! I didn’t take that many pictures because I was busy swimming and snorkeling. My skin got so tanned after I got back (Yeah, I didn’t think I could get more tanned either. But, I did. Not necessarily a bad thing, though. I think tanned skin is sexy). The photos are a bit hazy but oh well!
Part 1: Ted Mosby
A dear friend of mine said, “Listen to me. You are like Ted Mosby because every time you have to go through tough times, you are surrounded by wonderful friends”.
The thing about being together with someone is, it can be a very easy way for us to lose ourselves. Being defined by our relationship with a significant other might be nice for a bit, but then it gets to the point where it’s mostly just a dependency problem, you know. Because, you see, we compromise when we’re together with someone. Love is blind is not a joke. Sometimes we sacrifice things that are important to ourselves so that a relationship can work. But, before that happens, we need to know our values, interests, and ourselves first before we agree to commit to a certain somebody. We need to know what things can be compromised and what can not. That is important, ladies!
I feel like I’ve been talking too much lol. Just bear with me, this post isn’t over just yet.
Part 2: Happier Things
Anyway, anyway, anyway, on a much lighter note, I GOT 8 OUT OF 9 ON MY IELTS TEST YOU GUYSSSS. HA! I didn’t even go to classes! How cool is that? I picked up the result yesterday at IDP Jakarta. I was expecting the worst, since I didn’t think I did very well on my listening and writing comprehension. But then I got 8. 8 out of 9 is pretty dang good, especially when you took a test for the first time and were pretty sure you got at least 10 answers wrong. The Universe has its way to show your worth when you least expected it, turns out.
This March is full of music, art, and movie gigs! I’ll go out with a friend next week for a weekend music gig downtown, and a week after that there’s another music gig also downtown. Also, there’ll be an art event in which some of my friends from university exhibit their artworks and in that art event there’ll be a movie festival, too. Sooooo many things to see! I’ll go to a music gig in Skye with a fashion presentation from Roberto Cavalli. How great is that?
I went to the States for three weeks (more or less) in August 2013. I went to New York City, Upstate New York, and my host town in Pennsylvania. I’m going to divide my USA trip into three parts, one for each place I went to. I might add one or two other parts but I’ll decide about it later. Enjoy the post!
I hadn’t been in USA for six years. SIX FREAKING YEARS! My gosh, you have no idea how much I missed the States! When I was there six years ago, I went pretty much everywhere from Chicago to Florida so last summer I didn’t plan to roam around the United States. My plan was to have quality time with my host family and relax. But since my plane arrived at JFK International Airport, I thought I’d take a look around the Big Apple. My host dad picked me up from JFK and we stayed in Brooklyn for three days. This was my second time going to New York City (or, as New Yorkers call it, the City). Still amazed me every time. We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim museum, the Jewish museum, Central Park (or the Park, as New Yorkers call it), the Brooklyn Bridge (or the Bridge, as Brooklyn people call it), and a few local restaurants.
I enjoyed walking around Manhattan and taking subway by myself. At one point, when I was waiting for a train in a subway station, a girl approached and asked me for direction. She thought I was a New Yorker! Not going to lie, I’m pretty smug about it still. Anyway, I want to confirm about the so-called unfriendly New Yorkers. When I walked around NYC by myself, I asked people for direction and whatnot a lot. By a lot I mean more than three times. Fortunately for me, people kindly gave feedback and I was able to get to my destinations. A few tips about getting around in NYC: 1. Don’t bring out big map. Put your destination names and addresses on a journal 2. Always ask a female 3. When asking for directions, be confident with your English even though you might think your English sucks. Believe me, those three work wonder. Exhibit A: Me.
Ah, New York. I will always miss you when we’re away from each other!
This was the first time I went to Upstate New York. Upstate New York consisted of little villages and towns in the North part of New York State. The idea was that to give me a tour around the campus and areas where my host parents went to college. My host mom passed away three years ago, so it was just my host dad and I who went there. We went to Bard College campus in Annandale-on-Hudson. Bard is a private liberal arts college that has excellent reputations all around. That was my host parents’ alma mater. What a beautiful, beautiful place to study! It was located by the Hudson river with woods surrounding it. After walking around the dazzling Bard campus, we hung out in Red Hook and Rhinebeck. What I liked the most about Upstate New York was the scenery and pretty little villages full of pretty little houses and shops. We had a chance to watch a movie in an independent movie theater called Upstate Film in Rhinebeck. I watched “The Way Way Back” while my host dad watched a Spanish film called “I’m So Excited!”. I loved The Way Way Back. I think I might watch it again at some point.
These are my second hometowns, Linden and Williamsport, Pennsylvania. I spent a school year here as a high school senior. I was born and raised in a capital city in Indonesia, so it was a relieve when I was placed in a small town USA. My host family house is perfect in every way! It’s a big, pretty wooden house surrounded by hills. There’s this hill next to our house that I liked a lot. I climbed up there a few times when I was there this summer. The view was very pretty from up there! It was very quiet, too. I wish we had that kind of place in Jakarta (which is impossible). It was nice when I was back. I accompanied my host dad running errands in town, watched DVDs with my host brothers, met up with friends and people I hadn’t seen in years, visited places I missed. It was just a very, very nice time. I wish I could stay longer but my then bosses wouldn’t let me (they were generous enough to give 10 days off work for me to visit USA on holiday). Oh, my host family got a dog a year after I went back home. Her name is Rosie and is a golden retriever. She is such a sweetheart! I walked her and took her to the hill next to our house. I went to a creek to bathe her too with my host dad. All in all, summer in small town USA is a summer nicely spent!