Bandung, again.

Last weekend I got to stay in Bandung with A. We planned the trip about two weeks prior. This was my first time going back there in about four years, so I was pretty excited about it.

We went with A’s car. I stayed overnight at her place the day before. We headed out about 11.30 AM and arrived in the hotel around 04.00 PM. It was Friday morning before the prayer, so the traffic wasn’t that bad. It could have been worse, you know.

We stayed at this trendy new hotel called Blackbird Hotel Bandung all the way up in Sersan Bajuri for the first night. The second night we stayed in Kalya Hotel (previously Tune Hotel) in Sumur Bandung, near Simpang Dago.

I really liked our hotel room in Blackbird. It was a simple room with an industrial vibes, forms follow functions type of things. The room was quite beautiful, especially when the sunlight striked in.


We went out for dinner about an hour after we checked in. A suggested for us to go to Bebek Betutu Aji Anom in Dipati Ukur. We used to go there back when we were in bachelor’s. I also texted H to meet us there, since H worked in town. A and I were about halfway into finishing our food when H arrived. We all sat down talking and catching up. It was raining. The place was small and modest but I liked it nonetheless. We each had this meal package consisted of one bebek betutu, one rice, vegetables soup, sambal matah, and a glass of warm tea. It costed us IDR 32K per person.


Afterwards A and I went to PVJ to see a movie. We watched Red Sparrow and didn’t like it one bit. There were too many graphic unnecessary details. We came back to the hotel all traumatized.

The next day we had breakfast in the morning at this hotel lounge called Sea Como Sea. It was a beautiful lounge. Very tropical, very laidback. I liked all the wooden details and the monstera. I could stay there all day.


Unfortunately, we needed to go down to Dago ASAP before we were trapped in the traffic. So we checked out of this cool little hotel and went down all the way to Simpang Dago.

A insisted for her morning caffeine fix. So we hit Wiki Koffie in Braga. It was raining so when we reached the coffee shop there were only two customers. This place is one of those places that makes you feel this indescribeable longing once you’re inside. I loved the peranakan style decor. Combined with the oldies music playing softly in the background and the sound of rain from outside, instant happiness. We bought Vietnamese coffee and Turkish coffee for IDR 15K each. We also bought chicken wings (6 pieces) for IDR 20K.


Afterwards we went to Institut Teknologi Bandung, for old time’s sake. We wandered around ITB from Gerbang Depan to Gerbang Belakang. We also went to the old FSRD building and the new CADL building, just to look around. All the memories came rushing back. How fast time had gone. How funny and unexpected life turned out to be.

In the evening, I had dinner with H in Skyline Best View Resto (it is literally the name of the restaurant. I didn’t make it up). And what a view it had! We went there around 8 PM on a Saturday night. Lucky us, we got a table right away. The view was mesmerizing! The night lights of Bandung right before our eyes. The food was so-so. But I’ll definitely come here for the view. The photo doesn’t do it justice.


Afterwards we went back to the hotel. We met up with A and O in front of Circle K next to the hotel and talked for a bit. The next day A and I checked out of the hotel at 8 AM and arrived in Jakarta around 11.30 AM! It was wonderful.


This trip was.. something else. During my stay in Bandung, I had lots of flashbacks of the more innocent, younger days. A and I talked about a lot of stuff in this trip. We also sang and danced to our road trip playlist in the car. Every thing was so much fun.

It’s just.. I’m still wondering. Where did all the innocence go? Since when did we change so much? Is it all for the better? Should I be able to recognize myself ten years down the line?

I can’t wait to get back to Bandung again.

D

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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.

D

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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.

D

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Milano so far

Hello,

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.

D

Vietnam Trip

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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!

D

Harapan Island, Kepulauan Seribu, Jakarta, Indonesia

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!

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New York City, New York, USA

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!

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