Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I have always had a love for stationery. There is nothing I like more than a nice pen, some good paper, good quality wooden #3 pencils and a fine eraser. I think the real reason I went back to study was because I was missing all this. Computer keyboards are just so impersonal. I am a fanatical note taker and have filled quite a few yellow pads with my scratchy almost illegible handwriting since I started studying again. While I like the Israeli yellow legal pads with 5mm blocks, the pens were a problem. I started out with some of the ballpoint pens we use at squint central. They are not bad, but I found writing with them completely unsatisfying. So some months back I broke out my old stationery box and all the fountain pens I had not touched since I left university the first time around (it has been about 20 years). I selected two of the low end, "user" pens, a Parker and a Sheaffer ("user" pens cost less than $10 a piece in the old days). Writing with these feels like playing the guitar I got for my Bar Mitzvah, its completely comfortable. But, soon I ran out of ink cartridges (the pens held up way better than the cartridges, or refills if you are American, which had nearly dried up - where does the ink disappear to in that enclosed and unopened space?)

I thought finding cartridges would be a simple matter of going down to the nearest Office Depot - boy, was I wrong. I hunted all over Israel, until someone suggested I visit Fabian here in Raanana. Well, the pen dude at Fabian looked at the sad and empty samples I brought in, climbed up into the attic, and came down with a dusty box. "Don't get much call for these, these days", he said with a smile. I bought his whole stock of Sheaffer cartridges (he only had black, luckily), unfortunately he had no Parker cartridges. Now I have enough for a few months. Of course, the internetz has plenty of choice, but not here in the Holy Land.

Needless to say, today in class my pen leaked black ink all over my hands. It doesn't wash off easily. I swear, it's just like going home.


greta sistererio said...

When I read about the leaking pen I suddenly had an image of my, I mean our, father coming home from work ('a hard day at he saltmines') with a big ink stain on his shirt pocket. This happened on a regular basis as he would never use a ball point pen.

liba2k said...

what about: or, the first one delivers to Israel for $2.99