My Fulbright Year in Taiwan


Adventures in EFL

My favorite pen (warning: dork alert)

Before you read this, let me just say, I know that I’m a dork. I admit it, acknowledge it, accept it, and even embrace it. Let’s move on.

My sister Margaret says that everyone has his porn. Well, for me, porn is a well-stocked stationary store. I am obsessed with pens. I am on a constant quest for the perfect pen. For years,my choice was the Pilot VBall (Extra Fine, of course). I carried it with me everywhere I went, usually in my shirt pocket. In fact, my sons still refer to this kind of pen as a “shirt pocket pen.”

In Taiwan, I fell in love with another Pilot pen, the HI-TEC-C. Here’s what they look like:

I know that you might be thinking: it looks kind of cheap. I agree. But don’t let appearances deceive you. This might be the perfect pen.

This pen comes in many size tips, from .18mm up to .7mm. The sweet spot for me is the .4mm.

I can’t say it enough: I love this pen. I bought one on December 1, 2009, and have been using it since. It’s almost out of ink, I expect it to run out any day now. I will actually be sad when this pen is dead. I will miss this pen. Yes, there are millions more available down the street in the stationary store, but let me say it again: I love this pen.

The point is small, so you can write small. The metal point gives just enough bite to the paper (I use a Moleskine notebook), and the ink flow is smooth and generous, yet never splotchy. The ink dries very quickly, so it never smears. This is as close to the perfect writing experience as I have ever had. And they’re cheap: for less than US$3, I bought a disposable pen that has lasted for six months.

Now that I’m looking down the gun barrel of my return to the US, I’ve started to look for places where I can find this pen in America. I have never seen this pen in the US. I might have to arrange for someone in Taiwan to send me a box of these every six months or so. Otherwise, I may go through withdrawal.

Yes, I know, and yes, I agree that it bears repeating, so let me say it for you: I’m a dork. I don’t care, though. I’ve been in writing heaven over here, and I don’t care what you think. 🙂

Category: Taiwan


4 Responses

  1. Joy says:

    Honest to God, I just had our student order you 10 V-Ball pens yesterday, knowing you’d need them when you come back. Now I fear this small pen offering will be inadequate in the face of the perfection that is the HI-TEC-C.

  2. margaret y. says:

    If one lasts six months, can’t you bring twenty of them home with you and have a ten year supply?

  3. admin says:

    Good point, Marg, but I’m worried about the ink drying out if I have a large supply sitting in Michigan air. What to do, what to do…

  4. admin says:

    UPDATE: I found a place that sells the pens via mail order and ships to the States! Oh, happy me! 😀

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