June 18th, 2005

krazy koati

Out of the inkwell

If a stationery store sells refills for fountain pens, it would seem to follow that it should sell the fountain pens for which those are refills, right? I ask because I have the eerie feeling I'm the only person in Singapore who follows this logic.

I like fountain pens. I prefer to write with them. I write tiny, and the way a fountain pen glides over paper works beautifully with that. I can write as big or small as I like, and lines close together never merge against my will. I love cross-hatching. I'm one of the crossest hatchers this side of the Kallang River. A pencil's fine, and other types of pens are all right, but it's a fountain pen that it really comes to life.

So. I can't find any fountain pens in Singapore, even in art and stationery stores, except for the deluxe gold-trimmed platinum things people get as presents they'll never touch because they're terrified to use a pen that cost over a thousand dollars. But I can find refills for fountain pens, and inkwells, and the other things that go around a normal or even disposable-pen industry.

I went to the clerk at one of the stationery stores today with the refill box and asked where the pens these were refills for were. She had no idea. She could point out the commemorative gift display, but so far as she knew they never sold normal pens. She also had no idea who might sell the pens. Somebody has to sell them, don't they? Why stock refills if nobody has the pens? So where are they? These are all questions I feel I cannot answer.

Trivia: The final day of filming for Robert Altman's Popeye was 18 June 1980, with filming of Robin Williams singing the Sammy Lerner Popeye song. Source: The Popeye Story, Bridget Terry.

Currently Reading: World History, 1815-1920, Eduard Fueter.