I am picky about pencils but not pens. Before, I could not care less about them. But the last time I went to a book store, which also sells numerous kinds of stationaries, I spent more time — more than I had liked to — investigating gel pens.

This is because of a junior brought a gel pen with very fine point to the studio that I begin looking at these pens in different light. Her pen made writing on glossy and slick papers enjoyable and addictive. It made my handwriting look more desirable and readable, that reading what I had written with it was also satisfying. So I took note of the make and made note to look for another one as soon as possible.

The gel pens with supposedly varying points of 0.35mm and 0.5 mm…

However, this journey proved tricky. I had been looking around for a month now and I had not found any. In the meantime, I learned more about these pens, which are usually imported from China and Korea. The ones I have found and bought bore the mark of each point’s or tip’s diameter or nib sizes. The common ones were 0.5 milimeter. These, I found, drew thicker lines than the junior’s superior pen eventhough, if my memory had not failed me, they had the same 0.5 mm nib size. Another variety claimed a 0.35 mm nib size but the lines drawn were of the same width and strength as the 0.5 mm ones. I obviously still needed to continue my search for The One.

I had got similar instrument before. I had used technical pen through middle school and high school for daily writings even though technical pen is supposed to be for technical drawing. My favourite had been one from Staedtler with 0.25 milimeter nib size. One of the main draws, aside from making my handwriting look fabulous, was the refillable ink reservoir. I had only needed to get one such pen, which had lasted years, and refill it when necessary.

Now that the search for The One has given disappointing results I started thinking of getting a technical pen instead. However, I needed to really think it through. The drawback was that the pens, especially ones with smaller nib size, needed to be looked after very carefully. The rituals I had gone through — in the name of pen maintenance: draining the ink reservoir, cleaning it with warm water, drying after cleaning, etc — were quite complicated. Besides, it is too expensive for mere doodling, scribbling and nonsense writing. I can get a hundred gel pens for the price of one such technical pen. But I may get one later when I am already in the habit of signing and authorising 10 digit worth of projects and contracts.

So, weekend is coming. Another visit to another book store is in order.