JAKARTA—Ever since I stumbled upon the Lamy Scribble, I knew I had to have it, despite a history of buying fine quality ballpoint pens, which I would neglect, and eventually, lose afterwards. (Fortunately, this hasn’t happened to my fountain pen acquisitions, save for one painful incident involving a Montblanc Meisterstuck 146 that, I believe, was plucked from my backpack while relieving myself in a restroom in SM North. To that culprit whom I have yet to forgive: I admire your timing more than your taste in fine writing instruments. But I digress.)
Anyway, a few years back, I bought a black Lamy Pico in Europe, by far, the only item of consequence I got while visiting the City of Light.
Shortly after arriving in Manila, I lost it after sending my jeans to the laundry with the pen still in one of the pockets. I’ve never seen the pen since.
After pining for the Pico for a couple of years, I thought about getting one online since Lamy in the Philippines didn’t carry it at that time. These thoughts went unheeded after Lamy began to sell the Pico in Manila two years ago. So I got myself one last year, prompting me to always empty my pockets before I send stuff to the laundry.
Now, I have to be extra careful.
I bought another ballpoint pen—the Lamy Scribble—at the Gunung Agung bookstore at Senaya City.
When I saw the Scribble, I couldn’t believe it.
It sat inside a display case, basking in the soft glow of a small spotlight.
This was the same pen that I was prompted to buy online last year because Lamy in the Philippines didn’t—and still doesn’t—carry it. The pen seller in Kuala Lumpur was so grateful for my business he even asked through email why I refused to claim it. (Here’s why: The Philippines’ Customs bureau levied a tax that was worth more than the pen’s price; a tax that I remain unwilling to pay for. I forfeited it and the courier told me that the item was to be auctioned off.)
I then gave up on my dream of getting a Lamy Scribble until I happened to drop by the Gunung Anung, a bookstore that had a stall that sold Lamy pens, including the Scribble.
Without thinking twice, I approached the soft-spoken Lamy sales staff and said that I would be buying the pen, even before examining it. I spoke in Filipino—which some Indonesians understand better than say, English—and, in a few seconds, the language of commerce transcended our constraints.
So here I am now, fiddling with the Lamy Scribble while thinking about where to put the Pico. Should I retire it? Leave it by the bedside table?
It’s too early to tell.
After all, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed.
I have to take two flights before I finally arrive home and only god knows what will happen once I get accosted by the Customs people.