Alles wat Jan bezig houdt, interesseert en irriteert... en ook een beetje onzin...

zaterdag, mei 27, 2023

Good food and horrible pens in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.

I am that kind of person who, when looking for a pen, will read all kinds of blog posts written by pen snobs and aficionados, only to come away with the feeling that I don't know my pens well enough. 

Here in the Netherlands, we have the Consumentenbond (the Consumer-Union?), basically a test organization with an accompanying magazine and website. They are held in very high regard, but most of their tests are behind a paywall or only published in their magazine. 

So, how is a cheapskate like me to find out about The Best Pen? Well, for most of my needs, ✨ The Wirecutter, ✨ once so named because they helped people to "cut the wire" of their cable TV and internet providers, does just fine.

They are open about how they make money. It's simple: they test stuff, write about the tests, and post Amazon Affiliate links. Quite like how your dear writer does it, too. 

Back to the pen, or rather, The Pen. 

I am a simple guy with simple guy-needs. A pen should write. It should be affordable. It shouldn't kill my wrist after some lines of text have been jotted down. 

Now, to reach pen-Nirvana, I had to climb a big mountain 🏔️. After ploughing through comparison charts and wading through blogposts, I first came upon the Pentel SignPen, a great pen, so I was told, that is produced in Japan. I bought a bunch of SignPen's in March 2021 and tested them. Somehow they were not for me, though. The ink bleeds through fine paper, the tip is too broad, they don't even "feel right." Why should I ever trust pen snobs' opinions ever again?

I didn't give up, though, on my quest to unlock this life achievement, Finding The Right Pen For Me. Thanks to the aforementioned snobs' blogposts and The Wirecutter, I found another pen worthy of my attention:

  • The Mitsubishi Jetstream Uniball SXN-210. 
Yes, Mitsubishi, the same Japanese conglomerate brand that makes fighter planes and cool pickup trucks, also makes pens. I bought a bunch in December 2021, and again, gave them a thorough testing. With a price of 14 of these for only US $37, they are less than $3 a piece. But they feel very premium. I am now totally sold on the Mitsubishi Jetstream Uniball SXN-210 😍.

While visiting Little Tokyo in Los Angeles in February, I enjoyed the local Japanese cuisine at Takoyaki Tanota, and I also perused the Japanese Souvenir shops. 

To my delight, I found a shop that had all kinds of nick nacks, including...  a bunch of other Jetstream Uniball pens. So, I bought two of the lesser known SXN-150-05 (pencil with of 0.5) model pens.  They are lesser known for a reason. The pencil tip is so small that, again, they don't feel right. It feels like I will push them through the paper instead of dreamily writing away on the paper. Don't buy these, kids, just stick to the winning team.

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