travel

Travel: TY Lee of Taiwan

I've travelled to Taiwan late last year and I made a trip down to 小品雅集 TY Lee in Tapiei, Taiwan I've travelled there by public transport. In Taipei it isn't hard to navigate their train system. The nearest train station is Daan station (大安站), I exited the station using Exit 3 but I think there are a number that would work too. That station is both on the Tamsui-Xinyi and the Wenhu lines. If you are walking over from the train station, all you really need is to pre-load Google Map and just following the map. You might think you are going the wrong way or think the address might be out of date but I assure you, it's not. The route I took was straight forward but the surrounding buildings didn't look like a fountain pen shop would fit right in. It's not along the main road but rather along one of the smaller roads inside. Regardless, trust the map.

However if you are in a rush for time or rather take a taxi, Taiepi's taxis are rather cheap and readily available. So if you are not a Mandarin speaker, I'll suggest showing the driver the address.

This is their address:
台北市大安區瑞安街208巷76號1樓
No. 76, Lane 208, Rui'an Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106

Their opening hours are Monday to Saturdays from 12noon - 10pm. They are closed on Sundays so plan your trip down accordingly.

Now that logistics is out of the way, let's get down to the details. TY Lee has a wide variety of fountain pen and related goods. They carry all the standard brands including Opus and TWSBI both are Taiwanese brands. It's a two level shop. The ground level has all the pens on display while the lower level has all the inks. And that's in my opinion where the good stuff are. Firsttly, they carry Kobe Nagasawa inks. They have a shelf's worth of Kobe Nagasawa inks. It's not that you can't buy Kobe Nagasawa inks from Rakuten but you get to look at swatches there. Secondly, they have a few series of De Atramentis inks that are shop exclusive. I purchased 6 of these bottles, 5 of which are gifts. I kept only 1 bottle.

They do have a small section for notebooks and a in-house notebook. I didn't pay too much attention there. Enjoy the photos and drop by if you have a chance.

Oh yes, I spoke to the shop attendents in Mandarin. I am not sure how good are their English but with the common language of pens between them and the customer, language is no barrier.

Pens and Travelling

Hello everyone, I am finally back in Singapore after 2 weeks overseas at Frankfurt and Italy. This is my very first time travelling after getting into fountain pens and inks. In preparation for being away for 2 weeks, I washed out all of my fountain pens except the 2 eyedropper-ed pens I have namely the Franklin Christoph Model 66 and the Pilot Prera. I was curious to see if they would dry out.

The Franklin Christoph Model 66 (Review coming soon.) wrote as soon as the nib touched the paper without any hard starting or problems. However the Pilot Prera was totally dried out. I capped the pen and gave it a couple of hard shakes. The nib wrote easily after that. I had expected both pens to be totally dried out considering I was away for 2 weeks. I guess the snap on cap of the Pilot Prera isn’t as air tight as the screw on cap of the Franklin Christoph Model 66 since they were both stored in the same manner and space on my table.

I also took the opportunity to bring a fountain pen along for the trip. This was my first time travelling with a fountain pen so I wasn’t sure what is the preferred filling system with travel in mind. I posted the question to the Singapore Fountain Pen Lovers. I had posted the options of going with a piston filler, converter and a cartridge. If I had a vacumatic fountain pen I would probably have gone with that but I didn’t so that idea is out of the window. (New pen to get?) I nixed the idea of bringing a ink sample vial along because I didn’t want to fuss over filling the pen when I get there and with the washing up after.

The overwhelming preference is the cartridge filling system. The idea is to only break the cartridge once I have landed at my destination. Plus to prevent ink from spewing all over the place I bagged it in a Ziploc plastic bag. I ended up bringing the Pilot Metropolitan (durable metal body with affordable price if I do lose it) with a standard black Pilot cartridge. The Pilot Metropolitan didn’t vomit ink all over except just a little inside the cap. The grip section remained ink free through the trip even after 3 separate plane rides on my way home. I used the pen to write my travel journal as I go through the day, noting down on the various things I have done.

This gives me the confidence to travel with fountain pens. In future I will be bringing my pens along for the ride as I travel. Also I am shifting my Twitter to a new account because I have lost the access to my old account. I would appreciate it if you guys would follow me on my new Twitter handle @_althaven. Thank you.

Korea - Bau House

I had the chance to visit a dog cafe in Seoul, Korea. It was my first time in a dog cafe and it was an eye opening experience.

The dog cafe is named Bau House (서울특별시 마포구 서교동 394-44 제일빌딩 후면 1층). The website is only in korea. Bau House was originally at Hongdae and it moved to Hapjeong Station (Line 6), Exit 3. Clue, follow the paw prints, the cafe is at the first level.

Dogs at Bau House

All you have to do to enjoy tons of doggy love is to order a drink and you are set. The cafe also sells dog treats that you can tempt dogs over to you. They have seperated the larger dogs from the smaller dogs so you sit at whichever section you are comfortable in. The large dogs section has a bigger space. The dogs will tend to approach and follow whoever is holding to the treats. On every table, they have a chart with the pictures and the names of the dogs at the cafe.

Doggy swarm

Also, be careful of your fingers when you feed the treats to the dogs. It is best to allow the dogs to lick the treats off your hand. Do note that the dogs made snap at one another when they are competing for the treats. And they also tend to swarm whoever is holding onto the treats.