We are home for only two weeks and there is so little time and so much to do, but here I am on my way to downtown Seoul to meet a new pencil friend.



I really love Gwanghwamun.  Apart from the actual neighborhood(s) I grew up in, this is the one place that I’ve consistently haunted throughout my school years and adulthood.  I know which shops used to be where and what the current establishments used to be like before remodeling. The crowds and traffic are more bearable here; there is order and a sort of old-fashioned gentility, perhaps due to the presence of government offices, embassies and palaces.  To me, it feels positively civilized compared to the intense heat and noise of Gangnam.

Of course, one big reason I’ve kept up my visits is because of the mega-bookstore and stationer in the basement of the brown-tile-and-glass building above.


The array of goods on offer are perhaps not that comprehensive, but they change frequently and it’s always worth a look.  The geographical proximity to Japan means that Japanese products are well represented (at least better than in North America).

And this time there was a proper pencil meet!


I should have had refills of the coffee and the talk.  In any case I feel as if I’ve recharged my pencil batteries to keep me going for a couple more years.  The next post will probably be from Uruguay!


8 thoughts on “Home

  1. Tell us more about the pencil meet!
    I see Fabriano in one of the pictures. They remind me of Maped, a few years ago they where not that well known, but suddenly they seem to be everywhere…


    1. The pencil friend was someone whose posts got me started on American pencils. Although she prefers F grade pencils (2 3/8) whereas I tend to prefer Nos. 1 and 2, there is a wide area of happy overlap :) I also found out that we had much in common in our other lives. Korea is a really densely populated country but it’s amazing how everyone turns out to be interconnected, often by only one or two degrees of separation, once you locate yourself in a certain age/location/school group spectrum ;)

      One other thing that I found out from a real pencil “meet” was that people really tend to grip pencils in such different ways! Although I find my friend’s observations more accurate and reliable than mine overall, it hammered home the fact that third-party descriptions should always be taken with a grain of salt, simply because writing habits are so different and no one’s experience can be 100% replicated…

      Re Fabriano: I bought a cute, overpriced memopad years ago from that fancy display several years ago. Although the paper was nice and thick, the ink bled a little. They’re primarily a sketchbook brand, aren’t they? They probably just found a good distributor here…


  2. That sounds great, Sola! The cafe setting looks so cute too. Bet it was a lot of fun.. (I see a solid gray pencil.. *squints eyes* what pencil is it?) Do tell us more about it whenever you get a chance! And safe travels~


    1. If it’s the eraserless one in the tin, it’s probably the Caran d’Ache Grafwood in HB. It was a very interesting pencil, the way its slightly thicker body and light weight screamed “hold me long, I’m a drawing pencil!”

      We fly down to Montevideo on Sunday, thanks for your wishes! I really need them now, I so hate turbulence on planes :(


  3. Did you have a good time? I was looking at the occasional writing.
    Always be happy and I hope you enjoying my life.
    Please understand, even when they might be the wrong English is good at. ^^


    1. 카이군님 반가워요^^ 잘 지내시지요? 여기는 한가한 것처럼 보이면서도 뭘 진득하게 할만한 시간은 또 안되네요. 아이는 방학이고 집은 오늘 수도관이 터져서 난리났었답니다 =.=. 펜후드에서도 계속 자주 뵈어요^^


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