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Posts Tagged ‘Hong Kong’

So this is what I was up to, really, in HK. I wanted to see a Nakaya table! Other people fly to Tokyo to see Madonna. This is not a strange thing.

I registered as a buyer and waited until the fair opened at 9:30. When I reached the Platinum Pen Co. table, I gawked at the Nakayas on display in one corner of the booth. A man approached me, most likely wondering why I had a silly smile on my face, and he turned out to be Mr. Toshiya Nakata, the president of Nakaya. (Insert fan girl squeal.)

He said, “A Nakaya owner!” I pulled out my Chinkoku and proceeded to tell him about my purchases at Aesthetic Bay, and how much I liked the Sumi technique (only one Nakaya craftsman can do this) and he brought out a long writer model that had the story of Rashomon executed in Sumi. The Ascending Dragon desk pen was also there, and a raised-technique dragon pen rendered in gold and red on black. The humidity in Okinawa means it takes four months for pens in that style to dry. Also on display were a golden maki-e squirrel on a blue body, two siblings of my Piccolo, a spider in gold and silver on a black body with a golden butterfly on the grip, and another spider pen in a multi-layered technique that even to the untrained eye looks like the highest level of craftsmanship.

I also held my first kanshitsu (stone finish) pen, rendered in silver over deep brown. It was a non-standard Piccolo, longer than mine.

Mr. Nakata refused to sell me anything! And I thought, how wonderful. Instead, he got my name and set aside the kanshitsu for me, noting down my nib preference. I brought out my Omas Arco with the modified nib and he compared it with my Nakaya elastic fine, as I was asking if it was possible to achieve the same kind of flexibility with Nakaya nibs. In the process we got inky fingers; I was profusely apologetic (I had forgotten to wipe down my pen after traveling with it loaded).

After one of the most interesting talks I’ve had in ages, I asked him if we could have our picture taken together. (More fangirl action.)

He was very obliging. I left the HK Convention and Exhibition Center with the widest of grins.

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The Cebu Pacific flight to Hong Kong was two hours delayed. Each announcement of further waiting elicited cries of dismay from the passengers, followed by a flurry of texting, I assume to people waiting for them on the other side of the flight. Those connecting to other destinations approached the counter but left with frowns.

We finally landed in Hong Kong past 9. As our original arrival time was 6:40, I had hoped to run errands for friends after I’d checked in, but that was not to be. By the time I plopped onto my hotel bed it was too late to do anything but find a 7-11 and lay in supplies for the evening.

While wandering, I discovered Congee Wonderland. I ate warm rice rolls with a Chinese Bolognese sauce (it was yummy!) and had a glass of cold soy milk. Fortified and cheered, I then walked back to the hotel. Especially when traveling alone, one finds great joy in small things.

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I have to be at the airport early to pay travel tax, because I bought my ticket online. I’m taking a Cebu Pacific international flight for the first time, and I have no idea what the queues at their check-in counters are like. I don’t mind the long wait before departure, anyway; I stay at the Hiraya lounge, where there’s ramen, wi-fi and a decent restroom.

The Eee comes with me, together with a couple of pens and tiny sketch notebooks. The Eee’s first overseas trip, and its first foray into being a real traveling companion. This should be interesting.

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