The search for the perfect blue-black
My new-found fascination with fountain pens has taken me to the discovery of various ink choices. My favorite color for writing in medical charts is blue-black: it's more black than blue, but can pass as the former, should the elderly nurses in the hospital do random spot-checking for hospital standards. (I was criticized once for using sky blue ink, and I had to rewrite my prescriptions with a darker shade of blue--an incident that made me ask how blue should blue be.) My choice of blue-black is the Pelikan 4001. It's more expensive (around Php 400-plus for 62.5 mL) and harder to find. I'm glad I found a bottle at Scribe, a cool store in EDSA Shangri-La Mall. The salespeople there are used to newbies and would gladly help them pick the best choices for beginners. Last week I tried Pilot blue-black, which I got for less than Php 200 at National Bookstore, but a colleague told me one can get it for around Php 135 (30 mL) at Cosmos Bazaar in Binondo Area. It's Pilot's official distributor in the country. The shade is lighter, so my colleague, who goes by the name of Dr. Berbi Berba, told me he'd mix black ink with the blue-black to get his desired intensity. Part of enjoying the ink is the risk, and thrill, of combining colors. I'm using Diamine Indigo now: I'm not the biggest fan, but the strokes look fine nevertheless. So far, no complaints from the nurses.