Asian stationary

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hIf you’re American, this question is for you. Do you know what A1 is? It’s not only a steak sauce. It’s paper that is 23.4 x 33.1 in.

Do you know what A2, A3 or A4 paper is? Neither did I, until I moved to Indonesia. And even then, I’m still having to remind myself that there is an inverse relationship between the increase in reference number and the size of the paper. But after someone explained it to me that each number refers to the number of folds in the original sized paper, I finally understood. This was last week. I’ve lived in Indonesia for almost 2 years.

The big stationary store here is Gramedia, but it doesn’t have the sweet Expo markers in the quality and vibrancy that you find at Staples or OfficeMax. It doesn’t carry Sharpie poster markers of the same quality either so I had to stock up on a visit home.

But, here are 3 office products I was introduced to in Indonesia that I enjoy:

  1. White double-sided tape
    As prevalent as glue sticks and used when / where I would have directed students to use glue sticks in the U.S. Neat and clean. It turns everything into a sticker. Plus, it holds up under the demands of 90% humidity when display posters on classroom walls.
instead of a glue stick

instead of a glue stick

2. Correction Pens
This looks like white-out in the traditional bottle, but has a thin metal wire that acts more like a pen, an alternative to the brush which grows less and less effective the older and gloppier the white paint becomes. Look for these in the US or order online.

no more globs of old white-out

no more globs of old white-out

3. Zipper Pencil Holders with personality
These pencil monsters are trendy. But they are only one of hundreds of adorable options available in an Asian stationary store.

pencil monster! Double-sided Tape
In-text: (, 2014)
Bibliography: 2014. Double-sided Tape. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 16 Mar 2014]. Selling Leads > Office Supplies > Stationery > Correction Pen | In-text: (, 2014)
Bibliography: 2014. Selling Leads > Office Supplies > Stationery > Correction Pen | [online] Available at: [Accessed: 16 Mar 2014].


About jaclynfre

Tech integration specialist, recipe adventurer, fast walker, sporadic writer, aunt, sister and daughter
This entry was posted in life and culture and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Asian stationary

  1. Diane Sweeney says:

    Love the twist of writing about Asian office products. As teachers we all love buying office supplies and your piece took that to a new level. I’m headed to a conference in Bangkok next week, maybe I’ll look for an office supply store!

    • jaclynfre says:

      Thanks for visiting the page!! Asian office supplies are cutesy, but I haven’t found one that compares to the robust selection of a Staples or OfficeMax. At the same time, in the month of August in the US, I feel chained to these stores in an almost oppressively “game the system” way when the back-to-school insane deals with their limitations of 1 or 2 per customer force teachers to wait in parking lots like devoted fans before stores open with multiple family members up for a day of visiting every Staples in a 50-100 miles radius of their home to buy enough supplies for their fluctuating class sizes before the first day of school. ::sigh:: That having been said, I love to just wander the stapler, 3-hole punch and pencil sharpener aisles for the latest and classic models in the summer when you have time to “browse.”

  2. aggiekesler says:

    I, too, was introduced to A4 and A3 paper here. I’ve not seen A1 or A2, but I’ll bet they’re big! A3 is really neat to me…I could make a smaller version of my typical anchor chart for when I needed more wall space. 🙂

    • jaclynfre says:

      Thanks for sharing!! One of the most ironic aspects of stationary that I am hesitant to mention is that I miss the spiral bound flipcharts that I used all the time in the US but my school doesn’t provide. Which is understandable! Except that it is, in fact, owned by a paper company. Surrounding schools order these flipcharts from abroad and have them on hand. We use heavy duty, regular poster paper instead for anchor charts. 🙂

    • jaclynfre says:

      Don’t you just love that the rest of the world has found yet another way to organize life in the neatest most logical way that America opts out of for reasons all her own?

      Freezing at 0 and boiling at 100 in Celsius
      Metric system based on tens
      A1, A2, A3 paper is how many folds from the baseline paper size

      BTW, Americans, A3 paper is the one that is closest to letter size. There really isn’t any “legal” sized paper here, but A3 is a bit longer than 8 1/2 x 11 inches (so random).

      Also the notebooks all have 2 rings, rather than 3. I have to say I prefer the 3 ring for the way the paper seems to be kept tidier. But that’s probably because of the humidity in Indonesia causes all paper to curl a bit.

  3. How fun to see office supplies in a different country! This is the first time visiting your blog. What a fascinating journey you’re taking! This whole Slice of Life Challenge has introduced me to so many different people with so many interesting stories. I love it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s