Traveling Light, and Don Quixote is NOT overrated!

When went to Tokyo last January, I  was heartbroken to discover that I couldn’t buy souvenirs or magazines or even snacks for the plane due to having *zero* room left in my bags. It doesn’t help that one of my main pieces of luggage is actually a Matt and Nat bag that was advertised as a laptop case but is so ungodly huge and looks so comically inappropriate for work that it is near useless to me, despite being vegan and gorgeous. Too  bulky for work, too small for an overseas carry on.  It’s my own fault for not being able to visualize proportion online.

I could have checked a third bag and eaten the fee, I suppose, but I am one of those people who doesn’t consider her budget until some mundane charge appears to ruin my day—so, this time, I decided that I’d avoid the luggage  crush altogether and be prepared.

I had a list of things I wanted to buy while overseas in addition to clothes—vitamin B drinks,  skin cleansers and moisturizers from Lush japan, Acrylic nails, Daiso lashes, socks, hair cologne, Tins nailpolish, and boots from Randa—so I packed my important documents, some food to last the 14 hour flight (I had guessed, correctly, that American Airlines wouldn’t have a veggie meal… once again!!!), a few Japanese cheat sheets, deodorant, mineral foundation, one dress, one skirt, and one lovely turquoise shirt. That’s it. Along with what I already had on and a few pieces of underwear, those few items had to get me through 9 days in Tokyo. I spread everything out in three bags so it wouldn’t look like I was bringing empty duffle bags into Japan for some nefarious purpose.

By the time I’d actually landed in Japan, I was starting to doubt the wisdom of traveling light. Would a portion of my vacation each day have to be dedicated to running errands and picking up tights and pimple cream or something stupid like that? My very first stop after checking into my hotel was Don Quixote , the discount chain megasuperduper store in the heart of Kabukicho. Essentials? I blew 25% of my budget in that place. The promised land!! The place where dreams come true!  If I did nothing else but hang out in Donki all day and night, I’d still say that my trip was well worth taking.  I got almost all of my toiletries, more than one set of deliciously cheap and tacky underwear, lots of snacks and drinks,  adorable nail stones and stickers, gachapin headphones, an ipod charger, a stress ball shaped like a human breast for my dad, zebra print stockings, and the best straightening iron I’ve ever owned. Check out my haul here:

Nail jewels, hair wax, tea, and a fake boob. To name a few.

All this, plus a never ending stream of host boy eye candy, especially in the early morning hours.

Fun trinkets aside..what became of me during the week? Did I waste a ton of money replacing what I had at home and had to buy things I wasn’t in love with just to have clean things to wear? Not quite. I had a few moments when I cursed my own stupidity, like when I ended up near tears buying men’s sneakers at ABC mart in Shibuya because I never realized that women’s shoes don’t go up to an american 8 1/2 and I couldn’t wear heels for one. more. second. ,but overall it ended up being a fairly good decision for me.  If you know you’ll be doing some heavy shopping, have some idea of what high street clothing costs in Tokyo,  and don’t mind rolling the dice a bit, try it yourself. Just make sure you bring  your own deodorant, because the urban legend is that Japanese deodorants can’t combat our fetid putrescence.

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