Tilting at Windmills

So, Thursday then.

Sorry for skipping a post guys but on Thursday I was called and expressly offered the chance to go and eat Ramen.

I cannot refuse Ramen. It is physically impossible for me to do so. In any situation, even if I have just eaten if somebody were to offer me Ramen I would not be able to say no. It’s not even that Ramen is so fantastically nice that I must eat it at every chance. No, there is no explanation for it but I am slightly addicted to Ramen.

God bless you soupy noodles.

But enough of Ramen, let us speak of Don Quixote.

Don Quixote was a Spanish knight and the subject of what may be the first ever “novel”. He was certainly the subject of the first ever metafiction (unless you count Chaucer which I don’t). He was the intended subject of a Terry Gilliam film that had to be abandoned due to bad luck of an almost biblical nature (more can be found in the excellent and award winning documentary lost in la mancha). He had a sidekick and a horse and fought windmills he believed to be giants, hence the phrase “tilting at windmills”.

However more pertinent to this post Don Quixote is a shop in Japan advertised by a penguin.

Japanese department stores are wonderful places. The old school multi-storey department stores of Harrods or Macy’s fame never died out in Japan like they did in the West. Venturing into Tokyu Hands or Loft is like venturing into an Aladdin’s cave of wonder, cute things and, curiously, lots of stickers. Everything under the sun is found within these shops and wandering through them is like dancing through some magic shopping kingdom.

Don Quixote is a Japanese department store. However walking through it is more akin to daytripping through the flashback memory of an acid fiend OD-ing on gods own imagination gland, with mushrooms.

This place is, to quote my many American friends, “messed up.”

I will do my best but Don Quixote can never really be described. Like the Matrix no one can tell you what Don Quixote is, one must experience it.

Basically it is a haphazard accumulation of anything tasteless, rubbish, stupendously useless but cool, stupendously useless but rendered cooler by some needless addition. It is a mad fever dream of colours, shapes and sounds that only some mad genius would ever combine together. And I mean this with the utmost affection and respect but it would be my Uncle Lee’s favourite place on the planet.

But much more simply Don Quixote is a department store full of very odd things and arranged in a really haphazard manner. There is almost no floor space because of the sheer weight of stuff that is there. Everywhere you look there is yet more stuff. It is an assault on the senses to match an Iron Maiden gig. It is great.

I had forgotten how great it was until I had to go there to buy a mask for air-soft. On the recommendation of my friend Brindley I wandered around the third floor, past bike helmets, furniture, tools, toys, costumes, computer consoles and games, phones watches, sunglasses, headphones, electronic items ranging from entertainment systems to kitchen systems AND a toilet. Just as I had given up hope I finally located the tiny tucked away replica gun section and next to it safety masks for airsoft. I turned around when I heard two teenagers giggling and discovered that behind me was an “adult” section full of the most hilarious sex toys. I will spare you the gory details on this family blog but next time you get me in private boy do I have some stories.

My personal favourite example of the haphazard organisation was on the 4th floor. I was looking at CD’s (with a surprisingly good English selection) and suddenly I was in porn. Not a little porn section or even a discrete one but a full blown in your face porn shop. Next to the CD’s. Right next to the CD’s. And on the other side of it….DISNEY TOYS!

Japan really, really worries me sometimes.

Anyway, I have done my best to explain Don Quixote but I feel the best I can do is to give you a brief snippet of some of the brilliant things that dwell within.

I know sniffing solvents can do bad things to you but I didn’t realise that was a selling point.

The picture didn’t come out so well but this is a portable breathalyser. You can take it to a bar and use it on yourself to see if you’re fit to drive. Or if you’re me buy it for shits and giggles and plan to take it to a party to create a whole new kind of drinking game. “Hey guys, who is officially the most plastered here!”

This is indeed a fruity lunch box.

I’m as clueless as you are.

This is from a fairly popular new-ish anime which seems to be mostly about the villains. What I love about this costume though is the difference between the skinny leggy blonde on the image and the dumpy model wearing the costume. Let’s just say they know their target audience.

Ladies and Gentlemen, fashion wigs.
I am sooooooooooo tempted to buy one and go to some party with girl’s hair.
Fran would freak.

Of all the scary replica gun names, the desert eagle, the colt, the falcon or even the non-specific ones like MP5 they had to go for Centimeter? Ooh be careful of my centimetre, fear my mighty metric system!

Nightmare fuel.

These would be the “hug hug animals”. Uh huh, that looks to be a wee bit closer than hugging to me.

Hard Gay costume.

Now YOU can recreate that one scene from Borat.

“Karaoke-on-a-rope: sing in the shower” soap shaped like a microphone. Odd but nothing compared to the next one.

“Hope-on-a-rope: Wash away your sins”. What more can I add to that, really.

Aaaagh, aaaagh, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!!!

Man I could go for some hot sand right about now. That would really hit the spot.


Ooh, even classier; fake tigers to decorate your swinging bachelor pad. You could get a whole big cat set.

Nobody I have shown this to has any idea whatsoever what this is meant to do.

This is more awesome than funny. These are basically giant boots filled with charcoal and some chemical. You shake them and this starts a chemical reaction that sets the boots to heat up. Then you put them on your feet and soon your feet are toasty and warm. I have a less goofy hand warming version. And arse warming if you’re like me and forget you put it in your back pocket until hours later your arse is unexpectedly burning hot.

I know Spam keeps for about 60 years but I still think having a huge display of 2 year old spam (the anniversary was in 2006) is not the best way to shift it.

Japanese people LOVE spam by the way. Even more so than Hawaiians.

AT LAST; a cure for the common hoody.

Less successful than last years babe magnet.

A really annoying tactic in Tekken.

Yeah, sod condoms! I’m keeping it super real man.

These are, honestly, cookies that promise to increase your breast size. Whilst Japanese girls are gorgeous they are typically somewhat lacking in the bosom department (not an issue for my missus) so I understand the appeal but c’mon. Who is really that naïve?

My friend Jay was given a box of these as a joke. He is scared to eat them.

Yummy dried squid carcasses! With tiny pots of mayonnaise (un-refrigerated) inside.

FINALLY! Someone has got around to fusing the two greatest drinks in life.
They also had Newcastle Brown Ale (does happy dance) and something called Nude Beer that had a naked lady on the front. I didn’t take a photo of it though because some girl was staring at me.

Rufus Griffin in “Black! To the future.” I know this was already a Family Guy joke but to see it made into an actual drink is too, too funny.

“Crispy shrimp snack coated with mild chocolate!! Enjoy the perfect match of shrimp and chocolate”
In what circle of hell is that a perfect match.

A pretty popular snack food in Japan actually. And the states too apparently.

She deserves it.

That there is some classy boxers.

The final thing that must be said about Don Quixote is that it has the most annoying shopping music I have ever experienced.

A shrill pop muppet sings over and over again a short verse in English then Japanese and then a chorus guaranteed to burn into your brain and actually tarnish better songs you have already heard.

It goes

Don, don, don, do-onkey, donkey ho-oh-tay


  1. Fran said:

    …a few things:Please refrain from Fran-bosom related comments. Oh, and that frog on the t-shirt is an anime/manga, the image on the t-shirt is alive and can do things for that boy who wears it. It’s not quite on a level of popularity with Doraemon etc, but I saw it a lot on TV in Japan. And I FORBID you from ever wearing a girl’s wig.Certainly not in public anyway. Baka. x


  2. Adam said:

    It’s an anime!? Wow. i honestly have neve seen anything pertaining to this before or since. Plenty of frog stuff (especially Sgt Frog who is AWESOME) but nothing like this before.I am now even more tempted to wear a woman’s wig in public.Also I notice you didn’t object to “my missus” this time.


  3. Anime it is, unless it was a dream of mine. Oh, and I believe the latter subject has closed since your observation =D Silly me. xxx


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