OK, boys, you can stop reading this post right now if you are squeamish about girl stuff.
First off, I need to say that I’m usually a tough chick. I arrived here in San Pedro La Laguna in the middle of a drenching rain; it had been raining on me for two days. The road was completely washed out in one section, and I bumped and jostled my way up an impossible hillside over landslide surfaces, without dropping the bike or falling into one of the woman-eating gullies full of rocks and rainwater rushing against my path of travel.
About in the middle of all of this my body decides it’s time for this month’s round of feminine issues. Great. Whatever. Nothing I can do about this now, but when I get settled, I clean up the mess, and go in search of feminine goods. Oh, they have them alright. Kotex. Name Brand no less. But Pads. I don’t want pads, I want tampons. Of course I do not know the Spanish name for tampons, because my last feminine issues were in Texas. I do not have and tampons left. I try describing, to the 14 year old boy running the first store I go to, what I am looking for. He doesn’t get it. OK, so I go to a store run by a woman. Nope, Kotex. Pads. Next store, Nope. Kotex. Pads. I ask the nice grandmother that runs the hotel I’m staying in, surely SHE will know of such things. Nope, no Tampons (“tubos”). No tubos in this town she tells me. Uh oh.
I don’t believe her, so I sneak out and search out yet another store, run by a woman. Nope, more Kotex Pads. She also tells me there are no tubos in this town. At this point I am nearly hysterical. I am completely demoralized because now TWO DAYS have passed by, and I am telling practically everyone that will listen that I am looking for a damn tampon…no, I’m not really that much of a princess, but for 30+ years I have used tampons, and I am just not USED to this feeling of leaking all the time.
I’m a walking medical waste hazard, and I just don’t know how non-tampon users do it. I mean, gravity helps keep everything in it’s place during the daytime, but at night? Oofa. I was up and down all night. And not a dang thing I could do about it!
Well, thanks to my new extensive feminine issue social network here (thanks to the fact that I am willing to tell everyone how desperate I am for a tampon), the mother of the family I am staying with has sent her daughter out to all the pharmacies to inquire. Ah. Pharmacies. Never occurred to me.
Voila’! The daughter takes me for a walk across town…..and……Tampons! I buy BOTH boxes they have. Very expensive ones at that, but I do not care. I am now tampon rich. But wait, a lady I met two days ago was traveling across the lake and I forgot I had asked her to look for them for me when she went to Panajachel and voila! Another box of tampons! Life is good!
At the internet cafe where I sit typing this I overhear the extremely crass English girl at the next table say to her friend she has to get some tampons. I smile. Good luck girlie!