I pick up the craziest ass things overseas. But first, a little back story:
I was traipsing through Germany, France, and Switzerland last year when Aunt Flo came to town. Early. Unexpectedly. Le sigh.
If you've ever gotten your period out of the blue when in somewhat rural Europe, surely you'll sympathize and understand why this was such a damn debacle. Even though I was staying in a five-star hotel in Basel, the front desk didn't stock tampons or pads. Nor did housekeeping. Nor did any of the female staff. Nor did any of the hotels/housekeeping/chick staff at any of the neighboring four- and five-star hotels. So much for hospitality.
I had my one emergency tampon that's forever and always stashed in the side of my suitcase, so that meant I had five, maybe six hours tops to find more supplies. So on a tampon hunt I went.
I crossed over into Germany from Switzerland (a 15-minute journey) and ran through Rhein like a bat out of fucking hell, to no avail. (Kind of. I picked up something, which I'll tell you below. Not exactly what I needed, but close.) It was Sunday. 5 p.m. And time was ticking.
I went back into Switzerland, and directly over into France. (Took me about 20 minutes to get there.) Everyone was eating baguettes and foie gras and shit, but nobody sold tampons, so back to Basel I went. Empty-handed and almost full-twatted (as you can imagine), it was now 6:15 p.m. I was quickly running out of tampon-time.
Back to Switzerland I go. Lucky for me, I randomly ran into a nice old lady who was kind enough to tell me the only place I could find tampons on a Sunday night was inside of Hauptbahnhof -- Zurich's main train station. A whole hour away. Who wants to continue this wild goose tampon chase into Zurich? Then again, what choice did I have? I hopped on the train.
Now here's where it gets tricky: The train arrived into Zurich at 7:52, so I had EIGHT minutes to find the correct kiosk and buy out the stock, because everything in there shuts down on Sunday at 8. Good thing Swiss trains run like Swiss clocks, because I ran and dipped and ducked and dodged through there, and finally found the (not-so) convenience store at 7:56. (Usain doesn't have shit on a woman with a mission.)
They had Tampax! And Always! And Carefree! I clotheslined the ENTIRE rack, dumped everything on the counter to be bagged up, threw some euros at the Euro guy and hot-footed it back to the tracks in time for the 8 p.m. Basel-bound train!
Lesson learned? Aunt Flo is disrespectful as fuck and she will piss (bleed?) your whole Sunday away if you let her. Always be prepared!
But I digress. While in Germany, I picked up Saforelle Florgynal Buffer Probiotique Tampons as a back up, just in case I couldn't find any of my old faithfuls. Not only do they plug you all the way up, they're also coated with probiotics that actually discourage the overgrowth of bacteria and yeast, helping restore balance to your highly volatile vagina. If you regularly fight that menstrual yeast beast, drop kick those burning gloopy creams to the curb. Two for the price of one will always win with me!
Disclaimer: They're pretty hard to track down in the States, but I've seen them in pharmacies all over France. However, you can purchase them online here; fingers crossed they ship to America at a reasonable price!
Need a tampon? Ask India-Jewel for one over on Twitter at @IndiaJewelJax. She still has plenty leftover from this extraordinary ordeal.