Okay, this has been going on for 6 months straight now. Now it’s time to talk about it.
*Kind warning: this content is dealing with a highly feminine subject. I’m not saying you shouldn’t read it if you are a male; just FYI. You are more than welcome to read & comment.
As a young and healthy female, I have a fairly regular cycle every month. My periodic table is accurate, if I may say it like this. Yes, I’m talking about the menstrual cycle. Sometimes it’s off when I’m overly tired or sick, but it has been on schedule most of the time; fourth week of the month, always. Why am I brining it up now, you may ask? You see, I had troubles for the last six months continuously and I want to share the frustration with my female readers. I’m not complaining about the fact that I’m a female; I’m talking about how inconvenient it is when it happens at an inconvenient time.
Many of us female travelers need to think about one more thing than men when we are traveling; one more thing to pack. But that’s not an issue; it’s just one small bag. And we embrace the fact; there’s no negotiation for that. Also, this isn’t the critical condition to avoid when I’m planning the trip. It’s inconvenient for sure, but it’s not like ‘avoid driving on holiday weekend’ type of issue. Since I don’t have a big side effect from it, thankfully, I don’t really seriously consider it as a big deal.
However, I’m truly amazed by the coincidental accident for the last six months during the time I’ve been traveling in Asia. On December 6 of 2011, I left Korea for Hong Kong to start touring Asia. For last six months, periodically, my critical week of the month always landed on my big travel day. No kidding. Every single time. I’m not talking about the starting or the ending of the period: I’m talking about the day of the climax. The time when you don’t want to leave your bed. (You know what I’m talking about.)
Especially because I was traveling in the rural areas of Asia, I had a hard time controlling the difficulties. For example, when I was traveling in southern China where minority nationality people live. Their toilet is usually a pit hole in the mountain with no running water and no door that everyone in the village uses. No, not an ideal condition to take care of the lady business. Oh and there’s no tampons sold in those countries that I’ve been for the last six months.
December, 2011: Christmas day in Hong Kong. I spent Christmas day in Hong Kong. What a beautiful place to spend a holiday. The question was, what to do? Stephen’s friend invited us to go camping in the mountain region on Christmas day. Camping on Christmas day, I liked the idea but I had to decline the offer right before the trip because of the obvious reason: I was in that time of the month and it wouldn’t be pretty.
January, 2012: Guilin to Kunming, China. I was on the train from Guilin (Guangxi Province) to Kunming (Yunnan Province) that took 18 hours. Train rides in China ain’t pretty. Sometime in the middle of the trip, oh my god the smell, I can’t even describe it. It was the result of numerous smokers and open-door urination. Technically there was a toilet, but the whole train was a toilet for a lot of people.
February, 2012: Luang Namtha to Luang Prabang, Laos. I was on the bus from Luang Namtha to Luang Prabang, that took 10 hours on the mountain road. Peeing on the side of the road in the mountain wasn’t so much of a pleasure. Though there was no running water, it was cleaner than the Chinese toilets I’ve been to. But still, I was in Laos.
March, 2012: Lijiang to Chengdu, China. Unfortunately, it was one of the longest extended trips in China. Departed from Lijiang, Yunnan Province in the early morning and arrived in Panzhihua, Sichuan Province in the afternoon. Then took an overnight train to Chengdu for 11 hours. That was not the end; it took one and a half hours to get to my friend Tom’s house from Chengdu train station. I’m having a cramp just thinking about that day.
April, 2012: Nanning, China to Halong City, Vietnam. The day of the border crossing happened to be the hardest day of the week of my period. Thankfully the bus ride didn’t take that long like other extended trips, but it took a good 10 hours from Nanning, China to Halong City, Vietnam.
May, 2012: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Washington D.C., USA. The ending of my tour Asia hit me big time. The 27 hours of flight that required frequent trips to the toilet was certainly not convenient. I prefer to have a window sit, because of the obvious reason, so I had to jump over two people next to me to go to the toilet.
Can you believe this? Did it ever happen to you? Since I flew into Washington D.C. just last week, I have three more weeks of the window without any trouble. I don’t have any specific ‘big’ travel plan for the end of the month yet, but if it lands on a crucial day again, I really need to think what I did wrong to be punished like this. Still, it won’t stop me from moving around, but it will be interesting to see what happens in the future. Good lord.
I apologize for the overly intimate sharing via this post, and please do share your frustrating experiences if you have had any! (and I’m sure you have.)