27 June 2017

Why I Stripped Down Naked in a Bush (& Strangely Loved It)

You know when you really don't want to go somewhere or you really don't want to do something but you end up going anyways and having the best time? Well, that was me yesterday.
My alarm clock rang at 05:00 and that was it; I was up and ready to see what the hours ahead had in store for me; The day started with a tram ride to central Athens, a 'mandatory' stop for a loukanikopita, a sausage wrapped in filo pastry (because, when in Greece and all that). From there, my brother and I hopped onto a bus for over two hours, and then hopped off mostly on account of the morning coffee that's so essential to all Greeks (because, again when in Greece). Long story short by 1 PM we had arrived at the furtherest place from all form of modern civilisation. So much so, that there wasn't even a toilet. Oh! I forgot to mention one thing; Before the tram ride, in the morning, I got my period.

I wish that this could have been a story about how my low expectations turned out to be total misconceptions on my part. And, it could be that story, because it was that kind of day. But, it's not. this is the story about how I squatted in a bush, in the middle of nowhere, while my endometrium shed. 
 I'm extremely lucky to say that when 'that time of the month' hits, it isn't really that bad. I get the odd pang of pain here and there but nothing really worth complaining about. However, sometimes, like yesterday, I popped two Neurofen pills, to simmer down any pain rising up from my contracting uterus.

After a day out in busses- staying hydrated- and taking those ever 'mandatory' stops for coffee, I was bound to need the toilet. "Don't break the seal. Don't break the seal." I repeated to myself over and over again. Needless to say, eventually that seal needed to be broken.

Sneaking a pad and some tissues into my pocket (which luckily was rather deep) I went off to find a nice patch of nature. I think I pointed and ran towards a tree about 3 times before I decided on one to offer me whatever rather minimal cover I could get; Call it a tree, a bush or shrubbery- whatever the heck I found offered me enough privacy from the dirt road just 2 or 3 metres away. Luckily, no cars passed.

Growing up in South Africa means that from school camps and hikes I have a good dose of tick and insect knowledge. So, here I am, as low down as I can go, legs spread, partly worried about a tick finding an enticing warm and moist environment inside me or on my body and then also worried about the concoction of 'water and wine' that I expect to gush right out from me- never mind the worry of how I dispose of my pad.
Have you noticed something? I hadn't noticed it either:
I'm so busy worrying about myself. I can read a lot of i's going on in this post. This experience was such a shock from the usual ablution facilities that I'm used to. Of course, I've 'released myself' into nature before...just never whilst on my period. In the midst of self-concern it never even crossed my mind to think (for even a second) that this is 'normal' and an everyday reality for an incredible amount of absolutely remarkable women. We all have the luxury of toilets and washroom facilities. All it takes is you and a bush to change your perspective, ladies. Or, that's what it took to change mine.

The above got me thinking about something; A period is involuntary for most of us girls. It happens when it happens whether or not we like it (barring things like particular pills etc).  I understand the need to distribute thousands of condoms across university and public bathrooms, I support that cause, wholly. But, if an organisation is going to support that cause for men, they should support the cause of giving women access to sanitary towels, too, and I don't mean only in urban areas (but that would be a nod in the right direction towards equality).

I had a very small taste of how a very, very large number of women live. Although it doesn't always feel like it, sometimes we're living in bubbles completely excluded from how the majority of people live. So, here's my challenge: Next time you're on your period, with minimal toilet paper, the luxury of a sanitary towel and your pride, go find a bush and do your business- and I'm not even mentioning number '2s' here. Where do you put the sanitary towel? How do you wash your hands? Ask yourself every question (and then more) that raced through my mind yesterday. The funny thing is, it won't be the questions that people who do this everyday ask, because those people don't ask questions; Do you question when you sit on the toilet, yank down your pants, remove your sanitary towel of choice etc. I bet you don't. I know I don't. It's our routine. It's our normal. No questions asked.


At first I wrote this post saying that I wasn't sure how I could help. I only knew that I wanted to help. Well, I found a way: I will personally donate double the number of retweets (@socialspying) that my pinned tweet about this post gets in the form of pads. 1 RT = 2 pads etc.

I will find a community who really need the pads. I know it's a small initiative, but I also know that it'll make a world of a difference to women.

I'd love if you could go over to my Twitter and RT my pinned tweet (featured at the top of my profile). I'd also love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Till next time-

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  1. This is such a thought provoking post! Pads and other basic sanitation supplies are a luxury for some people, but they shouldn't be..They should be something that everyone has access to!

    Great post :-)

    1. Thanks JG!
      They should definitely be something that everyone has- no questions asked. It's very unfortunate that this isn't the case!

  2. This is such an important thing that we really need to talk about. I was shocked to find out that a percentage of girls in the UK miss school because they can't afford to pay for period products. There's a whole load of campaigns going on over here at the moment to try to put an end to it and it's amazing to see & be a part of!

    Steph - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

    1. Imagine, if this is going on in the UK, a first world and very developed country- what is going on in less developed countries!

      I'm so glad you're doing your bit to help- wherever you can!

      Thanks Steph

  3. This is such a great post. First I love how honest and funny you are and also bringing up this important issue!

    xx Pia

    1. Thanks Pia!

      That means a lot. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment!

  4. it's awesome how you make this little anecdote a great story!
    it's something that if happens to me, I wouldn't write about, but you had thinked about it very deep!

    I had thought about some facts reading your post, and now that I see, looks a bunch of random facts, but I wanted to share it (long comment!):

    -Some familiars had told me how was to have the period in time ago, when the pads didn't exist and they had to be cleaning herselfs all the day.
    -Also I know that in some asian regions, having the period is considered as a curse and they don't allow girls to stay at home and they have to live outside during that days :(
    -In Spain there are campaigns for make the pads and tampons included in the National Insurance, so for make them cheaper because we don't choose to have periods.
    -Also I think that the pads and tampons are not very ecological because they make a lot of waste, I'm thinking in buying a menstrual cup, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to use it...
    -And it's not exactly about pads, but just this morning I readed an article and I felt very impressed, it was about a mother of a 15 years old girl who suffers from several autism, that has achieved the permision of the judge to surger her daughter to remove her uterus because every time she has her period, she is in shock because the pain and all the blood (that she can't understand) and it's imposible to put her a pad or even diapers because she breaks it, and the judges didn't allow her mother to do it

    1. I welcome your long comments any time, C!

      Thank you for such interesting thoughts and facts.

      Yeah, before pads existed, I know people had to use cloths, which is far less hygienic. Girls also often die from being sent away from their home during their period which is incredibly sad and unnecessary.

      That last story about the girl with autism is extremely interesting. I think I'm going to look more into that one!

      Thanks for teaching me more, C!

  5. I love your blog because you talk about things that actually make me think. It's cool to read about the newest makeup products too, but your blog is a nice change. I also love your writing! :)


    1. That's one of the loveliest comments that I've ever received. Thanks Michele!

      I like to write about things I find important; Some people find an interest and importance in make-up. I find importance in real-life happenings!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a delightful comment!

  6. This was such a different post to the types of thing I normally read, I loved your honesty and this is such a thought provoking discussion :)

    Rosy | Sparkles of Light Blog
    My Instagram | Instagram

    1. Thanks Rosy!

      I'm glad I could offer something a bit different for you to read.

  7. When I saw the title of this post, I was intrigued. I was expecting something completely different to what you actually wrote and I loved it. It's so thought provoking and it's done in such a good way. I absolutely love your style of writing!

    -Em xo

    1. Haha, it is quite an interesting title...I agree.
      I'm glad that the post ended up surprising you by not being what you expected.

      Thank you so much for your lovely words, Em!!


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