I had looked again and again in the ‘Female Sanitary Needs’ aisle, and all I could see was row upon row of panty liners and maxi-pads. I grabbed some of those and continued to furtively look for the tampons. There just. Weren’t. Any. No Tampax (not my favourite brand) or Playtex (preferred) – not even the dreaded, applicator-less O.B.
There was a girl shuffling about and doing a stock-take or something, so I asked her where the tampons are.
“Mungkin you boleh tanya staff?” she said in a bored tone of voice, motioning limply to a Giant staffmember who was loitering around the corner, checking her fingernails for dirt. It turns out the girl I’d asked wasn’t an employee of Giant, but a SUPPLIER as it boldly stated on her I.D. tag (that I’d stupidly not seen).
“Oh, ok. Sorry,” I replied and walked up to the girl who was picking at her nails.
I was standing right next to her and she didn’t even look up. “Excuse me,” I began. She started as if I had snuck up on her, then just stared at me like a deer caught in the headlights.
“Um, can you tell me where the tampons are?”
“Tampon…?” she asked, as though I’d asked her for some made-up product.
“Um, yeah…” I gestured to the pads. “You know, for when you have your period…?”
“Er… wait ah,” she said and ran off. She returned with what I assumed was a senior staff member, a short, plump girl in a headscarf.
“Yes?” asked the latter.
“Um, kat sini ada tampon tak?” I asked in my horrible Malay.
She responded in an identical way to her predecessor: “Tampon…?”
By this stage I was really not in the mood to explain it in too many words to two women who surely must know what a bloody tampon is (pardon the terrible pun).
“Tampon. You know, bila ada period, you masuk benda tu kat dalam.”
“Um, benda yang macam peluru tu,” I said, recalling a comment a friend had made once about tampons (if you’re reading this feel free to take the credit for the bullet comparison!).
Finally Fingernails Girl decided to put an end to our misery and said, “Mungkin you boleh check kat Guardian Pharmacy?”
I smiled and thanked them and went on my way. I had already checked Guardian out and no, they didn’t have any either. But meh, I wasn’t gonna waste my time explaining it to these puzzled girls. I’ll find some if I go to Bangsar or something, surely.