The first time I ever had cramps of death, I was in a car with my family on the way to Thanksgiving at my grandma’s house. It was a five-hour drive, and before we even reached the halfway point, I’d had my parents stop three times because I wasn’t sure if I needed to vomit, shit, or just plain pass out facedown in a thruway bathroom stall. that drive rates as one of the worst physical experiences of my life, right up there with breaking both my wrists and the Fateful Rochester Phish show of Doom. So you can imagine my delight when I felt similar stirrings en route to the airport in Zihuatenajo, staring down the barrel of 12 hours of airline travel.
Katsumi and I had been out until 3am the previous night downing shot after shot of tequila with a friendly German we met in a bar, and our hangovers were tremendous. His left him incapacitated in bed until 90 minutes before our flight. For my part, I’d spent the first lef of air travel staring out the window of the plane and praying for a swift death. I was in massive amounts of pain: in my stomach, in my girly parts, and in my head, which felt like it had been racheted apart by a rusty screwdriver. Making matters worse, I’d packed my tampons in the luggage, leaving me with no protection from the feminine flow.
So now that you understand our mental states, let me acquaint you with our setting at the time of this fair tale. Mexico City International Aeropuerto is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Its terminals are lined with phonebooth-sized shops selling everything from silver pendants to tamarind candies, with a sizeable chunk of Gucci sunglasses racked prettily in the duty-free stores. There are also no signs telling passengers how to get anywhere. The terminals are laid out in such a way that if you walk far enough in one direction, you’ll probably find what you’re looking for, although the finding may take you three or four hours and is interrupted midstream by the sprawling behemoth of Immigration and Customs. We walked the length of the airport, twice, searching for our gate. By the time we found out where we were supposed to be, we were 20 minutes shy of our boarding call and I desperately needed three things: food, a stiff drink, and a motherfucking tampon. Because really, the only thing that sucks more than flying away from beachfront four-star hotel room with 85-degree sunny weather back to a 30-degree climate and a completely trashed apartment is doing so with a hangover and cramps. And the only thing worse than that is going through all those motions while bleeding profusely from your vagina.
I threw Katsu at the nearest bar with instructions to order some food and get me some vodka while I searched the airport for tampons. The first tienda was crowded with businessmen, and while at first I was embarassed about my purchase request, the cashier’s poor grasp of english forced me to use hand gestures and broken spanish to get across the point that I HAVE MY PERIOD Y YO NECISITO UN TAMPON. Finally understanding, she shook her head “no”, and directed me to a pharmacy near gate 25. Gate 25 being a solid quarter-mile from where I stood. I’d like to point out that this particular store sold Dramamine, kleenex, advil, and, most importantly, CONDOMS, so the glaring omission of the one thing that every female between the ages of 12 and 55 unquestionably needs struck me as supremely unfair.
I half-jogged, half-limped my way to gate 25, and with no pharmacy in sight, I stopped in another store that looked promising and dispensed with all formality. Butting ahead of a five-person line, deranged with pain and frustration, what I meant to be a polite question came out as a mangled scream:
TIENES LOS TAMPONS AQUI? SI O NO?
And that fucking whorebeast from hell had the nerve to not only tell me that no, no tenemos tampons aqui, but also that la farmacia esta cerrado, and no hay tampon dispensors en los banos, either.
Everything went blank. I think I might have said something like “just fucking fantastic, fucking mexico fucking city can go straight to hell, the facist pigs, and why don’t you go ahead and LICK ME, YOU FUCKING PUTA” but I really can’t be sure. Next thing I knew, I was back in the airport bar, crying my eyes out, screaming about tampons and sexism in front of our waiter, who promptly brought me a doubleshot Absolut and grapefruit while I plotted how to steal all their napkins for the 4-hour flight to Miami.
Hence the title of this post, Mexico City Airport Can Seriously Go Suck a Fat One. Which it can. For real.