Just this recent summer, I met up with a childhood friend who has returned to Canada. With her mom, she came and settled in the GTA to complete her high school education and hopefully pursue higher-education upon graduation. I spent several weekends with her, helping her get acquainted with her surroundings and to my surprize, she’s doing quite well. Her aptitude in English is superb, so communication here is not an issue for her. Plus, let’s face it – if you live in the GTA, you could probably get by without knowing English, Cantonese or Mandarin would do fine. She even told me that based on school statistics, 95% of her school is Asian and 80% of those are Chinese, accounting for very little language-barrier while at school, other than the need to listen and communicate in English for lessons and class.
But anyways, onto the main point of the story is that for newcomers from Hong Kong or other parts of Asia, it’s a shocker to have to deal with completely different feminine hygiene options. You may think, “Holy, such a big deal over having to buy local pads and tampons?” – but it really is, because feminine hygiene options are integral to peace-of-mind and well-being for most women on a monthly basis. Although I have known this friend for a long time, she had moved back to Hong Kong for many years, therefore, we have not had the close-contact that most of my girls do. With that in mind, she also was unaware of my openness towards menstruation and shopping for feminine hygiene. After breaking the ice a few times of hanging out, we went shopping and I could tell she was keenly checking out the pad/tampon aisle out the corner of her eyes while we were picking up shampoo. It was a whole new world for her – with brands unknown to her or even for recognizable brands, the types, lengths, terminology – and how they work was all different. However, with a male presence, she dare not wander into the aisle. I casually mentioned, “Hey, let’s go down each aisle and we buy what you need” as I tried to encourage her to get products that were useful, regardless of what they were. She eyed the aisle at the end so I took charge and led the way, showing that I was totally ok with her shopping for pads and tampons. I casually wandered off to the side, as I think for a girl who doesn’t know me very well didn’t want me to look over her shoulder as she browsed. I didn’t want to express discomfort though, as I’m sure we all know I lack discomfort towards menstruation (lol) – but more out of respect for her comfort instead.
After a while, she wandered over to me and shyly said, “thank you” – it was cute and she’s a really nice girl. We’ve known each other for so long, but we rarely get to connect because of distance and because the age gap is rather large – 10 years to be exact. However, her hands and basket were empty because she didn’t know what the right things were to use. She asked me if there was anywhere she could buy pads found in Hong Kong and other than T&T (which has limited of choices available at outrageous prices like $10+) and a place in Mississauga, I didn’t have that many other options for her (and we were all the way out in Markham). I do know with the Asian population in the GTA and with so many Asian marts, there are bound to be places that sell them, but where can we find a place where stocking up won’t break the bank? She’s here as a student, so in the form of income, there’s no much… so she’s very good when it comes to spending wisely. We shopped around the area, looking for places that had pads from Asia to begin with, let alone good prices.
Finally, we fell upon a place called “Foody” – a well known (apparently) Chinese supermarket with an assortment of foods and household items, but also, sanitary pads from Asia! I’m not affiliated with Foody in any way, other than a happy customer for providing us with what we wanted at reasonable prices. The supermarket is located at:
豐泰超市Hwy 7 分店 (Foodymart Hwy 7 Branch)
5221 Hwy 7, Markham ON
Hwy 7 夾 McCowan 西南角 (Intersection of Hwy 7 and McCowan Southwest corner)
電話：905-305-9866 (Telephone Number)
I suppose when this “street view” shot was taken, that it wasn’t even built yet. However, it’s in the plaza across from Marksville Mall. Speaking of being in Markham lately, I really miss my ex… after a bit of a scheduling mishap, she’s gotten really pissed off at me (pissed off enough where she didn’t even reply to my birthday wishes to her) and it’s sad. I didn’t hold on to her in hopes I’d be able to win her back one day, but she was a really nice friend to have. I guess perhaps with some time and fate, we may cross-paths again later on in life – because we all know, the world is small. From what I heard, there’s never a “low-traffic” time at Foody, it’s ALWAYS busy… day or night, weekday or weekend. When I was at the parking lot there, it took me 10 minutes to find a spot and it was at like the farthest corner of the parking lot ever.
If you’re new to Canada, live in the GTA area and want to find napkins that you use “back at home” – you can probably find them here. I have to remind you that with any imported item, you can expect a higher cost (especially as compared to buying them local back at home), but it is at least within REASON.
You can get a variety of Laurier Night-Use pads for $7.99, ranging from 12-20 pieces each.
Sofy Body Fit for $4.99 which were completely sold out.
Whisper Day-Use pads for $5.99 for 22 + 2 (24 total) pieces.
Center-IN 25cm Day-Use pads for $7.99 double-packs of 20ea (40 total).
And of course local pads ranging from $3.99 to $5.99 by Always.
You can also get imported Stayfree and Kotex, as you can see, they’re very different than Canadian packaging for these pads but unfortunately the bright lighting caused the price tag to be unreadable and I couldn’t remember how much they were (and consequently, everything along the top shelf). There is also a 400-size (40cm) Elis Night-Use pad which sounds like it can absorb an entire period worth of flow!
Center-IN 21cm Day-Use pads for $7.99 double-packs of 28ea (56 total).
Center-IN 30cm Night-Use pads for $4.99 double-packs of 11ea (22 total).
Laurier Day-Use maxi pads for $4.99 for 32 (64 total) pieces.
You can click on the pictures for a larger view, but as it was taken with phone camera the resolution is not the best. Anyways, if you’ve been searching for a reasonably priced and assortment of Asian and non-Asian sanitary napkins, you can find them here! I’m sure once one of my girls come back from her trip, we’ll be hitting this place up to run some tests on them. For sure I already eyed a few that I know won’t let us down. Maybe if this recently-arrived friend of mine ever shows enough comfort, I’ll see how open she is about this! If you know of any more places, feel free to let me know! Better yet, if you have an online resource willing to sell to Canada and ship here at reasonable prices, DEFINITELY let me know! 🙂
Of course if this friend was close enough to me, I’d probably tease her that this would’ve never been a problem if she used a menstrual cup or cloth-pads, but I doubt I could pull saying that without making her feel all weird, lol… in time, in time 😆
So today I snuck down to SaSa, a cosmetics and Japanese-import store to purchase Unicharm’s Sofy: Soft Bodyfit Super Night Guard 29cm Sanitary Napkin. You may wonder why I said “sneak” and it’s mostly because SaSa is right underneath the building where I live, making it quite a dangerous venture for running into family… LOL, how can I even explain why I’m buying pads right? It’s not like bebe is here with me where at least I have a reasonable excuse 😆 Oddly enough, I just noticed that the package I got has only 11 pieces while the site says 14… oh well.
I don’t understand Japanese, so I had no idea what everything on the package really says. Hell, I can’t even read the pad instructions on how to use and stuff, so it was all a guessing-game. I was quite surprized that a pad designed for overnight use didn’t have wings, but it wasn’t until later on when I noticed the amazing absorbency that it made sense why it didn’t need wings for it to be effective (or at least the regular side-wings). This pack as HKD$21 or about $2.75CAD. Since these are imported from Japan, I can understand the slightly higher cost for a HK-made equivalent.
From the look of the pad as described on the outside of the package, I had thought it was going to be quite puffy and thick, but that was not the case. I will seriously have to hand it to Sofy, this pad has a right to say it’s a soft body fit because it really is amazingly comfortable – soft against the skin and flexible enough to conform with body contours. At first I was worried it might be flimsy because of the “feel’ of it, but I was proven wrong by excellent pad-technology. The pad for a mere 29cm and slim profile can hold quite the large amount of fluid without carrying the Kotex 41cm sized pad. The coverage area is less, so this pad would be excellent for even day-use for heavy flow-ers, without bulk and excessive length. It feels heavenly against skin and is not abrasive or so soft where it causes irritation or itching.
The pack wrapper is very silent, using cloth-like material where it minimizes pad-opening noise. The material is light enough where the imprinted Sofy branding shows through the wrapper via the wrapper-attached adhesive. The pad is extremely light to hold and more impressive is that the pad wrapper ITSELF feels very comfortable, let alone the pad. Even though Canadian Kotex uses the same idea with the cloth-type wrapper, it is still fairly rough to rub against, but the Sofy wrapper is so soft you could sleep on it! I was a bit intimidated by the thickness of it (as much as I love thick pads), but isn’t show very well because I didn’t take a side-profile shot of it. The sticky tab is labeled with the model length of the pad (290) and can be used to reseal the used pad for disposal.
Unlike what I’m used to seeing, this pad does not have side-wings, but still retain its rear-wings. I’ve never actually seen this design before because it’s usually an all-or-nothing situation, has wings or does not – rather than keeping the rear wings. To be honest, I am starting to think this is ingenious, because side wings can often chafe against the side of the legs and this can be avoided by using rear wings, since they fold towards the rear-crotch of the underwear, thereby reducing regular contact against the inner thighs. Also, I have found these rear wings hold just as -if not better to secure the pad to underwear. Also, rear wings definitely help with sitting as it still provides a comfortable “landing” for the butt and an excellent cushion for the pad pushing up against skin. I did find however that without side wings, there was a small scenario of leakage towards the side where wings normally would be – although I’m not sure if even the side wings would have really prevented that.
The raised core while looking lumpy is actually extremely comfortable… think about sitting on a fluffy pillow, it is so beautiful! The pad stays close enough to the body to absorb flow quickly, while giving plenty of breathing space and comfort. The well-spaced holes on the pad also help lock in and distribute flow quickly, avoiding that damp and uncomfortable feeling of flow “pooling” at the top layer. This is one of the few pads I’ve ever tested where squeezing of legs together and lots of sitting/standing hasn’t caused rapid bunching and flow “coming back up” (yes yes, gross), because most pads are quite prone to leakage under those conditions. Even when the pad is quite saturated, it keeps its form and has not disappointed me yet under testing. The side channels are definitely able to keep flow in the middle of the pad! As flow begins to accumulate and pushes the side channels absorbency to the limit, it pushes begins to distribute the flow towards the rear of the pad.
You might notice an adhesive that’s just hanging from the left side of the above picture, it actually is a release for the rear wings and detaches from the sticky part of the pad as you open the wrapper, therefore eliminating the need to hold garbage other than the entire wrapper as a whole. Kotex White and other pads have wing tabs where you need to dispose of separate and “comes apart”, creating extra garbage you have to manage and manipulate. This wrapper design allows for a single movement opening and then disposal with little management of the resulting garbage. The only downside about the smoothness of the pad wrapper is that after you roll the pad up in the usual “egg roll” form, the old pad might actually slide out completely from the edges if the stickiness of the pad is gone. Obviously this is not exactly appealing if you are not a fan of menstrual fluid all over your hands. 😀 I even rolled it up extra tight, but because of the material, it wasn’t rough enough to prevent the old pad from shifting from side-to-side in the wrapper.
For a non-winged NIGHT USE pad, I’m quite impressed. I had high hopes for Sofy pads and they sure as hell didn’t disappoint me. The price point is definitely higher, but the quality and length-of-use is great. The fact a 29cm length pad is putting up a good fight against a thicker, 41cm pad just makes my jaw drop. The packaging for all the pads and individual pads are quite cute and the colouring scheme suits my taste 😛 I think in a purse or pocket however the pad might be a bit revealing because it can be quite thick due to the way it is folded on top of itself. Also because the material tends to be soft and thus susceptible to being puffy, it might come off as being larger than it really is when fully extended.
I love Sofy pads and plus, they have great commercials with cute girls 😆
Yesterday, Sunday… was a very gloomy day in my city and across a good portion of the province. My cousin had arranged to come in to visit me because she wanted to get out of the big city (funny enough, we’re not a small city either.. just smaller). We wanted to go to the beach, check out the observation tower, maybe play mini-golf and she wanted me to take her shooting (which I should mention, she was awkwardly excited about…). The weather was bad and we knew it ahead of time, but thought that we’d go anyways since we could do indoor shooting instead of outdoors. The night before, she called me telling me she really wanted to reschedule since she wanted to have good enough weather to really enjoy the outdoors. Of course, it wasn’t unexpected, lol, all my cousins never seem to be able to do proper planning and time-management – hahaha.. something about my mom’s side of the family that lacks the ability to be punctual and keep plans. But anyways, although I pretty much “knew” this was going to happen, it was still slightly disappointing. A little bit of history is that pretty much every time I see her, sometimes wrong with her computer and we never see each other on a more “regular” basis. Likewise, I used to complain that every time our family went to Hong Kong was when someone died and that’s just a crappy reason to go to places… so I’ve endeavoured now to go on my vacations regularly and under more positive circumstances.
With that said, I’m kind of glad she didn’t come in because I got time to spend with my bebe instead! I was a very happy man yesterday and even today, I feel high – but not drug-induced high, but an emotionally-induced high. I should mention that to the person who cut me off while I was driving home: you sir, are one lucky bastard. If I wasn’t in such a happy high after seeing my bebe, I probably would’ve tried to run you off the road and kill you. Yes, you DO NOT want to fuck with me when I’m in a car, I will take you out. Consider that my bebe’s blessing to you that I didn’t try to “eliminate” you for your extremely close cut to the side of my vehicle. But anyways, on a happier note, I feel lucky as well that things kinda fell in place the way they did. If I ended up spending a day with my cousin, I wouldn’t have had time to spend with bebe, so I’m happy-happy 😀
But girls, I’ll tell you – they’re high maintenance, lol. The original plan was for me to pick her up from her house and drive her out to her friends in another city. Just for the sake of reference, we’ll call this city, “M” and where we live, “H”. From my house to her house is about 25 minutes on a smooth day. Distance-wise, it is not far… time-wise, it is 100% city traffic. Luckily, it was about 7PM at the time, so traffic was pretty light and it was a matter of waiting for lights and stuff. When I picked her up… oh if I could only tell you how fast my heart was beating before she opened the door – lol, it was like a first-date all over again, haha. I had all these things I thought about saying like, “You look beautiful today.” or, “Thanks for seeing me again”.. etc, but all I ended up choking out was, “Hi, are you ready?” – LOL. It wasn’t like I was trying to be rude, that’s all that could come to my mouth at that point, haha… because I was so stunned by her beauty. I figured, why make a note that she’s beautiful today? She’s beautiful everyday anyways. Just for the sake of the story, I’m not sure if this was really a “date” … we went for dinner and there was no obligatory-dating events or anything. You can call it whatever you like!
Of course, you know as I said, girls are high-maintenance. I thought we were heading directly out and then she asked if we could drop by her school so that she could clean out her locker. I was thinking to myself, “Hey, she never mentioned that before..” – haha, and I was like, ok! So I dropped her off (ok, so it was a 1 minute drive) and while I waited in the car, I got my GPS configured. I drive out to “M” often enough to know the roads there better than in my own city, but with the new Ontario laws prohibiting the use of handheld devices while driving, I needed to set my GPS up for bluetooth phone purposes in case anyone called. Our ride was pretty joyful, we had lots of talk about and although in the midst of a few moments of silence throughout the ride, it was pretty awesome. I’m really talkative though, so for me, it is a less of problem than her, haha. But after she cleaned out the locker, she wanted me to take her back home to drop her books off – lol, it was pretty funny because even though she asked if, “it was ok” to take her back, but she wasn’t really asking, I could tell on her face she was pretty much telling me to do it, haha. Gosh, she’s not officially my girlfriend yet and I’m already being told what to do 😛 But I jest – she’s much too cute for me to say no to, lol, and I was willing to do it for her. I’m sure if it was anyone else, I’d be like… no, stop wasting my gas – that’s poor planning on your part, and not my problem 😆
We ate our dinner at a Chinese Cafe sort and had a variety of snacks, small dishes and full course. We both had a sirloin steak and it was yummy! I finished mine and was pretty much at the “maximum capacity” of my food intake, but she couldn’t finish hers. Actually, she ate quite a bit, lol, so I was pretty impressed. She called her friends to make sure whether they were home yet, but they were eating so I couldn’t drop her off anyways. It was ok, because I planned on going to a nearby supermarket to kill some time and because I wanted to get some instant-foods for her to cook when she gets home. We didn’t get any since she had stocked up last week and because it’d be a good week before she’d go back home anyways. It was ok, I wasn’t disappointed, because we spent a good amount of time in there. For a moment, I really felt like we were a great couple, enjoying shopping together, playing around and discussing deals/good foods – damn, it was heaven and all we did was walk around the supermarket, lol. I take happiness and pride in small things and truly, it was an amazing hour of fun and enjoyment. I should mention, that I was extremely happy to find out this particular chain of the supermarket has now began selling a variety of SaraSara Center-In, Laurier, Sofy and Elis sanitary napkins!!! It sucked, because before, I’d have to go all the way out an even farther one to get access to it, but now it’s available at this one! I really tried avoiding that aisle because I was with her, so I wanted to ask her to carry some of the stuff I was holding so I could wander off and kind of look at it privately. Mind you, I didn’t mind her coming with me, I didn’t want her to feel awkward. Unfortunately, she led me down that aisle, lol, and I ended up looking because there used to be a very small section and now all of a sudden, they have this huge stock of both domestic and import products – YAY!! We did linger for a bit, but I think she was kind of embarrassed and walked to the end of the aisle… it’s ok, after all, she hasn’t been around me long enough to accept that part of me. Now I have to get some next time I go there with one of my girls… but as I was driving home, I thought ot myself, “Shit, why didn’t I buy it while she was with me and it was late at night?” ACK, slow thinker!
As we were lining up to pay for her stuff, could you imagine… her friends were there. YES – that was a totally awkward situation. Now let’s get the facts straight, I’ve always wanted to meet her friends because I want to become a part of her life, and feel accepted. However, she has always expressed she doesn’t feel ready and stuff for me to be a part of her life yet, so I’ve never pushed that. Throughout the night when we were eating, I kept my eyes out for my aunt or uncle or someone I knew, because if they saw me with her, it’d be a weird moment given that I’m sure there’d be lots of questions. The place we went to eat is pretty much our “regular place” – so it is not rare to bump into people I know and luckily, that did not happen. I’m not embarrassed to be with her, but I know she doesn’t want too much exposure, so I didn’t want to put her in an awkward position or anything. Sure enough, luck would have it we bump into her friends while shopping – huuurrr, lol. I was standing behind her and she turned her back to me to greet her friends. Even though I didn’t want to make a scene, I thought it’d be pretty normal to greet her friends to be courteous, but they were rapidly talking and all their eyes were completely avoiding me, so I didn’t want to interrupt their conversation (especially since I couldn’t understand it well enough). I thought they were ignoring me, so I just stood behind her and save her the trouble of having to explain who I was, and blah blah. Both of the girls seemed very nice and from first impression, it’s great that bebe associates with them – they will be a good influence on her! Her friends gave her the keys to their place and then we proceeded to check-out her stuff. If anything, I’d love to be able to refer to her as my girlfriend – it’s something I’m yearning the day for… however, not right now. Maybe some people who read this will think it’s weird – but I don’t think then perhaps you understand Chinese culture. If someone were to see me with her, I’d have a hard time introducing her as just a girl—-friend, rather than girlfriend. Even if I did, there’d be a whole slew of questions as to why I don’t date her and yaddy-yadda, so just to save the headaches, best if we don’t bump into anyone we know. Nevertheless, it turns out her friends did want to say hi and so did I… but clearly all of us thought we were avoiding one another when both of us were simply too shy to say anything – lol. At least at the end of the night, both ends found out we were eager to say “hi” to each other and there were no ignoring going on, haha.
I dropped her off at her friends place – it was only a 5 minute drive. She asked me to drop her off at the side, but it makes me very uncomfortable to drop a girl off (especially one I care about) in the middle of nowhere, and I took her to the front entrance instead. I helped her unload her stuff and made sure she enjoyed her night. I think back and I know I made a hasty escape… after I dropped her off, I really didn’t linger much. One reason was because I dropped her off in an area where you’re not allowed to stop/park, so I was a bit weary… but personally, I know if I stayed too long, I’d begin to miss her already and I’d want a goodbye hug, kiss or I’d really want to hold her hands and squeeze her tight. I doubt she’s ready for that contact yet, so I didn’t want to leave myself open to doing something that’d make her feel uncomfortable. Truth be told, I do want to hug her, I do want to hold her hands, I do want to show my affection to her, but logic tells me it’s best not to push her beyond what she can handle. I left pretty quickly, even before she got through the door. That’s about probably the most ungentlemanly thing all night I’ve done and while I’ m ashamed, I did it with good intent not risking my own heart taking me farther than what her heart feels.
When I got home, I was high… god, it was a restless night and I only got a few hours of sleep. I was too hyped up, thinking about the future we can have together… too happy, over the time, albeit short, we spent together. There were moments we connected and did things like a couple. There were times, I wanted to just put my arms around her – not to intrude, but to let her I know care and show her that physical affection. There were times, I could not take my eyes off her, because she was so beautiful. There were times, I wanted to hold her hands and squeeze lightly to tell her I’m here for her. There were times I wanted to give her the world and let her know I’ll take of her no matter what. I know for her, I’ve changed a lot and my mind and heart is filled with happiness. No doubt, people will say it’s foolish to base happiness of someone else and not make my own happiness – but that is what happens when people fall for one another, rationalization is not part of the equation, but think with emotions.
I recapped my evaluation of myself and the night:
- I drove slow wherever we went… not slow, but slower so I could savour every moment with her
- I stepped out in the rain to wait and open the car door for her because I didn’t want her to slip or rush and end up hitting her head on the top of the door-arch, you’d be surprized how often that happens when people rush to get in the car
- I asked her a lot of the time if things were ok and stuff – normally, I don’t really care, lol
- I ordered her food for her – normally, you can order your own damn food
- I made sure she had enough clothes to wear because it was colder than usual and raining – I figure most people can figure that out themselves but felt compelled to keep her healthy
- I carried things for her when I normally don’t – you want to buy something, carry it yourself
- I took time to watch things she likes, so that I can get it for her when she runs out
- I hate when people don’t tell me things ahead of time and then ask me to do it… she did, and I still happily did it for her – ya, I’m fucked, lol
- I told my ex I wouldn’t feel seeing her less than 5 hours if I had to drive all the way out to “M” was worth it because it is 55KM’s one way… I spent a total of 121KM’s and an hour and 44 minutes driving bebe around and even though we only spent 3 hours together, IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT – ya, I kinda feel guilty about my ex now that I think about it
- I spend a lot of money on bebe and it doesn’t bother me… wtf
- Normally I like looking at girls who “show a lot”… bebe wears the most concealing clothes ever, t-shirt, a light jacket and jeans… nothing revealing to look at, but she’s absolutely gorgeous in what she wears
- HEEERR SMILLLEEE KILLSSS ME INSIDE OUT
- She’s the perfect height to me, lol – not too short and not too tall… match made in heaven – uh huh!
Overall, the night was amazing and I can’t think of any other way I could’ve spent it better! Mind you, I wouldn’t have minded spending more time together, but really, the few hours we had was VERY well spent. Perhaps in a way, seeing each other for moderate amount of time is better than spending a full day together, because then perhaps we may run out of things to talk about and silence ensues. I think it’ll take time for us to develop a basis of conversations where we might not have to “think” too hard to continue a conversation, but I’m quite happy with how much we had to talk about and things were relaxed. I don’t want to ask how she felt and whether she’s more at-ease and comfortable with me because it feels very tacky to ask… also, I may or may not want to know the answer if it’s bad – LOL, best to leave it at that. I know I spend a lot of time discussing things we do, but obviously there are things that happen between us that I don’t post up here. After all, I still have an expectation to a degree of privacy and of course I’m not the “Kiss and Tell” type where I report every little intimate moment we have or anything. These are some pretty general relationship things, so I suppose it’s not digging too deep in our private lives. I’m happy we’re making some progress down the road of friendship and hope that perhaps one day, we will be something more.
I hope everyone has had a great weekend just as I have! Cheers.