Chuseok in Korea is one of two major holidays, right up there with Lunar New Year. This means that lots and lots of people are on the move, and the roads get horrifically congested. Before I started out this year, I was a little nervous because I'd bled on a car sheet before when I was caught in traffic. Traffic is a hell far worse for a menstruating woman than an airplane or a train, which have restrooms. Sometimes dirty, tiny restrooms that you have to stand in a long line for, but restrooms nonetheless.
This time, though, I wasn't relying on a disposable pad that I had no way of changing for hours and hours. I was armed with my cup and a sturdy washable cotton pad, plus two extras.
The result was a resounding success. I only had access to a bathroom once every three or four hours, but that was enough because the cup has so much more capacity. I packed the used pads away and washed them when I got home, no biggie. What could have been a bloody nightmare (literally) turned out only to be a mild annoyance with the trusty cup/pad combination. I don't think my family even realized I was on my period.
The cup takes a huge load off my mind every cycle, too. There is no smell and no smelly trash, and while my dad and brother do occasionally get a glimpse of my cotton pads soaking in water, I don't feel self-conscious about it the way I would with stinky used disposables. It's just laundry, after all.
Now if only I could get to leak-free paradise so I could be pad-free for most occasions and not have to hand-wash so many bloodied pads and undies, I would be a happy woman. I've half given up on that dream--my period is too heavy, I'm not inserting and sealing right, or my vag isn't toned enough or something--but that's another post altogether. Even if they're not perfect, cups and pads in combination work well enough for me and beat the hell out of every other alternative.