That series of three runs in five days I mentioned in the previous post became one of four in eight, so I’ll get right to it, starting with last Thursday, when the alarm was set to ring at 2 PM, but I woke up at 1:40 PM and, while I spent a little more time under the blanket, I was up a few minutes before the alarm and turned it off. Had the usual stuff, opening another pack of those nicer biscuits expired since September and having some, with added honey, as the sweet thing, put on the full running gear and, after mostly wasting time on the toilet, left at 4 PM, when the reported temperature was 19-20°C, supposed to hold steady or maybe drop by just 1°C by the time I’ll finish. It was windy though.
The decision to start that series of three runs in five days then was quite sudden, after seeing that the forecast didn’t seem to offer me a chance to do so this week, plus that I’d have needed to complete it during the week, trying to run around or even on Easter clearly being a bad idea. So I went for 16 km and the time was 1:20:53, with sector times of 4:22, 5:13, 6:04, 4:35, 5:09, 6:04, 4:46, 5:20, 6:07, 4:54, 5:23, 6:18, 4:52, 5:26 and 6:20, making for lap times of 15:39, 15:48, 16:13, 16:35 and 16:38. Saw that I was looking at 1:21 pretty much from sector two of lap one and feared that I’ll fail even that, but in the end just made it… Not that it really matters, not staying under 1:20 being in itself a failure.
There was no more pain on the right side of my chest, while on the left there was an uncomfortable feeling from the end of lap one, but I wouldn’t call that pain either. Still on minor physical issues, there were some warnings from my right knee and left ankle from the start of lap four. Otherwise, those little flies are back, and I ran right into a cloud of them right from the start, ending up with a few on my face, then felt one on my eyes a couple more times, so I had to try to avoid those as well. But one of the bigger problems was the wind, including on straights. Had to fight it on the long one on sector one of lap three, and on that long turn and the last straight on each sector three from then on, at times on the long one on sector two too… Felt it on that long sector one straight on laps four and five too, but wasn’t really trying to sprint on that one at that point anymore. Yet the even bigger issue was that it was quite crowded and I was still particularly wary of people, so I was often weaving and going the long way around, several times I took to the grass for a bit, including going around garbage cans a couple of times, and there were quite a few worse moments.
Almost found myself in another crash with cyclists on sector one of lap five, when two were rushing towards me, I stayed on the inside, leaving them the lane and the outside, but the first also took the inside, trying to even cut the turn, we tried to avoid each other, the second cyclist tried to avoid both, I barely managed to stop and they barely missed me, going around on either side. And there were a few other moments when I barely managed to avoid others. Recall one on a sector two, maybe on lap three, when I don’t even know how I managed it, I guess out of reflex, when a kid on a scooter wasn’t making up her mind, both sides were blocked by walkers, I sidestepped her, immediately sidestepped the other way to get around the people behind her and found myself facing another girl on a scooter, who opened her eyes wide when I appeared in front of her, and I guess her mother was next to her too, and I can’t recall whether I somehow squeezed between them or sort of jumped aside, to clear the mother as well. And another moment involving cyclists was also on a sector two, either on lap one or two, three of them passing each other, one going my way, two the other. I ended up facing one, and since the others passed while taking the turn we both tried to use the newly cleared space to avoid the other, and I was fortunately able to stop myself in time to allow him to just get around me.
Lesser issues were, for example, a broken sprint on the long straight of sector two of lap one, when a kid chasing a ball missed getting it, had to continue chasing it and got in my way. Or a huge crowd making me slow and then take to the grass for several meters on sector one of lap four. And I almost punched a small dog, after a big one stopped and moved towards it and in front of me, I squeezed between that one and the bench the small one was on, moving my fist out of the way of the large dog, and almost into the snout of the small one as it noticed the larger one, jumped on the back of the bench and started yapping at it, the older man who had it managing to yank it back just in time. But those are just examples, as there were issues on most sectors and I had forgotten some of them even by the time I finished the run. At least two girls on roller skates opened the way for a part of sector one of lap five, after the straight.
With dad working again that week, made mamaliga and ate earlier that night. But something had an odd taste in the salad and I thought it was probably some of the cabbage, so I ended up wondering if I had properly washed the top leaves I initially set aside, after deciding which to discard and which to keep. I kept feeling that taste in my mouth over the course of the next day, but it went away after that and there didn’t seem to be any other obvious consequences.
Last Saturday I wanted to go to Kaufland after the run, looking for some evening discounts when they still had to close at 6 PM, so the alarm was to ring at 1:30 PM, but I got up at 1:19 PM and turned it off. Had kept waking up that morning, but also kept managing to get back to sleep quickly, so I did get a fair amount of sleep, if you add it together. And I had the usual stuff, again with some of those nicer biscuits, with added honey, as the sweet thing, and left at 3:45 PM, when the reported temperature was 16°C, supposed to hold steady during my run, so I had the full running gear but also an undershirt, plus a few bags in the pocket of my tights.
The time was 50:45.81, with sector times of 4:31, 5:23, 6:07, 4:46, 5:27, 6:17, 4:44, 5:23, 6:12 and 1:55 (1:54.90), making for lap times of 16:01, 16:30 and 16:19. Didn’t try to remember the exact times, didn’t even look at them, because there was no point and I needed to focus more on all the people. The realistic aim was to just stay under 52 minutes, maybe 51:30 if everything worked well, with a first lap in 16 minutes and then going towards 17 minutes on the next two, but I feared getting to 53 minutes and things looked bad when I failed that first lap goal. However, things didn’t go quite as badly as I feared after that, so after lap two I was clearly aiming for 51:30 and after sector two of lap three I switched the goal to 51 minutes, managing to stay safely under that target in the end. Awful time, of course, but after walking and sleeping little and not at the usual time the previous day and considering the crowded park and my current form, I took it as good enough.
It felt rather windy at first, but it seemed to drop later. Interestingly, though some of that uncomfortable feeling returned in the left side after I was done, my ribs no longer bothered me while I ran, and there were no other physical issues either. Actually, there were even moments when it seemed I was actually running well. Brief ones, of course, because the park was crowded, though the number of people wasn’t actually that high and there were stretches of even up to a couple hundred meters where I had a straight path to go for it. Yes, there was a lot of squeezing through and going the long way around otherwise, and plenty of roadblocks, but not so much because of actual crowds.
There was a large crowd on that long sector two straight on lap one, making me run on the grass for quite a stretch, I again had to get on the grass on a sector one, I forgot if on lap two or three, when several people walking next to each other were blocking the whole path, and the crowd that often gathers in front of that stall on sector three made me go around behind the stall at least on lap one. I remember meaning to do the same on lap two, but can’t recall whether I actually did or found a way to squeeze through at the last moment. Do know that I could get through that spot normally on lap three, at least. On the other hand, there was a roadblock that formed just ahead of me at the end of sector two of lap two, under the bridge, so I had to briefly stop there too. And, though there were probably no actual roadblocks, there were just too many people on the long sector two straight on lap two and I had no room to try to sprint.
The worse problem, however, were unpredictable people, mostly children… Plus one small dog. That dog was on sector three of lap two, on a very long leash that blocked almost the entire path, the people being on one side and the dog allowed to go on the other, and when I tried to go around it, it went for my feet and got something, didn’t look to see whether claws or jaws, into my right shoe! Or at least into the shoelaces, not sure… And the woman holding the leash just smiled and said it was just playing! Yes, suddenly grabbing someone’s foot, while they’re running too, was just fun and games for her! So I had to stop for a moment and then push past it… And soon after that, three girls on scooters were coming across the path, the first two looking at the others and away from me, so I avoided the first by going behind her, but the others decided to stop just then and the second turned around before the third, who was the only one looking my way, could warn her, so I barely managed to avoid crashing into her, and shouted at them as I went past. And earlier, at the start of that long sector one straight, I forgot if on lap one or two, an older kid on a bicycle was unsteady, going the same way I was and tending to lean and turn to the left, which was the side that wasn’t otherwise blocked by people, so he blocked me and threatened to even fall over me as I tried to squeeze past him and I shouted at him as well and went on the grass. And on that same straight, certainly on lap one, I first had to deal with a girl who was spinning and suddenly, maybe when she got dizzy, went one way, cutting right in front of me, and seconds later a boy came running across the path, then decided to stop and turn around right in front of me, so I had to stop again. And there were other similar issues, but those are the ones I clearly remember.
After the run I jogged to Kaufland, getting some lemons that weren’t as cheap as before but were nevertheless cheaper than they’d normally be, green onions and a lettuce that were on the evening discount and extremely cheap, just one orange, some cheese that the day’s 30% discount applied to and an expiring bread for dad. When I saw the price of the green onions, I first took four bunches, but when I pulled the label back to get another look at the price, the employee who was dumping them in a pile said that it no longer applied and they were even less, and I guess the lettuce and oranges were in a similar situation, because the price I was charged was lower than the listed one. The handful of oranges that were left were rather bad, however, which was why I just got that single one. Also checked for that kind of bread that I get from there, but at first just one was left and the regular price was still listed, and by the time I checked again it was gone.
When I got in line at the self-checkout, the older woman who was ahead of me asked how much the green onions were and when I told her she said she’ll leave the cart there and grab some, so she did that and then returned in line… Only to almost immediately start looking uncertain and uncomfortable, and leave the line again, taking her cart as well, before her turn came, saying she had forgotten something else as well. As for me, had no issues with the self-checkout, but had a harder time figuring out how to carry everything, since I had just taken one bag with handles, and a flimsy one at that, and two even flimsier ones without handles. But I eventually worked something out and got back, obviously no longer jogging.
Made mamaliga again after dad left, for the fish he had made… And rather burned it, likely at least in part because I put in what was left in one of his bottles of kefir from the beginning, since I had to finish it now that he apparently became quite religious and is fasting until Easter, the fish being an exception since it was allowed the following day, and he said he did manage to cook it then without tasting. Either way, after a long time spent trying to scrape most of what was left on the bottom of the pot, I got in bed at 5:20 AM.
Sunday night I again didn’t waste a moment in the kitchen, not even going to pee despite feeling the need, yet still only started eating dinner at 3:15 AM, though I did have an apple at 1:30 AM, and had lunch earlier in the evening. Also, when I got back to the computer at that point, I saw that the difference between CPU time and elapsed time for BOINC tasks had been about a minute and a half per hour more than normal, and when I checked I saw that the Bound by Flame process was still running, and had obviously been running for some five hours. I normally check the running processes often, but I guess I didn’t that time, and I wonder what happened, whether a double click resulted in it starting twice and somehow working like that or it actually failed to quit properly. But at least it hasn’t happened again since then.
After getting in bed at 5:20 AM again, Monday the alarm woke me up at 2 PM. Then I again had the usual stuff, the yogurt being a “creamy” one with 10% fat, and the sweet thing also again some of those nicer biscuits, with added honey, but I also munched on some more of the dried crust of mamaliga stuck on the pot since the day before, when dad had made more, since I had kept that pot in my room for that reason. Just wasted time on the toilet, on the other hand, nothing coming out even though I felt I had to go. And it also seemed like the filling from a tooth on the lower right was coming out, or that said tooth was chipped, and it still seems that way, though nothing actually fell out yet. Either way, wore the full running gear and left just before 4:05 PM, when the reported temperature was about 21°C, supposed to drop by a couple of degrees by the time I’ll finish. It was cloudy and windy, however, so it seemed chilly on the way, except when there was a break in the clouds.
The time was 1:19.49, with sector times of 4:14.06, 5:14.84, 6:03 (6:02.18), 4:38, 5:17, 6:08, 4:42, 5:24, 6:06, 4:42, 5:22, 6:16, 4:36, 5:15 and 5:52, making for lap times of 15:31.08, 16:03, 16:12, 16:20 and 15:43. Pushed on the first sector, and that time made me decide to remember the exact ones for the first lap, sticking to that idea even though I was already tiring and the next two sectors were poor, the second one admittedly also being affected by briefly stopping because of a dog with a long leash. Either way, the target lap times were 15:30, 16:00, 16:30, 17:00 and 17:00, for 1:22, so things didn’t look good after I missed the first target and got even worse when I also missed the second. But when, after three laps, I found myself well ahead of the target, I started thinking of 16:30 on the last two, hoping to beat Thursday’s time. And after lap four that seemed pretty certain, so I thought I could even afford to hit the wall and just pushed from the beginning, the better first sector making me think of 1:20:30, while seeing 1:13:57 after the second made me wonder whether 1:20 was possible. That required the fastest sector three of the day, or at least one matching the first lap’s, considering the exact time, but I nevertheless gave it everything. Also, annoyed that the problems caused by people were likely to make me fall just short, I was no longer willing to lose any time because of that as I approached the end and even shouted at two, one who was running ahead of me and being a little slower and another who had just passed me on a scooter but then slowed and was about to block me, to make way, which they actually promptly did… And then I was quite amazed when I saw that time. And I’m referring to that sector three time in particular, as I hadn’t managed such a fast sector three since that last good time on ten kilometers, back in February, and I had just done it on lap five!
Physically, the only issue was that the wasted time on the toilet had some slight consequences from lap four, the need becoming quite pressing on sector two of lap five, but as I gave it everything on the following sector, I was no longer aware of that either. On the other hand, the forecast claiming that the wind would die down at least between 5 PM and 6 PM was wrong. There might have been a brief period, after I got past the halfway point, that was better, but otherwise it was quite windy, and I also had to fight it on plenty of straights. And, while it was definitely far less crowded, the people still caused some issues as well.
I recall two times when I had to briefly stop, once on a sector two, once on a sector three, multiple people coming from different directions in spots where other paths meet the one going around the lake. Another time, at the end of a sector two, under the bridge, I had to squeeze past a kid on a bicycle who was rather unsteady and riding next to the lane. There was also a man on a bicycle who kept staying off the lane and always looking at the boy, I’d say a teenager, cycling next to or behind him, never ahead, getting in my way multiple times as we kept meeting. And I clearly recall that it was on sector one of lap five when another cyclist, a middle-aged woman, seemed to be riding calmly on the lane and then just stopped and partly turned towards me with a smirk just as I was about to pass her, though the smirk might have been for another person I had just passed. And there were various lesser issues as well, but they slipped out of my mind as I focused on pushing that hard at the end.
Quickly checked the nearby Mega Image on the way back, but another actual shopping trip was planned for that evening, so I went back out a few minutes after 7 PM. The main destination was that newer Kaufland, but I first stopped to look for something at that Penny, didn’t find it, and when I went out, having taken the empty bags out of the jacket’s inside pocket just so the guard will see them instead of a bulge, he nevertheless asked what did I get, seeming surprised and suspicious when I said they were just my empty bags, but letting me go after seeming to consider it for a moment, without asking to have a better look or touch.
Once I got to Kaufland, I found the evening discount, for some reason actually 51% instead of 50%, applied to the bread I get from there and two of them left, so I got them, plus an expiring bread for dad, and then the last piece of something sweet that also had the evening discount applied, and for which the price actually halved again by the time I checked out. But it was when I got to the vegetables that I saw truly huge discounts, grabbing eight bundles of green onions and four of wild garlic at a mere 0.05 RON per bundle! Yes, the bundles of green onions were quite small, with a fair bit cut away, and the wild garlic was rather wilted, but they were costing next to nothing. And bananas were also heavily discounted and I could still find good ones, so I got some of those as well, likely for my mother. The onions weren’t discounted, on the other hand, but I got some of those as well, since they looked nice enough, we were running out and dad has this laughable idea he picked up from somewhere that onions supposedly draw viruses out of the air, so he’s been sleeping with one cut in half next to the bed, throwing it away the next day… And, speaking of dad, he had asked me to get one more thing, and I spent quite some time searching for it… And forgot all about the can of mushrooms I wanted to get for myself.
There was nobody else at the self-checkout when I got there, but the first machine seemed to have issues with the touchscreen, had to keep trying to get it to register what I was pressing, and when I selected the wild garlic it asked me to place those bundles as well as some apples on the scales, which apples weren’t even in the same menu, not being vegetables, so I have no idea how it thought I had selected both. But I didn’t care to call an employee to help, just moving to another machine, where everything worked without issues. Then I arranged the purchases in the bags, took a moment to find the bin for used masks and threw away the ones I had, had a few looks at the few pastries that confectionery still had, looking for a sign stating that they were discounted at that hour, but when I saw none I walked away and was back here at 9:25 PM, a somewhat notable thing being that I spotted a hedgehog on the way.
Dad annoyed me again after I got back, throwing away some vegetables he had used for a soup, then removed from it, saying they made it too thick, claiming to freeze them for later use, then taking them out that day, supposedly to use them, but then saying he won’t use them after all and freezing them again wasn’t really an option at that point. When I told him he infuriates me with such things, he said he couldn’t see why, since he’s doing it, not me. I said it means I fail, don’t have any effect on him, and he said we can’t all be the same, live the same way; we behave differently and have different values. So I said that rapists and murderers can claim to have different values too, and he cheerfully said that yes, we’re all different, all I could still manage to reply to that being that it’s no reason to accept it. Either way, I’ll also add here that I started eating dinner at 3:35 AM that night, without having had lunch earlier, only eating that sweet thing from Kaufland after I got back and an orange after the run, before leaving again. Finished eating at almost 5:10 AM and was in bed at 5:30 AM.
I have been in the kitchen more or less briefly without a mask during this period, a couple of times staying for a few minutes even when dad was also there, but the longest period before today was Tuesday, when I went there minutes after dad left and stayed there, without a mask, for almost 40 minutes, though I did try to breathe either at the window or at least partially covering my nose with my arm and sleeve. Otherwise, had lunch that afternoon but then, unless you count licking the thing the roes bought by dad had been in, I only started eating dinner at 3:15 AM… And got in bed at 5:25 AM.
Wednesday I realized I could still take proper screenshots if I run Bound by Flame at 1280×960 in windowed mode, and also that when it won’t work it’s likely because it runs out of RAM, so the issue may not be a single setting, but a combination of them, making the maximum settings I can use for screenshots harder to determine, and likely different for cutscene, scenery and action ones. Either way, I again had no lunch that day, going to the kitchen in the evening to cook something, thinking I might just finish in time to quickly eat it before 1 AM and then go right back for the rest, but there was no chance of that, so I ended up staying there until I finished everything and only got back here and started to eat at 3:25 AM… Unless you count licking the bowls that some cheese had been in, since I noticed that some of what would have been dad’s part until he decided to fast had visibly spoiled, even though my part, which had also been in a bowl for the same amount of time, was still just fine, so I had to throw that part away, add some of the part that was around it to what I cooked and move the rest, mixing what was in both bowls with something else I still had. Got in bed at 5:25 AM again.
With next week’s forecast making me question whether I’ll be able to run at all, hoping to fit the planned half marathon distance then if I will find a good enough day but also having one more ten-kilometer run, the one I should have done before this series of three runs in five days, to check off the planned list before that one, Thursday I ran yet again. Woke up a couple of minutes before the alarm rang, at 2 PM, but was quite sure that it was just about to ring, so I waited for it and got up when it did. Then I had the usual stuff, again with some of those nicer biscuits, with added honey, as the sweet thing, put on the full running gear plus an undershirt, used the main bathroom and then wasted some ten minutes or so trying to get the toilet to stop leaking and failing, and left at 4 PM, when the reported temperature was 15°C, actually supposed to increase by 1-2°C by the time I’ll finish. Though it was cloudy, the fact that there was little wind meant that it didn’t really feel colder on the way to the park than Monday.
The time was 48:41.53, with sector times of 4:12.91, 5:04 (5:03.37), 6:02.33, 4:36.26, 5:13 (5:12.29), I think 6:02.12, I think 4:26.64, 5:16 (5:15.54), 5:57 (5:56.86) and 1:53.21, making for lap times of 15:18.61, 15:51 (I think 15:50.67) and I think 15:39.04. I’m quite sure I correctly recall that time for sector three of lap two and was wrongly thinking of it as 6:02.09 over the course of the next sector, but while there’s no way that’s correct, there’s a slight chance that this is also wrong, which would lead to wrong times for lap two, sector one of lap three and lap three, albeit by hundredths or at most a few tenths, so the seconds are clearly correct. Either way, this was the least bad time since that last good one, from February, but a minute and a half slower than then and a complete failure compared to my initial target, since I noticed the good conditions from the start and wanted to just go for it, aiming for another time under 48 minutes and 4:08, or at least under 4:10, on the first sector. Couldn’t even sustain that pace until the end of that sector, however, then sector two showed me that even 48:30 was highly unlikely, that poor sector three made just staying under 49 minutes the only realistic goal and the pretty bad lap two made me seriously worry that I’ll fail even that, seeing as I needed a similar time on lap three for it. Pretty much begged myself to manage it, thinking that sector one was my only chance to gain time, but while it was where I gained the most, I also gained on sector three, which was actually also the fastest sector three.
As I already mentioned, the conditions offered no excuses, as there was hardly any wind, physically I felt just fine and there were relatively few people to deal with, significant stretches being almost clear, so while I still lost a bit of time by going the long way around, at times because I was excessively cautious, there were no issues except needing to keep an eye on where some dogs with long leashes were going in a couple of places, maybe slowing a bit out of that perhaps excessive caution, and probably doing the same whenever I met two groups of cyclists who were also covering multiple laps, the small one, of three, being fast while the other being large but slow, the fact that I could see them coming from a distance and had plenty of room to stay away from them meaning that there was no risk. A lone cyclist who was also fast and going the same way I was surprised me a couple of times, but he was the one coming from behind and could see me, so if I heard him I just tried to not change direction and it was his job to avoid me, which he did without issues.
That night I only started eating dinner at 3:30 AM, albeit after again having had lunch earlier, and got in bed at 5:20 AM. But it was also Thursday when I got to level 9 in Bound by Flame, getting that skill that gives +50% experience for stealth kills and those within ten seconds of one, so continuing became tedious and frustrating, my goal becoming to always gain that additional experience, which is obviously impossible plenty of times. But then I realized that there’s no way to get stealth kills when I reach the village, and a lot of experience is gained for getting there, so the current plan is to reload an earlier save, get there sooner, calculating how much to gain on the way in order to use that experience to just get myself to level 9 or perhaps not even that, then go back in order to maximize the use of that skill.
Last night I did only a little better, starting to eat dinner at 3:25 AM. However, that was after not only having lunch in the evening, but also going through about half of an old 500-gram bag of bagels while writing a good part of this post, and also in part caused by not only washing what dad had used and moving something he made into a smaller pot, but putting the recyclables in a bag as well, getting ready for this morning, when I again went out without sleeping, the large stores ignoring the date and being open, the day’s 30% discount at Kaufland being for paper towels, which dad goes through at an infuriating rate, and toilet paper, and my parents wanting a few other things as well.
I left at 6:15 AM, taking all the recyclables, dropped the rest off in a bin I spotted on the way, making a small detour for it but then continuing from there and therefore, I’d say, not even losing time, also dropped off those things I drop off at Kaufland once I got there… But found that I shouldn’t have even bothered with that location, since they had none of the pastries my mother wanted, nor any of those packs of fabric softener. Both were supposed to be on sale this week, and while I searched quite thoroughly and didn’t even find a label or empty spot for those packs, which might indicate that they had sold all of it, the spot for those pastries was obvious and the fact that they were on sale was even announced while I was there, but when I asked an employee who was in that area whether they were already out or were yet to make any that day, considering the early hour, she said they didn’t have any. And, as a bad sign for the future, I also noticed that the price of the bread that I get from there had increased.
At that point, I had a choice between checking that Carrefour as well and then coming back, hoping that they were going to make or get some of those pastries by then after all, or heading straight for the location at Obor, and also between getting the paper towels, toilet paper and onions from there and then carrying them all the way or not doing so and risking to find none left once I got there. And I guess it was the lack of that fabric softener that decided things, so I ended up not buying anything from this location and not checking this Carrefour either, leaving a little before 7:30 AM and going straight to the Kaufland from Obor… Or almost straight, since I made an attempt to use that unpaved road that eventually turns into a footpath running alongside train tracks that Google Maps suggested when I looked for the shortest route between the two locations, but the stray dog I spotted right on that path and the others that started barking at me from various yards before I even got close to the fences convinced me that my initial decision to use proper streets to go around that area, as I have been doing, is the correct one, even if it adds a little to the distance.
Turning around once I saw that dog meant I lost a little bit of time, but I might have also gained a little bit at the end, finding a better, or at least a straighter and simpler, way for the very end of that route and getting to that location right at 8 AM. And I found everything I was looking for there, though there weren’t many packs left of the toilet paper and one of the kinds of paper towels I was looking for, and the two unopened boxes of those packs of fabric softener might not have lasted long either, though it’s possible that they had more of those that they could bring later. I was a bit uncertain when I saw that the announcements still listed yesterday’s discount and there were none in the area with toilet paper and paper towels, but I asked an employee who was there and she confirmed that they did indeed apply, which did prove to be the case. And I also saw that the bread that I get from there was still at the old price at that location, or at least that was what the label indicated.
However, there were issues at the self-checkout, albeit first caused by me making a wrong selection for the one piece of pastry I had bought for myself, not noticing that there were two similar options and the second was in fact the correct one, and then, seeing as there were few people and the other machines were not in use, again just moving to another instead of asking for an employee to cancel. Since the employee was actually paying attention, she almost immediately went to that machine, to again make it available, then asked whether I had used it and when I confirmed she said something about not blocking more machines and came to help, so I explained that a much higher price had appeared and she insisted on checking that I had selected the correct item that time, really paying attention when she looked in the bag and even rather pointedly saying that she wanted to check that I didn’t have something cheaper than what I had selected, though it was obvious that she suspected the opposite. And then, though at first she did let me continue on my own when I said I was fine and also told her what the other pastries were, she obviously kept her eyes on me and when the machine “forgot” that I had selected the other pastries after telling me to place them on the scales and asked me to scan the product first, which is a behavior I have experienced before, she immediately returned, saying that she just wanted to help and dismissing the fact that I said things should be easy after those pastries, everything else just needing to be scanned, saying she wasn’t so sure about that, placing the onions on the scales, I guess to check that I wasn’t trying to cheat with the weight, and only after that overriding everything in order to quickly scan the other products with no risk of further errors.
That sort of interaction obviously had quite an impact on me, but I nevertheless just took a moment to check the receipt and make sure the discounts had been properly applied, then even went to that other place that’s also there and asked whether they had any poppy pretzels. I was told that they were yet to make any that day, however, so it was 8:50 AM when I walked out and, after initially again taking a few steps in the other direction, used that shorter route to also go to that Carrefour, getting cucumbers, carrots and a discounted thing for myself. Dad had asked for three of those large cucumbers from Kaufland, where they were 1.49 RON each, but those were imported and when I weighed three that I actually picked to be somewhat larger than most, I saw 840 grams, making for 5.32 RON / kg, while Carrefour had Romanian ones at 5.99 RON / kg, so I chose to get them from there… And then evened things out in a bad way by getting the carrots from there, as planned, even though I noticed that those were imported, so I at least just got a handful, for dad, and none for myself.
I was out of that mall at 9:35 AM, got back here just before 10:25 AM… And realized that I had lost the receipts. I recall taking the one from Kaufland out of my pocket as well when I got the one from Carrefour, but I’m not sure what I did with them after that, especially since the key for the cabinet I had placed the purchases made from Kaufland in was in that same pocket. Maybe I tried to put them in another pocket and missed it or they fell out, maybe I put them back in that same pocket, then they got stuck to my hand when I took the key out and I didn’t notice, or maybe I held them in my hand, thinking I’ll put them in the pocket after opening the cabinet, but when someone stood right behind me, obviously waiting to either use that same cabinet, being one of the only two large ones that still had keys, or retrieve something from one of the smaller ones right above it, I just rushed to get away from there and either forgot that I had placed them on the floor in order to retrieve my things or dropped them by reflex just then, to have both hands free to grab the bags. And there’s also a chance that I still had them after taking my bags, but then lost them while rearranging things in them, a few steps away, since I do recall thinking that I should turn around and have another look when I walked away but deciding against it. I recall every product and price, of course, but it’s still annoying.
Either way, to finish what’s another awfully long post, I’ll also add that, after taking a shower, I spent almost five hours in bed, but only managed to sleep about three… And then I guess I decided that the start of a new month is a good enough moment to stop being so careful around here, so I didn’t put another mask on after showering, and was even in the kitchen and around dad for quite a while. This obviously makes me even more anxious, and I’ll be watching for any sign that something’s wrong, especially since I heard that my mother currently has a cold, even if it really is just a cold, and dad has been there and is going again tomorrow, but it had to happen someday…