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Planting Trees with Little Effort at Manastirea

The fact that yesterday’s tree planting event seemed at the time to be the only one that I’ll attend this spring made how it actually went even more disappointing, but I was there and did, in fact, plant quite a lot of trees, so I’ll write about it now, starting with the early hours of the day, when I ate dinner earlier, in the kitchen, and got in bed at 3:15 AM. As expected, it was hard to fall asleep at that hour, and I doubt that I had even gotten the briefest nap before deciding to pee again, just in case, just after 4:10 AM. But I did fall asleep at some point after that and slept for more than an hour, and possibly even for more than an hour and a half, before the alarm rang, at 6:15 AM. Then I got up, ate an apple, a pretzel and yogurt with cereals, got dressed, took a Smecta Go, since there had been some reasons for concern from that point of view before going to bed and something still didn’t feel quite right, and left at 7:30 AM, taking some trash, which I dropped off in a bin before jogging to the metro station, having dad’s card. However, I didn’t put on a mask, and it was only when the metro was reaching the next stop that I even pulled up that thing that goes on my neck, to at least cover my nose and mouth with it. And I somehow used the wrong exit at Victory Square, and the time lost to get back to the right one also meant that I had to wait one more “turn” at the stoplights, reaching that parking lot a couple of minutes after 7:50 AM, and we had been told to be there at least ten minutes before the scheduled departure time of 8 AM. But it wasn’t a problem, and it didn’t seem like I had to give my name to anyone, so when a driver asked whether we were there for Manastirea and told us to get in if so, I climbed into his bus and took a seat.
We got moving a little after 8:05 AM and the bus was full, the woman who sat next to me even having her kid on her lap. But at least he was quiet while he was there, and after a little while those who sat behind us offered to let him sit between them and he went there. And, other than confirming that the seat wasn’t taken when she asked, I ignored her completely… Though I found myself unable to ignore the fact that nobody seemed to be wearing a mask, so I still didn’t put mine on either, just pulling that thing up again five or so minutes after we got moving. And I spent most of the time with my eyes closed, trying to rest, though I did notice that we passed through this area at 8:20 AM. The very presence of so many people was making me increasingly anxious, however, and I struggled to keep it under control even while I could still listen to the radio, the feeling returning after we got far enough from Bucharest for the radio frequencies to change and someone else put on some foreign radio, loudly, so my attempt to switch to music just resulted in a cacophony in my ears and I ended up taking off my headphones, making the presence of all of those people even harder to block out. At least looking around after that point meant that I spotted one guy who was wearing a mask, but it seemed too late for me to also put mine on. And I also noticed the colored wristband that was in front of me, on the back of the other seat, making me wonder whether I had missed it until then or somebody had assumed that I was sleeping and quietly placed it there, so I put it on, then wrote my name and signed when the form got to me, and at some later point that woman asked whether I was “still upset” and introduced herself, so I also told her my name and shook her hand, but didn’t say anything else.
What was strange was that the buses stopped on the road for a while, before a driver stopped after turning off that road and seemed to have a rather heated exchange with someone. I heard some comments that the driver was actually the mayor, and now that I looked him up I’m tempted to say that it might have been, but at least after he drove away, at 9:55 AM, the doors opened and we stepped out… And into a really cold wind. And work was being done on the road that led to the planting location, so the dust was also a problem as we walked the rest of the way, which took some ten minutes or so.
Well, when we got there we were surprised to see that many others had been working for quite some time, judging by how many trees were already planted, though at least their speed was soon explained, since we noticed that some workers were doing the digging, with machines, so the volunteers just had to place the saplings in the holes and cover them again. I’m pretty sure that the only time when the holes were already dug was the first time I planted trees, back in 2016, and that is quite a relief when it comes to the actual work… But at the same time it meant that we weren’t exactly warming up, so if I had decided to wear two shirts because I thought that I was going to first take off the jacket and then also one of the shirts, I kept shivering with everything on, and with the apron offered by the organizers on top of it.
Speaking of that, we quickly went to the table where the equipment was handed out, but when the first guy handed me gloves and another one of those things that go on the neck, I just kept the gloves, which I again wore over some rubber ones that I had taken with me, returning that thing and pointing out the one that I was already wearing. And then, after initially taking it, I put back the bottle as well, since I have several of those. I was still hoping to get another hat, but they weren’t offering those anymore, the only other things available being vests and aprons, and we were told that we could take either one, but could only keep the vest, having to return the apron at the end. And the apron is useful, unlike the vest, so I took one and put it on. And then I moved to the next table, where they had bananas, biscuits and drinks, having a banana, a pack of four biscuits and a tea, and also taking a second pack of biscuits and saving it for later.
Then the coordinator called everyone to gather for a quick speech, asking those from that table to stop handing anything out, so people will walk away from there, and he also said that we were the third group to arrive that day, which explained all of the work that had already been done even more. On the other hand, while he did ask who was there for the first time and some hands shot up before he mentioned that he spotted quite a number of hats that indicate people who had attended their previous events, he didn’t really bother to offer instructions anymore, and there certainly was no demonstration of the correct planting technique. But we were planting black locust trees and the saplings were quite large, so maybe they relied on the fact that they could take it if they won’t be planted as well as they should be. And the holes that were dug were also much deeper than what would have been dug with shovels, though he also said that we should plant the trees a little deeper than we normally would, because of the soil from that location. Either way, he also pointed out the fact that we won’t need shovels and told us to form groups of two, four or six and get bundles of saplings, saying that a bundle contained 50 and was supposed to be enough for four people. And he also told those who were from a company that they worked with for that event to go to one side, leaving the rest of us with the other side and asking the stronger men and those who are used to hiking to start from the top of the hill.
Since I grabbed and ate another banana, seeing that they were about to run out, and also took a couple more pictures, by the time I went to the saplings, the coordinator was saying that too many had already been taken and the rest of us should just take some from those, so I climbed the hill and did just that, obviously not caring to find teammates and starting to work at 10:35 AM or so… Only for the holes from that area to be filled really quickly, so even if I searched for any that had been missed or not filled well enough, by 11 AM or so it didn’t seem like there was anything left to do and, after wondering what to do for a few moments and listening to others who were doing the same, I wandered away to look on the other side as well, going the long way around in order to avoid having to climb down the steep hill that was even more treacherous because of the dusty soil and burned vegetation. But at least I used that opportunity to take some more pictures of the area… And being on the top of the other hill allowed me to finally notice that workers were continuing to dig holes on another side of the hill that I had been working on, and other volunteers were gathering there and planting in them, so I went there as well and got back to work… For mere minutes, because at or just after 11:30 AM we were called to gather for a picture, so I finished what I had been doing and returned to the starting location.
It took some time and many calls for everyone to gather, and in the end a few stayed at the top of the hill and kept working, though I’m not exactly sure what they were doing there at that point, but the rest of us were finally brought together at 11:40 AM and the coordinator said that they really wanted to have everyone in the picture because it was their only tree planting event this spring. And the sandwiches had also been brought out, those being the only lunch that was served this time around, so after the picture I took and ate two, and also drank two cups of tea, after waiting a little for more water to be heated. Then I went to pee and got back to work, trying to plant as much as possible in the time that was left, since we had been told that the buses were going to leave at 1 PM, or 1:30 PM at the latest, even though the schedule that had been sent had stated that the work would end at 4 PM.
The problem was that the workers couldn’t dig enough holes for all of the volunteers. The coordinator also complained that they were slacking off, but there were far too many volunteers for them anyway, and in fact some did start digging with shovels, around that starting area, and I planted in a few of those holes at first, before returning to the other area and getting among the crowd of volunteers who were rushing to plant as soon as another hole was dug. So I did plant a lot of trees, but I had stopped counting even before I was done with the first area at the top of the hill and couldn’t even give an estimate with any confidence. 40 seems like a good number, 35 probably a minimum one, but there might have been more. Then again, I might have also overestimated, but that seems unlikely. Either way, it makes the fact that the coordinator said that a bundle of 50 saplings should be enough for a team of four quite laughable, considering how easy it was when we didn’t have to dig and the soil also didn’t need to be broken up before being put back into the hole.
I was still following the diggers and planting when I suddenly noticed that the diggers were pretty much the only ones who were still around me, the noise from their equipment having probably covered any discussions between the volunteers. That was rather startling, and when I checked the time and saw that it was exactly 1 PM I even got a little worried, but a few others were still making their way to the starting location, so I rushed back there as well, and since quite a number of sandwiches were left I grabbed one more and stuffed it in a pocket before going to pee one more time. Then, after taking the last of the pictures, I made my way back to the buses while eating that sandwich, passing a few others on the way but still being anxious, because so few seemed left. And the fact that I didn’t see the buses when I got back to the road even made me start to panic, feeling quite relieved when I turned around and saw that they had moved to another road, so I had just passed by them without noticing.
Two of the drivers were talking when I got there, and I climbed into the bus of the one who was saying that he was just waiting for four stragglers and then he’ll leave. However, after taking a seat I realized that the other one seemed to be the one that I had arrived on, and I also thought that I recognized the driver, so I got off and tried to get on that one… Only to return after that driver told me to do so, saying that it was that bus that was leaving then. That did make me wonder whether I was, in fact, leaving with a first group and other volunteers were staying a little longer, but I hadn’t seen any that were still working when I left and, either way, it was too late to go back at that point. And on that bus I had also seen a girl who was wearing a mask, and it’s possible that the one who sat next to her also did, though I’m not certain, so while that girl had something to eat and drink and took hers off after a little while, I ate that second pack of biscuits and then finally put mine on, no longer feeling that it’d make me stand out so badly. And that bus and another one left at 1:20 PM, nobody sat next to me and I wasn’t prevented from listening to my music either, so that anxiety didn’t return, not even while I was thinking that I should ask the driver to let me off before getting back to Victory Square and trying to figure out where and to work up the courage to do so. But I had heard others ask whether he’ll let them off in a certain place when I got back on that bus and he said that others had asked for the same thing, so I eventually decided to get off there as well if I’ll see a metro station in the area… Which I did, so I rushed to follow those who got up at that point and got off the bus at 2:45 PM.

While more than that would have been hard, I should have been able to write one or two more paragraphs before midnight, but it probably wouldn’t have made that much of a difference when I still had to add the rest later, plus the whole part about the rest of the day, so I ended up only getting as far as the moment when we were called to gather for the picture in what I initially posted, editing in order to add the next three paragraphs before finally going to the kitchen at night, while the rest of what’s above was added right after I ate, since I wrote while eating. That still left the part about the rest of the day, which I finally added before going to bed Wednesday morning.

Since we were dropped off at Sun Plaza and I’ve been meaning to have a look in Cora for a while, I went in and checked out the one from there, but it proved a waste of time… As did searching for the Bebe Tei from there, after seeing signs indicating that one existed, because it’s just a small pharmacy and I couldn’t spot any of the things that I had been looking for while having a look inside and couldn’t get myself to ask. And then some more time passed until I found the way down to the metro station, the total time lost being over an hour in that place, to which I ended up adding the fact that, instead of just switching lines, I went out at Unirii and checked out that Carrefour before returning to the metro station, without getting anything, since there was nothing interesting among the expiring or spoiling products, there were no eggs sold by piece, I still had to go to the one from Orhideea for that bread for myself, and I was quite sure that I was going to find everything else there as well.
I lost a little more time by using the wrong exit at Crangasi as well, then I used the toilet and got what I wanted from that Carrefour. However, when I decided to use the gift card received when I handed over the second batch of 50 RON in coins, the self-checkout displayed the message that an assistant will soon come. I assumed that it was because the total was not at least 50 RON, but when that message went away after a moment, I tried again… Only for the same thing to happen, and for the employee who was monitoring the self-checkouts to ask what was going on and then call someone else over, who said that if I wanted to use a gift card I had to pay the rest first, leaving the exact amount that’s on the card. Then again, that was what I had been told when I used the first one as well, but since that time I had selected the wrong option and then the employee said that there had been an error, I assumed that it wasn’t the real rule, since it makes no sense. But it apparently is the rule, and I’d have needed the coins that had been left in the machine in order to have the exact amount that I needed to pay, and the employee who came to help me had grabbed those, so I wanted to just pay the full amount and get it over with. But she said that I could give her the money and she’ll make it work… Only for the machine to cross out cash payments after she selected the method, so I gave her just over what was needed and she gave me the change and then used the gift card. And when I said that at least those two machines that are supposed to accept cash should actually do so, she said that she’s not given what she needs to keep them working and then she gets blamed for not doing her job, and she opened that machine and told the next customer to wait until she’ll sort it out.
After arranging the purchases and returning to the metro station, I got off at Dristor… After being about to once again use the wrong exit, though at least that time I realized it when I got off the metro and just had to walk to the other end of the station. Then I quickly passed through the farmers’ market, checking the prices of green onions at the few sellers who were still there at that hour and asking one about it, since there was no label, but finding them too expensive to buy any. And I also had a very quick look at the expiring products from that Mega Image, without bothering to use a cabinet, though I did use one when I got to Supeco, mainly looking for cabbage. Only one was left, however, and it didn’t look good, and when I asked an employee she said that they didn’t have any more. And when I weighed the bag of spoiling black radishes that was there I found that it weighed less than what was listed on the label, so I didn’t get that either, but I did get some other things… And, as I was retrieving my things from the cabinet, the guard, whom I had noticed following me around while I was inside and then standing outside when I left, asked who had made my receipt and wanted to see it, and after initially handing it back he asked for it again, and then asked the employee who was there whether she had checked me out, explaining that he hadn’t seen me at the checkout, so that other employee said that I must have been there, since I had a receipt, while I asked whether he thought that I had written it by hand.
At least that didn’t end up costing me even more time, since I wanted to watch the qualifying for the Formula 1 race and I was cutting it close, so I rushed back, though I was still paying enough attention to notice a 1 RON bill on the way, on the sidewalk, and grab it. And I also saw a tiny protest taking place at the entrance to the park, apparently demanding Romania to leave the EU and NATO and adopt a position of “neutrality”, so I gave them the middle finger as I passed by, on the other side of the road. And, when I found that I had a few minutes to spare, I had a quick look in this nearby Mega Image as well, putting just the bag with the purchases from Supeco in a cabinet, without locking it, and then retrieving it moments later.

I got back just in time, a few minutes before 7 PM… And I didn’t just do the day’s squats while watching the qualifying, but did them in an outstanding 2:01, since I also timed them. And I just ate a bag of snacks, considering those sandwiches as lunch, before eventually taking a quick shower. On the other hand, I was disappointed with the day, feeling that I really hadn’t done enough, and to some extent also that the event hadn’t really been what I had hoped for, plus that I had wasted all that time after getting back to Bucharest without having anything to show for it. But I then saw that the other NGO whose tree planting events I’ve been attending will also organize one, in April, so there should be another chance.

Written by Cavalary on March 19, 2023 at 11:59 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

The ICC’s Arrest Warrant for Putin Remains a Nice Surprise Despite Not Meaning Much

I definitely didn’t expect The International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin before, or without, Russia’s defeat, so this was quite a nice surprise despite not really meaning much when Russia doesn’t recognize the ICC and Putin isn’t likely to travel to any of the states that signed the Rome StatuteWith the possible exception of Tajikistan, but even that was quite unlikely in the foreseeable future. Plus that arresting heads of state is a complicated matter and even countries that should be required to enforce such a warrant may find ways to avoid doing so if they wish it.
Then again, maybe the knowledge that it’s quite meaningless in practical terms is just why the warrant was issued. After all, the other options would be either that international institutions finally grew some balls or that they know something about imminent, very positive developments that the rest of the world is yet to learn, and while I’d like to be proven wrong by another pleasant surprise of a far greater magnitude, both of these scenarios seem highly unlikely. So I’ll just take it for what it is at the moment, a largely symbolic gesture, but nevertheless a slight improvement.

Written by Cavalary on March 18, 2023 at 3:01 AM in Politics | 0 Comments

December 30 and Early January

I was agitated on the morning of December 30, stressing about the day, so I had already woken up even before that, but after waking up at 8:40 AM or so and getting up to pee a few minutes later, there was no way to get back to sleep, since at 8:50 AM dad woke up and called the guy who was supposed to deal with that lock. That guy came just after 10:10 AM and dad did try to be quiet until then, but I was too stressed out, so I just stayed under the blanket until they started making a lot of noise, at which point I got up, did the day’s squats, and finished The Crystal Keep while they worked, though I only wrote the quick review the next evening. But they took a long time, it was past 11:40 AM when that guy left… And they hadn’t managed to put everything back, so dad kept trying for a long time after that and he eventually took the lock back out on his own and put it back in the other way around, since he could manage to fix it in place in that manner, and it does work, but since it clearly wasn’t like that before, it’s wrong from where I’m standing.
I finally left just before 1:45 PM, walking to the confectionery that I had picked to get the mini cakes that my mother had asked for from. The line was long, but I had a look through the window and saw three of the four kinds of mini cakes, and I had taken that TV schedule supplement with me, so I looked through it while waiting. And I also waited less than I thought I would, since I was still outside when a guy came out and asked those who were there for products sold by weight to come in, skipping ahead of those who wanted products sold by piece. However, when I looked again after walking in, I no longer saw one of the kinds of mini cakes, and confirmed that the fourth kind wasn’t there either, so I asked about those two kinds when my turn came, being told that what’s available is just what can be seen there. So the only thing left to do was to only ask for the remaining two kinds, plus the two mini meringues that I wanted to get for myself… And then I got a little confused when I was asked to meet the employee at a certain checkout, so I probably kept her waiting for a few seconds until I figured out where to go. But those few seconds worked out in my favor, since I noticed trays with just those other two kinds of mini cakes being brought right when I paid, so I asked for those to be added as well. That confused the employee a little, since everything was going into the same box, and she ended up setting the scales to deduct the weight of what I had already paid for, so the next employee had to reset them, instead of maybe canceling the first receipt, leaving what I had paid on the counter and then charging for the whole thing, so I’d have still only added the difference. But it worked out.
After using a small table to open the box and have a look, I walked out and took quite some time to carefully place the box in the bag that I had taken for that purpose, only finally walking away when it was past 2:30 PM. And I had dad’s metro card, so I continued to the metro station, though I made a brief stop at a Lottery place on the way, on a whim, getting an instant ticket and winning back the money spent on it, so at least I only wasted a little time and not also money.
After taking the metro for one stop, to Obor, I checked the Mega Image that’s next to that confectionery from there, without getting anything at that point. And I couldn’t get anything from that confectionery either, since it was closed. Then, after spotting some cheap bananas while passing through the farmers’ market and keeping them in mind, I put the mini cakes in a cabinet and entered Carrefour, which was awfully crowded, as expected. But at least I found an expiring product that I got for dad. I also noticed two boxes of those mini cakes that I wanted to get from there that were expiring the next day, but they were still in the regular spot and not discounted. I should have asked about them, but I didn’t and just kept looking, considering the bags of grapes that were among the spoiling products, with a good discount. I didn’t like the fact that they were Turkish, but I had to at least check, since my mother had said that she wanted sweet ones, so I grabbed a single one and walked out with it in a pocket, after using the self-checkout for that expiring product. However, after going to the bathroom to wash it and my hands and eat it, I found that it wasn’t sweet, so I just retrieved those mini cakes from the cabinet and returned to the farmers’ market.
Well, once I got back there I saw scattered seedless grapes that were really cheap. I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed them the first time, but at least I noticed them then, and I also managed to work up the courage to grab one, going to the toilet from the indoor area, upstairs, to wash and taste it. And it was really sweet, so I went back and put some in a bag. And the control scales were nearby, so I checked when I thought that I had enough, getting in line after finding that I had just the weight for 1 RON. But the line was advancing slowly, so I eventually decided to get some more, almost doubling the quantity before checking again and then adding a few more, to know that I had the quantity for 2 RON. I did feel rather awkward while picking and made a few comments, but the guy who was arranging the crates and products told me a couple of times that I could pick as much as I wanted, I wasn’t bothering them, though on the other hand the woman who was selling turned a couple of times and told me to use the scoop, supposedly so I won’t get my hands dirty, though by then they obviously already were, so the idea was quite clearly to stop picking only the best ones, which I wasn’t about to do. Either way, I eventually got back to the end of the line and bought those grapes. Then I went to also get bananas… Only to find that the guy whom I had spotted the first time around had left by then. However, I found some cheaper bananas in another place as well, so I started checking the bundles, which made the guy who was there tell me to stop touching them because they’ll get worse. But by then I had found a bundle that looked quite good and bought it. He initially entered the price for the good bundles, probably hoping that I won’t notice, but I pointed it out and he corrected it.
Then I got back to that Mega Image and asked about whipped cream, since I hadn’t seen the one that was on sale the first time around… And I still couldn’t find it even after being told where it should be, so I asked another employee and she took me there… Just when yet another employee was pointing it out to another customer. That other employee only noticed one tube, but the one who was with me spotted a second one as well, and since that other customer eventually decided against getting any, it meant that I had the two that I needed. However, the price label stated that the discount required the store card, and I didn’t have dad’s. I didn’t recall the store card being mentioned in the catalog, but I had interacted far too much already, so I just grabbed an expiring mozzarella.
I got back to the metro station just in time to see the train close its doors as I was still fumbling with the card, so I waited for the next and got back here at 5:20 PM… And found that dad had forgotten that it was Friday, when he supposedly wants to fast, not that forgetting about it isn’t pretty much a rule if I don’t remind him, and sometimes even if I do, as if that’s yet another thing that I should keep in mind and not something he chose for reasons that one would assume are important to him. And the problem was that I had picked up that expiring product from Carrefour just so he’ll have something for that day, but since he had already eaten meat, it became pointless, and it was expiring… Either way, I took his Mega Image card, put the purchases in the fridge, talked to him a little and went out again at 5:50 PM.
I kept dad’s metro card, since he said that he won’t need it, but I walked to Unirii. Maybe I should have checked that confectionery first, but I was on the other side, so I first went to Carrefour and found three crates of eggs sold by piece that were discounted to what used to be the regular price until a few months earlier. So I started looking through them and in the first crate I found seven bio (organic) ones, albeit expiring soon, and set them aside before finding some larger ones that weren’t expiring soon as I looked through half of the second crate. At that point an employee told me to hurry up, because fridge doors shouldn’t be held open that long, so I got up after getting three of those better ones, to get to a total of ten. An older woman was also about to start picking from the eggs at that point, as I was pulling out a bag, so I told her to go ahead, but after a moment I looked at a few more, next to her, which made her try to help out, at first showing me large ones, and when I said that I was looking at the codes she pointed out where it said that they were Romanian and not close to expiring, so anything except what I was actually looking for, and I didn’t care to have that conversation again, so I put those ten in a bag and walked away, finding a spot where I could have a better look at them and taking them when I didn’t see any cracks. But the self-checkout machine that accepted cash didn’t have eggs listed among the products that I could select, and when I called an employee over and said so, she asked another one whether they even sold eggs by piece, then called someone and finally came over again and entered the code for them.
Since it was close to 7:30 PM when I left Carrefour, I meant to also check that Mega Image, thinking that the confectionery was either already closed or would stay open at least until 8 PM, but that only meant going around instead of straight to that confectionery, since that Mega Image was closed again, without any note being displayed. And that confectionery was also closed when I got there. So I just got back to the metro, and while I was on the train I put the eggs into one of the plastic boxes that I had taken with me, mainly for the cakes that I had hoped to find.
After getting off at Grozavesti, I went to the toilet in that shopping center and quickly checked Carrefour, entering with the eggs in my backpack, not finding anything to get and continuing to that Kaufland… Only to once again be disappointed when I had a look at a confectionery that I had meant to buy something from. At least that one was open, but it seemed to have been wiped almost completely clean, only a few cakes being left and those few not including that meringue cake that I was looking for. In fact, I didn’t even see a label for it, and the labels that I did see seemed to indicate that their offer had aligned with that of other confectioneries that are next to Kaufland stores, which reinforced my impression that they had been taken over, though since then I saw that they returned to what they used to offer, so I don’t know what happened during those days.
I didn’t bother to use a cabinet before entering Kaufland either, and I looked through most of the crates before picking a pomelo, since my mother had asked for a ripe one and most looked rather green while some were starting to spoil. Then, after asking about the olives that were on sale and being told that they had none, I also got some cheese, taking out the sturdier box, from some ice cream, and asking the employee to put it in there. She said that she’ll put it in a bag and then I can put it there if I want, and I apparently really confused her by saying that the box was clean and won’t spill, so why use a bag. She did put the box on the scales, set them to deduct its weight and placed the piece of cheese that I asked for in it, but she entered another, way more expensive, product, then she apologized after I pointed it out, took off that label even though I said that she could just put the new one over it, didn’t really seem to know what to do with the lid of the box when she weighed it again, printed the correct label… And then she put the box in a plastic bag before handing it to me. So they charge for the boxes and bags, supposedly in order to make people use less plastic, but when someone actually does bring their own box, the employees don’t even understand the concept. Either way, it was about 8:30 PM when bakery discounts of 50% were announced, but I didn’t have a look, and at the self-checkout an employee stood next to me as I was finishing scanning and my brain pretty much disconnected and I ended up moving erratically and dropping all the store cards. But I eventually managed to pick them back up and grab my purchases and change, taking some time after scurrying away to check that I really hadn’t left anything behind.
After getting back to the metro, I went back to Obor and to that Carrefour, but those mini cakes that were expiring the next day were no longer there. However, one box that was expiring on January 1 was left, so I asked an employee whether those shouldn’t also be discounted and she said that those are discounted a day before they expire, but when I pointed out that they’ll be closed on January 1, so only one business day was left until they expired, she told me to ask the employee from the bakery area. So I did that, but she initially said that it was December 28, realizing that she had gotten confused when I said that it was actually December 30, but she still said that they’ll expire in two days, not one, ignoring the fact that they won’t be open on that second day, so I left them there… Which meant that I couldn’t get any of the sweets that I wanted to get for my mother, being left with only the mini cakes that she had asked for, and just got those two mini meringues for myself, since I couldn’t find anything else for myself either. But at least a bag of apples that were listed as Gala had appeared among the spoiling products and it was discounted by 70%, so I grabbed it… And the self-checkout machine refused to scan it, so I called an employee over and she just told me to enter the listed code manually and walked away, which was actually a relief, since it meant less interaction.
I then continued to Kaufland, put my things in a cabinet and washed my hands, but the bakery discounts were still at 50% and that bread wasn’t discounted at all, so I just got two other things from there. But I did find those discounted olives in that location, and one area was full of small boxes that contained them, and they don’t charge for the boxes if they offer them like that, so I grabbed the one with the smallest quantity. And I also found some more of those discounted walnuts with Himalayan salt and got one more box, plus some food for Liza and also some expiring cat treats that were deeply discounted. They’re supposed to be really nice, but I struggled to “trick” Liza into eating one and then told dad to take the rest of the bag to my mother, who initially said that Rocky did eat them… Only for the bag to end up back here days ago, so over two months since it expired, with two pieces still in it, dad saying that Rocky no longer cared for those treats after the first ones and my mother just kept them there until now, when she gave them back, so I’ll see how to avoid throwing them away. Maybe the cats that are outside will want them, at least… But, to get back to December 30, I waited for 10:30 PM, in case the bakery discounts would increase, but they didn’t, so I then used the self-checkout, not only having no problems but also noticing that those walnuts counted as salty snacks, so 15% of their price was going to be turned into a voucher. Then I retrieved what I had in the cabinet, took a little time to arrange everything, and it was past 10:40 PM when I walked away.
That Mega Image that I had checked earlier was open until midnight, but the last metro starts the run at 11 PM, so I decided to go the other way and check another location of Mega Image, which I saw also closed at midnight. So I stuffed the bags that I was carrying in my hands in a cabinet, pushing to make them fit, since I was in a hurry, and I didn’t just find that whipped cream, but also saw that the price label from that location didn’t mention the store card being required in order to obtain the discount. Then, after taking a little time to look for some more expiring products but not finding anything interesting, I went to the checkout… Only to find that none were manned, and another customer also got there after me, so a guard called a cashier over, and I gave her an amount that’d have made the change 1.50 RON and even pointed that out. However, she handed me 2.50 RON while fixing me with her gaze and asking me to show her what I had in the bag that hung from my neck. So I showed her those bakery products from Kaufland and took the money, counting it as saving dad 1 RON, since that whipped cream wasn’t from “my” money. Then I walked out and got back in through the entrance, to retrieve my things from the cabinet… Only to find that I couldn’t leave again through that same door and stare in confusion for a moment, until someone who was outside stepped closer and it opened, and that guy also told me that it only opens when someone approaches it from that side. Then I got to the metro station as fast as I could without jogging… Which was just in time to once again watch the train leave. And it was a couple of minutes past 11 PM, and since more than ten minutes passed until the next one came, I was getting increasingly worried despite knowing that at least one more should be coming. But at least I used that time to arrange my things better.
I got back a few minutes after 11:30 PM, ate those walnuts, put a few of the purchases in their place, gave Liza one of those treats, seeing that she didn’t really care for it, and it was past 12:45 AM when I went to wash, getting back to the kitchen around 1:30 AM or so. Then I ate those two mini meringues and, after moving the sarmale to a small pot and finding that there were still too many for it, I decided to have some as lunch, instead of the old steak made by dad, despite being worried about that spoiling. But first I selected the grapes and ate what was good from those with bad parts, washed what was in the kitchen, cleaned a little, and put all of the purchases in their place with the exception of the apples, which I didn’t even take out of that bag that night, so I only saw the next day that they really were quite bad, and they didn’t exactly seem to be Gala either. What I did see that night, however, was that two of those three eggs that were larger and also not expiring soon had cracked! I can’t be sure, but I’m thinking that it probably happened when I stuffed the bags in that cabinet at that last Mega Image, or even when I took them out, since the apples and the pomelo were in that same bag and that plastic box that I had placed the eggs in was soft and obviously offered too little protection. At least one of the two was still usable, but the other was just crushed, so I had to throw it away. Either way, it was 3 AM when I took the first bite of lunch and started making the salad, only finishing lunch past 4 AM, when I was also finishing working on dinner, which I started eating at 4:15 AM and finished at 5:05 AM. I got in bed at 6:15 AM, after dad got back and I told him and he wrote down what to take to mother after he’ll get up.
I also told dad to take out a bag of trash when he’ll leave, and he added that on that same list… Only to cross it off but still leave it where it was, which really pissed me off when I got up. And I also slept poorly and far from enough, and I felt bloated and somewhat off in general, and my feet were once again rather swollen and burning, that feeling going up on the leg as well, in particular in case of the right one. I also woke up with a stuffy nose, but that cleared up after a while.

On the morning of January 5, I got in bed at 5:20 AM, and after waking up I decided to finally update Vivaldi, since 5.6 had been released almost a month before and I thought that its problems had been fixed by then and was starting to worry that the next major release would arrive. I’d have been even more concerned if I’d have been aware that said next major release would no longer support Windows 7, normal updates being blocked once it released, but I didn’t know that at the time. Either way, immediately after updating I noticed that the maximized window acted and was detected as a full screen application, so I had to use it in a regular window that I resized to fill the screen, which wasn’t quite the same thing, some additional space being lost around the edges, and especially at the top. But at least that problem was fixed in the next minor update and I can keep using that version for the time being.
Otherwise, I went out a little after 7:15 PM, taking the plastic and metal, which I dropped off in a bin on the way. I first went to the big Supeco, for more of that wine for dad, and I also grabbed some expiring sausages for him, being charged for the bag, and “rewarded” myself with one of those bags of bagels. But I had dad’s metro card, so I put those purchases in my backpack and entered with them after getting to Carrefour Orhideea, grabbing a few expiring things and all of the bread that I was interested in that was left, one for myself and four for dad. And the cabbage had a lower price than what was listed in the catalog, and while most of it was rather bad, I looked through it and eventually got two before using the self-checkout without problems and just quickly stuffing the purchases into bags.
I then rushed to Kaufland, trying quite a few cabinets that wouldn’t lock before someone emptied a large one and I used it for my things, Then I washed my hands, entered the store at 9:40 PM… And found that the cabbage wasn’t just slightly cheaper than it had been at Carrefour, without that being the announced price, but it also looked nicer! So I got one from there as well, after grabbing a few buns that had the evening discount. And I eventually also grabbed a bag of spoiling bananas, even though they looked rather bad, before making my way to the self-checkout. A guy came and stood right next to me while I was using the machine, but I ignored him until I was almost done, when I looked in his direction and noticed that the next machine was free, so I pointed that out and he went there. However, despite managing to be done just before 10 PM, I couldn’t get one of those meringue cakes which had reappeared at that confectionery, since it seemed to have already closed by then. So I spent several minutes arranging everything and wondering whether I should also have a look at Carrefour Unirii, which closes at 11 PM, but I eventually decided to go to that metro station and get back here.
I was back just after 10:45 PM, having carried almost 22 kg, and that backpack was already tearing. It had been in the kitchen for a long time, after my mother had supposedly fixed it, though I have no idea who gave it to her to fix or when, dad just saying at the time that it should have been mine, even though I had definitely never used it before, but after using it for the first time three days earlier, when I went back out in the evening, it seems that putting some weight in it once was enough to mess up the “fix”. Either way, I ate a banana and a sweet pastry, having had lunch before leaving, put some of the purchases in their place, washed a few of the things left by dad, and it was a couple of minutes before midnight when I went to the toilet and to wash. I was out of the bathroom right at 1 AM, put the rest of the purchases in their place and sliced two breads for dad, which led to failing to stick to the dinner schedule. I did actually think that I might just have time for one, which was correct, but I then decided to slice a second one as well and I couldn’t recover that time despite only washing some of what was left and cleaning a little. So I started eating dinner at 3:15 AM and finished at 4:10 AM. Otherwise, no visits were reported in either view, and I was making a note at the time that a computer fan seemed noisy, and I can say that I do keep having that impression occasionally, mainly after I get in bed, and it doesn’t seem to be a result of the case vibrating.

On January 6, I got up at 10:30 AM, when I needed to pee for the second time. I had sweated in bed and my nose was also a little stuffy, but that went away quickly. On the other hand, something at the back of my left ankle was hurting, and I was feeling something higher on that leg as well, though I wasn’t sure whether it was from my calf muscle or even knee or just the reflected pain from that ankle. But I still left at 12:15 PM, with a few more plastic and metal things in a pocket, which I threw in a bin at the metro station, since I again had dad’s metro card.
I went to Obor and first got an entire pack of six bottles of water for dad from Auchan, putting it in a cabinet from there, so I won’t have to carry it more than I really had to. Then I had a look through the farmers’ market and got a bundle of green onions, which I put in a cabinet at Carrefour, from where I got a few expiring products, including a box of those mini cakes, and some snacks, most of them for dad, since snacks were one of the categories that they were offering those vouchers for those days. Another category was soft drinks and dad had said that he’d like another Pepsi if it’d be cheap enough, which was unlikely considering the increased VAT for drinks containing sugar since the start of the year, but a price label with a lower price was left in one place, so maybe they could have been pressed into honoring that listed price even though the current price was listed in the normal place on the shelf, but I didn’t try and that normal price was too high. And the self-checkout wouldn’t scan one product, but I already knew how to enter the code manually, so I did so, and when it initially refused to “see” two 0.01 RON coins, I pushed in a third one, harder, and it “saw” all three. Then I retrieved those green onions from the cabinet and arranged everything a little in a bag, after which I checked another store and ended up buying a small plate, since there’s a large crack in one of those that we normally use and it’s likely to break in half at some point.
After a very quick look in another store on my way out, I went back to the shopping center and had a look around before retrieving the water from the cabinet, without entering Auchan again. I tried to carry the pack as it was at first, but soon decided to put it in bag, struggling but eventually managing to do so. Then I had a look and found that confectionery open again, and the prices seemed to be the old ones, not the awfully high ones from the site, but they seemed to only have a few products and those didn’t include any that I’d have been interested in. So I then also checked that Mega Image, putting the other bag in a cabinet but leaving the one with the water on the floor, since it obviously wouldn’t have fit in a cabinet, and then just retrieving them both, without buying anything, and getting back to the metro station. It was only after I got off the metro that I took quite some time to move the snacks and the expiring products to the backpack.
I got back here a couple of minutes after 3:30 PM, having carried just about 17 kg, but the water had made it really difficult, since I hadn’t split the pack, so it’s a good thing that I only had to carry it to and from the metro. But I had those mini cakes and they were expiring, so I asked dad whether he’ll go to mother again those days. He said that he won’t, however, so I then asked whether he’ll ask her if she’ll meet me at the park again, which he did, and she said that she will. But I was going to leave again in the evening, so I ate two of the mini cakes from that box, then had lunch, after which I also ate some of the fruit salad that was left, to be able to also take back the box that my mother had sent it in, and even did the day’s squats.
I left again at 7:45 PM, with the remaining six mini cakes, that box and a few other things, plus some trash, which I threw in a bin. I walked out of that metro station a couple of minutes before 8:30 PM, just as mother was crossing the road, so I gave her the stuff and we sat on the same bench as the previous time and talked for a while, even though it was chilly. And we stood in front of the metro station and talked for a few more minutes after she got up and we went back there as well, until 9:10 PM, when the next metro for this direction was about to arrive, since at that station you can see a screen from outside and I said that I wanted to catch that one.
I got back a little before 9:50 PM, then had a hot bath that took the chill out of me, and I also took a pill as I started eating dinner. I ended up going to bed at 5:25 AM, after struggling to get the bread which I had bought for myself the previous day in the freezer in a way that also left room for dad’s last two, after I’ll slice them, and then waiting to be able to use the toilet, since dad woke up and went there just as I was about to go. And struggling with that water did take its toll, my back feeling strange and my feet burning again, the left one in particular.

January 9 would have been a great day to run, but the forecast had only changed late on the previous evening, all sources listing a lot of wind until then, plus that I had other plans and not enough of the kind of things that I make salad from on the night before a run. So, seeing as the day was warm enough and sunny and I could keep the window open, I cleaned my room, a day short of two months and three weeks since the previous time, also changing the sheets and turning over the mattress. And, just like that previous time, I made mamaliga that night, though that time I also “inaugurated” the new cast iron pot, almost a month after purchasing it. And it was also only then that I noticed that there’s no enamel on the rim, at the top of the pot, and also none on the rim or handle of the lid. And, even though I won’t be using it, I also washed the lid at that point and placed it on its handle, and the next day I noticed that the handle had rusted, also leaving quite a rust stain on what I had placed it on, just because it couldn’t dry for some hours… Which was bad news, and became even more so after the enamel on the bottom of the pot started chipping away in a couple of spots, after just four uses, and it makes it clear that the pot will become unusable after a serious scratch on the inside as well, and there’s also a small area where the enamel is very thin, though at least it’s at the top.

Written by Cavalary on March 12, 2023 at 11:57 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

Quick Review: The Vile Realm

Considering how simple, for lack of a better term, the previous two books are, I most definitely didn’t expect the adventures of Marigold the barbarian to continue in this manner! I mean, The Vile Realm is actual fantasy, it takes place over two worlds, or perhaps even three, and hints at many others, some of the worldbuilding goes beyond what’d be strictly necessary, the antagonist is among the most powerful that any heroes could ever face, and Marigold’s character develops to an extent and in a direction that may be the most shocking of all, especially when there had been little reason to expect character development at all. And that’s not at the expense of the battles against overwhelming odds, which don’t only remain thrilling, but now even take place on multiple levels.
Still, it took me a while to realize that I should be paying more attention, and I don’t know how much of the blame for that is the book’s and how much is mine. But the amount of suspension of disbelief required remains unreasonable, and a scope that suddenly expanded to a level that’s incomparable to that of the previous books only makes the presentation feel even more confining. Admittedly, it does make a limited amount of worldbuilding seem to go a long way, but it remains far too limited, while the moments when more details are poured in are information dumps that may seem difficult and maybe even unnecessary to follow. And I could have really done without the bad art, my mental images being much, much better. Plus that the conclusion doesn’t even feel like one, being too early, too sudden, with too little impact, and followed by far too many pages depicting the aftermath, again focusing strictly on the characters.

Rating: 3/5

Written by Cavalary on March 11, 2023 at 11:59 PM in Books | 0 Comments

December’s Odds and Ends, Minus December 30

On December 2, I finished Soulkeeper and also grabbed and started reading the free short story, A Gift of Faeries and Firekin. And just after midnight I finished The Stuff Fairy Tales Are Made Of, so I’ll consider that I finished it on December 3, even though it was only a minute or so after midnight when I triggered the end, after talking to everyone, and three minutes until the credits also scrolled. And before going to the kitchen I finished the short story as well. Then I started eating dinner at 3:10 AM, finishing at 3:45 AM and getting in bed at 5:35 AM. I only wrote the quick review for Soulkeeper after getting up, while the one for the short story became the week’s second post, posted the following evening, a little before midnight.

Getting back to December 3, I went out that evening, at 7:25 PM, taking some trash and dropping it down the chute. Then, after a quick look in that Mega Image on the way, I got what I wanted from Penny, then continued to Kaufland, putting those purchases in a cabinet and having a quick look at garlic, walking right back out after seeing that it was from China, without even checking whether any of that bread for dad was left, which made me grab two from Carrefour instead, to be sure that I’ll get some. And I got some garlic from Carrefour as well, then I used the self-checkout and went back to Kaufland, washing my hands, entering with the new purchases, since they were clearly from Carrefour, and getting some bakery products that had an evening discount and a bag of oranges. The label had been torn from the bag which I had picked, so I tore one from another when I realized it. Then, since some were indeed left, I grabbed some of that bread for dad, but an employee was just checking that bread at that time, and when I went back there I saw that she had placed two expiring ones aside, so I had another look around, grabbed some expiring pepper, then checked again, five minutes before closing time, and found that a 25% discount was placed on those breads, so I took them and put back the two which I had initially grabbed, just getting to the self-checkout when it was announced that the store had closed. A woman was trying to cut in and, since I held my place, she crowded me when my turn came and reached over to help me bag my purchases, but I just thanked her and went on my way. Then, after retrieving what I had in the cabinet and taking a little time to arrange the purchases, I checked that Mega Image as well, putting everything in a cabinet, grabbing a Pepsi for dad and then retrieving everything once again.
I got back at 10:55 PM, washed and cleaned some of what dad had left in the kitchen, put the purchases in their place, ate an orange and a sweet pastry, and it was past 12:15 AM, maybe about 12:20 AM, when I went to the toilet and to wash. I was done an hour later, but there were some more things to wash and I also sliced a bread for dad and moved most of my hummus into a jar, so I started eating dinner at 3:20 AM, finishing at 4 AM.

On December 5, I installed and started Jazz Jackrabbit 2 – The Christmas Chronicles, getting crushed by the boss that night but finishing it just after waking up the next day. And then I posted a quick review for it, since I couldn’t write a proper one for something like this. And I also started The Blacktongue Thief that day, so on December 6, while at night, so in the early hours of December 7, after slicing another bread for dad, realizing that I won’t recover all of that time and deciding to also move some cheese into a jar, I started eating dinner at 3:15 AM, finishing at 3:55 AM.

On December 12, I went out a little after 4:05 PM, taking the plastic and metal and dropping them off in bin at the metro station, since I had dad’s card. The plan was to go to Obor early enough to get some more of those cheap perfumes for dad, then also go to Cora, because dad had brought catalogs and I saw a cast iron pot of a suitable size at a decent price, talked to him and meant to get one. However, I reached Obor Hall at 4:30 PM only to find it closed for cleaning that day, and I couldn’t find any of those perfumes outside. So I continued to that mall, first going to a pharmacy and asking about the tea that dad was out of, but they didn’t have it. Then, after a quick look in another store, I grabbed a number of expiring products from Carrefour, including a carton of eggs, after checking several, grabbing two, going somewhere to check them more thoroughly and switching one egg from one to another. Just one of the self-checkouts that also accepts cash was working, but at least I had no problems with it. And before leaving that mall I also checked the press store, but I didn’t see the weekend newspapers that dad had forgotten to get and I didn’t ask.
After reaching Kaufland, I put the bag with the other things in a cabinet, but kept the one that hangs from my neck, with bread and pastries. Then, after checking that press store as well but still not seeing those newspapers and not asking, I entered Kaufland and was surprised to find that same cast iron pot, two of them being in the discounts area, and on top of the price being even lower than at Cora, 15% of the value of kitchen products was going to be turned into a voucher those days. The boxes were opened and one was missing the plastic bag and the tiny leaflet and a bit of the enamel from the lid was chipped off, but everything seemed to still be in the other box, even though the box itself looked worse. The lid was a little scratched on the outside, but I didn’t care about the lid, so I got that one, only later thinking that the discount might have been just because of that damage, since some products that are discounted for this reason are sometimes also placed in that area and that pot wasn’t in the catalog those days… And it’s possible that there was more damage than what I noticed, since after just four uses some of the enamel from the bottom of the pot, on the outside, flaked off, and the fact that it’s made of cast iron means that it’s quickly rusting in those spots. And that’s not the only reason why I’m unhappy with that purchase, but at the moment it’s a massive improvement compared to that old pot that I had been using for mamaliga, so I’m being careful and can only hope to get at least a few years out of it. And, to return to that day, it meant that I didn’t need to go to Cora anymore, so I could take it easy, grabbing a number of other things, having no problems with the self-checkout and then adding the purchases in the cabinet, though I still kept that bag that hangs from my neck.
Penny was next, and I entered with that bag and got what I wanted plus a couple of expiring products from there as well, all of the stores having piles of such products that day, the respective sections overflowing everywhere except at Carrefour, where they only fit because there’s an entire area for such products in that location. Either way, after arranging the new purchases a little in a bag, I continued to Auchan, entering with everything, stuffing the bag with the purchases from Penny in the backpack while I was inside, and getting some more snacks and chocolate for dad and another cabbage for myself. The cashier was complaining to the person who was in front of me that another customer had supposedly been completely unreasonable by demanding exact change, 0.02 RON more than she had offered, and refusing a higher coin when she offered that instead, but what sounded unreasonable to me was the fact that she was complaining about an entirely reasonable request.
After arranging what I had a little better in the bags, I returned to Carrefour, since I had forgotten mustard, so I put everything in a cabinet and just grabbed that. The employee who came to help the people who were using that sole functional self-checkout ahead of me grabbed the coins which had been left in the tray and then I reminded those people to grab theirs, since they were walking away without doing so, but I had found a lot of coins that day.
After retrieving what I had in the cabinet, I returned to Kaufland, checked that pot one more time and then struggled to stuff everything except that bag that hangs from my neck in the cabinet… Or at least I think I did, though by the time I got back I couldn’t quite recall whether I had put the purchases from Penny there as well or kept them on me, in that backpack. Either way, I accidentally hit a number as I was trying to close the door, so I used a different code, then peed and washed my hands, entering the store again when it was about 9:30 PM, getting a bunch of products that had evening discounts and the canned mushrooms that I had forgotten the first time, and waiting in line at the self-checkout when it was announced that the store had closed. The machine wouldn’t accept the pretzels that I had gotten for my mother as the correct product, so I had to wait for an employee to clear that error, but then she asked about the remaining products and entered the mini pizza, initially selecting a different kind and then correcting. But I was getting scared, needing to interact, and I had several other bakery products in another bag, so it seemed easier to enter them myself instead of telling her what they were, so I did so, even though she was still logged on. That seemed to annoy her a little, but she didn’t stop me. And after she walked away and I checked to make sure that everything was correct, the next customer, who had taken her place to stand right next to me, told me to skip the store card at the prompt, but I didn’t, telling him that I had a card and scanning it. Then I took some time to retrieve what I had in the cabinet and somehow find a way to put everything in bags, walking out when it was past 10:15 PM and then taking even more time to properly arrange all of those things, so it was almost 10:30 PM when I finally walked away.
I got back just before 11 PM, having carried 21 kg, so using the metro definitely helped. Then I put most of the purchases in their place, talked to dad, ate an orange and a sweet pastry, and it was 12:25 AM when I went to the toilet and to wash. I was out around 1:20 AM, but there were things to wash in the kitchen and some more purchases to put in their place, and I talked to dad some more as well, so I think it was 2:20 AM when I started eating lunch, though it might have been ten minutes earlier. Either way, I was just grabbing a bite now and then, only finishing it at 3:35 AM, after finally starting to make the salad at 2:50 AM. I started eating dinner at 4 AM, finishing at 4:50 AM and getting in bed at 5:40 AM, despite not checking most of what I usually check on-line, so I only noticed the next day that there were no visits recorded in either view on December 12. I did notice while eating dinner that the keyboard’s indicator LEDs were stuck, but it was also only after waking up that I did something about it, unplugging it and plugging it back in, which fixed the problem.

On December 15, I got up when the alarm rang, at 10:30 AM, and at 12:05 PM I was just about to walk out the door, for another day of helping to make packages… Only to receive an SMS letting me know that volunteers were no longer needed. So I even called Anastasia, from dad’s phone, and she confirmed it. But I was awake at that hour and dressed to leave, and I could also use dad’s metro card again, so after taking some time to recover from the call, I decided to once again go to Obor, hoping to find those cheap perfumes for dad.
I left at 12:45 PM, and after getting off at that station, on the way to Obor Hall, I found 6 RON on the sidewalk, picking them up after looking around for a moment and not seeing anyone who seemed to be searching for something. On the other hand, wandering around the Hall was a waste of time, the prices for those perfumes either being higher or not being listed, and I didn’t ask. But that day I found some that still had the old price outside, and they were just the kind that dad tells me to look for first, so I got six and was given one more, that didn’t have a label anymore, for free. And while waiting to cross the road I turned around and noticed the cheap bundles of green onions on the stall that was right behind me, so I bought one.
After again asking about that tea when I got to that pharmacy from that mall and still not finding any, I put the purchases in a cabinet and got some things from Carrefour, using the self-checkout and then retrieving what I had in the cabinet and taking some time to arrange everything. Then, since I was passing through that area again on my way back, I went back to that guy and, after waiting around for a while, since he had walked away and was discussing merchandise with some of the others, I got the remaining four perfumes as well. He had one more bottle, set aside and partially used or spilled, and I’m thinking that he’d have given it to me for free if I’d have asked for it, but I didn’t.
I then also went to that Auchan, taking the time to better arrange what I had in the bags before putting everything except that bag that hangs from my neck, where I had pastries from Carrefour, in a cabinet. Then I checked some used pants, mainly for dad, before actually entering the store and getting some more snacks for dad. I meant to go to a checkout manned by a guy, but I wandered off to check the products included in a sale that was announced just at that moment and when I got back he was closing and pointed me to the one checkout that was still open in that area. But that was manned by the same cashier who had checked me out the previous time and I felt like I couldn’t handle her seeing me buying those same snacks again, so I went to the other area and ended up waiting for a while, since the line was longer.
After retrieving what I had in the cabinet and taking the time to arrange everything, I took the metro to Unirii… And started walking to the other part of the station before realizing that I meant to get out, not switch lines, and turning back. Then I went to that Carrefour as well, putting my things in a cabinet, getting a couple of expiring products and seeing that they had finally installed self-checkouts that also accept cash in that location as well, so I used one. Then I once again retrieved my things from the cabinet and arranged, and just went in and out of that Mega Image, just wanting a catalog, since I hadn’t checked on-line, but not seeing any.
I was back at the metro station when I realized that I had meant to walk back, in order to get to a newly opened Carrefour Express that I thought was close to Alba Iulia Square, so I went back out of the metro station… And pointlessly walked all the way to that square, since that Carrefour Express was actually in the other direction. But at that point I was still thinking that I had somehow missed it, so after also looking for a catalog in that Mega Image and still not seeing any, I turned around and crossed the road, to look on the other side as well, only gradually starting to realize that I had lost plenty of time by walking in the wrong direction. But at least I did eventually find it, and many bags of those bagels for my mother were left, so I bought ten, then I returned to Unirii Square and took the metro to Dristor, deciding to walk back from there when I realized that it was going to be faster than switching trains for one more stop, the screen stating that the next was going to leave in 13 minutes.
I got back at 6:55 PM, put some of the purchases in their place, washed a few of the things left by dad, and ate a sweet pastry and a part of what was still good from a quince before going to pay the maintenance bill, finishing the quince after getting back. Then I went to the toilet and showered, after which I had lunch. I still had a lot to do, however, so I washed what I could but left the things that would have taken longer for another time, and I also only cleaned up after myself after dinner, in order to just manage to stick to the dinner schedule, in fact “cheating” a little in order to be able to say that I started eating before 3 AM even so.

On December 19, I left a little before 4:10 PM, once again having dad’s metro card, and also taking 30 RON in coins. I first had a quick look in the Mega Image that’s next to Tei, then entered the pharmacy and got toothpaste and a stock of those pills that dad uses a lot, since they were on sale. Then I also went to that location of that other pharmacy, getting tea and a nose spray, before taking the metro to Carrefour Orhideea, entering with the purchases, getting some of that cheaper bread for dad and some garlic and using a self-checkout.
I still hadn’t decided where to go next when I got back to the metro station, but I eventually went to Obor again, going straight to that Penny, putting my things in a cabinet and asking the guard whether they still offered those vouchers in exchange for coins. But he just told me to ask the cashier, and when I did she asked someone else through the headset, being told that they no longer had any vouchers. She said that they did need the change, if I’d like to hand it over anyway, but I wasn’t going to do so without getting something in return, so I just had a look in the store, without getting anything, then I retrieved my things from the cabinet and put them in another one after getting to that Carrefour. And I found a box of the mini cakes that I already wanted to try among the expiring products, so I grabbed it, using the self-checkout without problems and then retrieving my things from the cabinet and taking the metro back to Dristor.
After walking to the Penny that’s near that newer Kaufland, I asked about that voucher there as well, but the cashier didn’t even ask anyone else, saying that they no longer had any vouchers and didn’t think that any other location did either. She also offered to just exchange my coins for bills, but I obviously refused and went to Kaufland, without even having a look in that Penny. Then I again put my things in a cabinet, used the toilet, and entered the store at 9:10 PM, but I saw no evening discounts for bakery products, confirming it after scanning a label. But there was an evening discount for bananas, so I took my time to pick a handful of better ones before getting a few other things. I was surprised that it was 10 PM when I got to the self-checkout and there had been no announcement about the store closing, having missed the fact that it was open until 11 PM those days. But I realized it when bakery discounts were announced as I was trying to retrieve what I had in the cabinet, so after fussing with my things for a while, I put it all back in one of the large cabinets and went back in. I had also realized that I had lost a small bag and wanted to see whether I could find it again, but I didn’t. However, the bakery products were discounted by 75%, as I saw when I scanned some labels, since the ones with the discounted prices hadn’t been placed, so I got a few things, again using the self-checkout without problems and then once again retrieving what I had in the cabinet and taking some more time to arrange everything better. And on the way back I went into that non-stop Mega Image, putting the other bags in a cabinet but entering with the backpack and the bag that hangs from my neck and getting some of the paper towels that were on sale from a large cart, since none were left on the shelf, before retrieving my things and also arranging those towels in a bag.
I got back a few minutes before 11:30 PM, carrying a total of 17 kg. Then I ate a banana and some of those mini cakes from Carrefour and put most of the purchases in their place. It was past 12:35 AM when I went to shower, and just before 1:10 AM when I got back to the kitchen. Dad had cooked, however, so I had to wash and clean and once again didn’t do everything before eating, finishing after dinner. And there were some more things to put in their place, and I also sliced one of dad’s breads, though I then used the sandwich maker to make some sandwiches with some of those slices and counted those as lunch, adding them to what I took to my room and finally starting to eat at 3:45 AM, finishing at 4:50 AM and getting in bed at 5:40 AM.

On December 20, after transcribing some interviews for dad, I went out again, a little after 5:15 PM. I still wanted to try to get that voucher, and it was the last day when the cat food was on sale at Penny, so I’d have been able to use it as well, making a purchase of over 30 RON, but I first went to the large Supeco and got some wine for dad and a bag of bagels as a “reward”, then continued to a Penny that I had never gone to before. I really had to pee on the way, but the gas stations that I passed were on the other side of the road, so I struggled to hold it in, got there, asked about that campaign… And was told that it’s no longer running. So I didn’t even actually enter the store, rushing to Auchan, or more exactly just to the toilet from that shopping center, since after using it I went back out and to that Penny as well, putting my things in a cabinet even though it didn’t lock and actually getting a bag of cat food before asking the cashier about that campaign. And I bought that cat food, but still kept the coins, since I was told that they hand over the large bills to the bank on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, so on those days they have a lot of coins and few bills, which also explained what had happened on November 1, when I had also tried to give the coins in that location and had been refused. Either way, I then retrieved what I had in the cabinet, but still made one last attempt on the way back, making a detour in order to also ask at the nearer Penny. But the cashier asked through the headset and also said that the campaign is no longer running, so I just left again, without entering the store, getting back at 8:20 PM… Which was also when dad got back, so I sprinted to catch up when I saw him entering the building ahead of me.

On December 21, I installed and started the first Broken Sword, while in the early hours of December 26 I grabbed a bunch of free Kindle e-books and started reading The Crystal Keep before going to bed in the morning. And just before starting to read I also checked when I had last tried to play Fate of the World: Tipping Point and saw that it had been on December 7, and for just for one failed turn, and I had just been poking at it for quite some time before that, still unable to win that second scenario, which is in fact the first proper one, after the tutorial, so I decided to consider it abandoned once again. And I’ll also mention here that there were no visits recorded in either view on December 26.

On December 28, I left a couple of minutes after 7:20 PM, going to Auchan… And being surprised to see that they had reduced the price of that bread that I get for dad, matching the price of the similar bread from Carrefour Orhideea. So I got five, then wandered around the store, ending up grabbing some corn puffs with powdered milk, and also the water for dad, seeing that it was a tiny bit cheaper than the one from Penny. However, that took too long and I no longer had time to go to other places, so after using a self-checkout and taking the time to arrange the purchases, I went to that Penny, putting the other things in a cabinet but walking in with the three water bottles that I had in the backpack, since I had struggled too much to put that backpack back on, and the water was Auchan’s store brand anyway. Then I looked through the small number of kiwis that were left and took those that seemed better, since my mother wanted some for the fruit salad and they were on a good sale, and I also grabbed an expiring product, then I retrieved my things from the cabinet and got back here… Even though I kept wondering whether I should also check that Kaufland that closed at 11 PM, changing my mind and crossing from one side of the road to the other a couple of times before finally deciding to try to catch dad before he left and managing to do so, seeing him coming out of the building and talking a little while he waited for the car that took him to work.
I got back a little after 10:30 PM, having carried 14 kg… And found that dad had messed some things up, and had also spilled Liza’s water from the kitchen and hadn’t even mopped that up, so I took care of that, washed what he had left, put the purchases in their place, and ate an orange and those corn puffs, which were really sweet even though the ingredients don’t list any sugar or sweeteners, so I guess that all of the sweetness comes from the powdered milk. Then I even did the day’s squats before finally going to wash, at 12:15 AM. I got back to the kitchen at 12:50 AM, sliced one of those breads for dad, and managed to stick to the dinner schedule.

Written by Cavalary on March 5, 2023 at 11:24 PM in Personal | 0 Comments