[ View menu ]

Catching Up on June… After a Full Week of August…

On June 6, I had more of a breakfast, including an egg salad, albeit with just a small sweet thing and no bread, and left at 5:25 PM, going to the main Library location, near Romana Square, to return the books and maybe try to find the other one again, even if the system was still down. And I wouldn’t have needed the system, because I had taken the location code before it failed… But I forgot to take it with me. And I also felt really down on the way, but just kept going and got there at 6:30 PM, told a guy that I wanted to return some books and, after another person who was there asked if she could look through the English books for the one she wanted, I asked if I could do the same, mentioning that I couldn’t find it the first time. And he took the books, not bothering with my pass, and told me to go ahead. But I searched for over 15 minutes and still didn’t find that book, nor any other that seemed interesting enough. I was thinking to look through the literature section, but only had time for a glance through the subsection for Australian authors, so I eventually gave up and walked out just before 6:50 PM. The closing time was 7 PM, but I had heard some employees leaving and others saying that they’ll stay five minutes longer, so although nobody actually said anything to me, I knew I had to go.
I had taken some things that I was supposed to give to someone if she was going to meet me, maybe at University Square, but after first asking where to meet and passing the question back and forth, she stopped replying after I said that we won’t get anywhere if neither of us will fix something for the other to say yes or no to. Admittedly, I had selected an option on the form she had set up for that purpose and she said that she wasn’t going to come there then, and then I had said no to her first suggestion of another date and place. Either way, she also didn’t reply to the e-mails I had sent the day before and that afternoon, before leaving, so I obviously didn’t go back to University Square. Instead, I first checked that place with those carrot and orange cakes, seeing that it was closed, I hope not for good, and also had a quick look at that other place from that area, finding that the prices had obviously increased. Then I turned around and went to Obor… Somehow missing the single turn that’s on that route, though at least I realized it seconds later and went back.
Since I got to that area too early, I also checked Auchan, finally putting on the mask after entering that shopping center. Then I went to Carrefour, finding cheaper cabbage than what I had bought from Kaufland on June 2, but since it didn’t look too good and I already had that, I didn’t get more and kept going to Kaufland. It was 8:40 PM when I walked in, after peeing and washing my hands, but evening discounts were already listed and I got some buns, since that bread had a regular discount those days and no evening one and the sweet pastries that I’d care for were already gone. They had also been having piles of expiring walnuts from that brand, most of them spiced, but some caramelized ones as well, and I had been waiting for them to get closer to the expiration date, so the discount would increase, and that evening it was 50% and I found one last one with cinnamon, so I grabbed it, then also got some bread for dad, two bags of deeply discounted but actually still good cucumbers, one of the two bags of discounted beets, and a few other things. So I shouldn’t have bought cucumbers on June 2 either, but how could I have known? Either way, after waiting for 9:45 PM I made my way to the self-checkout, had no problems with the machine, then took some time to arrange everything in the backpack and bags and had just finished doing that and was about to walk out when it was announced that the store had closed.
I still needed to get some zacusca for dad, so on the way back I made a small detour to a Mega Image, thinking that I had to really rush when the closing time listed on the door was 10:30 PM and I had seen 10:19 PM on a street clock just before getting there. So I stuffed everything in a cabinet and quickly grabbed those jars, but then I also spotted some raisins in dark chocolate that had a listed price that was lower than the regular one, and I had been thinking about buying some more of those, to have some before the longer runs. However, that price was listed on a basket filled with such bags, while the normal price was listed in the proper place on the shelf, and the bar code was the same and the ones from the basket weren’t marked as being discounted in any way, so I gave up on the idea, not even trying to ask an employee, thinking that they were closing by then… But the time on the receipt was 10:32 PM and people were still walking in when I retrieved my things from the cabinet, so maybe what was listed on the door wasn’t correct.
I got back a little after 11:05 PM, put some of the purchases in their place, cleaned some of the mess dad had left in the kitchen, and told him to not stay more than an hour when it was just about midnight and he went to take a bath. Well, he did stay for more than an hour, but it was fine, because he came out when I had just finished eating lunch, after taking care of some more things and also having those caramelized walnuts. So it was 1:15 AM when I went to the toilet and to shower, coming out a few minutes after 2 AM. In spite of that, and of still having some more things to do and even washing the pot I had to wash for dad, since I made a cucumber salad and even I can do that pretty quickly, I still managed to finish eating at 3:40 AM, albeit after starting at 3:20 AM and then really rushing.

Moving on to June 13, I woke up early, when dad went out, leaving a note that he went to get cat litter. I had meant to go out in the afternoon, to get to Obor early enough to be able to get some from there, but he had been on my case for a couple of days because I wasn’t gathering the pee, Micky peeing so much at the time, and the litter box was supposedly stinking and he couldn’t take the smell… But he can just ask what smell and ignore me if I complain about the smell of his cooking when he won’t even turn on the exhaust hood, or about the moisture that’s in the air most of the time, admittedly with the exception of this hot part of the year, when he allows the windows to stay open, not to mention the smell of feet and sweat and who knows what else, sometimes as a result of him leaving dirty clothes everywhere. Either way, he bought another kind of cat litter, the same price as that other one at that store from Obor but five kilograms instead of six, though it is actually better and we switched to it since then. And before I left he again complained that I had just gathered the poop, though I had taken the worst of the pee as well, and before I got back he had cleaned out most of what was in the litter box and started the new bag. But, between his complaints, I managed to ask if I could use the metro card if I’ll get back before he had to leave and he gave it to me.
As such, with no more need to go to Obor, I left a few minutes after 2 PM and took the metro to go to Dedeman and get an extension cord that dad had asked me to look for. A storm seemed to be coming when I left the store, but it didn’t start before I went into that Auchan, getting kefir and a bread for dad and some metal dish scrubbers and using a self-checkout, though the machine kept saying that the bar code was wrong, finally working just when I meant to call an employee to help, which made her say that it got scared of her. But then it printed the receipt badly, the paper being crumpled and the bar code being split, so I couldn’t scan it in order to leave that area and walked out when others scanned theirs, which caused the gate to beep and those people to tell me that I had to scan my own receipt. So I showed them why I couldn’t do that and they told me to show it to an employee, but I didn’t bother, and no guard came after me. Then I took some time to arrange the purchases and then also went to that Kaufland, having never been to that one before… And I noticed that there’s a confectionery there and it didn’t just have those mini meringues, but they were surprisingly cheap. But we had plenty of sweets, so I didn’t get any, putting my purchases in a cabinet after needing to try three before finding one that worked, then getting the cornmeal I wanted and also finding expiring yeast and getting one, using a small part of it for the bread that I actually did bake the next day. The rest of that pack is still in the freezer even now, but I wouldn’t count it as a loss even if it’d no longer be usable, considering the discount. Either way, I then had no problems with the self-checkout, retrieved my things from the cabinet and walked back to the metro.
I took my time to arrange everything in the backpack and bags on the metro and decided to stop at Dristor and check the farmers’ market, looking for that cheese and maybe some more cat litter. However, after it seemed that it had rained while I was in Kaufland, even though while I walked to the metro station it wasn’t even drizzling anymore, it had most definitely rained heavily in the Dristor area, but it was actually sunny when I got there. And when I got to the farmers’ market I found that the store that I thought I’ll find that cheese at was closed… And so was the pet shop, and an old woman who was selling at the stall that’s in front of it told me that they had closed and left, and when I asked whether that was because of the rain she said yes. So I just wasted time by going there and ended up getting back a few minutes after 5 PM.
After putting the purchases in their place and having lunch, I was just walking out the door again at 7:30 PM. Since the area around the stadium was still closed off, I had to go around it, then got to Carrefour and looked for the cat food that was on sale, but just one of the kinds that I wanted to try for Micky was still available there and the sale was four for the price of three, so I got one of those and one of another kind, deciding to also try that one even though I hadn’t really wanted to at first, plus two of the kind that I knew she liked. Then I spent quite some time searching through the pile of expiring, and even actually expired, bags of pretzels, trying to find one without tears which wasn’t already expired. Once I finally had one, I went to the self-checkout… But I wanted to enter all of the cat food as being of a single kind, since at that point I wasn’t sure whether the deal also applied if they differed, and the machine no longer asked for the number of items automatically, so I wasn’t sure what to do after scanning the first one. I could have just scanned the same one four times, of course, but I had started with one of those that I had two of and eventually figured out that you can change the entered number, so I entered three and scanned that second one. Not that I had to do that, as I later learned that the discount did apply even for different kinds, but I didn’t want to risk it at that time.
Either way, I then also went to Kaufland, put the purchases in a cabinet, peed and washed my hands… But found no bakery discounts yet, even though it was just 9 PM. So I looked around and got cucumbers again, since those had a good evening discount, then finally saw the bakery discount labels being placed and got another one of those breads and two buns. Then, after wandering around until 9:45 PM, I went to the self-checkout, having no problems with the machine but also seeing that none of the discounts had increased. Then I retrieved my things from the cabinet, took a little time to arrange everything and got back at 10:25 PM.

On June 16, I went out a little after 2:20 PM, also taking some recyclables, which I dropped off in a bin on the way, and some small broken electronics. I first went to the farmers’ market, but when I got there I decided to first check that Supeco and ended up getting just a little garlic. Then I went to that pet shop from the farmers’ market, but if three days earlier I had seen the kind of cat litter that we used to get through the window, at that point they only had more expensive kinds. And I couldn’t find that kind of cheese at the stores from there either. But I did find two people selling cabbage at the same price as the one that was at Mega Image those days, which was the cheapest at that point, and decided to get some from one of them instead of from the store… Though she rounded up the price, asking for 4 RON when the total should have been 3.85 RON. But that just made me actually look for coins, and I’d say that before getting back I just recovered that small loss that way.
Then I went to Kaufland, dropped off those small broken electronics, put the bag in a cabinet, went in and got a few things, having no problems with the self-checkout. Then I retrieved the bag and kept going to Auchan… And a bug got right in my eye on the way, so once I got there I went to the bathroom to try to get it out and wash that eye. And then there’s the fact that they don’t have cabinets there, guards putting things in sealed plastic bags, so I had to walk around the store while awkwardly carrying quite a large bundle. And I didn’t even find the bread that I was looking for, even asking and being told that they were out. But at least I got two expiring ones for dad, also using the amount that was on the store card, as a result of buying that kefir for him three days earlier. And on the way back I also went to Carrefour, put everything in a cabinet, found the new bread that was on sale and got one even though, while the name would have led one to believe that it was made from whole wheat and rye flour, the ingredients listed rye and white flour. Then I retrieved my things from the cabinet and got back here a little before 5:55 PM.
As for that night, I just failed to stick to the dinner schedule, thinking that I had a few minutes to spare and finding that I didn’t have as many as I thought. I also realized that I had again forgotten to put seasonings in the salad before taking it to my room, and even though I left it like that, I didn’t quite manage to take everything else to my room before 3 AM. And then, after finishing the roes and going back to the kitchen in order to put some jam on the last slices of bread, I also saw one of those black cockroaches when I opened the fridge and tried and failed to kill it before it escaped, so I ended up finishing dinner a few minutes after 3:40 AM. And I just felt crushed, being really tired before starting to make dinner and by the time I went to bed I just felt weak, even shaking, a headache was coming… And I was still tired when I got up the next day.

Moving on to June 22, I left at 10:15 AM, taking dad’s metro card and going to a protest against the proposed new laws governing the intelligence agencies. Not jogging to the metro station meant that I just missed the metro and ended up waiting for nine minutes for the next one, but catching that one would have just meant getting there too early, since the protest was supposed to start at 11 AM, the organizers asked people to arrive at 10:45 AM, and it was just after that time when I got there, though I spent a couple of minutes taking my mask off and putting it away properly before actually getting to the protest area. As for the protest itself, there were only some 30 participants and a handful of photographers, but just one news crew, from that site that focuses on protests and always shows up, and even they just interviewed a couple of the organizers and then left. But at least the chanting was well organized, starting a couple of minutes after 11 AM and lasting for a full 30 minutes. And the organizers also brought bottles of water and at the end of that part I also took one and drank it right away, then took my place in the group when the final picture was taken. We were also told that anyone who wants to do so can have their picture taken with the actors they had, with head gear in the form of eyes, but I didn’t care for that, so I left at 11:45 AM, putting my mask back on when I got to the metro station.
Then I went to Obor, first checking that Auchan and then also going to the Mega Image that’s on the way to that Penny, finding the candy I was looking for and also noticing that some rather nice chocolate was 50% off even though it wasn’t expiring, so I got one of those as well. Then I went to Penny, putting the backpack in a cabinet even though it had no key and getting the cat litter and treats that were on sale, albeit just one of each at that moment. Then I retrieved the backpack, put everything in a cabinet once I got to Kaufland, peed and washed my hands, and just bought a beet, at full price, though it at least looked really nice. Then I again retrieved my things from the cabinet, put everything back in one after getting to that Carrefour, and grabbed an expiring small focaccia, some potatoes and the only four code one eggs that weren’t visibly cracked… Though when I got back I saw that at least one was actually cracked after all, and they were all dirty and sticky. But at least there were no problems with the self-checkout, neither there nor at Kaufland. So I again retrieved my things from the cabinet, took quite some time to try to arrange everything in the backpack and bags, then had a look through the part of the Obor market with the shops, getting two more of those awfully cheap perfumes for dad and some of that cheese, since it was at least placed in the refrigerated area that time around.
After getting back to the metro station, I decided to first get back here, to drop off the purchases and also give the metro card back to dad, even if he had initially said that he won’t really need it. So I was back at 3:25 PM and did that, and also talked to him a little about Micky and tried to feed her some of those treats before going back out just before 4 PM.
After just getting a little more garlic from Supeco, digging through it in order to find some that looked better, I decided to go to Auchan after all, jogging nearly all the way and entering with that garlic in the backpack… Only to once again fail to find that bread. And after again asking about it and being told that they were indeed out, I also asked at what time is it usually available, being told that some was still there an hour earlier. But that didn’t help me in any way, so I just got some more bread for dad and made my way to the Carrefour from the park, still hurrying but not running again. Then I put the bread and garlic in a cabinet, quickly grabbed a few more potatoes and a snack, retrieved my things from the cabinet and rushed back, though when I saw that I had a couple of minutes to spare I ended up also quickly checking the nearby Mega Image.
I was back a couple of minutes before 6 PM, the back of my neck and my ears being awfully sunburned, and parts of my lower arms, the right one in particular, were also affected to some extent. Either way, I then had an orange and that entire large bag of bagels which I had meant to eat two days earlier, after which I finally showered… And then made mamaliga, since dad was away until late. And after eating I even did the day’s squats.

In the early hours of June 24, after washing two pots and slicing bread for dad, and then also taking my bread out of the freezer too late, which made it even harder to slice when it was tricky to begin with, since it was another piece of the bread I had made, I only started eating dinner at 3:20 AM and finished at 4:05 AM. Then, after getting up, I left at 2:55 PM, first going to finally meet that girl, at this metro station, and give her those things.
Next, I went to Carrefour Mega Mall, got some of that cheese for Micky, grabbed something from the expiring products… And found that the beets were almost 30% cheaper than they had been at Kaufland, so I got two more. Then, after having no problems with the self-checkout, I also checked that store from there for the newspapers, since dad had forgotten to get them earlier and I had told him that I’ll take care of it. But they didn’t have either of them there, and the store that’s at that Kaufland, which I checked after putting the purchases in a cabinet, only had one, so I left it for later and went in, just getting an expiring “Greek” yogurt with a normal amount of fat but increased protein content, even if it was expensive even with that discount. Then, after again having no problems with the self-checkout, I retrieved my things from the cabinet, arranged everything in the backpack, and decided to check whether a newspaper stand was still open and actually had newspapers. However, the one from that corner was closed and I didn’t try to search for others in that area.
That meant that I still needed those newspapers, so after having a quick look in that new bakery on the way, I ended up also going to Park Lake, finally finding the newspapers at that store from there. Then I again put the purchases in a cabinet and checked that Carrefour as well, finding a nice sweet thing among the expiring products and also grabbing a few more potatoes, since the price of those had also dropped. They had been on sale until two days earlier, but once that sale ended the price actually dropped 20% more. Either way, I then again retrieved my things from the cabinet… And the coin got stuck in the mechanism, though after fighting with it for a while I eventually managed to get it to drop without needing to ask for help. But I was already late and that made it clear that I had no chance to get back by 6 PM, so I took it easy, once again arranged everything in the backpack, and was just entering the building at 6:15 PM.
Well, dad had someone here at that point, helping him move furniture yet again, so there were plenty of things on the hallway, the kitchen was full of books… And trying to squeeze around the books in order to put the potatoes in their place caused me to bump and scratch my head multiple times, and there was actually a bit of blood, and my head rather hurt. Then, after that guy left and dad started moving everything back, I ate that sweet thing and an orange while cleaning up a couple of places, and also did the day’s squats, in the kitchen, before going to my room and eating a snack that I already had. Then I finally went to the toilet and to shower, also taking some time to wash that little piece of carpeting that I wipe my feet on, since dad had used it to soak some of the water, after that guy stepped in the water that he kept placing there for the cats. And then I also worked on my running shoes for a while, trying to make them scrape my feet much less, which I actually managed… Though at the same time I also had a much better look at just how damaged they are. Either way, I eventually also had lunch and wrote the quick review for the book, which I had finished the day before, after having started it on June 12… And I just realized that I’m actually yet to translate it into Romanian and also post that version on Goodreads.

That work done on the shoes and that expiring yogurt were obviously for this summer’s Dream Trek, and I already wrote about that, as well as about what happened before and after it, but I didn’t yet mention the dinner I had the following night, so I’ll add here that, in the early hours of June 27, I only managed to start eating dinner at 3:25 AM, after making mascarpone and mushroom pizza and also putting some mascarpone on one of the purchased pastries. I had one more pastry, which I had initially meant to also eat that night, but I gave up on that idea and had it after waking up instead. As for the rest of that day, my feet were really swollen… And in the afternoon there was a power failure, lasting for an hour.

Getting to June 28, I was making a note that my mouse was really double clicking, but this does still seem to have to do with the temperature, and since then there were moments when it was really bad and others when it worked almost normally. But this section should be about June 28, and that day I went out at 4:10 PM, taking the recyclables, which I dropped off in a bin, and then, after first entering a pet shop and asking about the food that I had been told Micky will need, going to the Post Office, having received a notification that I had something to pick up.
I already mentioned, in the post about Micky, that dad called just when I was there and I ended up going to see her and talk to the vets on my own, but I’m yet to mention what happened in between, starting with the fact that I spotted another vet and pet shop place after leaving the Post Office and asked about that food there as well. And then I thought that Micky’s vet was another one, so I first went to that place, getting there a little before 5 PM and waiting until that time, but not daring to try to enter, since I was increasingly uncertain and there didn’t seem to be any movement. So I rushed back here and checked the receipt, seeing what the correct place was and finally getting there a few minutes after 5 PM, though it was just a little before 5:10 PM when I actually entered, after waiting outside for a couple more minutes, in case dad would show up.
As I already stated, he didn’t come, but he was here when I got back and said that he didn’t know what to do, since I hadn’t answered, and hadn’t heard me telling him where I was before hanging up. That was probably an excuse, but it doesn’t matter anymore, so I’ll just move on and say that I then had a nectarine and two pancakes and left again a little after 7:10 PM. I didn’t go back to that first pet store that I had checked, however, since I decided to go to the Kaufland and Carrefour that are next to each other and knew that another one of their locations was on the way… Only to be told a higher price when I went there and asked for the other kind of special food that we had to get for Micky. Or at least it was higher than what I remembered seeing at that first location, but while when I mentioned that I was told that perhaps they hadn’t yet changed the price labels there, since the prices had just increased, it is also possible that I hadn’t looked in the right place, since the price that I recalled seeing was for the basic kind and I wanted the one with fish. So I didn’t argue, paying the current price and also deciding to count the difference as paid from “my” money, since I was the one who decided to not go back to that first location. And if I’d have gone in that direction I could have also checked that other place one again, and then there’s the large pet shop that’s next to that Kaufland, where the price was just a little higher than what I thought I had seen, so less than what I ended up paying. But I just got two at that time, so it wasn’t too much of a difference.
Either way, I then made my way to Kaufland, but at that point I just had a quick look in the pet shop that’s also there, then went back out and also quickly checked the location of that same pet shop from Mega Mall before entering Carrefour and initially just getting a little bit of garlic. However, I then saw a good price on some yogurt… Only to scan it and see a much higher price. So I took a picture of the price label, looked for an employee and told him, and he came with me and checked and confirmed that I should get the listed price. So I went to one of the few checkouts that are still manned in that location, let the cashier know of the issue and showed him the picture, but he wanted to check and nobody seemed available, since he first called one person, was told to call another, did so, had the call rejected, called again to let someone else know what happened, waited for a while and eventually said that the difference was higher than it actually was, asking for less money than even the listed price of the yogurt, even though I also had that garlic, and still giving me a higher amount than what the difference should have been as change. I have no idea what he was thinking, but I didn’t insist on being fair anymore, just taking the money and walking away.
After getting back to Kaufland, I put the purchases in a cabinet, peed and washed my hands, but didn’t find anything interesting, and the cat food that was on sale was also gone, and that had been my main reason to go there, so dad would be able to take some to mother the next day, when he took Liza there. So after a while I just walked out, retrieved the purchases… And put them in a cabinet at Carrefour, since I went back there, since they also have evening discounts for bakery products in that location, so I picked up two breads for dad. However, what I didn’t yet know at that point was that the discounts don’t apply automatically. But those self-checkouts also don’t have scales, so when I used one and noticed that the full price was showing up, I just entered that I only had one instead of two and got the discount that way, without asking an employee to help. Then I again retrieved my things from the cabinet and rushed out, to still be able to go through the area that’s around the stadium, seeing as it closes at 10 PM.
I was back a little before 10:10 PM and started cleaning the mess left by dad in the kitchen, even leaving putting the yogurt in the fridge for later. I also talked to my mother on the phone for a while, then finally had lunch and it was some time after 12:30 AM when I finally went to shower, getting back to the kitchen at 1:10 AM and still having things to do. Nevertheless, I still managed to finish eating dinner at 3:40 AM, and would have even managed to start before 3 AM if I’d have rushed, but I first arranged the food properly in my room and therefore started right at 3 AM. On the other hand, I wasn’t feeling well. My feet were less swollen than they had been the day before, but I had walked a fair bit and they started swelling again after I got back, I had an odd feeling in my abdomen, there had been an odd taste in my mouth and perhaps some acid reflux even while I was out, and the way I felt in general reminded me of the previous summer, when things had been quite bad, so I was thinking that, even though it hadn’t seemed like it at the time, I might have pushed myself too hard during the Dream Trek.

And the last day I’ll include in this huge post is June 30, when I ran. I had intended to go right after coming back from the vet, despite the heat, if that’d have been it for Micky, but since that wasn’t the case, I did change straight into the full running gear but left the run for the evening, first having something sweet brought by my mother and lunch and eventually also drinking all the tea. And when dad left to take mother back, he took out the yucca he had received some time ago, wanting to leave it on the building hallway, in case Micky had chewed on it and that had caused her condition to worsen so quickly the day before, so I said I’ll take it in my room instead. The leaves were dusty, however, and my mother told me to wipe them first, so I first placed the plant in the bathtub and wiped some of them there, but the position was hurting my leg muscles, so after a while I moved the plant to my room and finished here. Then I made another tea, put some things in the pocket of my tights, also had an apple and the yogurt with cereals and almonds, once again put on both of those armbands, and left at 7:40 PM, when the reported temperature was about 34°C, supposed to drop by a few degrees by the time I’ll finish, so when I actually started running, at 7:55 PM, it probably wasn’t higher than the 33°C that seems to be the highest reported temperature that I ran at so far.
The time was 50:22, with sector times of 4:38, 5:20, 6:07, 4:42, 5:21, 6:10, 4:43, 5:20, 6:02 and 1:59, making for lap times of 16:05, 16:13 and 16:05. Memorizing the exact times obviously had no point, so I didn’t bother, and then I couldn’t even write down the exact full time, because it was dark in my room when I meant to look and instead of pressing the button for the stopwatch’s light, I accidentally pressed the one that made it resume timing. Either way, I was thinking that, under those circumstances, staying under 50 minutes would be great, but after such a slow first sector I realized that I was actually looking at 52 minutes. Still, I tried to stay under 16 minutes on the first lap and pushed on sector three, and while that wasn’t enough for that lap, over the course of lap two I realized that I should be aiming to stay under 51 minutes. And then, since after the end of that lap that target seemed to not be a problem, I briefly wondered about staying under 50:30. It didn’t really seem worth thinking about until the end of sector one of lap three, but after seeing that sector’s time I realized that I really had a chance and pushed from then on, even harder on sector three, and found that I was safe after the three laps… Which was a good thing, considering that poor final sector. So it was an awful time, the worst, and the first one over 50 minutes, since the last run before being hospitalized, but at that point, under those circumstances, it was all right.
Needing to wait for an opening in a roadblock meant that I stopped for a couple of seconds on sector one of lap two, before the bridge, and it’s possible that there was another brief stop on that sector, and there definitely were brief stops on sectors one and two of lap one and sector two of lap two. I probably didn’t really stop on sector three of laps one and two or on lap three, but I did slow a lot a number of times, because of all the people. And lap three was also windy, so there was a cooling effect, but I also had to fight the wind. The heat was a far bigger problem, however, and I was also tired, after just getting a few hours of sleep and being awake since morning. In fact, a couple of hours earlier I was almost falling asleep at the computer, and I obviously hadn’t recovered after the Dream Trek, my feet were swelling, my abdomen also seemed swollen, my kidneys still didn’t seem to have recovered… In addition, I started feeling some warnings from the right knee from the start of lap two, both thighs added their “voices” to that from the start of lap three, and what was more concerning was that my heart also felt weird as I went up the stairs at the start of the final sector. And, speaking of that final sector, I couldn’t recall whether I had gone all the way to the left on that straight, and instead of just continuing to the right and then going left again, I stopped when I realized that and went to the left, possibly again, before returning to the right. On the other hand, they had finally painted the white lines on the edges of the lane everywhere, and a couple of small patches which they had just repaired were fenced off, but I can’t say that those caused any problems.
After the run, I first checked that Carrefour, putting on the mask after entering that mall but not getting anything. Then I also went to Kaufland, peed and washed my hands, but didn’t find toilet paper and the only evening discount seemed to be for green onions and even that wasn’t good enough, so I just got a handful of regular onions, at full price, since we were running out.
I got back a little after 10:35 PM and had another sweet thing brought by my mother and some walnuts and drank the second tea, but dad went to shower first, so I washed what I had to wash in the kitchen and then wasted time until I eventually asked whether he’ll take much longer and he finally came out a little after 12:30 AM. So I could then go to the toilet, for the third time that day, and then showered, getting back to the kitchen at 1:15 AM and also slicing the last bread that I was yet to slice for dad, so I only started eating dinner at 3:15 AM, though I had licked something in the kitchen before that time, and finished at 4:05 AM. I got in bed at 5:20 AM.

Written by Cavalary on August 7, 2022 at 11:42 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

I Guess I Managed to Avoid Getting COVID-19 Long Enough…

While including last Friday in this post otherwise would be irrelevant, I will start by saying that I did find that I had a little bit to spit out when I woke up that day. Still, while it was unusual, I didn’t pay much attention to that, and there were no other symptoms that day, or at least none that I noticed. And putting a slice of pizza dad had brought in the microwave on its own while I heated the rest of my lunch on the stove and still eating it even though it ended up burned and hard enough for me to worry about my teeth when I struggled to bite into it and then also making and eating a particularly spicy salad at night also made me not pay much attention to the sore throat I had the following day, since it seemed normal under those circumstances.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, so I’ll just include all of Saturday here, starting with the fact that I was woken up by Liza throwing up, and since dad hadn’t yet left I asked whether he’ll go to Supeco to get the number candles he wanted, since he had said that he wanted those for his and my mother’s birthdays and I found that they were cheapest there. Then, since he was going to his mother again that day and said he won’t have time, I said I’ll go and left a little before 12:10 PM, though I found the Kaufland catalog in the mailbox and spent a couple of minutes glancing through it before exiting the building.
The plan was to just grab the candles from the Supeco that’s next to the farmers’ market and then also check the market, but I didn’t find those candles there, and the employee I eventually managed to ask confirmed that they didn’t have any. So I abandoned the idea to also check the market and headed straight for the other Supeco, which is much larger and where I did find the candles. And I also grabbed a bottle of that cheap wine that dad drinks, after noticing it there and for a lower price than what he had told me he usually pays for it, plus a bag of bagels as a little reward for myself and also some cheese, noticing that the price was similar to what it used to be at this nearby store before they increased it yet again. I hadn’t taken much money, however, so I calculated that I could afford just under half a kilogram of that cheese and told that to the employee… Only for her to cut 750 grams and ask whether that was all right. But after I repeated how much I had left she cut away a part and left me with just over 450 grams, which was fine.
Well, things weren’t fine at all at the checkout, the total being 0.99 RON higher than what I had calculated, the cashier asking for more when I handed her what I knew was the correct amount, since I had also used a price checker to check that the prices of the other items were the listed ones. And she also quite condescendingly said “because that’s what it is” when I asked why. But after I said that I had calculated it exactly and again asked why, she said that she had also given me a bag, which she had indeed taken while scanning my items, placing it among them, but the previous customer was still gathering his items at that moment and I hadn’t asked for a bag, in fact hadn’t said a word until that point, so I assumed that it was perhaps for him and just moved it aside. And when I said that I didn’t want a bag she said that she didn’t understand because I had a mask on! But, again, she had added that bag to my purchases before I had said as much as a word, so there was nothing for her to misunderstand, plus that I obviously had two bags of my own. So she then had to delete the bag, which required scanning a card that she first asked the guard to find before going to help him look for it, though he was still the one who eventually found it. However, even after that bag was removed, the total remained 0.10 RON higher than what I had calculated, but I just gave her another coin… And then made up for it by just brazenly grabbing a 0.10 RON coin that was on the counter, behind some things, as I walked away. And yes, that difference was because of the bag the cheese was placed in.
After walking out, I arranged the purchases in the backpack… And I wasn’t yet out of that parking lot when I actually became aware of the fact that my throat was sore. Still, as I already mentioned, after that burned slice of pizza and the spicy salad, plus walking in the heat without drinking anything that day, it was hardly unexpected, so I pretty much shrugged it off, stopped again a little later in order to move the candles to a pocket, thinking that they could get damaged in the backpack, and got back at 2:50 PM. And since I only made tea after that and then had to wait for it to cool, it was a few hours later when I finally drank something, and I also ate an entire large bag of bagels while writing that day’s little post, which was likely to have scraped my throat even more. So I was noticing the soreness and starting to think that it could be a reason for concern, but at the same time had plenty of reasons to think that it wasn’t a sign of any real problem after all. And the same was true for the fact that at night I started feeling increasingly out of it, since I also clearly felt dehydrated and exhausted and overheated. So I made another tea and burned my throat even more when I drank it, not having time to wait for it to cool before I went to bed, but also took some medicine, something for the throat being an obvious choice but then looking through what we still had and taking something for colds as well, just in case… Even if this latter one had expired a year and a half ago.

When I happened to wake up that morning, the pain in my throat was awful, and my mouth was full of saliva, so I had to swallow and it was so hard… And I was also sweating a lot, so at one point I took my temperature and saw exactly 37°C. But since I had just gotten out of bed and had also taken that cold medicine, exactly 37°C didn’t strike me as indicating a fever, so I just got back in bed. If I’d have allowed myself to see the signs, I could have prevented, or at least tried to prevent, dad from going to my grandmother’s that day, ruining the planned birthday celebrations but sparing my grandmother, who’s 100 and with chronic sinus problems and large polyps, and my mother, who’s now 64 and has a number of other health problems, from contact with someone who was by then also most likely infected. Not that he hadn’t been coughing again lately, and the previous weekend he had been on a trip as well, so even though he insists that he had no symptoms and the cough is just a return of that chronic infection he has, and it does indeed sound like it, there is also a chance that he was again the one to bring it. And since I ran last Monday, obviously without wearing a mask then and during the evening, when the park was crowded, and he was on that trip that previous weekend, the moment when the symptoms appeared can’t be used to pick one of the two scenarios.
But, to get back to Sunday, he left before I got up… And in the afternoon I decided to take my temperature again, being surprised to see 37.4°C even though at that point I didn’t feel like I had a fever. So I looked up the symptoms of the variants that are now dominant and saw that the first and main one is having a sore throat and one that’s now being added to the list even though so far it wasn’t associated with COVID-19 is night sweats, so exactly what I experienced. And dad got back rather early, while I was still “processing” that, so I told him that there might be other reasons for it as well, but it’s possible that I had a problem, so we should at least keep the distance until we’ll know for sure. Not that it wasn’t too late for that…
Of course, his reaction was to dismiss my concerns, keep saying that there are other diseases as well… He was even dismissing my concerns about my grandmother, saying that she probably has better immunity than us and that if we just keep saying that no other diseases exist on this world then the fact that she’s been coughing for a month or so should lead us to say that she has it and probably gave it to us instead of the other way around. Of course, that’s impossible when she doesn’t leave the house, but that’s how dad is. So he pretty much ignored everything, even reminding me that my mother wanted to come here on Wednesday, and got ready for the next day, since he had an episodic role in a TV series… Which made me think that he’ll get tested once he got there, so I told him to at least send me a message with the result, then took some more pills at night, making sure that they weren’t expired anymore, since by then I was much worse. Interestingly, my throat was no longer sore, but I had a headache and that clear sensation that I had a fever, felt weak and lightheaded, and at night even started to feel something in my chest. Also, before I went to bed my left eye was swollen, which actually seems to be how my body indicates contact with this virus. My feet were also awfully swollen, but that wasn’t exactly unusual.

My original plan for Monday was to run, and while that was quite clearly not going to happen anymore, I still set the alarm to ring at 2 PM and got up when it did. There had been no message from dad, and he said that they hadn’t been tested before filming, so I first took my temperature again, seeing 37.9°C, and then used the oldest quick test we still had. It had expired in May and the control line appeared gradually and remained faint, but the result line showed up immediately and was as strong as it could be, so I asked dad to find out the procedure, since I said that the DSP should be called but he said that now the family doctor deals with these things… So he eventually asked, though at first he was asking if I really wanted to report it if the result was positive, and clearly said that he’ll still go to work that night, regardless of how it turns out. Either way, it’s possible that he first called others, but he eventually called the family doctor and she said that I should go to Babes and request the PCR test. However, assuming that it’ll be overcrowded there, I was wondering whether I could go to the Ilfov County Hospital instead, and asked dad whether he could ask her, but when he tried calling again she didn’t answer and then even rejected the call.
I still meant to at least try to go there first, however, so I went out at 4:05 PM, realized after a few steps that I hadn’t taken my ID card and came back for it, also grabbing my health card at that point, just in case, and then went to Ilfov County Hospital… Only for the guard to say that they only do tests until 3 PM, so I should come back the next day. But I wasn’t going to just give up, so after also stopping at the children’s hospital on the way, the guard from there saying that they only test children, I got to Babes after all… Only to again be turned away by the guard. The reason was different, however, since they’re doing tests until 8 PM, but getting one requires a code from the DSP, and when I said that my family doctor had just said to go there he rhetorically asked what does the family doctor know… Which is a good question, this once again proving what a bad family doctor we have. Either way, he said that I could just call or go on-line and get the code in five minutes, but with no active credit I couldn’t do that, so I said I’ll go home and get the code and then come back.
Once I got back here, I asked dad to call the number for the DSP and he did, waited for a while, eventually got through to an operator… But when it came to giving my e-mail address he put me on the phone, though I hadn’t wanted to use his phone. Not that it seemed to help, since even though the operator repeated the phone number and e-mail address back to me twice, she probably entered something else, or just didn’t do anything at all, because she said that I’ll receive the code in five minutes but 30 minutes later I still had nothing, so I decided to use the form on the site as well, and even though I assumed that it’ll take even longer in that case, a couple of minutes later I did receive a code. Of course, it’s possible that it was a coincidence and the code generated after calling just happened to come then, but it seems unlikely, though I can’t really know, because dad told me to use his e-mail on the form, in case it’ll be sent by e-mail and come after I’ll leave again, since I definitely wanted to leave soon, in which case he could send it to me when I was already there, but no message came on either e-mail address.
I was already at the door when that code came, at 4:50 PM, so I immediately left again and got back to Babes. Then the guard told me where to go and I saw that my concerns were completely unfounded, because nobody else was waiting when I got there, even the woman who had arrived at the gate just ahead of me for some reason going back out after being told where to go and therefore getting there after I did. So I was asked for my ID card, then given a form to fill, and eventually got swabbed, without any comments about the fact that I hadn’t stated whether I was employed or retired or, if applicable, where I worked. But seeing those questions reminded me that dad should have started paying my health insurance, since I was no longer employed, and I later learned that he hadn’t done so, so I wasn’t covered right at that moment, but at least that made my parents figure out what to do and he apparently took care of it since then. On the other hand, I meant to ask what I should take that day, at least until I’ll get the result to know for sure, but that just went completely out of my mind at that point, so after the swab I just left.
Well, without a positive PCR test result, you’re not a confirmed case and therefore not required to isolate, so while it wasn’t right for me to keep wandering around that day, I was wearing a FFP2 mask and not coughing or sneezing and had taken some money and bags and dad’s Penny card with me and decided to get what I’ll need in the coming days. After all, hardly anyone seems to care anymore, considering how few wear masks and that plenty are coughing, some badly and possibly even straight towards others. So I first went to Kaufland, washed my hands and found an unannounced 50% discount for red cabbage. It did look rather bad, but after using my key to open another bag I eventually took two small ones, plus a handful of onions and some more cornmeal. Unfortunately, as I was checking those cabbages an old woman dressed in mourning also came to look through them and even made a few comments and asked me about them, and of course she didn’t have a mask, so I wonder if I put her at risk. Either way, I then also went to the Penny from Decebal, put the first purchases in a cabinet and got what I wanted. Even managed to get a piece of the cheese that had such a good discount, finding two in another area, the spot where it should have been being empty, and also finding one last box of another product, hidden behind the others that weren’t on sale, so I got two jars of that as well. And at least I had no reasons to worry about putting anyone at risk while I was there, since the guard and one of the employees stocking shelves were coughing badly and continuously, and of course had no masks.
After retrieving my things from the cabinet and stepping outside, I took quite some time to arrange the purchases, having only a few flimsy bags making it rather difficult. And I was fatigued and lightheaded, having rather struggled to get there and then struggling even more to get back, since I was also carrying several kilograms, the weight wasn’t as balanced as it should have been and I had to be careful that the bags won’t tear. So I was really slow and might have looked a little drunk, since I know that sometimes I wasn’t exactly walking straight, but I eventually made it, getting back a little before 8:40 PM.
I felt much better after eating and taking a pill, but again started coughing a little at night. Also meant to use that pulse oxymeter to check the saturation and found that it wasn’t working anymore, and trying to open it first resulted in jabbing a rusty pair of scissors into my hand. But I eventually managed to open it, with a knife, and found that the batteries had leaked, so I cleaned it a little, replaced the batteries, and then could finally use it, seeing 96-97%. Otherwise, my left eye was less swollen, and my feet were hardly swollen at all. And what’s strange is that they didn’t swell again since then, though they had been swelling at least since it got hot, and clearly since this summer’s Dream Trek. I wonder if a part of the treatment also sorted that out, in which case it’s probably the ibuprofen, since by then I had already taken something containing it.

My throat was once again terribly sore after I went to bed that morning, however, and whenever I woke up my mouth was full of saliva, so I had to swallow and was just afraid of it because it was just so painful. And at one point I also felt out of breath and checked the saturation again, initially seeing 93%. After a while it increased to 98% and then settled back to that 96-97%, and when I checked again after getting up in the afternoon I even saw 99%, but I do believe that it had indeed dropped at that point, albeit very briefly, fortunately. On the other hand, after the feeling of having something in my chest returned before I went to bed that morning, also causing me to cough occasionally, it didn’t go away by the time I got up. It lessened, but it was still there, and so was the cough… And my tongue was rather loaded and I also had crap to spit out, and there was blood in it, though I had no idea whether it came from my throat or my chest. As for the temperature, I checked again after getting up and it was 37.8°C, and I continued to feel as I do when I have a fever.
Then, in the afternoon, I got the message confirming that the result was positive, followed by the one telling me that I was in isolation until Friday, since now the period is only five days and, as before, the count starts from the day when the swab was taken. Direct contacts aren’t quarantined anymore, however, and since dad insists that he has no symptoms, he has no restrictions… And if, unless I need to spit or brush my teeth, I wear a mask whenever I leave my room, which mask is that FFP2 one unless he’s at work, and I also got back to using the small bathroom and try to limit my time in the kitchen and keep my distance from him, he never put on a mask and keeps tending to get closer when he wants to say something or if I tell him something. Still, if at first he seemed to just dismiss the risk, I think he started taking some pills as well, though he’s trying to hide it.
Either way, he tried calling the family doctor again after that confirmation, but she didn’t answer, so he called a friend of his who’s also a family doctor and he prescribed a treatment… Which treatment included an antibiotic and an antiviral, this latter one in particular making me quite apprehensive, considering the side-effects they tend to have. But he went out right away, to buy what we needed out of what had been prescribed, the fact that he wasn’t quarantined at least allowing him to do that… And I of course felt even guiltier when I saw how much he ended up spending.
The thing is that this seems to be the treatment scheme at the moment, possibly for “moderate” cases, because the family doctor eventually replied as well and gave the same prescription. That makes me wonder how much some of the manufacturers are paying to be included in it, seeing as cheaper alternatives with the exact same ingredients exist for some of the medicines, and in case of a supplement there’s something even better, and which used to be recommended before, but when dad asked the family doctor she insisted that I must take that rather costly and worse one. And he had already purchased it, but in the end I ended up replacing it with the other one after all, since we still had some and even dad agreed that it was better that way. But when it comes to the “real” medicines, I’m following the prescribed treatment, of course.
But while he was talking to the family doctor he called me over to ask what symptoms I had and if I wanted to talk to her directly, and that caused me to panic. So I obviously didn’t talk to her, but that didn’t mean that I could recover, and some time after getting back to my room I got dizzy and found myself pretty much checking out mentally. I wasn’t feeling well physically either, and was also coughing more and had a fair bit of crap to spit out and it tasted and smelled foul, but I’d say that my mental state was even worse at that point.

Moving on to the early hours of Wednesday, I grabbed a bite in the kitchen, meaning to be able to say that I at least started eating dinner at 3:05 AM, but it was actually 3:10 AM when I really started, 4:15 AM when I finished and 5:25 AM when I got in bed. My brain just felt so slow, and I sort of had the feeling of watching myself from the outside, my mental state not improving. And I wouldn’t say that it improved over the course of that day either, even though the fever went away by the time I got up, taking all the associated symptoms with it.
I still had a fair bit of crap to spit out, however, and after placing the water for the day’s first tea on the stove I went to the small bathroom to do that… Only for the water to start boiling and spill, extinguishing the flame, and the smell of gas was quite noticeable by the time I got back there, dad being away to finally sort things out with my health insurance. But all the windows are open, so after a few minutes I could light it again. And otherwise, even if it was most likely quite unwise, in the evening I timed the squats, though I obviously didn’t push, the time just being 2:37.

I’d say that yesterday my mental state finally improved as well, even if physically I didn’t really notice any change. Needing to make two teas per day and try to grab something to eat according to when I should take pills is taking a toll though, and so is needing to clean something after dad whenever I get to the kitchen. And then there’s the fact that I’m worried about my mother and grandmother, even more so after last night, when I only started eating dinner at 3:20 AM and saw an e-mail from my mother, saying that she’s not feeling well, and of course my grandmother already had problems, but they won’t do anything and just place their faith in God, as always… So I finished eating at 4:15 AM and then replied, pressing them to get tested, and now I see that my mother said that at least she’ll do a quick test, so let’s see how that goes.
As for me, today was the first day when my throat wasn’t terribly sore anymore. It’s still a little sore, but nothing like what it was, not even when I got up, so I can probably finally say that I’m on the way to getting cured. I still have some days left with the treatment, needing to take that antibiotic tomorrow as well and everything else until Monday, but I hope it’ll be fine in the end… And that I won’t be left with lingering effects, because I really need to get right back to the schedule of runs, to get ready for the marathon. But right now I’m going to take a shower, the first one since Monday…

Written by Cavalary on August 5, 2022 at 10:50 PM in Personal | 0 Comments

The System Benefits from Things Getting Ever Worse for Ever More People

The plan for today was the usual one for Sunday, write as much as I can of a personal update, post it just before midnight and then edit it in order to add the rest over the coming days. But I doubt I’ll have time to add much of anything Monday or Tuesday and, whether I’d have chosen to catch up on the runs or on the odds and ends, plus one run, from June, the post would have had to be huge, so I’d have had no chance to write more than a small part of it today, seeing as I want to watch quite a few things as well. But, while this makes me wonder how far behind I’ll end up being, it can’t hurt to write another non-personal post, free another “slot”, and a little exchange I had with dad yesterday offered the topic. We were talking about the high prices of cakes, but it can definitely apply to everything.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but in times of crisis, those trying to sell nonessential products cheaply are more in danger of losing their customers and needing to close down than those with higher prices. In the example we were discussing, a confectionery that used to sell cakes for 6 RON had as customers people who also looked to buy cooking oil for 4 RON per liter, so when the cooking oil became 9 RON, even if that cheap cake only became 7 RON, that public will just give up on the cake completely and only buy the cooking oil. On the other hand, if at a time when 6 RON cakes could be found, another confectionery had customers willing to pay 15 RON for one, those customers will usually continue to be willing and able to pay even 20 RON, so their profits may even increase.
But that’s not all of it, because even poorer people may end up purchasing those cakes from the more expensive confectionery, albeit very rarely. Of course, one of the reasons is that the cheaper ones will go out of business, so they won’t have that much of a choice anymore, but another is that buying just a few more expensive cakes at such a time will make them feel much better than buying more, but still way fewer than before, cheaper ones. If a person was used to treat themselves to a cheap cake per week and now finds themselves only able to afford one cake of the same kind and from the same place per month, that will be depressing, so they may well choose to stop buying from the cheaper place completely and instead buy themselves a cake from an expensive place a couple of times per year, feeling that, at least at those moments, they moved up, matching those from a higher social class. And such very rare additional purchases help those more expensive businesses more than they’d help the cheaper ones, since the cheap ones have low profit margins and tend to need a constantly high volume of sales in order to stay afloat, while the expensive ones are far better prepared to endure boom and bust cycles.

Things are, of course, different when it comes to essential goods, since people can’t give up on them completely, and the first steps are actually beneficial, since we’re talking about deciding what actually is necessary and increasing efficiency, reducing waste and overconsumption, but once the need to save exceeds what can be achieved in that manner, the businesses that are hurt far more are once again those that try to keep prices low in good faith, as inappropriate as using the term for anything that supports this rotten Capitalist and finance-based system is. True, as prices continue to increase, the middle class will no longer be able to keep up, but the wealthy, and the luxury market in particular, won’t be affected that much. On the other hand, those trying to keep prices low will be in a race to the bottom, with customers focusing on an ever smaller number, those who have the very lowest prices, leading to the rest shutting down or selling the business. As such, the wealthy, who can cover losses and possibly also purchase rivals, will benefit and make it through at this low end of the market as well.
Taking the scenario to the extreme, prices increasing continuously will lead to a complete split, with only the luxury market remaining, everyone else unable to actually purchase the necessary goods and, in the parts of the world where some sort of welfare system is in place, relying on state aid. This will lead to a small number of businesses taking over everything but the luxury market, surviving on contracts with the state and delivering products of ever poorer quality, since ever fewer will dare to check and challenge them, the result of doing so likely being losing even what little they still have access to. And it’s also obvious that such a scenario will greatly favor corruption, those with the greatest influence and capacity to pay the biggest bribes most likely obtaining those contracts and also almost complete immunity. And the luxury market, businesses and customers alike, will enjoy a similar level of immunity because the taxes paid by them will fund everything else. As a result, it’s quite likely that a handful of extraordinarily wealthy and influential people will actually control all aspects of the economy, and not only, by owning businesses at both ends of the spectrum, the money therefore going out of one pocket and into another.

The obvious conclusion is that, far from imposing any limits and encouraging what tends to be called enlightened self-interest, the greater the inequality and the worse things get for the greatest number of people, the closer the system gets to a secure position, ensuring that it will continue unchallenged and dominate even more aspects of life and society. As such, the only way forward is to replace it completely with something new, not to try to reform it in any way. But, of course, that should be nothing new to anyone who’s willing and able to think about such matters at least to some extent.

Written by Cavalary on July 31, 2022 at 10:04 PM in Society | 0 Comments

Earth Overshoot Day 2022

It’s somewhat strange that I only wrote about Earth Overshoot Day once, back in 2016. Not that it’s a particularly important event in itself, and in fact it continues to make the situation appear less desperate than it actually is, the project’s authors remaining guilty of quite an optimism bias and the results being far less frightening than they should actually be because many factors that would further increase humanity’s footprint and decrease what the Earth can actually sustain aren’t included in the calculation, but converting the actual result, which is a percentage, into a date does make it something that tends to be covered quite well on the news.
Admittedly, this was more important in the past, when far more, if they “believed” in it at all, saw climate change as an abstract matter, with effects in a more or less distant future, while now the current, drastic effects of the climate crisis are important news stories on a regular basis, so nobody needs any more such reminders of the terrible state of the environment unless they somehow continue to close their eyes and their minds to it on purpose, in which case such a publicity stunt, since that’s just what picking a date for this event is, definitely won’t change their position, and in fact can even make them feel that it validates it. However, interestingly, this turns the reason why such an event remains relevant completely around, because it can now serve as a reminder of the big picture, of the cause behind the effects that are becoming all too visible, when otherwise people might tend to focus on individual disasters and perhaps even try to tackle them separately.

To return to this year’s Overshoot Day, it’s the earliest one yet, which is no surprise. It does at the moment match the updated one for 2018, if you check the list, but at the time that was considered to have been August 1, and in fact that’s still what’s listed at the moment on the page explaining why past dates keep changing. So it’s likely that this one will also change, most likely moving even earlier, when they’ll get around to improving their calculation a little bit more, but what’s even more likely is that future dates will be earlier still. After all, while some individuals do, we as a species and as a society aren’t learning any lessons, and most definitely continue to insist on being this world’s masters, entitled to exploit it and each other as we see fit, regardless of the consequences, refusing to accept our role as stewards and our duty to care for each other and for the world and all the species we share, or should be sharing, it with.

Written by Cavalary on July 30, 2022 at 10:22 PM in Environment | 0 Comments

Dream Trek Summer Edition 2022

As I was saying, sunset was at 9:04 PM, but we started running at 9:11 PM and a television crew was with us for about half of that short eastern first leg, stopping in a couple of places and filming us as we ran past. Or maybe it was a little more than half, since I think I last saw them when we were about to get to Pantelimon hospital, so after about a kilometer and a half, that first leg having about two and a half. Either way, a leading group quickly formed and I stayed with it, but just behind the first ones, finding myself thinking that the wedge formation they were running in was just about perfect and taking advantage of it… Which also meant that I continued to follow them when they went past the spot where we should have crossed the road and turned around, not realizing it until the others called us back a few seconds later. Then another picture was taken and we started the second leg, first going back, on the other side of the road, and eventually heading north. It was soon after turning, so only some three kilometers or so from the start, when I started feeling some warnings from the right knee, but if something like that happening so soon was a concern at that moment, it never got worse and soon enough I wasn’t even thinking about it anymore.
In between brief stops for pictures, in front of Dinamo stadium and Herastrau park, the first longer stop was at a gas station on Dorobanti, some buying themselves some things, and that was also when a delivery guy who apparently was, or at least used to be, one of the regulars of the group that organizes this event joined us on his bicycle, and he also bought some bottles of water with his own money and offered them to anyone who wanted any, though nobody made use of that offer at that time. Then we made our way to the end of that northern leg, which also meant the first supply stop, and I first grabbed a bottle of water, only realizing after I started drinking that it was carbonated, so not what I wanted. Still, I drank all of it, and since we were told that all of the small bottles were carbonated, so if we wanted plain water we had to pour from the large ones into something else, I decided to not use that flexible bottle that I had taken with me and keep that one instead, realizing that the loop formed by the running belt, considering the method I had used to make it tighter than it’d normally allow, could be used to hold a bottle if I struggled a little. Otherwise, a box of gels was opened and I took one, but didn’t eat it then, and since some small sweets and some bagels were the only other things available at that point, I grabbed one of the small sweets and ate it, not really looking at what kinds were available, and also had a few of the bagels. And there was, of course, another picture… And a moment that was a sign of what was going to come later, Radu being understandably upset because somebody had thrown a bottle on the ground.
Still, the first notable moment as we headed south, on that third leg, was a nice one. When we reached the part of Kiseleff that was closed to traffic over the weekend, we just took to the street and a wide line formed at the front, covering that wide road almost from one side to the other, that sort of “charge” at the front making it look and feel like we really were reclaiming the streets for people. However, it also meant that we just let loose, ending up far ahead, and after Victory Square, when we got on Victoriei and crossed to the other side, we were told to stop and wait and Radu expressed his anger once he got there, saying that for the first time he found himself thinking that he won’t do this again next year, also bringing up the fact that somebody had littered at the end of the second leg after he had repeatedly asked us not to but mainly lashing out against those of us who had gone ahead, saying that we should stay with the slowest ones, who are struggling and deserve our respect and support for pushing themselves, and adding that he knows that the plan is to run over 50 km, but not at any cost, being safe and staying together being more important. Then he asked for a responsible person to lead and nobody offered, hardly anyone even wanting to move anymore. I kept thinking that a visible cyclist, probably that delivery guy, should have that position, but couldn’t get myself to say anything, and as far as I could tell nobody else did either, so we weren’t any more organized when we finally got going, but the mood had soured terribly, which made Radu try a few different speeches as we stopped for a few more pictures, attempting to change that. And I’ll also mention here that, at the Ministry of Economy, as we were waiting to cross again, I saw a girl wander away and throw up next to the building, though she said that she was fine when I asked.
With the mood having recovered to some extent by then, the second supply stop was in front of Tineretului park and I first tried to pour water into that bottle, though another guy saw me, offered to help and poured while I just held the bottle. Then I drank the water and can’t recall whether I had one or two small sweets, different from the one from the first supply stop, but clearly remember eating a couple more bagels and a protein bar, since those had been taken out as well. But I wasn’t the only one looking for more salty snacks, and the girl who manages these things told Radu that she had worked out the quantities that could be taken out in order to make each kind of supplies last to the end and there were no problems with anything except the bagels, but he told her to just take more out if people wanted them, saying that the point was to finish them, not for him to take things back home, so she took out another bag and I managed to take three more from it before it was finished.
After it was decided to go around that park as well, we got to the gas station that marked the end of that southern leg without any other notable events. However, by then I had been feeling a certain pressing need for a while, so I initially meant to take care of it, but when someone else got to the toilet ahead of me, I decided to use the urinal first, to at least take care of one matter, and when that seemed to offer enough of a relief to allow me to keep going I decided to leave “part two” for later and just go back out. And, while that wasn’t an actual supply stop, that delivery guy laid some things out and after another guy eventually took a bottle of water I looked at the vitamin drinks and took one, reading the ingredients, wandering around with the bottle and eventually, after hesitating for quite a while, managing to get myself to open and drink it… Which made me feel quite chilly for a while, since it was really cold. Either way, that guy had also placed a couple of bags of mini croissants there and, with nobody else daring to take any, a girl eventually took first one and then the other, opening them and going from one person to another and asking whether we wanted one, so I took one of those as well when she got to me.

And this, which is unfortunately only about a third of what should actually be in this post, is how far I got before midnight, so I’ll again do what I keep doing lately, posting this part now and editing in order to add the rest later. The first edit actually was before I went to bed in the morning, but that only added the next paragraph, with a second one, going up to and including the last supply break, on what ended up being the final leg, only coming two nights later, so in the early hours of Wednesday. I made the third edit, which included adding a little to the end of the last paragraph added that morning, Wednesday evening, wanting to post something before dad got back, in case he wanted to get on-line. But he didn’t, so it was also Wednesday evening, but about two hours later, when I finally added the last paragraphs as well.

My initial plan was to get to the end of that third leg and then see how I felt, hoping to be able to continue but not being certain of it, yet I felt surprisingly fine, the only issue being that pressing need, and even that had greatly lessened even if I hadn’t actually taken care of it. Drinking that drink which had been so cold and feeling chilly as a result was a reason for concern, but that didn’t prove to be a problem either, so I was quite confident that I won’t even need to spare myself over the course of leg four either, which meant that I once again stayed with the leading group once we got going again… And that I spent quite some time wondering what was going on when, just after going through a narrow alley and reaching Viilor, we had to stop, noticing that the others were far behind and not coming, things becoming even more confusing when a few appeared on the other side of the road, making us wonder how had they gotten there… And I now realize that I never did hear any explanation for that. On the other hand, when we finally regrouped, after quite a long wait, we learned that the reason for the delay had been that someone had gotten sick, and I later realized that it was that same girl who had thrown up earlier, yet she still wanted to continue, even rushing ahead at first. However, when we later stopped at another gas station, the stop ending up being brief because it apparently didn’t have a toilet, it seems that she called a taxi and left without a word before the rest of us continued on our way to Ghencea stadium, where we stopped for another picture… And where the captain of the team I was on during 2020’s Dream Trek joined us, along with a friend, both of them looking like they were coming from a party or something of the sort and serving us with candy, so I had two of those as well.
The break at the end of that western leg was brief, mainly to take one more picture. However, Radu also called out the friend of that girl who had left, because neither of them even let him know about it, and the friend said that the one who had left was very ambitious but had some health problems, so when she saw that she really couldn’t continue anymore she felt awful and started crying. I said that maybe she didn’t want to have to admit in front of everyone that she had to stop, but the friend disagreed, again saying that she just felt so bad about it and just wanted to leave without talking. Of course, that didn’t explain why the friend hadn’t at least told Radu as soon as that taxi drove off, and he pointed that out to her, along with the fact that he’s the one who’s held responsible for the safety of the participants.
Either way, nothing more could be done about that at the time and that leg had taken far too long already, 4 AM approaching when Radu’s estimate when we started it had been that we’ll get there around 3:15 AM. That obviously meant that the planned sixth leg, which should have consisted of running around the Old Town and, if time allowed, continuing to Romana or even Victory Square before returning to University Square, had to be completely canceled, but Radu also said that we won’t even do leg five as planned, finishing at Unirii Square, but instead go straight to University Square, at most making a detour through Cismigiu Park in order to ensure that we’ll cover the distance of a marathon. I’m quite sure that completing the fifth leg as planned and then rushing straight to University Square would have also been possible, the distance being similar, while on the other hand it seems that we’d have just covered the distance of a marathon even without that detour, but it was, of course, his call.
Before going anywhere else, however, the plan was to make a long stop at the gas station that’s across the road from the park, so quite a few of us charged forward once we got going again, one guy even shouting that there’s no more room for niceness because it’s a race to the toilet. And, after putting it off at the end of the third leg, I definitely had to go, so I made sure to be among the first who went in… Only to find the toilets closed, so we had to go right back out. It’s possible that the toilets were being cleaned, but the way in which the employee said that they use “their” toilets when another guy asked where do they go if they need to greatly added to the discontent and even made some think that they had closed the public ones on purpose, when they saw us coming. But we couldn’t exactly do much about it, so we waited around for a while, some expressing their discontent more clearly than others, until Radu figured out what to do next, and during that time that delivery guy made two triple Snickers bars available, three people finishing the first one. But when the girl who took the second piece did so, she asked who wanted the last one and that made me want some as well, so after another guy got there first and took that last piece, I ended up opening the second bar and taking one piece. I left the others there, but didn’t ask who wanted them and nobody took them before we got going again, so that guy had to put the rest of that bar back as it was, opened, which made me feel rather bad.
Even though we were wondering whether we won’t face the same problem, the next target was obviously another gas station, which Radu said was about 1.5 km away, so I again stayed with the leading group, assuming that they knew where we should be going, because I didn’t. Despite just following one guy by that point, everyone else being left behind, I wasn’t even aware that we reached the street where that gas station is when we stopped at a stoplight and some of the others, including Radu, caught up, and he told us to go ahead, get there as fast as we can. So the two of us and a couple of others rushed ahead and when that guy pointed the gas station out to me I overtook him as well and was the first one there, the employee who had been at the door, gathering trash, following me in and asking what I wanted. And, fortunately, she pointed me to the toilet when I asked whether one was available, so I rushed to do my business… Which included loudly releasing a lot of gas, one of the guys using the urinals at that moment making a joke about that, which prompted another to jokingly chastise him for making fun of someone taking a shit, which led to everyone laughing out loud… And to my muscles contracting and not letting much else out, and I had to hurry, considering how many others were also waiting, so after a few more farts and likely not wiping as well as I’d have wanted, I had to consider it good enough. And it was, having apparently managed to get enough out to make it to the end without that pressing need becoming a concern once again.
Considering how many needed to use the toilet, that was clearly going to be a long stop, and indeed it was, but more than merely not causing any problems, the employees from that gas station took pictures and even cheered. And that was also the last supply stop before the end, so plenty of things were taken out and, besides filling that bottle with water again, that time without help, and drinking it, I rather stuffed myself, having bagels, some other salty snacks, a protein bar, I think three kinds of small sweets, though there’s a chance that there were just two, another kind of bagels… And I’m quite sure that it was also when I took another gel, I think keeping that one and eating the one taken at the first supply stop, though I’m not entirely certain of that. Yes, taking so many things again made me feel bad, but they were there, clearly more than enough for everyone, and despite still feeling so well I had clearly used a lot of energy, especially since I kept staying with the leading group and occasionally sprinting to catch up if I fell behind a little, for example after not starting again immediately when a light turned green or when I was more careful than others in spots that were narrower or where the pavement was damaged or there were other such issues.
Either way, some time after we finally got going again, I think just before reaching Cotroceni Palace, though I’m not entirely certain of that, a foreign guy on a skateboard started talking to us and ended up joining us the rest of the way. I think he said he was Portuguese. And, whether that was right after that moment or not, running past Cotroceni Palace definitely felt really nice, since that’s a steep slope and going east meant going down. But I kept feeling really well even after that, still making a mental note of how easy it was to catch up again if I fell a little behind the leading group for a moment. And when we reached Cismigiu park, one guy pretty much sprinted ahead, nobody shouted after him and Radu, who had actually been staying close to the front for a while, was also with the leading group, I assumed that we were being “released”, went after that guy… And, for the first time that night, found that I couldn’t catch up, my body refusing to run faster. But I could pretty much maintain the same pace and therefore the distance to him and was quickly pulling away from the rest, with just that guy on the skateboard staying around me. However, instead of turning where we had been told to, I decided to go just a little farther, adding what seems to have been just about 100 meters. That gave the others time to catch up, so I saw that they were still there, but obviously made me fall farther behind that guy, so after leaving the park I was pretty much in no man’s land, with that guy almost disappearing ahead and the rest once again dropping far behind. And the cyclist who was at the rear was at the entrance when I left the park, along with a couple of others, so I guess that they waited there for the others, possibly meaning that the group stopped for a moment when the rest got back there.
Well, I didn’t think about that possibility at that moment, so when that guy just crossed the road and vanished out of sight while I went to the stoplight and waited for it to turn green, and then I looked behind after crossing and didn’t see anybody there either, I didn’t know what was going on and hesitated, at first continuing haltingly, then stopping for a moment, then jogging back to where I had crossed. When I still couldn’t see anyone from there either, I was worried that they had either changed the route, possibly making a little detour through the Old Town after all, or stopped for another picture that I won’t be in, making it appear that I had perhaps gone straight to the end from an earlier point, no longer being with them at that point. But the only thing left to do at that moment was to get to the end on my own, so I ran the short distance that was left… And was surprised to see a few others ahead of me when I approached. I have no idea how they had passed me, but at that point they were walking, so I overtook them and was still the second one to reach the statue that marked the finish, that guy who had sprinted ahead obviously already waiting there. Unfortunately, after managing to always remember to start and stop the stopwatch whenever I started and stopped running until then, starting to panic when I found myself alone and didn’t know what was happening made me forget to start it again when I resumed running towards University Square. I realized it and started it again after a while, and then compensated by leaving it running for some two minutes after I finished, but I couldn’t tell how much time I spent running with it stopped and that state of mind meant that I couldn’t even really remember exactly where I was when I started it again, so I couldn’t find out the distance I had covered either. Still, I’m quite sure that I overcompensated a little, but not by much.
I’m quite sure that it wasn’t even 5:25 AM when I reached the finish, since I know that the others arrived at 5:28 AM and that was after a few minutes that those of us who arrived first spent mainly congratulating each other. I was also asking the others whether they knew where the rest were and why were they taking so long, but they didn’t. So I can say that, between 9:11 PM and most likely a little before 5:25 AM, I ran what seems to have been just about 44 km, if I remembered everything correctly and Google Maps can be trusted to measure distances accurately, since I ended up with 43.8 km when I charted the route, including the few places where I went a bit farther or back and forth a little, and a little more should probably be added because I also jogged through those gas stations, plus that there may be some spots where we couldn’t cross a street exactly where I assumed we did. That’d make it the same distance as last year, but with an actual running time that was about 11 minutes longer, since I had 4:52:43 when I stopped the stopwatch, after those two or so minutes. And the only damage was a bruise under one toenail.
Either way, that time means that the pace was slower while we actually ran as well, even for the leading group, explaining why it was always so easy to keep up, or catch up if needed. But, of course, last year I covered that distance in much less time, so it’s definitely true that the main reason why the planned distance couldn’t be reached this time around was that the breaks were longer, mainly because the number of participants and, more importantly, finishers was much higher than ever before. I even heard a discussion about this, I think as we were approaching Ghencea stadium, with one saying that we were so much slower because those still running at that hour used to be those who could keep pushing and were no longer slowed down by the others, who tended to drop out earlier, and the other saying that the main problem were actually the breaks, which didn’t just mean the supply or toilet ones, which were obviously longer when more people had to drink and eat and do their business, but also when we had to cross a road and needed to regroup and wait for everyone, which at stoplights often meant waiting for the light to turn green two or sometimes even three times before everyone made it across.

Written by Cavalary on July 24, 2022 at 11:59 PM in Personal | 0 Comments