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Stuffed Myself at an Event in Herastrau Park

To start with today, I did manage to run, but the fact that I skipped last week rather showed. Still managed to stay under 50 minutes, but only barely, the time being 49:55, and even that required pushing a fair bit. Sector times were 4:32, 5:19, 6:06, 4:35, 5:16, 6:00, 4:43, 5:16, 6:15 and 1:53, making for lap times of 15:57, 15:51 and 16:14. Maybe I held back just a little bit on the third lap’s third sector and also didn’t push as hard as I otherwise tend to on that final sector, but that was probably a matter of about ten seconds, if that.

But today actually started at exactly 8 AM. I know the time so clearly because, even before glancing at my watch, as soon as I opened my eyes I saw that my computer was busy with what I then realized was the daily local backup, which is scheduled at 8 AM and, according to the logs, took 14 seconds today. But what caused me to wake up became clear an instant later, when I realized somebody was knocking loudly on the door, actually appearing to use some wood or even metal object to do so. And after hearing similar loud knocks on neighbors’ doors and with dad out and my mother asleep and obviously not being bothered by the knocks, I carefully made my way to the door to try to listen and have a peek. Didn’t hear anything of what was said though, but after going to the toilet and then getting back there I thought I noticed two people in police uniforms, though I’m definitely not sure of that. Clearly heard a loud sound made by a neighbor when they likely explained what they wanted that seemed to be one you’d make when you finally understand something but are still somewhat surprised, and then they were allowed inside that apartment as well, after having likely been inside another while I was at the toilet. They didn’t knock here again though, so I eventually managed to get back to sleep… Only for that first rough awakening to take its toll around 11:30 AM, when I was once again roughly woken up, this time by a nasty cramp in my left leg.

But the main part of this post has to do with yesterday, when I went to an event organized by an environmental news site from here, after they took part in the Plastic Free July challenge. Also took some pictures and somewhat more of a description of the event itself, and also of the problem that pretty much defeated the entire purpose at the end while also yet again highlighting just how bad the situation is, can be found in the description of the album. With this being a personal post, here I’ll mainly focus on what I did there myself.
Was feeling rather awkward right away, since I had received a message in the morning from one of the organizers asking if I’ll be able to attend so they could give me one of their “plastic free survival kits”, which was quite a surprise, because they had said all along that the kits will be for the most active of those who had sent them materials depicting how they managed the challenge as well, which I obviously didn’t do, not having taken part in the first place. But later it became rather obvious that it had been a generic message, probably sent to those who had selected that they were “interested” in the event, because, as it was actually just explained to me today, they had decided just then, shortly before the event itself, to give up on the idea of judging the entries and instead just made a raffle that anyone who attended the event could freely enter. And no, I didn’t even enter.
That announcement regarding the raffle calmed me a bit, and all the children and, likely worse, the at least a few, and likely several, obviously pregnant women switched my mental state more towards anger than anxiety and embarrassment, but it wasn’t enough to allow me to actually push my way to the very popular stand where people could make a few cleaning products, deodorant or mosquito repellent out of the ingredients provided and then keep what they made. Did go there and stand around a few times, managed to persuade myself to quickly grab cards with the instructions for dishwashing detergent and mosquito repellent, but just put them back after quickly reading and gave up on any thoughts I might have had of making any attempt. Don’t think I’d have attempted the mosquito repellent anyway, as it seemed rather complicated, but the dishwashing detergent may have been an interesting experiment. In fact, it’d have been interesting to see it actually used there… Especially if that problem with the recipients for food and the cutlery wouldn’t have existed and there would have been enough reusable ones or, even better, if people would have been asked to bring their own.
But I got a bit ahead of myself, so let me just say that after persuading myself to at least ask for a lemonade, I then kept the cardboard cup while watching the discussion, thinking it may still be useful later. However, for some reason, probably in part because it had fallen over as I kept it between my feet on the grass and in part because everyone seemed to just throw them away without even using the recycling bins I could spot close to the area the event took place in, at the end of the discussion I wandered away for a bit in order to throw my cup in the proper bin before getting back to stand in line for food… And then to step out of the line for a bit to take those last few pictures before returning once again at the end, therefore letting several more people ahead of me.
That proved particularly relevant because the available reusable recipients and cutlery ran out before the person that was right in front of me, so I wasn’t the first unlucky one, but it was close enough. In itself, for that first course, that wasn’t a problem for me because I didn’t even know what it was when I stood in line, only learning then that it was cream soup, which is something I really don’t care for, so I didn’t mind just giving up on that and waiting until the corn on the cob started being served, or more exactly until people just started taking it despite the cook’s opinion that it wasn’t sufficiently boiled yet, which prompted the other person helping to take it out of the pots. If you ask me, it was probably boiled too much by then, in fact. It was also obviously very hot, and needing to just hold it in napkins due to the lack of anything to put it in definitely didn’t help, but I managed, and with just three napkins between it and my hand, though others took much more.
Then I wandered around a little more while eating the corn, trying to persuade myself to grab another cup from the lemonade stand, in the sense of just grabbing an empty cup, after someone suggested to use some of those for the food, since there were plenty left. Didn’t manage to do that though, but they were brought directly to the food stand, so when I went back I grabbed one and put some of the vegetable salad which had been brought forward in it, also grabbing one of the metal forks which had appeared. And then I meant to use that same cup for the vegetable hotchpotch, but I saw that it was being put in plastic bowls which had just been brought, along with plastic cutlery, and simply left on the stand for people to grab directly, therefore definitely contracting the entire message of the event.
Did consider asking to have some put straight from the pot in my cup, like some of those who had managed to get some of those reusable bowls were doing, but that’d have required interacting while this was simply a matter of grabbing something, so that’s what I did… After first dropping it and splashing some on the stand and also on my pants. Continued to use the fork though, and also kept the cup, though I didn’t use it again even if, with organizers having the interesting problem of having way too much food and actually trying to make those who were still there, as by then many had left, to take more, I actually took a second serving of hotchpotch as well, worsening the problem by just grabbing a different bowl, as they kept just being placed on the stand in that manner. Really burned my tongue with that though, and to some extent my throat as well, but I’m far from the only one who did that.
Managed to catch a large slice of bread when I ate the salad, but there was no more left by the time I grabbed hotchpotch, so did without. There definitely were melon pieces and round plums though, on top of a large pile of vegetables sliced only in half and left there in case anyone wanted more, but didn’t grab any of that, and while I want nothing to do with melon I guess I probably should have shamelessly grabbed several plums, taking some with me as well. But I did not, and eventually left, making sure to place that second cardboard cup in the proper bin as well on my way. On the other hand, while I left the metal fork in the sink, can’t recall what I did with that first plastic bowl, whether I left it on the stand or threw it in the garbage bag tied to it, as I know I did with the second, and of course also with the paper napkins.

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