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Commemorating the Colectiv Fire, Bird Poop and a Damaged Running Shoe

This should have been written earlier, and the plan was to write it yesterday, but I really didn’t feel like it and there was a match to watch last evening too, so instead I pushed to finish Silverthorn and make the quick review for it this week’s first post and leave today for writing this, since I won’t be writing anything over the weekend. With 114 pages left, it was a bit of a push to finish that, but I would have just managed it before the start of the match if I wouldn’t have stopped to make myself popcorn then. As it was, I just glanced at the first half of the match and finished the book during it instead, and then I wrote most of that quick review at half time, making a few additions and corrections during the first part of the second half in order to be able to post it well before midnight.

Said I won’t be writing anything over the weekend because I signed up to volunteer at the Botanical Garden again, tomorrow, and then there’s a protest announced for Sunday evening that I intend to at least have a look at, participating if a reasonable number of people gather, and perhaps sort of wandering around the area even if they don’t or the gendarmes cause problems. So, on top of wanting to avoid a Sunday update, I won’t have time for one then anyway, while Saturday evening I hope I’ll be catching up on some sleep, since I’ll be going there in the morning on next to none, and after running today as well.

Both last week’s run and this week’s were on Friday, last week’s time being 48:51, with sector times of 4:33, 5:13, 5:55, 4:31, 5:10, 5:57, 4:37, 5:13, 5:49 and 1:53, making for lap times of 15:41, 15:38 and 15:39, while this week’s time was 47:51, so exactly one minute faster, sector times being 4:22, 5:08, 5:50, 4:17, 4:59, 5:50, 4:35, 5:05, 5:54 and 1:51, making for lap times of 15:20, 15:06 and 15:34. So, while last week was when I struggled, needing to push hard on the third lap’s third sector to stay under 49 minutes, today’s run was the second one under 48 minutes, though 25 seconds slower than the record, and it included a second lap that was just marginally slower than the fastest one and a first sector, actually of the second lap, that was actually a bit faster than the second fastest first sector, because I write down just the seconds but remembered the exact time of the first lap, as in including the hundredths of a second, at that moment and knew that I had covered that first sector in less than 4:17. And this of course means that it is possible that the second lap as a whole wasn’t actually slower than the fastest one. But, either way, I did lose a bit of time at the start of its third sector, when I thought that the training shirt, which was tied around my waist, was slipping off, so it most probably would have been the fastest without that.
Probably shouldn’t have taken that shirt out at all, as I just wore it when walking to the park and back, but with a reported temperature around 10°C and a cloudy sky, I didn’t want to risk it. Still, there was pretty much no wind today, so that definitely helped. What didn’t help, on the other hand, was the fact that the cloth on the inside of my right shoe, at the back, is getting torn off in a spot and that’s injuring my foot, not that I knew that until after I got back today. Just knew I had a blister there for a while and I felt it more when running, in fact even stopping for a couple of seconds at the start of last week’s run to try to arrange my sock a bit differently, which actually means that last week’s real lap times are even more equal than they appear. Today it felt like something was pushing against the scab I knew had formed there, so assumed it’ll either get torn off or pushed in, some blood will, shall we say, lubricate the area, and then it’ll hurt less, so just pushed through it and that was what happened, as when I checked after getting back I saw a fair amount of blood on my sock and also on my shoe, but also spotted that damage while looking for the blood. This issue makes today’s time even nicer, but I’ll need to figure out what to do about that shoe.

Back to last Friday, in the evening I went to the commemorative march marking two years since the Colectiv club fire, which was organized on Friday because a charity festival was again taking place on October 30, the organizers didn’t want to overlap the events again and October 30, 2015 was on a Friday. What was odd was that the event called people to gather in the park at Unirii Square from 7 PM and stated that three songs will be performed in Bucur Square, in front of the old Communist-era factory where the club used to be, by those bringing guitars, starting at 10:32 PM, which was when the fire started, but the announcements regarding traffic being stopped stated that people will gather between 6 PM and 7 PM, after which traffic will be stopped on the sections of road that the participants will march on, until 8 PM, and then in case a large enough crowd will gather the streets surrounding Bucur Square may also be blocked until 11 PM.
That part worked out all right though, not many being present at the starting location at 7 PM, when those who were there were commenting that there were more reporters than participants, but quite a crowd having gathered by the time the march started, at 7:30 PM, and probably more joining on the way, so I rather tend to agree with the organizers’ estimate of about 3000 participants, other estimates ranging between “hundreds” and about 4000. And the march had a pretty decent pace, so the head of the column was actually in Bucur Square at 8 PM.
People did start leaving shortly after that though, lighting some candles and then wandering off since nothing else was happening, so those who did bring guitars were told to gather close to the monument erected there at 9 PM and the first attempts to start singing were at 9:20 PM or so, when I heard a few estimates stating that only about 400 people were left. Still, the guitarists couldn’t quite manage to work together and they were just trying to sing various songs, not those they should have prepared, plus that one had brought a child along who just got in everyone’s way, so it was quite messy, but a few moments worked out all right and they kept going, eventually holding a moment of silence after 10:30 PM and then singing three songs after that, though those weren’t those which had been announced. Since I left after the third, at 11 PM, I don’t know whether anything else happened after that, but I’d say 150 to 200 people were still there at the time.
And since I got to what I did, took no pictures, it simply felt wrong somehow, and actually spent the time before the march reading, under the streetlight in front of the lift leading to the metro station, then continued during the march as well, until I finished the chapter, and then read some more after reaching Bucur Square, before the guitarists were asked to gather. But to get back to reading before the march started, that also meant I was right there for those who were just passing through and wondering what was going on, muttering under my breath when a few just wondered out loud and then gave wrong answers to themselves, and answering one woman who asked me directly. And I also answered two women who were foreign and asked first whether I knew English, which should have been easy to determine since I was reading a book in English, and then how to cross to the other side of the road, since there is admittedly a single crossing in that area, in the corner which is the opposite of the one where the crossing that lets one cross the road on the other side of the park is, so the confusion is understandable.

While I’m on this topic, I did go Monday as well, just to have a look and light a candle, since I hadn’t done that Friday and didn’t go to the concert either. Since there was no time to arrive at, I just waited for dad to get back, so I’ll have the metro card, and eventually got there at 9:15 PM, lighting said candle, taking a few pictures this time, and otherwise wandering around a bit for the 25 minutes I spent there. A TV station was using the area around the monument as their set for a talk show on the topic, so that area was cleared of other people, the otherwise relatively few who were present at the time being on the other side, some spelling “Coruptia ucide 65+” (“Corruption Kills 65+”) with candles. Unsurprisingly, recognized some of those taking part in the Victory Square protests in that group.

Moving on, went out to buy a few things Monday and then again Wednesday, and Wednesday was actually interesting. Not for any good reasons, but at least one of them was funny, seeing as a bird apparently decided to use me as a toilet, not that I realized it until quite some time later. I mean, I felt something falling on my head as I was waiting at a traffic light, but passed my hand over my cap and didn’t feel like I had knocked anything away, so shrugged it off. Then shrugged it off again when, after crossing the street, I noticed I had something on my hand, thinking I must have had something in my pocket somehow, since I had put it there by then, even though I could see nothing when I looked in the pocket either. So it was quite some time later when I happened to glance at my right shoulder and spot the rest of the crap, at which point I took my cap off to see a bit still on it as well.
Was quite amused by it, and also somehow made a mental link to an old skit by a comedy group from here, so I spent the rest of the way struggling, at times not entirely successfully, not to laugh out loud. Must have looked quite weird, laughing to myself or struggling not to and with bird poop on me, plus that I had last shaved almost a week before. But I was going to the hypermarket in a mall that’s relatively nearby, so once I got there I went to the toilet, took my jacket off, cleaned it as well as I could in a sink, and washed my hands well as well. Little to do about the cap, as I couldn’t exactly try to wash that as well and then wear it while it was wet, but I rubbed a bit of water on that spot and then threw it in the laundry basket when I got back.
The second thing that happened wasn’t amusing though, as there was a power failure just as I was checking out. The hypermarket’s generator kicked in after a few seconds and I could check out, though the belts weren’t working anymore and the cashier struggled to scan the large pumpkin I had bought and pass it back to me on the other side, but the rest of the mall seemed to have more of a problem, being quite dark for one. More lights seemed to come on as I was going up on a non-functional escalator, or in fact a moving walkway, since it’s flat so people will be able to use it with the carts, but the escalators and the doors weren’t working, leading to quite a number of people gathering in confusion around the exits until somebody who knew the trick came to manually open the sliding doors that are inside the revolving ones.
Was worried about my computer, as the UPS still doesn’t have the data cable connected or the software installed on this one, so it couldn’t turn it off if the battery would get low, before actually running out, and got even more so after I got out and saw that the traffic lights weren’t working either, meaning that the problem was quite significant. And that did prove to be the case, as I saw reports stating that a large part of the city was affected, nothing having any power for about an hour. But by the time I got to the park I’m passing through on my way from that mall, I could see streetlights turning on, since it was starting to get dark, and then once I was out of it I saw lights at some windows too, which I guess means that this area wasn’t affected, or perhaps only very briefly, for a few seconds or at most up to a couple of minutes, as it tends to happen when there are problems nearby, and either way my computer was still running when I got back.

In between, Tuesday, I guess some girl from Brasov very bluntly hit on me on OkCupid, which I’m pretty sure marks the first time someone sent me a message with that sort of obvious intent. Hadn’t signed on there for about a year until I tried, and failed, to look for someone’s account rather recently, and then had just quickly logged on again one more time, I think on Sunday, before I got an e-mail announcing that I had a message. And then, after exchanging a few more, leading to me mentioning that the current version of my profile would these days be on Patook, she just asked how long has it been since I last had sex, also saying that for her it’s been eight or nine years. And I, of course, answered, giving the exact date as well. Then she asked if I’m open to the idea, I asked what idea, and she said that of us being in a relationship and having sex at some point. So I had fun just a bit more, starting my next reply by saying that I’m of course open to it for each of us, separately, but then got serious and said I am not and cannot be interested in her or in any other new person in that way, explaining exactly why. Since I got no other reply after that, guess that chased her away, and that finding my profile “riveting and compelling” didn’t refer to anything else.

One last thing I’ll mention before ending this post is that something weird happened as I was showering earlier. Dad had mentioned something about a meeting and 8 PM when saying when he should be back today and I wasn’t sure whether that meant he’ll be back at 8 PM or that’s when the meeting will start, or when it’ll end, or perhaps that he had a meeting nearby at 8 PM and he’ll drop by before leaving again to go there, and I assumed it was getting close to 8 PM when I’m sure I noticed more light through the window in the bathroom door and heard sounds which really didn’t seem to be something the cats could cause. So I assumed he did get back then, thinking nothing more of it until I finished my shower, got out of the bathroom and saw not only that he wasn’t home, but that there was no trace of him having stopped by. And when he eventually did arrive, around 10 PM, he said he hadn’t stopped by earlier, so I’m rather worried. Didn’t notice anything missing at a quick glance, I guess he didn’t either since I told him and he didn’t mention anything so far, and the door wasn’t forced, but something strange happened…

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