Finally ran again this week, Thursday, and the result wasn’t quite as embarrassing as two weeks ago. With that being the only run since February 23 and the flu in between as well, it was clearly going to be difficult and I was actually quite afraid before actually doing it, which was also one of the reasons why I gave up on an initial plan to run twice this week, Wednesday and Friday. I did go for 16 kilometers again though, both because I was certainly going to once again be too slow on ten and because I need to cover a half marathon distance next week and therefore running less than half of it now wasn’t exactly going to help much before jumping straight to that after such a break.
The time was 1:23:51, which is at least better than the 1:24:06 managed when I first covered this distance, though worse than the 1:23:45 managed with the temperature below freezing and some snow and patches of ice on the path in January. Sector times were 4:36, 5:26, 6:22, 4:50, 5:26, 6:19, 4:58, 5:41, 6:30, 4:58, 5:29, 6:31, 4:58, 5:25 and 6:22, making for lap times of 16:24, 16:35, 17:09, 16:58 and 16:45. So I could have done a little better, as I realized I was leaving too much after that third lap and pushed a little more on the next two, feeling quite well all the way to the end. Having the fastest second sector on the last lap should offer some evidence of that, even if it was still slow compared to what would have been a normal time.
The temperature was high enough to be able to go wearing just a t-shirt, but the wind was a bit of a problem, and that was part of the reason why I breathed out through my mouth quite a lot. But never breathed in like that, so it was fine. Another problem was the number of people in the park, as I had to weave around a fair bit and briefly slow down a few times, when there was no way through otherwise. Also forgot to tighten my shoelaces just before starting and that resulted in the left one coming loose at the start of lap three, so I lost a few seconds on that first sector when I stopped to tighten it again. Weren’t many seconds, as I caught it before getting completely untied and needing to be tied again, but it was something. The right one was also loose at the end, started noticing it even in the second sector of the last lap, but risked it and it held to the end.
Normally I’d have gone to buy bread and yogurt on Thursday, but after deciding to run then, since I wasn’t going to run twice and that day seemed to have the best weather, I ended up going on Wednesday, first with just the 2 RON I had left and plastic bottles and one can for the recycling machine, hoping to end up with just enough for bread for the rest of the week, so I won’t have to get into anything set aside. That seemed to be a problem at first, as I couldn’t find the machine where it used to be, but as I was walking back with the bags, thinking to look in the underground parking lot and just leave everything there if it won’t be there either, even if that’d mean just getting bread for the next two days, a woman noticed what I was carrying, asked if I had bottles for the machine and where I was taking them, then told me where it had moved and that it works. Then she even spotted me again inside the store and asked whether I had found it. So that was nice… Unlike a taxi driver who spotted the bottles as I walked past him and shouted after me to ask if I wanted the one he had in his hand too, in a way that definitely sounded demeaning. Considered for a moment to say I’m not a garbage man but I guess I’ll do it to encourage recycling and take the few steps back to him and grab it, but his tone made me decide against it, so I just gave him a nasty look, shook my head and kept walking.
Even with the ticket from the machine, it still seemed I won’t have enough to stick to the kind of bread I prefer though, because the listed price was 20% higher than it had been, and 50% higher than before a first increase, which wasn’t that long ago, so I first grabbed one of another kind and then asked for just one from there. However, I noticed that the actual price was still the one I knew, so I guess they hadn’t updated it yet in the system, and that actually would have left me with exactly the 0.43 RON that’s the standard price for a small yogurt from Carrefour when heavily discounted because it expires soon. However, I ended up with 0.53 RON, because the cashier gave me a 0.50 RON coin as change instead of the 0.40 RON she should have given me.
Either way, I did go to Carrefour after that, also because I just missed the free bus that takes me right back here and barely got out in time for the one that takes me part of the way to there. And once there I also had a look at the new locks they installed on the cabinets where you should put stuff you have from elsewhere, which require a 0.50 RON coin to use, so simply left the bread and the bags in one and left it unlocked, as I wouldn’t have had enough for anything if leaving the coin I had there until I’d have retrieved my stuff. That meant I didn’t mean to wander around inside too long, and thought I’ll come right back out when I saw that the place where they put things that expire soon was nearly empty, but I quickly checked the other such spot as well and by the time I got back an employee was placing a whole lot of things in the first one, including some plain yogurt at that standard price, so I grabbed one… And then had to wait behind a bunch of girls who were trying to stuff a whole lot of stuff in a few different cabinets and taking their time about it, until one tried to open the door to the one my things were in and I just reached over her from behind to get my things, saying that one’s mine.
Decided to run nearly all the way back from there, which is only the equivalent of about half a lap around the lake, less than that since there were some parts where I walked, but wearing street clothes, with the jacket on and the bag with the bread hanging from my neck and held with one hand so it won’t swing around, it wasn’t that easy and I was content that I could do it well enough, considering the plan I had for the next day.
Ate something when I got back, but then I went out again, since I could use the metro card, just to pass by the Russian Embassy and leave a small candle for the victims of the fire. An event had been created, between 6:30 PM and 7:30 PM, but I just got there at 7 PM, left the small candle while trying to avoid the cameras as much as possible, had a look around and walked away just a few minutes later, didn’t even spend five minutes there.
Didn’t come right back after that though, since dad had given me more money and the price of bread was likely going to get updated in the system later, so I went back to Auchan instead and got all the bread of that kind that was left. It actually wasn’t enough for the entire period I wanted to cover, so I grabbed two more of another kind as well, but it was still a good thing I still found some, because I saw them run out of this kind even two or more hours earlier before. Not sure whether they made some more later than usual or people turned away when they saw the higher listed price, not knowing it hadn’t actually increased yet, but it meant I could still find some. Then I quickly grabbed yogurt for the entire period as well and made my way out just in time to catch the free bus that takes me back here. Actually caught it at the exit at the other end from where the stop actually is, but I went straight there, knowing I’ll be late otherwise, and people often wait there as well, so the drivers know to stop if anyone makes a sign.
Still Wednesday, when I got back in the evening I saw my mother making pancakes, so later I ate a few… And somehow “managed” to swallow a part of one in a way that felt like swallowing a rock. It really hurt as it went down, felt like it was tearing things apart on its way, and I seemed to be spitting blood again after that. Had been spitting quite a lot of it while having the flu, was actually getting quite scared until that seemed to sort itself out, so that made me worried again, even more so since something still felt wrong when I went to bed that night and I still wasn’t quite swallowing normally the next day either. But there was no more blood coming from there when I woke up and whatever was wrong seems to have sorted itself out since, or at least so I hope.
Moving on to Friday, after waking up I went to the pharmacy I had bought the pills that helped me with the flu from back then, wanting to get some more of one kind, since you can keep taking those for months to improve your immunity and I want to reduce the risk of anything of the sort repeating before the half marathon, which is in May, as my training schedule was messed up enough already. And since I was going there I also grabbed a couple of things for my mother as well, after having asked my parents whether they wanted anything that may be cheaper there, plus some band aids and a cream I’m using. Actually couldn’t find the exact kind I’ve been using, but this should be close enough, so hope it’ll keep doing its job when I’ll finish the one I currently have.
But I didn’t go there just to get things, but also to drop off a bag of expired medicines I had gathered, at first putting aside a few I found while having the flu and then actually going through everything that was in the kitchen Thursday evening, most ending up in that bag, plenty having been expired for around five years and a couple of things, which I believe were essential oils, even for more than ten. It was going to be the first time I was going to do that, but one obviously shouldn’t just throw away drugs and the law actually states that, and also that pharmacies are required to accept expired medicines from people in order to properly dispose of them.
The problem is the procedure, and in my case in particular the fact that I didn’t know it. Had sent a message to the pharmacy Thursday evening to ask how this goes and was told to just go there with them and a document will be filled, but then got no other reply when I asked for details. So I ended up asking the guard at the door what to do, being pointed in the right direction and then waiting first until the employee finished with the actual customers, including some who were after me in line, which was pretty normal, and then until she called a coworker to deal with me and he also took his time getting there, which I’d say wasn’t so right.
It was after he arrived that things got really awkward though, as he came with a form and asked for the names, quantities and expiration dates of everything I had, when I expected to just be able to drop it all off, possibly signing something stating that I did so. I got a bit angry then, said I wanted to do a right thing and meant to just leave the bag there regardless of what he said, but he insisted that he won’t do everything alone and we should “work together”, and since I had the stuff in two bags to avoid the risk of tearing, he asked me to take the first bag out of the second and move things to that second bag one by one, after reading the required information to him. And I eventually did that, awkwardly and getting increasingly embarrassed, since I asked whether I could at least come over to his side but was told to stand where I was, which also meant having another customer looking over my shoulder and even commenting at some point and another next to me, while I was at times struggling to pronounce the names, at times being unable to find them, or the expiration dates, in which case the employee at least waved me along. Nothing else he could have done in case of the things that had no labels or no visible expiration dates anyway.
Once it was all done, he also needed to fill in some information from my identity card, and he said it out loud while writing it down. Then he made a copy of the filled form and handed it to me, though on one side you couldn’t see the first part of the names. Not that I have any idea why would I have wanted it anyway; I was just relieved it was over and I could buy what I had to buy and then get out of there. Would have wanted to keep that second plastic bag, but had another that I could use, even if the handle’s torn, so I didn’t mention it, only mumbling that there should be a simpler procedure for this while he was making the copy.
Didn’t want to have to interact with anyone else after that, and at that pharmacy you can simply take some things that don’t require a prescription off shelves yourself, but after finding one of the things my mother asked for and grabbing what I initially went there to get for myself, an older woman asked me whether I had used that medicine before, whether it was any good and then for a few more details after I said I had the flu recently. It wasn’t a bad interaction, but I still needed to get away for a moment before getting back to searching for the other things… And eventually needing to ask an employee, because I couldn’t find them, and to give up on replacing two things which had been among what I had thrown away due to having expired long ago, as I was told that for some reason those simple, common things that definitely don’t require any sort of prescription aren’t available in that part of the pharmacy and I wasn’t going to interact even more to ask for them and choose a brand and a type. But grabbed the band aids instead, as I could at least get those from that area, and also that cream, after searching all over for the specific kind I’ve been using and finding pretty much anything except that, and even asking an employee in the end, and being told that they indeed don’t have that specific one in stock.
Once finally out of there, instead of going right back I kept going and passed through the nearby farmers’ market. Didn’t get anything, nor did I really look that much, but I glanced around enough to get an idea about what started appearing and some prices. Then also went to the Carrefour that’s in the mall that’s in that area, going in with the bag with the stuff from the pharmacy since the few cabinets they have there were full, but nobody said anything and I just got some shampoo that was on sale before finally making my way back… And sending a message to the pharmacy to say that they could have replied to my request for details, because if I’d have known that all that information was needed I’d have written it before leaving, which would have saved everybody time, spared me the feeling of embarrassment, and resulted in a more complete list than the one that ended up written there in a hurry. Also mentioned that their employee could have written the list himself, and that’d have resulted in a more complete one as well. But got no reply to that either.
As for playing, Tuesday I played and finished the ninth “Divine Empire” scenario in Disciples, actually doing so quite quickly and being done with it in the evening, before midnight. After changing my strategy at the beginning, getting a banshee right away and sending her alone to grab everything that could be grabbed, and using other banshees the same way, alone and not caring too much whether I lost them, later, it seemed almost too easy, though that was also due to the enemies… And to the fact that I didn’t fight them that much, mainly meaning to keep them away and weak enough while I went for the main objective. So that may be the way to go if I want to actually finish this, but with 12 of the 21 “Divine Empire” scenarios still to go, that’ll still take a while even if it’ll work each time, which it most likely won’t.
Didn’t play any more Disciples since then, but yesterday I started Her Story. Had been meaning to give it a try after winning it at the end of September, knowing it’ll be something I’ll quickly be able to add to the list of games finished, but didn’t get around to it so far… And then somebody spoiled it for me in the “Games Finished in 2018” thread on the GOG.com forum. I won’t link to the post itself, but it appears there wasn’t even a spoiler warning at first, and even though one had been added by the time I read that post, I read quickly and take in chunks of text at a glance, so took in the spoiler itself along with the warning, and after that I said I’ll just go through it, just try to discover all the videos if it’s not a matter of working anything out anymore. Apparently the game considered that I had watched enough of the important ones earlier today, when a message popped up, but I said I was not done and still have a handful of videos to discover. Not sure how, since I ran out of things to search for a while ago and have been trying more or less random terms, but I mean to figure it out eventually and only consider it completed once I’ll actually unlock all of them.