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Just Purchases, Loose Shoelaces and Biscuits

Keep going to bed late, of course, the only time when it wasn’t after 5:15 AM during this period being Monday morning, “compensated” by the fact that Tuesday morning it was even 5:25 AM, despite checking next to none of the usual stuff on-line that night, since I only started eating at 3:15 AM and did so in the kitchen, only moving to continue in my room at 4:05 AM. That was because I was out again that day, getting back for the last time at 10:15 PM, rushing to just catch dad before he left, and on top of putting the purchases in their place, there was a fair amount of cleaning up to do after his cooking, and I also showered after that was done.
The thing is that my plan was to go Tuesday, but when dad said he’ll just have a quick trip to make Monday morning, then stay home and cook, and then bring my mother here Tuesday, I decided to go Monday instead… Only for him to mention, when I went to the kitchen at night, that what he meant by only having that quick trip to make in the morning was that he’ll probably leave around noon, get back around 3 PM, and then leave again a bit before 4 PM, to have a massage, and only start cooking when he’ll get back from there… And to actually end up returning from that first trip a little before 2 PM, shortly after I had woken up and meant to spend some time on-line. So I ended up taking a few minutes to just quickly check something, then got ready and left for the first time at 3:05 PM, having decided to split the plan in two, and go to the other Carrefour and Kaufland in the second part, since I was going to go out again for that purpose instead of making a single trip for all.
That first part involved going to Penny again, and checking out that Mega Image on the way as well, not just to see whether I’ll spot any interesting expiring products, but also for some pasta that was supposed to be on a two for the price of one offer those days. However, the spot where it should have been on the shelf was empty and, while the offer was marked in that spot, and listed on the site, which was how I had learned of it, it was the only one not listed on the announcement at the entrance, and that was the standard announcement, since I passed by a few more Mega Images that day and they all had the same one. So I left that for later, but spotted a handful of plums that were half off, among the fruits and vegetables that were discounted due to starting to spoil, yet they didn’t seem to be in that state, and I guess the reason for adding them there was that they were the last ones they had, the crate otherwise being empty. Didn’t buy them at first though, just hiding them under the other stuff and going to Penny first, looking for some more of those cheap but really good apples I had found there last time. But those apples were no longer discounted, making them twice the price they had been, so I just grabbed a few other things and then returned for those plums, which involved leaving my purchases from Penny in a cabinet with no lock, the guard actually noticing that I was looking for a free one that still had a lock and trying to help, but seeing that there were indeed none left and actually keeping an eye on it for me, saying it should be fine if I won’t be long and that there weren’t lines at the moment. So I just grabbed those plums, which were still there, and checked out, the cashier actually not charging me for the bag you’re forced to get when you get such discounted fruits and vegetables from there, even if the machine had added it to the total.
All of that took a bit longer than intended, but I was back at 4:15 PM and dad also took longer to get back, buying some things as well on the way, so it worked out. And then I also watched something and left again at 7 PM, first making a bit of a detour, to get to another Mega Image before that larger one, to improve my chances of finding that pasta. However, while I was searching for the pasta I picked up a can of sardines in tomato sauce, just wanting to read the ingredients, and got something very sticky on my hands off it, so I looked around for something to wipe the worst of it on and eventually made do with a sheet of paper announcing an offer, since the holder it was placed in was broken on one side and I could more easily use a corner of the paper that way.
But at least I finally found the pasta after that. However, the area was full of bags of a slightly different type, which had their own price label, and just those two of the type I had seen on the site, with no label, much less any announcement that they were on a special offer. And there were two employees just there, but they were just getting on the phone, seeming quite alarmed by something, one of them leaving to talk to others as well, and I wasn’t about to try to get their attention, so I wandered around for a while, searching for a label or a better list of what was on that special offer. Didn’t find any, however, so I eventually returned, waited for one of the employees to get off the phone and asked her about it, but she wasn’t sure either, said she knew it was something from that brand, but not the specific product, and just told me to try checking out with them and asking there… Which I did, and they were indeed the correct type. Also, as I was getting checked out I learned that what had just alarmed the employees was being told that their power was going to be cut off that evening, I think for two hours, though at first I thought I had heard one hour, starting I think just minutes later. I asked the cashier what were they going to do in that case and she said they’ll have to close for that time, so I guess I got there just in time, both to find those last bags and to be able to purchase them.
With no more need to check any other Mega Image, I then went to Kaufland, first washing my hands to get rid of all that sticky stuff and then getting a couple of things I meant to get from there, finding that the potatoes were too small for dad to want any but grabbing a few other things for him that I happened to spot and another watermelon, since the price was still reasonable and I could find one I thought was all right, though most seemed well past their best. There were a couple of issues at the self-checkout though, the first being that I wanted to get rid of a couple of 0.01 RON coins, so I put two in the machine before the bills, which should have resulted in only getting 0.10 RON ones back as change, but failed to notice that it spat one of them back out, so instead of getting rid of two, I ended up with three more, plus a 0.05 RON one. And then, trying to free the machine as soon as possible, I moved my stuff to the floor, at which point the next person did move in, but then her friend quickly called her back, and when the guards told them that the machine was free to use she pointedly said that we should be keeping distance and somebody decided to just stand between machines, so they’ll stay away. The thing is that, while the remark was pointed at me, the guards were also right there, having stood right behind me as I scanned the products. And the problem, for everyone concerned, was that I panicked when I found myself in that situation, and instead of just taking a moment to put the watermelon in a bag, then going out with the other things in my hands and sorting them out later, as I had meant to do, I ended up trying to pick everything up again, failing, moving them separately to a basket left nearby, and then pulling that to the table to take them out again and place them in bags, so I stood there much longer.
After all of that was sorted out, I got out of there and walked to the Carrefour from the park, mainly for more cucumbers, after finding cheap ones there last time. However, the price of those had doubled as well, just like it was with those apples from Penny, so I just got a few other things… And frowned at the two women who were with a boy who, unlike them, didn’t have a mask and kept very theatrically pretending to sneeze and sniff. Also, back to the purchases, kept thinking of grabbing one thing from the expiring ones, checking it out a few different times, but eventually decided against it, ending up with a total of 6.01 RON and giving the cashier 11 RON, since I had no more 5 RON bills, without trying to also give her the remaining 0.01 RON or asking whether it was all right, though I had quite a pile of those coins in my pocket anyway, but she just gave me the 5 RON as change without making any comment either and I was on my way. We were all rushing though, since it seems they changed the closing time, from 10:30 PM to 10 PM, and that was minutes away by that point. There was still time for a somewhat odd thing though, as I found three 0.10 RON coins on my way to the escalator, in different places but all of them over that short distance, and that’s strange because on the way in, on the ground floor, I had spotted three such coins around a girl who seemed to be struggling with her bags and pointed them out to her, and I think she shouted after me to thank me. So I grabbed those as well and was just leaving that mall at 9:55 PM, after which I tried to rush to still catch dad before leaving, which I did, as I already mentioned.

Tuesday was rather weird, because dad did bring my mother here, around 9 AM, taking her back in the evening. I was awake for about half an hour at that point, unable to get back to sleep yet after waking up to pee, and that became even harder then, because of all the noise. Went to pee one more time after a while, just in case, and then asked my mother whether they had at least finished with the noise by then, and she said they had for the moment… Only for dad to get back a bit later, since I hadn’t realized it but he had gone out again to buy some things. But I actually managed to fall asleep before they also went to bed, since dad had gone there for her straight from work, and was the first to wake up in the afternoon. And there was mamaliga, made by dad, with eggs and a few different kinds of cheese to choose from.

Thursday I ran again, getting up at 2 PM, when the alarm rang, having the usual stuff plus almonds, with the last of those old oat biscuits with honey as something sweet, and wearing the full running gear, with some things stuffed in my tights again. Went out at 4:05 PM, when the reported temperature was 28-29°C, supposed to remain steady or maybe drop by just 1°C by the time I’ll finish running, but with not as much as one cloud in sight and basically no wind, it felt hot at first and noticeably better by the time I finished, thanks to the different position of the Sun and more shade.
I was, of course, hoping to get back under 1:18, but would have been content with staying under 1:20. Therefore, though it means I was slower than the previous time I covered this distance, I guess I have to be content with 1:19:18, with sector times of 4:27, 5:07, 5:55, 4:30, 5:12, 6:19, 4:38, 5:17, 6:06, 4:38, 5:18, 6:06, 4:39, 5:10 and 5:56, making for lap times of 15:29, 16:01, 16:01, 16:02 and 15:45. I hoped to at least maintain the pace for 1:18 for the first two laps, losing on the second less than I had gained on the first, but the shoelaces from my right shoe got loose on sector three of lap two, which probably caused me to lose some 20 seconds, without which I’d have likely managed to stay under 1:19. As it was, 1:19 seemed pretty much impossible, so I settled into the pace for 1:20, which makes those particularly steady times on laps three and four pretty good news. That made me consider 1:19:30, so I pushed and managed to be faster on lap five, seeming to get into runner’s high on sector two and managing that by quite some margin.
About that shoelace, seems like it’s been over two years since I last mentioned such an issue, which would mean that it never happened since I got these shoes, but now I noticed it shortly after being passed by a woman who was faster than me. I had decided to try to at least keep her in sight by the end of the lap, but when I noticed that I briefly wondered whether I should keep going to the end of the lap and stop to retie the shoelaces after that or give up on the idea of following her and stop right then, possibly being able to get away with just tightening them and losing less time. And I did pick this second option, but found that they were too loose and starting to get tangled, so I lost all that time untangling and retying them. Other than that, my right knee hurt all along, of course, getting worse for a little while on sector two of lap four but then the pain returning to the usual level and location. My left ankle started bothering me on sector two of lap three, but that seemed to lessen and eventually pretty much go away in time. As for other people, the park was quite clear, only quite suddenly getting rather more crowded on sectors one and two of lap five, when I just managed to squeeze through before roadblocks formed a couple of times, but the last sector seemed quite clear again, oddly enough.

After the run, I went to that Carrefour from that area, no longer stopping to write down the times, since I hadn’t even taken a slip of paper with me anymore, and feeling good enough to jog part of the way, only putting on my mask when I was just about to enter that mall. Was mainly looking for cheap eggs and cabbage, but couldn’t find eggs at the price I was looking for. The cabbage looked bad too, explaining that low price, but I found one that seemed somewhat better and got that one, along with another expiring thing, a bag of apples that were also 50% off due to about half of them visibly starting to go bad, some lemons and some grapes that were also cheap and the same kind I had purchased from Mega Image that time and found I liked. Was charged for the bag those apples were in though, which hadn’t happened the last time I got something like that from Carrefour, and the cashier, after forgetting to add the discount for those apples and then taking care to explain that she had deleted them and readded them correctly, also didn’t give me the 0.05 RON which should have been my change. But I found two more 0.10 RON coins, and was back just after 7 PM.
It was a bit interesting later that evening, however, when dad again brought a lot of things from his mother and sister. I don’t care for many of them, but what stood out were four packs of some biscuits that seem nice and quite healthy. They’re not as good as those old ones I had just finished, which I seem to recall had expired back in February, and they’re also expired, albeit just earlier this month, but I plan to use them before runs for months to come, assuming it won’t prove to be a bad choice after I’ll actually do it once or twice. And this obviously struck me as interesting because he was given and brought something like that the very day I finished what I had previously set aside for that purpose. And there are enough of them to be able to use them just about every time for quite a while and not save most for what I considered to be more important runs, as I had done with those oat ones.

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