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Catching Up: Botanical Garden and a Small Protest

I left a lot of things out of last week’s personal post, so I need to start catching up with May 15, when the alarm woke me at noon, since I was finally going to volunteer at the Botanical Garden again, the Spring Cleaning being organized again and including an afternoon schedule. I’m still not using public transportation, however, and walking there was going to take a while, so the plan was to leave at 1:20 PM, yet I only did so at 1:27 PM, despite leaving less than I needed in the toilet, feeling the need returning minutes after I got up but knowing I couldn’t afford to try again. So I rushed, and worried about all the time lost at stoplights, but it was fine, or in fact more than fine, since it took me exactly one hour and 20 minutes to get there and it was 15 more minutes until Anca came and we got moving, during which time I also went to pee.
I counted 27 people, including the few who arrived as Anca was speaking, and then a few more came directly to the area we were going to work on, as we were about to start, but at the end I counted 26, so a few must have left early. We were split in three groups but pretty much just attacked one area, and I wasn’t even sure which group I ended up working around, just doing my thing… And also being one of the few who still chose to wear a mask even while working, the obligation of wearing one outside having been lifted as of that day, but at least I wasn’t the only one who did so.
At first I tried to dig a bit, but realized I didn’t have the energy, not to mention strength, for it, so after initially trying to get in the thick of it, I stepped back and tackled what was left behind, I guess by those who had been in the morning “shift”, though I learned that at least three of those had stayed to work in the afternoon as well. Either way, Anca seemed to have had the same idea, so for a while we were doing the same thing, albeit with a little distance between us, until she left for a while and I also moved on to stay behind the others working then and clear what they were leaving behind, getting closer as time passed and eventually tackling some smaller plants as the group finished clearing the area around the large tree they had been working towards. Was quite exhausted, sort of just poking at the area on the other side of that tree, when I checked the time and saw that it was 5:30 PM, but I pulled myself together and kept going, getting into the next thick area, albeit with clearly younger plants, finding a rhythm and keeping at it, actually clearing a small but noticeable area on my own. Anca briefly joined me there, asking whether those plants could be pulled out, but after I said it depends on one’s strength, and I couldn’t just pull them, she left me to it.
After Anca announced, at 6:15 PM, that we should gather things, since the clouds were getting threatening, the woman, a regular I recognized, who had volunteered as sort of the leader of our group, and who had also apparently stayed there since morning, asked me to help her carry some branches without a wheelbarrow. Her idea, each of us holding one end of the bunch, wasn’t really working, however, and when I saw an empty wheelbarrow I suggested using it. But that didn’t work either, since they didn’t fit, so I said I’ll carry them myself and struggled like that all the way, with them in my arms, which were hurting after I dropped them off.
Didn’t take anything else after getting back to the area where we had worked, just circling around once, to look for any equipment left behind, and then slowly making my way back in front of the gift shop, following those who were taking the equipment back. Once there, I thought I had a bit of time and went to the side to remove my shirt and shake it in case there were bugs or other things in it, but almost immediately Anca asked us to gather for the photo, so I quickly threw my shirt back on to join the group. Then we got our free passes, which were the only things handed out that time, and at 6:40 PM it was over.
I took my time walking out though, first getting my jacket out of the backpack and struggling to get it on while walking and holding everything else in my hands, then seeing an empty bench and meaning to sit on it only to have a father reach it just before me and tell his children to sit there, then deciding to go to the bathroom one more time, since I had just passed it, putting my jacked on in there, before peeing again. And then I stopped one more time, finding an empty bench near the exit and sitting there to shake everything out of my shoes, and then also putting my headphones on and turning on the radio before finally walking out the gate, right at 7 PM.

Stopped at the Carrefour from Unirii on the way back, wandered around for a while and eventually bought one of their buckets of bio (organic) yogurt and a handful of cucumbers. There were some drops of rain when I got there, but it wasn’t raining anymore when I got out, and I got back here at 9:15 PM, just when it had started drizzling again, and there was lightning as well, though only some light rain followed, and that didn’t last long either. But I no longer cared about that at that point, so after cleaning a part of what dad had left in the kitchen after cooking, I ate lunch, along with the other half of the expired bag of bagels started two weeks earlier, and then actually took a bath. After walking 16 km, not including wandering around in Carrefour, and working steadily for a good three hours, I was feeling quite crushed.

Moving on to May 17, that’s when I got an SMS, or actually two of them, three minutes apart, from Declic, asking to reply if I could get to a protest at the Ministry of Environment that Wednesday morning, stating that I’ll be called for the details in that case. That was obviously infuriating, their insistence on using phones instead of e-mail and even asking for replies, but my credit was active at that point, so I eventually did reply, at 7 PM. I was wary of the call, but it didn’t come that evening and I muted my phone when I went to bed, so I won’t be woken up, and Olga had to try a few times until I got up and answered the next day.
Getting back to that evening, MilkyWay@home was finally back up then. Had also checked during the afternoon, when the oldest work units had their deadline, and it was still down at that time, but in the evening it was finally working again, and even if the deadline had passed for several of the work units, they were also accepted. However, I had just grabbed two more Africa Rainfall Project work units a couple of hours earlier, so I allowed those to finish as well, only actually getting back to MilkyWay@home, and freeing all that RAM, so my computer stopped being so sluggish, after I woke up the next day, the CPU also ending up underutilized for five minutes at that point, since I had to suspend the MilkyWay@home work units for it to finish the Africa Rainfall Project ones and was in the kitchen when it finished the last one.

On the day of the protest, May 19, the alarm woke me up at 8:30 AM and I was out at 9:30 AM, thinking I was very late, since I had been told to be there at 10:20 AM and meant to leave at 9:20 AM. Grabbed the paper too, and had to carry it for quite a while, the first bin I found on that route being quite a long way away. Still, I was only a couple of minutes late, and just two other regular participants were already there when I arrived, the few others coming after me. Not that there were many regular participants, six being there at the start time of 10:30 AM and one more arriving a bit later, with perhaps one more coming towards the end, though I’m not sure he was there to participate, arriving when he did and not coming into the designated area at all. So the regular participants were the minority, since otherwise there were the seven in animal costumes plus Olga, who was also in one and wandering around and trying to lead, and five or six other Declic members were doing their respective duties, one of them sort of being the representative, giving interviews and also talking to the Minister when he came down, at 10:45 AM. At 11 AM the Minister left, we shouted for a couple more minutes and then that was the end of it, so I walked away just after 11:05 AM, though those in costumes were told to stay a little longer, for pictures. And yes, I also took a few, albeit just with my phone.

Checked two Mega Image locations on the way back, noticing that I had arrived at the second too early if I wanted to look for expiring things, employees just then starting to check and gather them. But my main destination was the Carrefour from Unirii again, mainly for some cheese, so I got that and a few expiring products, since they had just filled that area. Forgot to use that 10 RON code at that time, but what was annoying was that I was charged 0.10 RON more than I expected, and when I checked the receipt I saw that the charge was for the bag the cheese had been placed in, which is another case of being forced to take a bag and then get charged for it as well, which makes such a charge only a way for someone to make a little more money, defeating the stated purpose of reducing the use of bags. But, to return to that trip, I also went to the farmers’ market after that. Stepped away from the planned route in an attempt to shorten it a bit and, as it tends to happen, the result was the opposite, but I got there well enough, the only issue being a gust of wind that blew my cap off at one point, got cheap apples and green onions, and also a pretzel from a place from that area, and was back at 2:05 PM.
Since dad left soon after I got back, I stayed on-line instead of showering at that time, then watched something and had lunch while he took a bath after getting back… And the water apparently went from really hot when I got back to cold right after he finished, so he, who complains if it’s not really hot, said it was just fine, but I went there after him and found cold water. But I did need to at least wash a little, and had committed to it by then, so I quickly washed from the waist down and my underarms even so, and then just passed my wet hands through my hair after flossing and brushing my teeth in this other bathroom. I could have washed my hair with cold water, and likely should have done so, especially after picking my cap off the sidewalk and putting it back on, but I left it for another time.

As for the next day, the downstairs neighbor started drilling at 8:30 AM, but I was so exhausted I just went to pee at that point, then got back in bed and slept on and off through it. Had crazy dreams that included the sound, waking up with a start now and then, heart skipping or racing, even feeling pain in my chest at some point, but I couldn’t get up. Only checked the time again just before 1 PM, when it was quiet, got another nap, but by 2 PM I was awake again, needed to pee and even though it was quiet it didn’t look like I was going to be able to sleep again, so I got up, and didn’t even nap again later.

Since I finished this well before midnight, I meant to add what I did after getting the vaccine here as well, but that’d have worked better if I couldn’t have gotten on-line, in which case I’d have returned here after washing some of the large pile of things left by dad in the kitchen after he cooked, writing until close to midnight and then posting later, setting the time of the post to that of the file. But since dad went to take a bath and I got on-line to post this now, I’ll leave it as it is and take advantage of this time for other things. Still, before finishing I do want to mention that I’m feeling much better today. The pain in my arm seemed to have lessened a bit and the way I was feeling in general had clearly improved significantly by the time I got up, and over the course of the day it only got better, so now I can say I’m feeling pretty normal and my arm is usable again as well. There is still some pain, but mainly if I move it in certain ways, not all the time, and I can use it pretty normally.


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