If I was so far behind even before, writing’s going to be even harder now, seeing as there are only two months and three weeks left from this year and I only read six books and finished three games. In case of the games, with a normal goal of finishing four or five per year, I’d want to try to get to five, but I started The Purring Quest yesterday and already cleared the first of the five stages before starting to write this, then the second while taking breaks from writing it and, since I initially scheduled this to be posted with only this first part and the first paragraph of the second, then edited to add the rest when I could get back on-line, after dad went to bed, I’ll also add here that I also finished the third stage shortly after midnight, right after finishing the post and before being able to get back on-line to edit it to add what I wrote during the evening. So, to get back to the game, even if I assume it’ll get even harder from now on and I really don’t have the skills for platformers, I should be able to finish this relatively quickly and call it enough if I won’t be able to add another by the end of the year. But the books definitely have to become the priority, since I still have six more to read if I’m to stay at 12 per year, which is a poor target anyway, and I just started Europe: A Natural History Wednesday, pushed to finish the first part then, get to page 89, reading a chapter on the toilet at night and some more after dinner, right until I went to bed, but only added 60 more pages, to also finish the second part, since then. And there’s no way I’ll be reading, or doing much of anything, the week after the next, so I won’t start another right after I’ll finish this.
On the other hand, since I mentioned yesterday, I also finally got around to downloading the portable version of Pale Moon then. Being the only browser other than Vivaldi that I know of and would have cared to try and offering such an option, it was something I had been considering for a while, but the point would be to use it so I won’t need to be signed in to Google properties on my main browser, and preferably also get back to not being signed in to Facebook on it either, and since it uses older code I kept wondering whether it was even worth bothering with it, in case sites will stop working on it as well, or if they already don’t work. But since Google Analytics suddenly stopped loading on Internet Explorer a couple of days ago, I had to try something and at least for the moment it works. Don’t know whether I’ll install the non-portable version, but I’m thinking I’ll switch Facebook to it and also finally sign in to MobyGames on Vivaldi as well, and therefore finally stop using Internet Explorer for good… Even if there are still things about it that I like and am yet to find completely replicated in other browsers, and text definitely looks far better in it than in anything else.
But now let me move on to Thursday, when I decided to walk the part of the marathon‘s route that I don’t know, in case it actually will take place, so the alarm woke me at noon and I left at 2:20 PM. With the route turning at Alba Iulia Square, no longer reaching this area, I was only actually on it at 2:45 PM instead of almost right away, and the chilly weather and wind made that first part of the walk unpleasant, though later, as I warmed up, it wasn’t an issue anymore, not even after dark.
The only point of interest on the way to Unirii was the spot where the route turns the first time we get there, and I wasn’t even completely certain I correctly identified it when I first got there, only confirming it on the way back. Then, even though the initial plan was to go straight to Constitution Square, where the finish will be, with no way to cross straight ahead at Unirii, instead of crossing three times I went right, which is what the route does when it first gets to that point as well. The first idea was to just cross to that park, then get back on the way to Constitution Square, but by the time I got to that other corner I decided to have a look in that Carrefour, grabbing a box with four pieces of expiring pistachio baklava, which was expensive even with the 50% discount, and six eggs, after spending some time digging through the pile to find six with code one that weren’t cracked. And then I spent some more time figuring out how to place the purchases in my backpack in a way that will protect them.
I didn’t check the time when I went in, but I don’t see how it could have been later than 3:15 PM and it was just before 3:50 PM when I walked out, so I almost certainly spent over half an hour there and that, plus the couple of minutes spent changing something in my backpack after I got to that park to protect my purchases even better, was pretty much all I could afford to lose, so I then hurried to Constitution Square, then turned right, without crossing. With the finish and the halfway point being in the same spot, one version of the plan had me cross at the first crossing and then turn left, to continue from there, just covering that second half of the route, but with the start still next to Izvor Park and the route then passing through Constitution Square the first time after a little over one kilometer, I covered that part as well, though I wasn’t entirely certain I correctly identified the spot where we’ll turn the second time.
Once back in Constitution Square and on the other side of the road, I made my way all around that fence, after turning right reaching an area I had only reached a few times before… And which includes quite a steep and long climb, which comes after 21.5 km, making it even more of a problem, though it also means I know where I’ll slow to eat something, probably a gel if I’ll buy some, the original plan being for bars around 14 km and 28 km and gels around 21 km and 35 km. And that short but very steep climb back towards Victoriei Way seems to be right at 14 km, at least according to the map, so that also seems to fit very well, even if a refreshment point will come less than a kilometer later. 28 km will be when we’ll reach Constitution Square the third time, coming from the other direction, and a sponge point is supposed to be placed there, so if sponge points actually will exist that will be a good moment as well. With a refreshment point supposed to be right at 35 km, on the other hand, eating the last gel right there doesn’t seem like the best idea, and I’d like to delay that moment a little longer anyway, so I’m thinking that the plan will be to eat it around 37 km, since when I got there I noticed another climb as we’ll make our way back towards Unirii Boulevard.
Returning to the walk, after reaching the end of that section, crossing and going left, I reached an area I doubt I ever reached before. And after the spot where the route turns right, the area is quite unpleasant as well, and the fact that it also drizzled for a little while at that point made it even worse. And I also wasn’t sure of the exact spot where the route turned around, but I eventually identified it and went the other way, through another area I’m quite sure I had never been through before, and which was even more unpleasant, and also included another climb, albeit not a steep one as far as I could tell at the time. But at least the drizzle didn’t last long, so I could soon put away the concerns about possible rain. And since that road passes behind another Carrefour, one that’s in a commercial area that also includes a Kaufland, I considered having a look there as well, but I couldn’t afford the loss of time anymore and wasn’t sure how I could get there from the road I was on, so after a few steps on a side street I turned around and just continued walking the route… And kept going for a little while even after I should have turned around. Realized it after no more than some 200 meters or so, but I wasn’t quite sure, so after returning to the intersection, I crossed to the other side and kept going straight ahead for a little while, to find something familiar, since that was a road I had walked a few times before. Then, once I knew I was where I should be, I returned again to that intersection and started the walk back, as the route gets back to Constitution Square that third time.
With the unknown parts of the route over, I then made my way to the National Library and turned right, then continued to the river and along it, what I made a mental note of in that area being that, seeing as we’ll use one side to go both ways, it’ll be quite narrow, with just one lane for each direction, considering the parked cars and the lane needed for emergency vehicles and those belonging to organizers or others who’re allowed to go there… But there’s a spot where one lane’s blocked because of work that’s being done, and it looks like something that will last for quite a while, so I have no idea how the organizers will sort that out.
Once I reached the spot where the route turns around, I made another detour, to Auchan, getting there a bit after 7:20 PM and barely making it to the toilet, having been quite desperate for quite a while. Then I had a look, seeing that the offers listed on the site as being part of their anniversary sale only apply to those who have their app. However, what I mainly meant to buy was available in the two for the price of one package from the manufacturer, and I still found plenty, so I made a stock, and grabbed a few other things. Also meant to get some lemons, since they were cheap, but wanted to see how much I’ll have left after getting everything else and forgot to go back there at that point.
After quite some time spent arranging everything in my backpack and a bag, those eggs being the main problem, I was out of there pretty much exactly one hour after walking in and back on the route at 8:28 PM. And then I stepped right into quite a hole just after taking a picture of that spot where a lane’s blocked, since there’s no light on the sidewalk there and I had my eyes on my phone. But I didn’t fall, my ankle held and there was nothing in it to cause problems, so I could just step out of it and keep going. And I also wondered what was burning, since it first smelled like something was overheating and then I clearly smelled smoke, but then I realized I was passing by Vacaresti, and fires are unfortunately quite common there. But otherwise I just kept walking back, noticing that slope that will be around 37 km, then also confirming the spot where the route will turn that first time, on Unirii Boulevard, and eventually leaving the route, after quite slowly making my way around Alba Iulia Square, at 9:40 PM.
I did have to hurry again after that point, however, since I still wanted to get some canned sardines from Penny. And when I got there a guard seemed bothered by the fact that I was putting my things in a cabinet, the fact that she was apparently retrieving hers from the one above it not seeming to fully explain the hostility I could sense from her, though she didn’t say a word. And then she pretty much followed me around as I was searching for the canned goods, coming right next to me when I stopped there and pulled out an empty box of one of the kinds of sardines, meaning to see whether there were more behind it. But since she was there, I asked her, and she said there were none left if I’m not seeing them, taking that box away. However, I didn’t give up, pulling the almost full box that was behind the empty one out and seeing that it also contained that other kind, another almost full box of that kind being in front as well, but behind that other box there was an unopened one, and after I pulled that out and opened it I found that it contained the kind I was looking for. I also saw two other guards apparently chatting a few steps away and it did seem like they were keeping their eyes on me, but I shrugged it off, got as many as I wanted, counted the money to have the exact amount ready, also using my phone to calculate, since I was tired and they were closing within minutes and I didn’t trust myself with adding correctly at that point, and then made my way to the checkout.
Well, that’s when things became even more interesting. First, the checkout was unmanned, but two of the guards were right in front of me, one of those who had been chatting a few steps away having apparently gone around to meet me there, along with the woman who had followed me around at first. So I asked them whether anybody would come to check me out and was told to wait, but at the same time I thought I caught a gesture they made to each other. And, after the cashier arrived and checked me out, being hurried along by the female guard, who told her they had to close in four minutes, the reason for that gesture became obvious, since as soon as I stepped towards the cabinet the guards placed themselves on either side of me and asked me to open my jacket and show them what I had in it. So I did, pulling out the notebook I had in the inside pocket, but that wasn’t enough for them, the woman patting that pocket and then reaching into it, at which point I remembered having a pen and a pencil there as well and told her so. And then the guy asked what else I had in my pockets, but didn’t even let me say that I just had my phone and some coins, instead both of them patting me down thoroughly, with the guy pulling on my jacket in various ways and actually getting his hands in every pocket of my jacket and pants to search. And I wouldn’t say that they were satisfied that I hadn’t stolen anything after they failed to find anything, because when they let me go they looked very surprised and at least the woman definitely still suspicious, so I asked whether I had seemed so suspicious and the guy at least apologized, asking me to not be upset with them and saying they were just doing their jobs.
After that, it’d have probably been appropriate to say that I wanted to carefully count my money, since we’re so distrustful of each other and their hands had been in my pockets, but instead I nervously laughed it off, said it was the first time I was searched in such a manner and left. And I did count my money, but after getting back outside. Didn’t stop to check what I had in my backpack though, and the way I had taken it out of the cabinet and placed it back on my back made me worry even more about those eggs. But at that point, what was done was done, so I just made my way back, getting here just before 10:25 PM.
Finally checked the eggs at that point, and two seemed cracked, but the cracks were hard to see and I couldn’t be absolutely certain I hadn’t bought them like that, and either way there was far less damage than I feared even to those, and there seemed to be no problems with anything else. So I had half a quince and two of the four pieces of baklava, took a bath, then made mamaliga, as planned… And as I had told dad I was going to, only to find him making some as well, along with fish. But, as I said, I stuck to my plan, making my own and putting those two cracked eggs and one of the cans of fish we still had in it, with what he made being left as food for the following days. So I started eating dinner at 3:30 AM, and finally got in bed at 6:10 AM, after staying to watch something too.