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Before and After Dream Trek Summer Edition 2022

Seeing as I have five earlier runs to write about first, plus that I clearly wouldn’t have the time to write about it today, I’ll leave the part about the actual run for another time, but I will write about the rest of these two days, what came before and after this summer’s Dream Trek, starting with the fact that, despite putting fewer cucumbers in the salad made the night before, I had to get up to pee several times, so it’s a good thing that I could always get back to sleep quickly but still only slept for seven hours, or maybe just over seven hours, despite the more than nine that passed between getting in bed and getting up, at 2:30 PM. That was when dad brought my mother here, but I had already decided to get up at that point, so that worked out. The initial plan was to catch another nap before leaving, but there was no time for that, and in fact even today I only crawled in bed at 8:10 PM, after starting to write this, and even then only slept for a little over an hour before the noise made by my parents woke me. But I didn’t mean to sleep much more than that this evening anyway, so that didn’t bother me that much.
Either way, I first ate the last Pinova apple, saved just for this day, and then lunch, in the form of some pasta and a salad that turned out larger than I meant it to be, eating that between 4:15 PM and 4:50 PM. Then I put on the full running gear, did what I could to protect my feet, bandaging my heels and wearing two pairs of socks, got everything else ready, taking the mask, some garlic, money, my ID card, a few bags, a flexible bottle and, just before leaving, a pack of napkins, some of those things being placed in the running belt that I also took, and I also put on two reflecting bands and two of those armbands used to wipe sweat, one of each on each arm, the purpose of the right armband being to protect that burn, even if it’s healing. Then I also ate the “Greek” yogurt with increased protein content that I had found among the expiring products the day before, with cereals, almonds, and peanuts in dark chocolate, plus the two remaining, really old, wheat things, with jam and honey, and finished the tea as well. It was just as I meant to leave that I realized that I hadn’t sprayed myself against mosquitoes, so I did that as well, albeit in a hurry and not too well, and I finally left at 7:50 PM.
Just like last year, we had been asked to gather at that store from Mega Mall, but from 8 PM, though sunset was at 9:04 PM. The reason was that we were all supposed to sign up for store cards, with those taking a picture with their card and posting on Instagram getting an additional discount, while all those activating their card were going to be entered in a raffle for three prizes in store credit, but after I got there, a little after 8:05 PM, and took my place in line a few moments later, when my turn eventually came the cashier asked for my phone number and then for the code which had been sent to it, which I couldn’t provide, since I obviously didn’t have the phone with me, so that time spent in line was just wasted. But I didn’t really want that store card, and to end up signed up for their marketing messages, anyway, so it was somewhat of a relief, and the number of participants would have made the odds of winning pretty low. And not needing to go through with the procedure only saved me a few minutes, so what followed was what I knew was going to happen anyway: A long time with nothing to do, just standing around and occasionally hovering around this or that group of people, listening to their conversations. But at least that allowed me to pee twice more, all the tea and that large salad making me need to do so even more often, before Radu spoke a little… Or at least coming back from the second such “trip” just after he had started speaking.
After that first little speech and the first group picture, we went outside, but as we started walking away I noticed that a couple of people were still waiting in line in that store, so I caught up to Radu to let him know and he asked me to tell them to catch up to us outside, so I rushed to do that, though once I did so I realized that it probably wasn’t necessary, since by the time I got there only one guy was left in line and I saw that two others had stayed behind, outside the store, possibly just to make sure that we won’t leave him behind. And I saw him outside pretty much as soon as I could have another look around, during the warm up… Which started right at sunset, and a news crew was also there and asked Radu a few questions before filming us there and for the first kilometer or so, and another group picture was taken as well, so it was 9:11 PM when we actually left.

Now, as I said, I’ll skip the actual run and move on to what happened after we finished, most participants arriving at University Square at 5:28 AM, when I had already been there for a few minutes. A few boxes of sweets and a couple of bags of bagels and one of some other salty snack were soon placed there and I grabbed a number of things, but only ate a few more bagels and a small handful of that other salty snack, just taking a couple of sweet things, and then rushing to eat a handful of the other kind of bagels and take a couple more sweet things after the stretching exercises and the end speeches, which came after the draw for the day’s big prize… Which was apparently won by the same guy who had won last year! Once again, the first name that was drawn was of someone who wasn’t there, and in fact who had been unable to participate at all, and his was the second one, making the one who made the draw show the result to Radu and to the others who were around her after announcing it in a rather bewildered voice. And there’s no rule against one person winning twice, so that was how things stayed.
After that part, which also included the final picture, was over, there were some conflicting instructions, the girl who seems to be the one who handles most of the administrative matters saying that the car was nearby and anyone who wants water should come with her, while the guy who was offering towels to those who had completed the entire route said that his was behind the fountain, so we should go through the passage and meet him there. And, considering the unexpectedly large number of people who completed the run, Radu had already said that he didn’t know whether there were enough towels for everyone, so the large majority rushed there, making me need to catch up to them after grabbing the few more things I already mentioned and quickly asking the girl who had sat next to the boxes since the end of the run, not taking part in the stretching exercises, whether she was all right. She definitely didn’t look like she was, but she gestured in a way that indicated “so and so” and when I asked what was wrong she said that she was just nauseous and thanked me for asking, so it didn’t seem like it was a significant problem and I walked away.
After receiving my towel, I saw that the other car was there as well, possibly having been moved, so we won’t need to walk back in order to get some more water or anything else, so I quickly took another small bottle of water and a couple more sweet things. I’m not sure whether I ate a few more bagels then, but I know that I had another handful of some other salty snack just before leaving, when that girl told us to take some more things, “for the road”, holding the box with the remaining sweet things… And yes, I took some more of the sweet things then as well, ending up with four protein bars, one of the small sweet things and two of each of the three other types which had been available. Adding that to all that I had eaten during the run, I definitely felt quite bad about how much I had taken… But they did still have quite a few things left, and after initially saying that the supplies were limited and we needed to make them last and use them efficiently, Radu did say that the point was for them to be exhausted by the end, not for him to take anything back home with him, so maybe it wasn’t that bad… Though I still have the feeling that I took more than anyone else, both there and along the way.

It was a couple of minutes before 6 AM when I walked away… And if I managed to get through the entire run without any injuries, not even my feet suffering because of the shoes anymore, on the way to Unirii some guys were having fun on the sidewalk, ahead of me, and when we reached a building where some work is being done for a very long time, requiring people to walk under the scaffolding on that narrow sidewalk, one of them suddenly grabbed on to one of the bars and pulled himself up, which made me need to stop just as suddenly in order to avoid walking into him, and as I did so I instinctively moved my arms to the side and scratched my right elbow in one of those rusty metal bars.
I couldn’t do much about that right away, but after reaching that Carrefour, which is now open non-stop again, and first putting on the mask, which I hadn’t worn until then, and then putting my things in one of the cabinets, I first used some disinfectant on my hands and then put some on those scratches as well. And then I looked through all the eggs being sold by piece, initially taking all of those with code one that didn’t seem to be cracked at a quick glance, since there were no bio (organic) ones there, and then also grabbed two things from the expiring products area before finding a spot to check those eggs more carefully, selecting 11 of them and then taking the rest back. Then, after having a look upstairs as well, I got back to the expiring products area and saw that more things had been placed there, so I also grabbed a pack of pancakes, even though they’re that imported kind, and replaced that expiring thing that I had picked up for my mother with another. Since it was so early, they were probably just bringing products to that area, so maybe there’d have been even more options if I’d have waited a little longer, but I didn’t care to do so, being content with what I had found and walking to the checkouts… Only for the cashier whose line I had meant to stand in to tell me to go to her coworker, who was free, even though she only had the customer she was already checking out… Which only resulted in lost time, since that other cashier said that her machine froze after she finished scanning the products, and after someone else also had a quick look she ended up sending me back to that first cashier anyway.
After taking some time to arrange the purchases, I went back to retrieve my things from that cabinet and walked back here, the Penny from Decebal still being closed when I passed by it, as were the confectionery and the pastry place that I made a tiny detour in order to check out. So I was back here just before 7:55 AM, put the purchases and the sweet things I had grabbed in the fridge, took the backpacks and some more bags and money… And that also included 30 RON in coins, which I wanted to take to Penny, since they also have a campaign, rewarding those bringing them 30 RON in coins with a 3 RON voucher for purchases of over 30 RON, the problem being that I couldn’t find the terms on their site and when I sent a message to ask I was told to ask in the stores for details. But that was not the first problem, that being that the first stack of 0.01 RON coins collapsed and scattered as I was trying to count it, so it took me a while to find all but one and then lost even more time trying and failing to find that last one. But at least I had several more of those with me, so I eventually gave up and replaced it with one of those, finally leaving again just before 8:50 AM.

On the way to the nearer Penny, I first checked this new bakery and then made a small detour to also have a look inside another one, and then quickly glanced at the two pastry places that are on the way as well. Then I first made sure that the cat litter and treats that were on sale were still available in that Penny and then went to the cashier to ask about that campaign, telling her that I had asked on-line and was told that it was valid until the end of the year but to ask in the store for details, so she first asked the guard, who seemed to mean to say that it was no longer available before she told him that I had been told that it was and that I wouldn’t have come otherwise. But she didn’t seem to know much about it herself, so she called the store manager, even saying that she didn’t want to give me erroneous information by trying to answer, and after he first helped her cancel an item for another customer he told me that it is indeed a 3 RON voucher for 30 RON in coins, and I can just give him the money and receive the voucher right away, along with the 30 RON in bills, and then I can use the voucher when I make a purchase of more than 30 RON. So I gave him the coins, he took them away, and after a while he came back with the voucher, leaving the coins with that cashier and taking the 30 RON in bills from her. It was a little unpleasant that he didn’t return the small bags I had given him the coins in, after splitting them according to value, in order to make them easier to count, but I couldn’t get myself to ask for them, and they weren’t good bags anyway.
Once I had the voucher, I went back inside, but if the original plan was to just take four bags of cat litter and three packs of snacks, the total being a little over 30 RON, I had first changed it in order to add a snack and then decided to change it one more time, giving up on the snack but taking some expiring mascarpone instead, for the pizza I mean to make tonight, even if they only discount expiring products by 30%. And it’s also of their brand and imported, and they also had mozzarella, but that was also of their brand and imported, and it wasn’t expiring, the cost per unit of weight being significantly higher, so I decided to just try using the mascarpone instead, in order to be able to get right back, since I had otherwise meant to check Carrefour and Kaufland as well, either going out again after bringing everything else here or leaving those purchases in cabinets at Penny and coming back for them later… The problem being that, even though Penny lists both the full and the discounted price of expiring products on the discount label, it’s handwritten, the cashier scanning the product normally and then applying the 30% discount, and that mascarpone ended up costing a little more than what was written. So I was surprised when I saw the total, but after having needed to interact so much in order to get that voucher and when I knew that I was going to have to interact some more in order to get the pastries that I meant to get, I didn’t say anything, just taking a fair bit of time in order to stuff one bag of cat litter, the snacks and the mascarpone in the nicer backpack and put the money and the receipt in the pocket of my tights, walking away with another bag of cat litter in one hand and the other two in the sturdier bag.
Just to prove that needing to interact had already messed me up, a little later I realized that I had no idea what I had done with the coin that I had also received as change, ending up turning around after getting halfway across the street, to have another look, in case I had forgotten it there. But I didn’t see it, so I walked away again, later realizing that I had first thrown the money in the backpack and then only took the bills back out of it, so it must have remained in the backpack, which indeed proved to be the case.
After trying to decide what pastries to get and seeing that I could just push my luck a little and get one thing from one of those pastry places as well, spending a little more than I had meant to spend when I had asked dad whether I could buy myself some things after the run but staying within what seemed to be a reasonable amount, I had a better look at what the one which I had initially considered was offering and decided on one thing, but before asking for it I looked at the other place as well, since they’re right next to each other, and saw something that struck me as somewhat better. The problem was that they were still making some of the first batch of products and, while that tray was full, there were no labels yet, so I had to ask what it was and the price, but then I did buy a piece when it was confirmed that it was what I thought it was and the price was the same as that of that other product from the other place. Then I continued to that other bakery, getting two things from there as well, even though one of them is sweet and I’ll leave it for another day, after having so many sweets during the run. And the last stop was that new bakery, getting the two things I had initially decided on and adding one more, which I happened to spot while waiting in line. I received no receipts from any of these three places, of course…
Either way, I was finally back again just before 10:35 AM, having carried 23.5 kg… Plus apparently another half a kilogram of crap, since I was that much lighter after going to the toilet. But I first put the mascarpone and the cat snacks in the fridge, unsuccessfully tried to feed Micky, arranged a few other things, looked for that coin a little more, still unsuccessfully, then finally went to the toilet and washed. Then I spent some time on-line and eventually, after my parents woke up, I told them about the run and also did a few other things, had lunch, in the form of a nectarine, the expired mix of peanuts, raisins and cranberries that I already had, three of those pastries and the “chicken and vegetables” salad, which would actually be a “boeuf” salad and which I had purchased from Carrefour two days earlier. I had initially meant to eat that then, since I had purchased it as an expiring product, the date being June 25, but I eventually decided to leave it for today as well, since it was going to still be good for one more day.
And I’ll also mention here that I talked to my parents about Micky again today, and my mother also pressed dad to take her to a vet, since she also obviously thinks that she’s really unwell and likely dying, at least if we don’t do anything. Dad is very reluctant, and that’s putting it mildly, just blocking off not just the idea that she may need to be put down but even that of attempting a treatment that may kill her because of her age, even if she’s obviously suffering now, but he eventually agreed to take her tomorrow… And then, after I checked her mouth again, what I saw made me even more convinced that at least one problem is coming from there and showed it to mother as well, she said that she won’t leave this evening after all, staying until tomorrow in order to go with him, because she doesn’t trust either him or the vet, since neither of them noticed the problem so far, even though it almost certainly already existed when he last took her to have her nails clipped and was told that she seems fine enough for her age. So now it remains to be seen what will happen.

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