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December 30 and Early January

I was agitated on the morning of December 30, stressing about the day, so I had already woken up even before that, but after waking up at 8:40 AM or so and getting up to pee a few minutes later, there was no way to get back to sleep, since at 8:50 AM dad woke up and called the guy who was supposed to deal with that lock. That guy came just after 10:10 AM and dad did try to be quiet until then, but I was too stressed out, so I just stayed under the blanket until they started making a lot of noise, at which point I got up, did the day’s squats, and finished The Crystal Keep while they worked, though I only wrote the quick review the next evening. But they took a long time, it was past 11:40 AM when that guy left… And they hadn’t managed to put everything back, so dad kept trying for a long time after that and he eventually took the lock back out on his own and put it back in the other way around, since he could manage to fix it in place in that manner, and it does work, but since it clearly wasn’t like that before, it’s wrong from where I’m standing.
I finally left just before 1:45 PM, walking to the confectionery that I had picked to get the mini cakes that my mother had asked for from. The line was long, but I had a look through the window and saw three of the four kinds of mini cakes, and I had taken that TV schedule supplement with me, so I looked through it while waiting. And I also waited less than I thought I would, since I was still outside when a guy came out and asked those who were there for products sold by weight to come in, skipping ahead of those who wanted products sold by piece. However, when I looked again after walking in, I no longer saw one of the kinds of mini cakes, and confirmed that the fourth kind wasn’t there either, so I asked about those two kinds when my turn came, being told that what’s available is just what can be seen there. So the only thing left to do was to only ask for the remaining two kinds, plus the two mini meringues that I wanted to get for myself… And then I got a little confused when I was asked to meet the employee at a certain checkout, so I probably kept her waiting for a few seconds until I figured out where to go. But those few seconds worked out in my favor, since I noticed trays with just those other two kinds of mini cakes being brought right when I paid, so I asked for those to be added as well. That confused the employee a little, since everything was going into the same box, and she ended up setting the scales to deduct the weight of what I had already paid for, so the next employee had to reset them, instead of maybe canceling the first receipt, leaving what I had paid on the counter and then charging for the whole thing, so I’d have still only added the difference. But it worked out.
After using a small table to open the box and have a look, I walked out and took quite some time to carefully place the box in the bag that I had taken for that purpose, only finally walking away when it was past 2:30 PM. And I had dad’s metro card, so I continued to the metro station, though I made a brief stop at a Lottery place on the way, on a whim, getting an instant ticket and winning back the money spent on it, so at least I only wasted a little time and not also money.
After taking the metro for one stop, to Obor, I checked the Mega Image that’s next to that confectionery from there, without getting anything at that point. And I couldn’t get anything from that confectionery either, since it was closed. Then, after spotting some cheap bananas while passing through the farmers’ market and keeping them in mind, I put the mini cakes in a cabinet and entered Carrefour, which was awfully crowded, as expected. But at least I found an expiring product that I got for dad. I also noticed two boxes of those mini cakes that I wanted to get from there that were expiring the next day, but they were still in the regular spot and not discounted. I should have asked about them, but I didn’t and just kept looking, considering the bags of grapes that were among the spoiling products, with a good discount. I didn’t like the fact that they were Turkish, but I had to at least check, since my mother had said that she wanted sweet ones, so I grabbed a single one and walked out with it in a pocket, after using the self-checkout for that expiring product. However, after going to the bathroom to wash it and my hands and eat it, I found that it wasn’t sweet, so I just retrieved those mini cakes from the cabinet and returned to the farmers’ market.
Well, once I got back there I saw scattered seedless grapes that were really cheap. I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed them the first time, but at least I noticed them then, and I also managed to work up the courage to grab one, going to the toilet from the indoor area, upstairs, to wash and taste it. And it was really sweet, so I went back and put some in a bag. And the control scales were nearby, so I checked when I thought that I had enough, getting in line after finding that I had just the weight for 1 RON. But the line was advancing slowly, so I eventually decided to get some more, almost doubling the quantity before checking again and then adding a few more, to know that I had the quantity for 2 RON. I did feel rather awkward while picking and made a few comments, but the guy who was arranging the crates and products told me a couple of times that I could pick as much as I wanted, I wasn’t bothering them, though on the other hand the woman who was selling turned a couple of times and told me to use the scoop, supposedly so I won’t get my hands dirty, though by then they obviously already were, so the idea was quite clearly to stop picking only the best ones, which I wasn’t about to do. Either way, I eventually got back to the end of the line and bought those grapes. Then I went to also get bananas… Only to find that the guy whom I had spotted the first time around had left by then. However, I found some cheaper bananas in another place as well, so I started checking the bundles, which made the guy who was there tell me to stop touching them because they’ll get worse. But by then I had found a bundle that looked quite good and bought it. He initially entered the price for the good bundles, probably hoping that I won’t notice, but I pointed it out and he corrected it.
Then I got back to that Mega Image and asked about whipped cream, since I hadn’t seen the one that was on sale the first time around… And I still couldn’t find it even after being told where it should be, so I asked another employee and she took me there… Just when yet another employee was pointing it out to another customer. That other employee only noticed one tube, but the one who was with me spotted a second one as well, and since that other customer eventually decided against getting any, it meant that I had the two that I needed. However, the price label stated that the discount required the store card, and I didn’t have dad’s. I didn’t recall the store card being mentioned in the catalog, but I had interacted far too much already, so I just grabbed an expiring mozzarella.
I got back to the metro station just in time to see the train close its doors as I was still fumbling with the card, so I waited for the next and got back here at 5:20 PM… And found that dad had forgotten that it was Friday, when he supposedly wants to fast, not that forgetting about it isn’t pretty much a rule if I don’t remind him, and sometimes even if I do, as if that’s yet another thing that I should keep in mind and not something he chose for reasons that one would assume are important to him. And the problem was that I had picked up that expiring product from Carrefour just so he’ll have something for that day, but since he had already eaten meat, it became pointless, and it was expiring… Either way, I took his Mega Image card, put the purchases in the fridge, talked to him a little and went out again at 5:50 PM.
I kept dad’s metro card, since he said that he won’t need it, but I walked to Unirii. Maybe I should have checked that confectionery first, but I was on the other side, so I first went to Carrefour and found three crates of eggs sold by piece that were discounted to what used to be the regular price until a few months earlier. So I started looking through them and in the first crate I found seven bio (organic) ones, albeit expiring soon, and set them aside before finding some larger ones that weren’t expiring soon as I looked through half of the second crate. At that point an employee told me to hurry up, because fridge doors shouldn’t be held open that long, so I got up after getting three of those better ones, to get to a total of ten. An older woman was also about to start picking from the eggs at that point, as I was pulling out a bag, so I told her to go ahead, but after a moment I looked at a few more, next to her, which made her try to help out, at first showing me large ones, and when I said that I was looking at the codes she pointed out where it said that they were Romanian and not close to expiring, so anything except what I was actually looking for, and I didn’t care to have that conversation again, so I put those ten in a bag and walked away, finding a spot where I could have a better look at them and taking them when I didn’t see any cracks. But the self-checkout machine that accepted cash didn’t have eggs listed among the products that I could select, and when I called an employee over and said so, she asked another one whether they even sold eggs by piece, then called someone and finally came over again and entered the code for them.
Since it was close to 7:30 PM when I left Carrefour, I meant to also check that Mega Image, thinking that the confectionery was either already closed or would stay open at least until 8 PM, but that only meant going around instead of straight to that confectionery, since that Mega Image was closed again, without any note being displayed. And that confectionery was also closed when I got there. So I just got back to the metro, and while I was on the train I put the eggs into one of the plastic boxes that I had taken with me, mainly for the cakes that I had hoped to find.
After getting off at Grozavesti, I went to the toilet in that shopping center and quickly checked Carrefour, entering with the eggs in my backpack, not finding anything to get and continuing to that Kaufland… Only to once again be disappointed when I had a look at a confectionery that I had meant to buy something from. At least that one was open, but it seemed to have been wiped almost completely clean, only a few cakes being left and those few not including that meringue cake that I was looking for. In fact, I didn’t even see a label for it, and the labels that I did see seemed to indicate that their offer had aligned with that of other confectioneries that are next to Kaufland stores, which reinforced my impression that they had been taken over, though since then I saw that they returned to what they used to offer, so I don’t know what happened during those days.
I didn’t bother to use a cabinet before entering Kaufland either, and I looked through most of the crates before picking a pomelo, since my mother had asked for a ripe one and most looked rather green while some were starting to spoil. Then, after asking about the olives that were on sale and being told that they had none, I also got some cheese, taking out the sturdier box, from some ice cream, and asking the employee to put it in there. She said that she’ll put it in a bag and then I can put it there if I want, and I apparently really confused her by saying that the box was clean and won’t spill, so why use a bag. She did put the box on the scales, set them to deduct its weight and placed the piece of cheese that I asked for in it, but she entered another, way more expensive, product, then she apologized after I pointed it out, took off that label even though I said that she could just put the new one over it, didn’t really seem to know what to do with the lid of the box when she weighed it again, printed the correct label… And then she put the box in a plastic bag before handing it to me. So they charge for the boxes and bags, supposedly in order to make people use less plastic, but when someone actually does bring their own box, the employees don’t even understand the concept. Either way, it was about 8:30 PM when bakery discounts of 50% were announced, but I didn’t have a look, and at the self-checkout an employee stood next to me as I was finishing scanning and my brain pretty much disconnected and I ended up moving erratically and dropping all the store cards. But I eventually managed to pick them back up and grab my purchases and change, taking some time after scurrying away to check that I really hadn’t left anything behind.
After getting back to the metro, I went back to Obor and to that Carrefour, but those mini cakes that were expiring the next day were no longer there. However, one box that was expiring on January 1 was left, so I asked an employee whether those shouldn’t also be discounted and she said that those are discounted a day before they expire, but when I pointed out that they’ll be closed on January 1, so only one business day was left until they expired, she told me to ask the employee from the bakery area. So I did that, but she initially said that it was December 28, realizing that she had gotten confused when I said that it was actually December 30, but she still said that they’ll expire in two days, not one, ignoring the fact that they won’t be open on that second day, so I left them there… Which meant that I couldn’t get any of the sweets that I wanted to get for my mother, being left with only the mini cakes that she had asked for, and just got those two mini meringues for myself, since I couldn’t find anything else for myself either. But at least a bag of apples that were listed as Gala had appeared among the spoiling products and it was discounted by 70%, so I grabbed it… And the self-checkout machine refused to scan it, so I called an employee over and she just told me to enter the listed code manually and walked away, which was actually a relief, since it meant less interaction.
I then continued to Kaufland, put my things in a cabinet and washed my hands, but the bakery discounts were still at 50% and that bread wasn’t discounted at all, so I just got two other things from there. But I did find those discounted olives in that location, and one area was full of small boxes that contained them, and they don’t charge for the boxes if they offer them like that, so I grabbed the one with the smallest quantity. And I also found some more of those discounted walnuts with Himalayan salt and got one more box, plus some food for Liza and also some expiring cat treats that were deeply discounted. They’re supposed to be really nice, but I struggled to “trick” Liza into eating one and then told dad to take the rest of the bag to my mother, who initially said that Rocky did eat them… Only for the bag to end up back here days ago, so over two months since it expired, with two pieces still in it, dad saying that Rocky no longer cared for those treats after the first ones and my mother just kept them there until now, when she gave them back, so I’ll see how to avoid throwing them away. Maybe the cats that are outside will want them, at least… But, to get back to December 30, I waited for 10:30 PM, in case the bakery discounts would increase, but they didn’t, so I then used the self-checkout, not only having no problems but also noticing that those walnuts counted as salty snacks, so 15% of their price was going to be turned into a voucher. Then I retrieved what I had in the cabinet, took a little time to arrange everything, and it was past 10:40 PM when I walked away.
That Mega Image that I had checked earlier was open until midnight, but the last metro starts the run at 11 PM, so I decided to go the other way and check another location of Mega Image, which I saw also closed at midnight. So I stuffed the bags that I was carrying in my hands in a cabinet, pushing to make them fit, since I was in a hurry, and I didn’t just find that whipped cream, but also saw that the price label from that location didn’t mention the store card being required in order to obtain the discount. Then, after taking a little time to look for some more expiring products but not finding anything interesting, I went to the checkout… Only to find that none were manned, and another customer also got there after me, so a guard called a cashier over, and I gave her an amount that’d have made the change 1.50 RON and even pointed that out. However, she handed me 2.50 RON while fixing me with her gaze and asking me to show her what I had in the bag that hung from my neck. So I showed her those bakery products from Kaufland and took the money, counting it as saving dad 1 RON, since that whipped cream wasn’t from “my” money. Then I walked out and got back in through the entrance, to retrieve my things from the cabinet… Only to find that I couldn’t leave again through that same door and stare in confusion for a moment, until someone who was outside stepped closer and it opened, and that guy also told me that it only opens when someone approaches it from that side. Then I got to the metro station as fast as I could without jogging… Which was just in time to once again watch the train leave. And it was a couple of minutes past 11 PM, and since more than ten minutes passed until the next one came, I was getting increasingly worried despite knowing that at least one more should be coming. But at least I used that time to arrange my things better.
I got back a few minutes after 11:30 PM, ate those walnuts, put a few of the purchases in their place, gave Liza one of those treats, seeing that she didn’t really care for it, and it was past 12:45 AM when I went to wash, getting back to the kitchen around 1:30 AM or so. Then I ate those two mini meringues and, after moving the sarmale to a small pot and finding that there were still too many for it, I decided to have some as lunch, instead of the old steak made by dad, despite being worried about that spoiling. But first I selected the grapes and ate what was good from those with bad parts, washed what was in the kitchen, cleaned a little, and put all of the purchases in their place with the exception of the apples, which I didn’t even take out of that bag that night, so I only saw the next day that they really were quite bad, and they didn’t exactly seem to be Gala either. What I did see that night, however, was that two of those three eggs that were larger and also not expiring soon had cracked! I can’t be sure, but I’m thinking that it probably happened when I stuffed the bags in that cabinet at that last Mega Image, or even when I took them out, since the apples and the pomelo were in that same bag and that plastic box that I had placed the eggs in was soft and obviously offered too little protection. At least one of the two was still usable, but the other was just crushed, so I had to throw it away. Either way, it was 3 AM when I took the first bite of lunch and started making the salad, only finishing lunch past 4 AM, when I was also finishing working on dinner, which I started eating at 4:15 AM and finished at 5:05 AM. I got in bed at 6:15 AM, after dad got back and I told him and he wrote down what to take to mother after he’ll get up.
I also told dad to take out a bag of trash when he’ll leave, and he added that on that same list… Only to cross it off but still leave it where it was, which really pissed me off when I got up. And I also slept poorly and far from enough, and I felt bloated and somewhat off in general, and my feet were once again rather swollen and burning, that feeling going up on the leg as well, in particular in case of the right one. I also woke up with a stuffy nose, but that cleared up after a while.

On the morning of January 5, I got in bed at 5:20 AM, and after waking up I decided to finally update Vivaldi, since 5.6 had been released almost a month before and I thought that its problems had been fixed by then and was starting to worry that the next major release would arrive. I’d have been even more concerned if I’d have been aware that said next major release would no longer support Windows 7, normal updates being blocked once it released, but I didn’t know that at the time. Either way, immediately after updating I noticed that the maximized window acted and was detected as a full screen application, so I had to use it in a regular window that I resized to fill the screen, which wasn’t quite the same thing, some additional space being lost around the edges, and especially at the top. But at least that problem was fixed in the next minor update and I can keep using that version for the time being.
Otherwise, I went out a little after 7:15 PM, taking the plastic and metal, which I dropped off in a bin on the way. I first went to the big Supeco, for more of that wine for dad, and I also grabbed some expiring sausages for him, being charged for the bag, and “rewarded” myself with one of those bags of bagels. But I had dad’s metro card, so I put those purchases in my backpack and entered with them after getting to Carrefour Orhideea, grabbing a few expiring things and all of the bread that I was interested in that was left, one for myself and four for dad. And the cabbage had a lower price than what was listed in the catalog, and while most of it was rather bad, I looked through it and eventually got two before using the self-checkout without problems and just quickly stuffing the purchases into bags.
I then rushed to Kaufland, trying quite a few cabinets that wouldn’t lock before someone emptied a large one and I used it for my things, Then I washed my hands, entered the store at 9:40 PM… And found that the cabbage wasn’t just slightly cheaper than it had been at Carrefour, without that being the announced price, but it also looked nicer! So I got one from there as well, after grabbing a few buns that had the evening discount. And I eventually also grabbed a bag of spoiling bananas, even though they looked rather bad, before making my way to the self-checkout. A guy came and stood right next to me while I was using the machine, but I ignored him until I was almost done, when I looked in his direction and noticed that the next machine was free, so I pointed that out and he went there. However, despite managing to be done just before 10 PM, I couldn’t get one of those meringue cakes which had reappeared at that confectionery, since it seemed to have already closed by then. So I spent several minutes arranging everything and wondering whether I should also have a look at Carrefour Unirii, which closes at 11 PM, but I eventually decided to go to that metro station and get back here.
I was back just after 10:45 PM, having carried almost 22 kg, and that backpack was already tearing. It had been in the kitchen for a long time, after my mother had supposedly fixed it, though I have no idea who gave it to her to fix or when, dad just saying at the time that it should have been mine, even though I had definitely never used it before, but after using it for the first time three days earlier, when I went back out in the evening, it seems that putting some weight in it once was enough to mess up the “fix”. Either way, I ate a banana and a sweet pastry, having had lunch before leaving, put some of the purchases in their place, washed a few of the things left by dad, and it was a couple of minutes before midnight when I went to the toilet and to wash. I was out of the bathroom right at 1 AM, put the rest of the purchases in their place and sliced two breads for dad, which led to failing to stick to the dinner schedule. I did actually think that I might just have time for one, which was correct, but I then decided to slice a second one as well and I couldn’t recover that time despite only washing some of what was left and cleaning a little. So I started eating dinner at 3:15 AM and finished at 4:10 AM. Otherwise, no visits were reported in either view, and I was making a note at the time that a computer fan seemed noisy, and I can say that I do keep having that impression occasionally, mainly after I get in bed, and it doesn’t seem to be a result of the case vibrating.

On January 6, I got up at 10:30 AM, when I needed to pee for the second time. I had sweated in bed and my nose was also a little stuffy, but that went away quickly. On the other hand, something at the back of my left ankle was hurting, and I was feeling something higher on that leg as well, though I wasn’t sure whether it was from my calf muscle or even knee or just the reflected pain from that ankle. But I still left at 12:15 PM, with a few more plastic and metal things in a pocket, which I threw in a bin at the metro station, since I again had dad’s metro card.
I went to Obor and first got an entire pack of six bottles of water for dad from Auchan, putting it in a cabinet from there, so I won’t have to carry it more than I really had to. Then I had a look through the farmers’ market and got a bundle of green onions, which I put in a cabinet at Carrefour, from where I got a few expiring products, including a box of those mini cakes, and some snacks, most of them for dad, since snacks were one of the categories that they were offering those vouchers for those days. Another category was soft drinks and dad had said that he’d like another Pepsi if it’d be cheap enough, which was unlikely considering the increased VAT for drinks containing sugar since the start of the year, but a price label with a lower price was left in one place, so maybe they could have been pressed into honoring that listed price even though the current price was listed in the normal place on the shelf, but I didn’t try and that normal price was too high. And the self-checkout wouldn’t scan one product, but I already knew how to enter the code manually, so I did so, and when it initially refused to “see” two 0.01 RON coins, I pushed in a third one, harder, and it “saw” all three. Then I retrieved those green onions from the cabinet and arranged everything a little in a bag, after which I checked another store and ended up buying a small plate, since there’s a large crack in one of those that we normally use and it’s likely to break in half at some point.
After a very quick look in another store on my way out, I went back to the shopping center and had a look around before retrieving the water from the cabinet, without entering Auchan again. I tried to carry the pack as it was at first, but soon decided to put it in bag, struggling but eventually managing to do so. Then I had a look and found that confectionery open again, and the prices seemed to be the old ones, not the awfully high ones from the site, but they seemed to only have a few products and those didn’t include any that I’d have been interested in. So I then also checked that Mega Image, putting the other bag in a cabinet but leaving the one with the water on the floor, since it obviously wouldn’t have fit in a cabinet, and then just retrieving them both, without buying anything, and getting back to the metro station. It was only after I got off the metro that I took quite some time to move the snacks and the expiring products to the backpack.
I got back here a couple of minutes after 3:30 PM, having carried just about 17 kg, but the water had made it really difficult, since I hadn’t split the pack, so it’s a good thing that I only had to carry it to and from the metro. But I had those mini cakes and they were expiring, so I asked dad whether he’ll go to mother again those days. He said that he won’t, however, so I then asked whether he’ll ask her if she’ll meet me at the park again, which he did, and she said that she will. But I was going to leave again in the evening, so I ate two of the mini cakes from that box, then had lunch, after which I also ate some of the fruit salad that was left, to be able to also take back the box that my mother had sent it in, and even did the day’s squats.
I left again at 7:45 PM, with the remaining six mini cakes, that box and a few other things, plus some trash, which I threw in a bin. I walked out of that metro station a couple of minutes before 8:30 PM, just as mother was crossing the road, so I gave her the stuff and we sat on the same bench as the previous time and talked for a while, even though it was chilly. And we stood in front of the metro station and talked for a few more minutes after she got up and we went back there as well, until 9:10 PM, when the next metro for this direction was about to arrive, since at that station you can see a screen from outside and I said that I wanted to catch that one.
I got back a little before 9:50 PM, then had a hot bath that took the chill out of me, and I also took a pill as I started eating dinner. I ended up going to bed at 5:25 AM, after struggling to get the bread which I had bought for myself the previous day in the freezer in a way that also left room for dad’s last two, after I’ll slice them, and then waiting to be able to use the toilet, since dad woke up and went there just as I was about to go. And struggling with that water did take its toll, my back feeling strange and my feet burning again, the left one in particular.

January 9 would have been a great day to run, but the forecast had only changed late on the previous evening, all sources listing a lot of wind until then, plus that I had other plans and not enough of the kind of things that I make salad from on the night before a run. So, seeing as the day was warm enough and sunny and I could keep the window open, I cleaned my room, a day short of two months and three weeks since the previous time, also changing the sheets and turning over the mattress. And, just like that previous time, I made mamaliga that night, though that time I also “inaugurated” the new cast iron pot, almost a month after purchasing it. And it was also only then that I noticed that there’s no enamel on the rim, at the top of the pot, and also none on the rim or handle of the lid. And, even though I won’t be using it, I also washed the lid at that point and placed it on its handle, and the next day I noticed that the handle had rusted, also leaving quite a rust stain on what I had placed it on, just because it couldn’t dry for some hours… Which was bad news, and became even more so after the enamel on the bottom of the pot started chipping away in a couple of spots, after just four uses, and it makes it clear that the pot will become unusable after a serious scratch on the inside as well, and there’s also a small area where the enamel is very thin, though at least it’s at the top.


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