Some things here in the Balkans (or, maybe better, Eastern European countries) just require too much time and effort. I mentioned that moving from country to country means having to find a new source for meat every couple of years, finding a good supermarket (takes months, sometimes), a green market, an organic food store, clothes and shoe stores for the children... So I'm knitting socks for Douglas. I confess, the latest pair was started sometime in March and the project was abandonned when the nice weather arrived. The unfinished sock including yarn and needles moved with us in June. Now, it's rainy here in Bucharest and cool and I decided to break out the needles and finish those socks off. I'm knitting with five double-pointed needles, what in German is called a "Nadelspiel" (game of needles). One needle was missing. I'm sure I'll find it one day, I just can't find it now and I want to knit now. I'm impatient in these matters. I can't knit those socks with only four needles. So I decided to go out and purchase a new set of five double-pointed needles. Hah. You thought it was so easy.
Our nanny sent me to a big "mall" named Bucu Obor. It's basically a big building with the single shops set up in nooks and corners or divided off by means of counters and shelves. Cubicles. That's what those were. Make-shift cubicles. I took my mother-in-law and Alan and we toured the premises. We thought we were lucky when one of the first "shops" had wool and needles in the display case. We asked and yes, sure, they had knitting needles. Circular ones. No double-pointed ones. On we went. This place was huge. Sort of like a very low-grade department store. One place sold stoves, fridges and washing machines galore - they had at least 40 different ones. Another sold fabrics. Yet another more fabric. Balinese masks. Deodorants. Croissants. Pots and pans. Sequins. Shoes. Scents. Odd combinations were also galore: scents and pots. Books and light bulbs. Pens and hairbrushes. It was interesting. However, we were on a mission. Another place had knitting needles. Circular ones. Where to find double-pointed ones? (I'd brought mine, of course, to show and point and grunt, my current mode of conversation in Romanian.) Down the aisle and left. Yes, indeed! Another shop and they had different kinds of knitting needles! Different kinds of circular ones. But down that aisle over there, then right and straight on, for sure. You guessed it. Circular ones. I ended up going back to the first shop, purchased size 3 circular needles, cut the nylon string off and thus had two size 3 double-pointed needles, albeit a bit short ones. It's working. But I have one more item on my list of "things to get" once I'm in a first world country again.