helen-louise (baratron) wrote,
helen-louise
baratron

Air conditioning and Markets

Today I am feeling depressed and panicky. The problem with sleeping in hotel rooms is the damned air conditioning. Firstly, it's impossible to control the temperature of the room the way we'd do it at home by throwing open a window, since the windows are sealed. The hotel room defaults to 22 deg C, which is too hot for comfortable sleeping - especially with the two duvets they've given us! I prefer the room somewhere around 17-18 deg C while I'm trying to fall asleep.

Secondly, a single heavy duvet (we removed the second one because it was ridiculous) is improper temperature control for me. At home, I sleep with a thin duvet and a selection of thin blankets, which I throw onto or off the bed depending on my body temperature. It is entirely normal for me to go to sleep in pyjamas and socks under four layers of bedding, and wake up half-naked under two. Here, with one big duvet, I only have the choice of "clothes on" or "clothes off", which is not enough gradation.

Thirdly, the air is too dry. So I have trouble getting to sleep in the first place because my mouth is too dry (three or four of my medications all have 'dry mouth' as a side-effect), leading to a cycle of drinking water and needing to pee which goes on for a while before sleep occurs. Then while I'm asleep my nose swells up inside, and I end up breathing through my mouth, which leads to bizarre, usually horrible dreams. I have a lot of nightmares anyway, but there's nothing quite like waking up having a full-blown anxiety attack simply because of not breaking properly. Blargh.

Saline spray is wonderful, but it only works to rehydrate my nose when I'm awake enough to do the spraying. In cheap hotels, you can lay wet towels across the air conditioner, and that helps to keep the air moist, but this is a fancy-ass hotel and the air conditioning is a vent high on the wall. I remember the time I shared a room at an alt.polycon - can't remember which one - with Cally Soukup, who brought a portable humidifier to combat the air conditioning, and it was the Best Thing Ever. I wonder how she's doing? She was one of my few alt.poly friends who didn't make it over to livejournal. Say hi to her from me if you see her at a convention.

Whine whine whine.

Apart from hotel air conditioning, Montréal continues to be amazing. If papersky ever invites you to the Jean-Talon Market, and you have any interest whatsoever in food, then go. Apparently it is only a quarter of its summer size right now, since the weather means that only the indoor parts were open, but we found vegan-friendly Turkish delight, and sorbet that tasted just like the fruit it was made from, and a tea shop with some very interesting blends. I could have bought many things there, since they had at least six varieties of white tea, which is my favourite, but settled for the Peach Blossom blend which smelled the best.

I had a buckwheat crêpe which was vegan, but rather boring since the stall owner only had butter as a possible fat to fry it in, so it was extremely dry. I should have opted for an apple crêpe with maple syrup, or cinnamon, sugar and lemon, rather than getting excited by the one labelled as "végétalienne". Well, you live and learn.

There was also an entire shop of sheep butter, cheese, lanolin, yarn etc (which nitoda would love); a chocolate shop whose dark chocolate was dairy-free; a spice shop which had more dried chillis than I've ever seen together in one place, as well as an insanely large collection of different types of peppercorn; an organic hippy nonsense shop with vegan chocolate chip cookies (and vegan onion crackers?!); a great deal of charcuterie and seafood; and fruit and vegetables sold by the actual farmers who produce it. That's something which is entirely missing from my most local market in Kingston-upon-Thames: traceability. Anonymous stalls sell barely-fresh fruit and vegetables which could be from anywhere in the world. At least when I go to the supermarket, everything British-produced has a label on to tell me the name and location of the farm it came from.

I have been jealous of mongoose_bite's tales of his local farmers' market for some months now, but having experienced a market like that in person, I now really need to find something like it in or near London. There must be one.

Might go out shopping for clothes or books later if I can face moving. A lot of shops here are oddly open until 9pm Monday to Friday, but only until 5 or 6pm on Saturdays (and Sundays). I understand closing early on Sundays, but it seems odd to be open until 9pm on slow nights like Monday and Tuesday, and then closing so early on a Saturday. It's not how central London works, anyway. I was wondering if it was because a lot of Catholics go to church on Saturday night ("to get it out the way") instead of Sunday morning, but I'm not sure how religious the city still is, despite all the churches around the place.

I've seen a couple of shops which claim to be for "sizes 14+", Addition-Elle and another one I've forgotten the name of which looked like mostly office wear. I wonder if either of them have jeans I can wear? Torrid in the US is great for finding me jeans, but they don't have branches here.
Tags: canada, food porn, moaning, travel, vegan
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