Tuesday, July 18, 2006


It's hot out there, I'm not going to say anything to the contrary, and a lot of people have asked me how on earth does one cope in a country that does not have ubiquitous air conditioning. For some reason though, the heat in Paris has never bothered me too awful much. Granted, you are talking to someone who grew up in a desert climate. Also, I spent the summer of 2003 in San Diego and therefore missed out on the horrendous heat of that year. But I find summers in Paris to be bearable, even without air conditioning. I personally find that the two or three weeks of really intense heat are offset by the several months of cold gray damp winter. In fact, whenever I feel too warm, I think of how I shivered in my big winter coat in the month of February, and suddenly I'm not unbearably hot anymore. There are several ways to cope with the 34 degree celsius type weather such as we are experiencing today:

-Draw the curtains and blinds closed in the late morning, turn off the lights and turn on the fan during the heat of the afternoon. As soon as the sun begins to go down, open up all the windows again and leave them open at night.
-Get outdoors in the evening, go sit on a patio somewhere or go to the park. Eat outside. The buildings retain the heat so it's usually warmer inside than outside.
-Avoid cooking.
-Carry one of those lovely silk japanese fans with flowers on it, the ones you've always loved but never could actually get any use out of without looking pompous, and fan yourself on the bus.
-Take advantage of the summer hours of the municipal swimming pools.
-Leave town in the month of August.
-Go to the beach for the weekend.
-If all else fails, make an extended afternoon shopping trip to Picard for a few hours...


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