This week Paris has seen record temperatures with mercury rising up to 42 degrees! The heatwave is very much like the week of scorching weather we get back home in Melbourne during late December / early January, but Paris, like much of Europe, isn’t quite as prepared for soaring temperatures like we are back home.
Air-conditioning is relatively non-existent
Apart from big department stores and large offices, air conditioning is not a thing, and even if there is air conditioning, it’s not quite the cool blast we’re used to back in Australia. Last year, I recall asking our relocation agent whether any of the apartments we were going to visit had air conditioning; she just laughed. At work I asked how hot it would need to be for the air conditioning to be turned on, only to be told that it was on!
People don’t own fans
This evening alone, in my five-minute metro trip, I saw six people holding brand new fans they had just bought today! A couple of my French friends only invested in fans this week!
Old is cool
We live in an early 1900s Haussmannian building and it could be the cool sandstone or the building’s aspect but it’s naturally 8 to 10 degrees cooler inside, which has been so lovely and has made the heat tolerable with the aid of just a pedestal fan.
Dressing down is not a thing
At work, we received a special email from Management stating that “casual dress” would be acceptable given the heatwave. But the Parisians really don’t know how to dress down. Following that email, all I have seen at work is a parade of fabulous summer dresses, fabulous tailored shorts and 7/8 chinos paired with light linen shirts. They would be horrified if they knew what “Friday casuals” looked like back home!!
Water fountains are where you cool down
As soon as it goes over 30 degrees in Paris, everyone hits the parks and Paris’ stunning water fountains, and you’re most welcome to dip your feet into the water to cool off!
Well looks like a cool change is on its way tonight and hopefully the heatwave will disappear sooner than it arrived! Stay cool dear Parisians!!