Friday, July 3, 2015

Top 10 Things to do in Paris when it's 100 degrees

As you might have heard from my whining on Facebook or Instagram, the weather this week in Paris has been quite warm, record-setting in fact. Temps on Wednesday reached 104 in the city, and every day from this past Tuesday until next Wednesday are forecast at 90 or above. Paris just doesn't get heat waves like this very often, certainly not before August and not for several days in a row.

While I live normally in a place that is unbearable hot from June-September and have temps above 90 most of the summer, we handle it in a most civilized manner: we stay indoors with extremely powerful ac unless we're interacting with a body of water somehow. We also serve lots of drinks with ice, glorious ice in both cubed and crushed form. Wait, sorry, I had a bit of an out of body experience there thinking about ice. Well, it doesn't work like that in Paris since most places to not have ac. In fact, my apartment doesn't have ac. And Parisians also seem to have something against ice. What's a Siuthern girl to do to survive this heat?

While this is only day 3 of the week long heat wave, here are the things that are working for me thus far.

1.  Get a fan for your living space. My landlord came by on Monday and installed a fabulous ceiling fan; I'm never turning it off.

2.  Keep windows and blinds shut anytime the temp outside is warmer than your temp inside. When it stops outside, open up windows to cool off your stuffy interior. Leave windows open overnight if safe to do so. Close them again early the next day before outside temps increase.

3.  Wear clothing that is light colored and of natural fiber, otherwise your body will have trouble cooling itself by sweating. Avoid anything tight or dark. Wear your hair up off your neck and away from your. Face. Wear extra deodorant; for everyone's sake, please do this. (I also add some under the boobs, just a tip.) also, if you experience deodorant failure, please don't stand in front of me on the metro with your arm stretched super tall so that I am in direct line of fire from your pit. Stand in the back and hold on to the railing on the side of you, 'kay?

4.  Drink, drink, drink. And not wine or cocktails. (I know; life is cruel.)  Drink water or juice even if you don't feel thirsty. If you get a soft drink (like me), drink that much water with it too. It was so hot yesterday, that I only peed once in like 10 hours even though I drank a lot.  I felt sort of sick and just 'off,' so I knew the heat was getting to me. After drinking quite a bit more & getting in out of the heat, I started feeling better.

5.  Go to the grocery store. I hopped into Monoprix looking for a snack and a drink and almost swooned in joy as I walked yo the freezer section. Did you hear that? Oh, that's just a heavenly chorus of angels singing. It took all of the willpower I had not to skip through the aisles, fling myself into the dairy section, and roll deliriously amidst the refrigerated goods. I spent at least half an hour looking at stuff I had no intention of buying bc it felt so good to be there. Alleluia, amen.

6.  Find yourself a shady spot in a garden and stay there. On Tuesday, it was 97 in the city. I hung out in Jardin les Plantes on a bench and sketched and people-watched for a couple of hours. I found that if I didn't move and if I occasionally fanned myself when the breeze stopped, the only sweaty parts of me were my back and the back of my knees. I could live with that.

7.  Avoid riding the metro during rush hour. Self-explanatory, don't you think?

8.  Go to the movies or the mall and spend the hottest part of the day there, apparently 3-8 pm here. Wednesday, I went to Les Halles and saw Jurassic World. It was only 4 euro; I bought a fountain coke, and it had 6 pieces of ice in it! That's huge, people! Granted, the carbonation was 'off' somehow, but I'll take it. The theater was air conditioned and a comfortable 78 degrees I'd guess. (At home, it'd be 68, but it was much better than 100+ outside.)

9.  Indulge in cold and high water foods - Popsicles, ice cream, slushes (not that I've seen any in Paris, but a girl can dream), fruit, salads, gazpacho, etc. Dang, I'd kill somebody for a cherry slush right now!  Notice the cold club sandwich + salad + water in the pic below.

10. Buy a handheld fan and use it whenever the air is still or you begin to sweat. I'm like Scarlett O'Hara fanning myself on the metro, and I am not ashamed. Old girl is hot!

And a bonus - take a lukewarm shower as soon as you get home for the night. Don't forget to shampoo your hair! This cools me off, cleans me up, and is often enough to help me fall asleep.

Paris, I love you, but this week you've been almost too hot to handle!


  1. Hilarious! I think you're beginning to hallucinate from heat stroke. Your quasi-religious, fairy-frolicking in the dairy aisle just about sent me into spasms! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  2. I think I would just be sitting in a corner sobbing, though probably I'd be too dehydrated to cry actual tears. Hope the heat wave breaks soon!