It's hot. Very hot. Now it's 38°C outside
(102°F), and it's not the hottest moment of the day
In Paris, usually the temperature goes up to 38 or 39°C once
every year, at most. This time, it has reached that level, or even
more, every day in the last 7 or 10 days. In other parts of the country it will go up to 41°C today. At first we used to compare that
situation with other exceptionally hot summers, like 1976 or 1946. But
the comparison doesn't stand any more. This summer is not exceptional,
Last night was the hottest night in history since they started to
record the weather conditions in 1873. In my apartment the walls and the tables were
warm. The water in the kitchen was so hot I couldn't wash my hands in
it. Not even the tiled floor in the bathroom was cool. I went to bed
at 1am; it was as warm as if someone had been sleeping in it. It was
not an easy night. At 6 a.m the temperature was still 35°.
Fans are useless. When you stir hot air, you only produce hot
air. I once learnt the three laws of thermodynamics; only now I
really understand them.
Air conditioning almost doesn't exist in private houses here,
because, you know, France has a temperate climate. At school they told me that
France is situated on the 45th parallel, along the Atlantic Ocean
which brings the Gulf Stream to it. For all these reasons, France
has a pleasant climate. Here it's not supposed to be hot as in North
Africa; or cold as in Scandinavia; or both hot and cold as in
Central and Eastern Europe; or disordinate as on the American East
Coast. That's what I learnt at school. I'm afraid it's not true any
more. In 1999, at Christmas, we had a terrible storm. This year we
have very long "dog days". We have also had floods.
I shouldn't complain. Yes, my apartment provides me with a preview
of what probably awaits me in Hell after my death, but at least I have
air conditioning at work. Earlier today I saw stone men and other
workers. They were eating their sandwiches with a gloomy face. I also
saw an old woman who walked very slowly in the street; I asked her if
everything was all right; she said "yes", but I didn't entirely
believe her. These days, I'm happy not to be in holidays.
Cool Man Eddie tells me that this node has been editor-cooled and that I am cooler than liquid hydrogen. I wish I was.