Canicule: Surviving Heat in France

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Get your passport, watch out for pit pockets, and try everything! These are just a few pieces of advice given to everyone when studying abroad. Although those previously mentioned are very important, there’s a culture shock of France like no other that I never expected!

“La clime” That’s right! Air conditioner. Learning a million cheese’s, putting my hands on the table, and not staring in the metro has all been a cakewalk, but surviving this heatwave… this has been a challenge. This summer, France has endured one of the biggest heatwaves ever. 13 Departments across the country being forced to close school, as the heat being unbearable. The only debate is, is home safer than school?

Basically, every home across the country has no air conditioning or “la clime.” You can find air-conditioning in certain rooms in the school, but they are not as powerful, and you can also go into shops and pretend to buy things, but when everyone in your entire city is longing to do the same thing, I cannot say that this is very helpful. So how do you survive?

  • WATER WATER WATER. Drinking water seems to be the answer to everything. Sleeping, eating, and breathing has the entire country sweating bullets. The best thing to do is just do drink water. I’ve been taking cold rags of water and placing them on my neck and head to stay as cool as possible.
  • FIND A SWIMMING POOL. Everyone seems to be at them here, but the dress wear is very strict here in France. My friends and I got denied for having the wrong type of swimwear. The traditional red swimming trunks are not permitted, everyone must wear speedo like swimwear.
  • WINDOW SHOP. The last advice that can be taken is to stay inside of a store as long as possible. There will probably be a lot of others with the same goal, but air is air at this point! And we’re all fighting for it.

This has all been a learning experience for me and there is always a positive coming out of these things. As of now, I am still searching for the positive aspect of it but I’m optimistic that the answer is written in the stars. It makes me appreciate all of the things that I took in America as bare necessities of life. Air conditioning is a privilege. Yes, South Mississippi is extremely hot, but returning home after work to marinate in the air is the life! I wish for a sweet tea, but I know its not there. Although I’m sweating bullets, and sweet tea less.. I wouldn’t trade France for the world.. parce-que c’est la vie!