Update, a few hours after this was written: After reading your comments, I have learned that this weird weather is happening all over Europe. Maybe I should just be thankful that I am experiencing it in Paris of all places. Whatever, I needed to write a rant today. If it wasn’t the weather, it would have been the schoolchildren in front of me in line at the boulangerie. And that would have been meaner of me.
In Zadie Smith’s On Beauty (recommended by the way), an Englishman who lives in New England reflects on how delusional New Englanders are about weather. He is annoyed by the way they say things like: "Oh, England. It’s cold there, right?". Because let’s face it: New England is cold. In the summer, it is humid and hot and uncomfortable unless you are under water. But in all the months when you want it to be warm, it really isn’t. I practically live in the Arctic, but I have never been tipped over by the wind (as in standing still and then falling, only because the wind is blowing) in my home country. No, that only happened to me in Arlington, Massachusetts.
I would like to expand on this character’s theory: All people, except Scandinavians, are delusional about the weather. I’ve been compiling lists in my mind ever since I got to Paris: things I miss when I’m here, things I will miss when I go back, and things I definitely WILL NOT miss when I go back. And it does not make sense at all that Parisian weather is on the last list. Norway is supposed to be cold and miserable, right? Norwegians are supposed to be able to handle any weather, right? Guess not, because I am not handling this weather well.
Today for example, I put on sunglasses as I left my apartment. As I walked out of my courtyard, the Parisian weather gods saw me, saw the smile on my face and decided that I was just too happy. Enter HAIL. When was the last time it hailed in Oslo?
Yes, it’s cold up north. But it is predictably cold. I walked outside in a tank top, eating ice cream, last Thursday. The following Sunday, IT SNOWED. No wonder I keep getting sick. And no wonder Parisians are fashion-conscious – in order to dress for the weather, they need to change three times a day.
And now that I am inside, in class, it’s not raining. The forces of nature are against me.
April 14, 2008 at 4:25 pm
> When was the last time it hailed in Oslo?
Yesterday, actually. It came suddenly from an almost clear blue sky. Weird, and not too unlike the situation you describe. 😉
April 14, 2008 at 4:32 pm
It’s not Paris honey, it’s the cruellest moth of all – April. It hailed here yesterday. And today it’s been raining and sunshine at the same time. Sorry for ruining your theory. Oh, and it snowed on Saturday. Hope you’re well!
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