Friday, March 28, 2008

Here Comes the Sun?

For ten glorious minutes I thought it was here to stay. When the clouds finally parted over Paris yesterday this sun-starved traveler took full advantage by propping herself up against a building and tilting her face up towards that glorious glowing object in the sky. Unfortunately, within a few short minutes the sunny sky turned back to a mix of sun and clouds with an emphasis on clouds.

Is it just me, or has it been cloudy in Paris since, well, forever? Cloudiness is great for sleeping in on weekends, but it's a motivational killer that makes leaving for class even more difficult than usual. I remember a two-week plus stretch in Washington, DC last fall when there was nothing but brilliant sunshine and 80 degree temperatures all day long. I also remember thinking "this is getting really tiresome, couldn't it just be cloudy for one single day?" Be careful what you wish for.

Luckily, this city makes full use of outdoor warmers so that Parisians can still enjoy an espresso on a terrace and have the illusion of a warm sun beating down on their shoulders. I'm always impressed at how widespread these heaters are, and bewildered about the lack of them in American cities. I know a lot of Minnesotans who would love to sit on such an artificially heated terrace, especially as winter lingers on into spring. As for Paris, the cloudy/sunny mix lasted until mid-afternoon. At about 4:00pm local time, the clouds finally which time it promptly started to hail.

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