America the Air-Conditioned, America the Great

I wasn't going to blog today - I vowed I'd be in bed by 11pm.  But after reading my friend Sunny Life's post I had to blog!

Today I was speaking to an anglophone who was new to France - this person has been a little errr...challenging.  At any rate, she was jet lagged and tired and I was trying to be understanding:

"Um, so like, what kind of accommodations do they offer in the South of France? I might want to go there instead next month."

"Well, I'm not sure," I answered. "All cities have different kinds of accommodation options. Why do you ask?"

"Because it's so HOT in Paris! In the South of France it will be less hot and more bearable because the ocean is there!"

hmmmm....how to explain....

First of all, it's a sea, not an ocean, but let's not get into technicalities. Second of all, uh NO it's not less hot in the South of France!  I told her I lived there, I knew.  And then she threw this one at me:

"So do they just like, not have air conditioning here?"

"Well, as you've noticed by the way I have swamp ass, there isn't even air conditioning in our offices...no one really has air conditioning, you know, like San Francisco or Santa Barbara."  (I tried to bring it closer to home for her)

It was a ROUGH conversation.  One that I had to quickly relay to my Anglo friend as we chuckled over her uber-Americaness.  But after a five minute pause I had to bite my tongue. I was a big ol' hypocrite:

At 15, during my first trip to Europe, all I could do was complain about the lack of air conditioning and how stupid all of these Europeans were. What the eff were they thinking suffering through summer like they did? And why the eff were they making me suffer too??!!  I spent most of my vacation in Berlin at the large mall in the center of town, not because I cared to buy anything but because it was friggin air-conditioned.  Call me a spoiled Southern California girl but I just couldn't take it!  To this day, that is pretty much all I remember of Berlin.  And cold showers.

Over the course of 6 years I, like Sunny Life have gotten used to the sweaty, smelly mess that is France during the summer.  I live with swamp ass, I sweat a bead of sweaty mustache, I feel the sweat drip down the back of my legs in a store that is hotter than hell and I save money - why? Because I leave before I can pick anything out.  The heat makes me angry and I have to GO.

I give up trying to look suitable and I just deal with it - cotton and linen are de rigeur, the hair goes up in a bun, rings are totally off limits due to heat inflated sausage fingers, and makeup? makeup is a total joke! But I don't stink - I will never go that far into the French realm of summer.  C'mon people! Antiperspirant it up! Fill your pores with alluminium! For the love of déo! For the love of my nasal passages and gag reflexes on the metro!

And to continue my rant just a bit further, what really gets me are the people who stink already at 9am.  How for effs sake does that thappen?! I'm at a loss.

So where I had a little chuckle about the naive newbie who just didn't get it - I take it back. I take it allllllll back. Girlfriend is right. Get it together Frenchies.  Install the AC. And if you "get sick," as you always claim you will,  pas de stress! The government will pay for your lovely doctor bill anyways!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Debo! I wish we lived next door to each other!


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