Hot Paris Nights
My journey through Paris, France during their hottest week on record
“Shit, mate, it’ll be close to 40 degrees during our week in Paris! We’ll be sweating to death!”
“Wow, I was expecting more mild weather,” I replied acting like I knew how hot 40 degrees Celsius was, “Paris always seems so nice in the movies!”
From the above exchange, there are two things you can tell about me: one, my Midwestern American school had failed to teach me proper metric conversions, and two, I had never been to Paris. As for the first point, to put this in perspective for fellow American readers, 40 degrees Celsius is equal to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Not exactly walking around weather.
To make matters worse, while Paris is a beautiful and historic city, they don’t have many air conditioning units. In fact, during my week stay I only experienced a handful of buildings or businesses that had air conditioning. It makes sense not to have them as most of the year is pleasant, but when it’s the hottest week on record, you quickly start to notice.
Many Firsts on Arrival
While the weather is a main aspect I bring up when retelling my trip to Paris, my true reasons for going are much more interesting.
For a year prior to my trip, I had started working remotely for a technology startup. My team members were from around the world, and although having countless Zoom and Discord calls, none of us had actually met in person. However, there was a conference in Paris that lined up with all of our schedules, so we decided to finally meet. And it was one of the most amazing, surreal experiences of my life.
Despite being in the most connected decade in human history, knowing someone digitally is nothing like actually meeting them. Even though we had already known each other for so long, it still felt like we had all met for the first time. And we had a diverse crew to say the least; our team consisted of people from Argentina, Turkey, Canada, Japan, and South Africa. It was amazing to see us all connected from such different backgrounds and be able to learn about the various cultures.
Once we had all landed and dropped off our luggage, we decided to hit the town.
Wine & Food
If you’re going to Paris, there are two major attractions I recommend above all else: the wine and food.
Seriously, I’m not even a big wine drinker, but some of the bottles we had there were incredible. The food speaks for itself as well. Although the Parisian dishes were great, the real treat was in how many different types of food can be found in the city. Much to our amazement, we found a traditional Argentine restaurant, and my Argentine coworkers were thrilled.
At first, I thought it was a bit silly to come all the way to Paris and want to eat the food you have back home, but this place was no joke. My coworkers walked us through the menu, explained the history of the dishes, and gave us great recommendations.
I know this is an article about Paris, but if you get a chance to go to Argentina, make sure to get Milanesa to eat and a Fernet and Coke to drink.
The night life in Paris is great for two main reasons: one, evenings move much slower there and are easier to enjoy, and two, it’s not as hot.
Yes, I’m back on the heat wave topic again, but with it so hot during the day, the nighttime was our only reprieve. With it cooled down, we were able to explore the city more and check out the restaurants and bars. My all time favorite aspect of Paris culture is the available outside seating; almost every establishment has outside tables for you to enjoy your dinner or drinks.
It may not seem like much, but being from the Midwest where it snows a third of the year and is windy the rest, it was a pleasant surprise. Especially since during the days we were busy networking at the conference (which also didn’t have A/C), being able to laugh, eat, and drink in the cool evening was refreshing.
This was how we spent the majority of our evenings. We didn’t go to any night clubs, but in my opinion, the slow, relaxing evenings were far better.
Major Sites & Landmarks
As you may have predicted, no story about Paris is complete without mentioning the Eiffel Tower. And I did see it… from a difference.
Now before you start judging me for not climbing one of the world’s most famous attractions, please know I fully had the intention to do it. However, as the main theme of this story goes, mother nature was not on my side. The day we planned to go, there was a multi-hour wait and it rained all day. I took this as a sign that we weren’t meant to climb the tower, so we saw the other sights instead.
One of the best things about Paris is you will find random landmarks and historical sights just from walking around. From only taking strolls, I was able to see Notre Dame and the Louvre. Both were amazing, and I would highly recommend seeing them if you have the chance.
And that was the extent of my hot Parisian tour. I would suggest going, especially if you enjoy history, good drinks, and delicious food.
However, despite all of the amazing meals and sights, what truly made this trip special to me was being able to experience it with my coworkers. It was truly a magical moment for us all to not only meet for the first time, but all explore Paris together as a collective. And even though I could complain all day about the insane heat, I wouldn’t trade the memories for the world.
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