Friday, 5 August 2011

Floods! Drama!

People, I have abandoned you. I almost feel sorry about it. I still have - and will write this weekend, promise - a post on Lille to put up. And something about a group of mad people who came to visit us last week, where I went up the Eiffel Tower.

[Post interrupted while I attempt to fix minor domestic emergency. See, this is why you don't get posts from me. Life keeps getting in the way.]

Anyway, for now, you will have to be content with the tale of the storm that has flooded Paris. Practically a monsoon. (Though just possibly shorter - monsoons tend to last longer than half an hour, I understand. Otherwise EXACTLY THE SAME, though.)

There I was, leaving work and heading to the pub. (The Frog says hi, jelly people, if you're reading this. Or would if it could talk, being a building and all.) The sky had been getting steadily greyer all afternoon. By the time I left the Metro, it was almost black. I made it to the door before the rain started. Having found my husband and got drinks, we watched as the sky got darker and darker. Soon after, the rain started. Sheets of it. Torrents. And every time we looked up, it got worse. Passers-by gave up with umbrellas. People under cafe awnings moved inside because the splash-back as the rain hit the pavement was soaking them. Smokers huddled in doorways, looking morose. (That last is fairly normal, actually, thinking about it. Smokers in doorways always look morose, no matter the weather. But I digress...) As it was still going, we had another drink. It continued to pour. And then, as if by magic, the sun came out. One second, pissing it down. Next second, bright sunshine and blue sky and aside from the flooded streets, overrun gutters and soaking pavements, as if nothing had happened.

Until we got to St Lazare. Which is not as waterproof as the architects no doubt hoped it would be.

Metro St Lazare

Luckily, we didn't need to cross that. There were a lot of people standing around amusing me as they tried to work out the driest way to cross the new lake that corridor had turned into - and that was one of the corridors you were allowed to go down. Several had been closed to the public because they were too flooded.

There, aren't you glad you bothered to read this? I've written 400 words on the rain. That was totally worth your time. (Hey, I *know* I never said this was going to be an interesting blog!) Lille might be better, though that, too, features a lot of rain. It's been a wet summer...

ETA: those of you reading this in an RSS reader may have seen that the original title mentioned recorders. This is because French supermarkets apparently sell recorders (you know, the children's instruments - are they called the same in American?) - we were buying food on the way home and noticed them with the back to school supplies. It struck me as odd, and I meant to write about it. But forgot til I pressed post. So then I deleted mention of it from the title. But realised that RSS readers probably show the original title. So I thought I should explain...


  1. St-Lazare has always been plagued by water, the lovely torrents streaming down the walls of the métro, but never seen it this bad! Has the river burst its banks? Its not even that bad here, rain capital of the world haha x

  2. Recorders are called recorders in the States.... though I don't think they are sold in supermarkets

  3. The river is fine - it was just a ridiculously wet half hour or so that seems to have overwhelmed St Lazare's slightly pitiful drainage systems. Paris plage wasn't looking too great, either, I'd suspect - but the sun is back out (from time to time) today, so all is well.

    Recorders aren't normally, as far as I know, sold in UK supermarkets either Tim, that's why I was confused by it. Vive la difference and all that...