Paris: The Heat is On


If you are in Paris, you are roasting. Most Parisians who have the wherewithall have already left – but a few stalwarts remain. (I admit I’m a fair weathered friend and am currently ‘chilling out’ in the Normandy countryside. The temperature isn’t much lower here (80s to 90s Farenheit but there’s plenty of grass and shady trees, so if you’re in Paris, find a shady park – Bois de Boulogne, parts of Luxembourg garden, Bois de Versailles, Montsouris – for starters. If you’re in the Tuileries, wait till later in the day – the glare from mid-day sun is extreme. Wear a hat. Drink water. Rain is on its way – very soon.

You would not think that the World Cup would be so pervasive in Paris life, but it is. For example on World Cup Finals night, an elderly woman in our apartment building was mugged in the elevator. She sadly allowed someone to walk through the door at the same time she did. Our former guardian, a lovely woman who has been ‘squatting’ for about four years now in her loge since she retired explained it this way.

“No one would have heard her even if she did scream – we were all watching the World Cup. When the police finally came – no one answered the door. We were all watching the World Cup. About 110 cars burned once again – after the results of the World Cup – but they probably would have burned either way. Our former guardian blamed the World Cup also for the reason that the local housing assistance in the 14th wasn’t helping her find new lodging fast enough – there’s no money left – everyone’s been betting on the World Cup and nothing’s been done.

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I once met a Greek philosopher who said that politics is part of everything you do in life. I’d like to add to that – soccer during World Cup year is part of everything you do in life (at least for several weeks).

Now in the hush of the Final Fiasco, I don’t know if I can say anything that hasn’t been already hashed to pieces. Maybe some questions as a naive spectator of the game. “Would it have been better from the outset if betting on soccer events was totally illegal?”
“Could the referees have done a better job?”
“Could Zidane have been better prepared to combat the psychological abuse he was sure to encounter?”
“Did the Bleus depend too much on their star player (a la Dan Marino) knowing there was always a risk of a red card?”

Why do I always feel, not just in soccer, but in ALL of the big games, the referees are NEVER quite what they should be? So much for babble. If you’re STILL roasting in Paris, it’s time to head out to Aqua Boulevard at Porte de Versailles. Jump in the wave pool.