My first visit to Paris was in the fall of October 2011.
When my sister and I emerged from the Champ de Mars train station, we were still wearing wearing the clothes we had on for our 13-hour flight: in my case, a light dress, leggings and Sanuks. It was still in the neighborhood of noon — too early to check in the hotel — so we decided to open our suitcases right there by the River Seine and change into something more appropriate (and photo-worthy). I slipped on my black boots and put on my black coat…and the most unexpected thing happened.
“Alimuot lagi!” I exclaimed in surprise to my sister. That was the last thing I expected to be feeling — too warm — in Paris, where I’d expected to be cold and shivering. The temperature at that point was perhaps only a little colder than in Bukidnon.
It was too good to last though.
I wore my black trenchcoat over two layers of thin clothing for our visit to the Musee d’Orsay later that day. I also brought a scarf to wrap around my neck. With all those layers, it was actually rather hot inside the temperature-controlled museum. However, when we went out at past 8 in the evening, it was COLD! My sister heroically lent me her gloves and her beanie but the chill still sunk all the way to my bones. And the hotel was still an hour’s walk away! When we finally slipped into our room, tired but finally out of the cold, it was only too easy to crawl under the warm covers and fall into deep sleep.
Fast forward to winter, January 2014. We were arriving in a train from Nice, where the cold weather was pleasantly mild, but I knew Paris would be different. As we pulled into Gare de Lyon, I added layers to my layers until I was wearing — no kidding — a thermal shirt, two sweaters, three layers of tights, a thick trench, a beanie, scarf and gloves. I was bundled up, to say the least. Would you believe I stepped off the train and started shivering? The weird thing is I didn’t really even feel the cold but my body registered it nonetheless. I shook, my teeth chattered, until I finally added a down vest to my ensemble. All this just to cross the street to our hotel!
We entered the lobby and the guy at the reception cheerfully booked us in. For small talk, we asked him about the weather and he replied, “It’s been a mild winter this year. Tonight is rather warm, actually.” I hated him.