Paris, 24 July 2021 at 8PM
Ten minutes ago, it rained so hard. But like the way the rain came, now it stopped although there’s still a drizzle and occasional distant thunderstorms. I’m not used to heavy rains in Paris, so that was a surprise. The weather is usually calm here with just varying levels of high or low temperature.
I had planned to go out somewhere by late afternoon but in the end, I just decided to stay at home. I’m glad to be just watching the rain from my apartment window. It doesn’t feel good to be caught by heavy rains especially when you are in a new or unfamiliar neighborhood and evening is progressing.
But even if you’re in an area that you know, heavy rains and an approaching evening are not a comforting mix. I have not experienced any flooding here in Paris nor have I experienced difficulty going home (except when I walked home after watching the Bastille Day fireworks and most roads leading to my area were closed so a 20-minute walk became a two-hour adventure and after an event when the bus arrived so late).
In Manila, some areas experience flooding after a few hours of heavy rains. Storms make the situation worse. When I was still teaching in the university, going home was difficult during heavy rains. A downpour in the late afternoon or early evening could make a two-hour commute into five. In one unforgettable instance, during a typhoon, I experienced leaving the university at 11AM after classes were suspended and arriving home towards midnight. The 12-hour adventure included a wade in knee-high to waist-high floodwaters with my sisters for three hours.
But I realized, despite the difficulty, people still manage. The rain stops, people get home and get some rest and eat a hearty meal. Then, they get up enthusiastically (or hesitantly at times) again the next day, ready for what the next 24 hours has to offer.
Right now, the rain stopped, pigeons are perching again on rooftops, blue and white are showing again in the sky. Despite the momentary gray skies and heavy rains, Paris is again beckoning for a walk along Seine or around Eiffel, a picnic at Champs de Mars or a drink at a sidewalk café.