Courant d'Air


Courant d'Air: a Real Problem

There's a serious problem that French people face on a daily basis. And it's big. Huge (depending on who you're taking to)! Did you know it can make people sick? Give people allergies? That's it's bad for your health? That it annoying? It slams doors? This very disturbing thing is called "courant d'air" or air currents. Now can you hear my sarcasm? All throughout my life I've been warned about the dreaded air currents every time I visited France. But living here and hearing the almost daily discussion has turned into my favorite joke. So let me tell you a few stories about those damn air currents. 

Let me preface this with saying it's not just the French, I've heard about the dreaded air currents forms the Spanish and the Italians as well. And anytime the wind starts blowing through the house or apartment, windows get closed saying that we're going to get sick. Even the kids that I watch start closing up the windows the second a small amount of wind blows in the house. It's not good for you Camille, you're going to catch a cold! Stop letting all the air in the house! Crazy kids! Did you realize your apartment is 90 degrees and that a little wind is good you?

Champ de Mars
But thankfully not all French people are as crazy as those kids. Some have some sense in them. They know that in the summer heat that the wind will cool down the house. But that doesn't mean that they like it! I've seen a woman say that she's not well because she was siting in the middle of the air currents. She got away from it as if she was trying to outrun lava. And miraculously she felt much better now that she was out of the line of fire. I gladly traded places with her like the crazy American that I am. I mean a little or a lot of wind doesn't bother me in the humid summer heat. Would it be weird if I raises my arms up a bit to dry the sweat in my armpits? Cause in that heat it's really tempting. And it's not like anyone's about to stand near me since I'm to only one willing to brave those deadly air currents.

The Eiffel Tower
But it doesn't stop there. I wish it did, but no. The aversion gets worse in cars. In the awful summer heat I've been stuck in cars with barely any air conditioning because air conditioning is bad for allergies and open windows invite those nasty air currents. Luckily my aunt understood my plight and I always had the windows rolled down in her car. But driving around with barely any air conditioning with the windows rolled up is pain. Just breathing works up a sweat. That can't be normal.

And I don't know if their superstitions is wearing off on me. I notice on a windy day I sneeze more. Or that I wake up with a scratchy throat after sleeping with the window open for the first time. So while I laughed a lot in the beginning, I'm starting to see their logic! So thank you France for giving me one more thing to complain about. 

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