Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Home News In Paris, under the pavements ... the heat wave

In Paris, under the pavements … the heat wave

"Anyway, we're never happy, it's raining or it's too hot", philosopher Domingos, paver met in Paris and does not seem overwhelmed by the heat wave. Among the workers who face extreme heat, not everyone suffers in the same way.

In blue electrical clothing with IDF Paving, the quarantine, Domingos has squatted for several hours already with three other colleagues of Portuguese origin. They restore the portion of the rue des Martyrs, in the 18th arrondissement, which connects the Boulevard de Clichy to the Rue des Abbesses.

Since daybreak, they hit the small granite pavers they one by one "arch" on a bed of sand, discuss and whistle. Domingos smiles, especially to onlookers who stop regularly to watch the careful setting up. "Usually, we work from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm There, with the heat, we start at 6:00 am and we finish around 13:00", when the peak of heat sets in and the sun floods the street, says the forties.

This morning there is a breeze and in the shade, a beautiful summer day is announced, without predicting the crescendo temperatures announced by the weather.

But a few meters down, at the corner of the street, the atmosphere heats up. Jonathan Jouin, 36, a plumber, helps his fellow bricklayer prepare concrete for the toilets of the La Fourmi bar. He loads sand with a shovel, which he throws vigorously into the concrete mixer. He is swimming and it is only 9:00 …

– Steaming machines –

"The hard part is not doing that, it's more going back and forth, and again, that's fine, because we still have a little bit of shade, but in the afternoon, it's in full sun, that's why I think that at one o'clock in the afternoon we'll be done and we'll go home! " explains the young man, who helps his colleague carry the heavy concrete buckets of pavement inside the restaurant.

These workers adapt and adjust their schedules, but all do not have the same flexibility, especially in the shops. At dry laundry 5 located at the crossroads of Châteaudun, at 10:00 am the heat is already stifling.

The manager goes to the back of the shop to read the thermometer which reads 35 ° C. But it can go up to "40 ° C!", She laments. Annie Ndungidi, 56, a dry-cleaning employee, is quenching thirst: "It's good, I'm telling you!" She has provided three bottles of water for the day. Air conditioning works, but between machine fumes and outside temperatures, "it's a hell".

In catering, the situation does not seem easier, but it is relativized despite the furnace kitchens. For the employee of a pizzeria rue des Abbesses, who installs his terrace with a smile on his face, "the heat is good for your health!" "I'm used to it: in Africa, temperatures go up to 50 degrees, so that's fine, the heat makes you sweat, it releases the toxins, it's good for the skin".

General manager of Kebab Grillé, in the 2nd district, Toufik Layaïda tempers: "We are used all year, so it's a little more temperature".


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