July 1, 2019

Luxembourg - Heatwave related stories

I've been absent from the blog and social media entirely because I don't do heatwave well. I am allergic to the sun, or so I am told, so I had to wake up really early every morning to do my job before the heat hit Luxembourg, brave the sun from the railway station to my home, vomit several hour after and mostly barricade myself behind the shutters. I was a mole all this time. Thankfully today they said there will be only 28 degrees Celsius so I should be fine.

But all my fuss about the heatwave sparkled the idea for this article so all is well. In the true journalistic/ethnographic fashion, here are the facts.

RTL Today is a relatively new media outlet in Luxembourg and being a news journalist I love to take my daily dosage of news from them. They can sometimes jump the horse and write about car crushes and such, but most of the time I find their news to my liking. So Meteolux predicted the heatwave and issued an orange alert on high temperatures. I think this was the second alert they made, as the heat was visibly present since the beginning of the week.
Because Luxembourg is not equipped to deal with the heat, bad things happened. I've read about cars taking fire and garbage beans and hay ballots as well and I can only assume that people were careless with their cigarettes or it was just pure bad luck. Nevertheless, firefighters had to beat fires a lot this week.
Then this happened. Again, Luxembourgish summer is more of a rainy spring, so of course they are not prepared to deal with the high temperatures. Most of the office buildings don't have AC, or at leas the ones build close to three years ago, most if not all of the homes are also not equipped with AC units, the busses rarely have some sort of AC. And that is not all. Because hot summers are not a regular thing in Luxembourg and rain is plenty, they do not have water reserves. I am positive they will deal with that because summers like this one will for sure be in the future, but for this Summer, they are not prepared. So water consumption was limited all over this area.
Again another related news. I call this a big deal and for me this is hard news.
During the weekend the traffic towards supermarkets and stores across the border is heavy at certain hours, so this happened. I'm glad we only limited ourselves to one fruit and vegetables market and that was it on Saturday, but I am glad that the authorities were present to protect and serve the population.
Thankfully, today is better with only 28 degrees, I can breathe in my home, the train this morning was a breeze, so was having my coffee on my terrace.
Another English media outlet, Delano, reported as well about the heatwave. But Delano, being Delano, made it classy giving advice on dealing with the heat.
And pointing out places where one could hide from the heat or other measures to combat the heat. You see the picture is of a relaxed person, everything is under control, a lot different from RTL Today. No need, I hope, to tell you which one I'm more drown to.
I have no idea how the real Luxembourgish people must have felt, but on the expat groups the topic was trending. Take this one for example on Luxembourg Expats where someone says one cannot die of heat so "relax people!". Another advised us to just "open a window". It was pointless to explain that is not just a whim, people are not complaining because they are bored or something.
The opinions were mixed. It was funny to read them. As I've said these are expats to Luxembourg, so people used maybe to different climates, but all together people who have no idea that a country can not just turn from a rainy climate to a heatwave one overnight.
Of course Romanian expats had something to say in the matter, the first one send all to complainers to just "sue the sun", the other shared a story from Cyprus. I have to just say, 40 degrees in the Summer in Romania is not normal, at least it wasn't when I grew up. Yes the Summer is torrid, but over 35 degrees the heat measures are in place, water is distributed, working hours are shortened, schools are closed, not to mention that in Romania every home, every building is equipped with AC. So you basically have AC at home, AC in the car, AC at work and you are exposed to the sun only in between those places. Not to mention that water supplies in the forms of lakes are present close to all the major cities, Romania has a lot of small and big rivers, it has the Danube and exit to a sea, a lot of places where one could escape the heat, Luxembourg doesn't. But for the sake of feeling mighty on an expat forum, why not just make fun of all the complainers and send them to Romania.
Last, but not least the Internet reacted and the memes kept flowing. Being an LOTR fan I enjoyed and understood this one.
This was also good.
This one I saw a lot within my bubble. 
And this one to finish this article on a positive note.
As I've said for me the heatwave was hard to handle. I've lived for the past 10 years now in rainy climates and I am not so used to the heat anymore. I wasn't actually used to the heat in Romania either and during the summers it was hard for me to function. Yes, I am one of the complainers related to white rainy skies holding for weeks on end and now I complain about the heat. My position is justified in my eyes for all the reasons I've explained in the article. Don't get me wrong, I like the sun, but from a distance. I enjoy sitting on my terrace in the morning and evening, drinking my coffee or maybe handle some work, but last week it was not possible. We could only stay outside from 9 p.m. in the evenings and everything had to be done behind the shutters. 
I can only hope the temperatures will stay as today, the wind will blow a little and all the heatwave consequences will pass.
As usual you can find me on my Instagram @mademoiselle.ralu. See you there!


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