Pollution

Yikes.  I knew it was smoggy yesterday. I went out in the morning and in the evening.  But it was this morning reading the news service The Local (a nice app with news from all over Europe but in English!) that surprised me:   Worst pollution in a decade.  The vehicle restrictions continue.  Free bus and metro – costing up to 12 million euros – continue.  1700 people were fined yesterday for flaunting the even/odd license plate rule.  I am sure more were lucky.

Why is it so bad?  The cold weather and near windless conditions.  The exhaust fumes etc. are just trapped here.  It’s bad.  The current level of airborne particles is 60% of what is in Beijing and a fraction of that in New Delhi.  So I guess there is something to be happy about…  If it means anything to you, the level last Thursday was 146 – over 146 micrograms per cubic metre of air particles.

And it’s not just Paris.  Nope.  Same problem in Lyon which is my destination tomorrow.  Going for the Festival of Lights.  3 nights of amazing lights for Christmas.  If we can see them through the smog…

At least I wasn’t traveling to London yesterday. (I am next Wednesday.)  A train coming into the Gare du Nord station cut an electrical power line.  The entire station was without power and without trains coming or going all afternoon and evening.  Even the Eurostar stopped.  And I guess all the trains just ended up stopped on the tracks in the middle of nowhere… Because what else to do?  When you think that Eurostar has a train almost every hour…  Electricity is working today I hear.

So I am staying in today to lessen my smog intake and catch up on odds and ends and packing.

Last night I went to a movie at the d’Orsay – the American 1930’s series.  Coming out I was going to take the bus home.  But I totally misread the bus schedule and thought the service had terminated for the night.  I finally figured it out about 15 minutes later while in the Uber driving down the Champs Elysees.  Ten euros I needn’t have spent.  But maybe it was a good investment.  I have walked down the boulevard to see the lights and made many bus trips up and down.  But riding in a car, in the middle lane, looking up at the Arc de Triomph and back at La Roue with sparkling lights in the trees and so many shops beautifully decorated – Wow.  A total different perspective and a beautiful one.  I guess I am easily amused.  Christmas lights and fireworks.

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