Sunday, November 11, 2012

Survival kit against Versailles' winter

If you are, like me, unable to get used to the constant rain, grey sky and all in all sh*tty winter weather (and, mind you, this kind of weather lasts about 8 months in here, at least!), you absolutly need a plan in order not to sink into depression, especially when you are at the most difficult phase of the culture shock, the Negociation phase. As one who fortunately survived it (hey, I've applied for the French citizenship!...) I am happy to be able to give you some advice on how to overcome it with a fairly good degree of success.


The panacea against the unpleasant weather and short days - sunrise at about 8am, sunset at about 5pm *and* it's getting worse - is that all is good to keep you busy in the evenings: dance lessons, exercise, going out (concerts, Opera, theatre, movies), art classes of any kind, one of the countless fairs or exhibitions held at this time of the year or, even better, planning a vacation in the Southern France where the sun is just around the block waiting for you; you have plenty of choice. The only thing you need to do is to well organize yourself (a lot) in advance. You need to get out of your house almost every evening if you want to strive in this extreme environment and you'll see that French people do the same, as the tickets for the Opera House or the good theaters are sold out months in advance, the queues at the exhibitions look very much like the comunist queues I was obliged to attend when I was a child (minus the despair, plus the chic) and there are almost no places left in the evenings at the cool restaurants or bistros everywere.

Never forget your umbrella at home (or a hooded coat) as the rain can come and go in a heartbeat, like 5 times a day, and try to go outside in the daylight as much as you can (I have friends with difficulties to process the D vitamin due to the limited exposure to sunlight). And, to supplement your intake of vitamins and minerals, winter is the perfect time to start learning how to cook the great French food, if you haven't done it already: you can find so many beautiful, fresh products at the Versailles farmers' markets, including my favorites, the organic (="bio") ones which are tastier IMHO (don't even get me started with this :) ), that I can assure you that it can throw even the clumsier cook in a cooking frenzy.

The winter can come and go now in Versailles...


  1. Great advice! I needed it! See you Wednesday!
    Oh... I tried to bake and Apple Pie... FAIL.

    1. :) glad you liked it, but you already knew everything I wrote down :)

      Aye, you should tell me all about your failed apple pie, maybe we can figure out what went wrong