Summer is in full swing here...and I seem to have missed the memo that you buy fans before it gets hot out. I got back from Germany on Sunday and moved into my apartment as soon as I got back to Paris. Buildings in Europe are so old and electricity is expensive that, consequently, air conditioning basically doesn't exist. There are some restaurants with AC - if they have it, they advertise it in writing on the windows - and there are some stores with AC...other than that, you're out of luck. The next best thing to AC, then, is a fan to avoid that point of heat stoke when it hits 93 degrees at 4pm with 99% humidity and no breeze. Ahhh, summer. Before I left for Germany it was getting pretty hot, but since I knew I would be moving apartments solo upon my return, I decided to wait on buying a fan until I arrived at my new place. Bad idea. In two days, I've gone into no less than twenty different stores of various kinds all over the city looking for a fan only to come back home empty handed! I've been asking if I could buy the floor models but quit after a string of dirty looks from the salespeople like I had just asked some horribly offensive question. Jaime tried looking online to see if I could order a fan on Amazon and have it shipped but what normally would take a week could now take up to 5 weeks - I'm sensing some kind of European fan shortage/crisis and I'm in the thick of it. The students I teach English to find my inability to cope without AC very entertaining. I asked one student if anybody here has window AC's like I had in my Minneapolis apartment and he told me "we would never do that, not unless you're using it to put in the window of a Chinese restaurant". Ok then, I'll wait it out. I'm lucky at the moment to have a little relief from the heat in the wake of some torrential downpours that lasted most of today, but I'll still be on the prowl tomorrow in search of the rare and elusive fan. Luckily, I'm pretty preoccupied with the new apartment. Pictures coming soon!