lundi 22 juin 2009
A windy mistral day in Provence...
Waiting for the bus after work...
When suddenly, a window that had been left open in the building across the street slams shut, the glass breaking and falling down onto the street and sidewalk below...

Before I moved to Provence, I had heard tales of the legendary MISTRAL.
The wind that you can apparently blame everything on.
Late for a dinner party? Sorry, I got held up by the Mistral.
Go nuts and shoot your spouse? Sorry, but the howling of the Mistral drove me to it.
Forgot to do your homework? Sorry, but the Mistral blew it away.
Get caught kissing someone else? Sorry, but the Mistral just blew me onto to her/him.

According to Wikipedia:
The summer mistral
The summer mistral, unlike the others, is created by purely local conditions. It usually happens in July, and only in the valley of the Rhone and on the coast of Provence. It is caused by a thermal depression over the interior of Provence (The Var and Alpes de Haute-Provence), created when the land is overheated. This creates a flow of air from the north toward the east of Provence. This wind is frequently cancelled out close to the coast by the breezes from the sea. It does not blow for more than a single day, but it is feared in Provence, because it dries the vegetation and it can spread forest fires.

Before moving here, I had also heard tales of pioneer women in the US, left alone out in log cabin and going bonkers just listening to the wind all day long. I thought "that's crazy- that could never happen"
But after four years here, I can understand how it might happen.

Anyway, back to my story of the Rain O'Glass.

After the first pane of glass broke, I kept a wary eye on the slamming window across the street. Where is that darn bus?
Another crash! and the entire rest of the glass panel came crashing down.
A worker finally came and removed the now-empty window frames, but all the rest of the windows had been left open, ready to be slammed by the wind.

There were a few of us waiting for the bus, and we saw a group of people about to pass under the building. We were waving and yelling at them to not pass on that side of the sidewalk, but just at that moment a bus came by.
A man with a baby in a stroller understood something at least was amiss, so he crossed the street, but an elderly lady just stopped and stared at us uncomprehendingly. She finally moved on, probably wondering what those younguns were ahollerin' about.
Here is a lesson- maybe if a bunch of people are yelling and waving at you to move away, maybe you should move because maybe you are in the "Risk of Being Bisected" Zone. Don't stop right in the middle and try to figure out what is going on- move out of the way and then figure it out because you might be about to receive a shard of glass in your neck.

The worker (they are renovating the building) locked up and left, without securing all the windows. As he walked away, another window slammed and a pane of glass fell down onto the sidewalk and narrowly missed him.

Next time the wind is blowing, I think I will be very aware of possible danger from above.

7 commentaires:

Jess a dit…

OMG that is frightening! Thank goodness no one was hurt!

screamish a dit…

oh yeah this mistral is DRIVING ME CRAZY§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§!

screamish a dit…

it's the next day and this mistral is still here aaagghh!!!!!

Starman a dit…

Those workmen must be incredibly stupid.

mdgirl a dit…

That's crazy. I think that there are over 20 winds in Provence, the Mistral gets blamed on everything bad.

Dedene a dit…

The mistral must be torture. I've met people who have moved away from Aix because they couldn't handle the winds.
Glad no one was hurt!

Del a dit…

Yes, I have been in Marseille for 17 months and will be leaving in October. Did you go to VMI? I thought I saw that somewhere. I am a Citadel graduate.

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