Cinquième Etage

One of the undesirable features of our new home in Paris is that it is on the 6th floor (in Europe this is called the 5th floor, with our American first floor being floor zero or the ground floor). With no elevator. The kids are managing fine, actually, and we’ll all be in better shape then we otherwise might have.

The big issue was the bags and boxes.  We had 8 large bags weighing 368 lbs (167 kilos) and 14 boxes weighing 556 lbs (252 kg). So that’s nearly 1,000 lbs up 5 flights of stairs. Of course this took 22 trips with an average of 42 lbs per trips. I did it myself, the bags on Sunday when we arrived and the boxes on Tuesday when they arrived.

So I decided to calculate the en required to do this. I’m assuming 18 meters from the ground to the 5th floor. The amount of work (the measure is joules) this requires is calculated by Mass * Height * Gravity.  So 420kg * 18m * 9.8m/s/s (here on earth). That’s 74,088 Joules.  Wow, that’s alot! Isn’t it?

Well, not as much as you think. In more familiar terms, 74,088 Joules = 17,707 calories. Wait, that can’t be right? That’s more than a day’s worth of Michael Phelps energy burn. And, in fact, it isn’t right. The colloquial “calorie” is actually a kilocalorie (1000 calories), so we need to divide by 1000. Which means this burnt 17 calories. 17? Are you kidding me? I can’t even reward myself with a beer!

Okay, let’s add to that the fact that I had to haul my (approximately) 77 kilos up the stairs 22 times. That’s almost 300,000 joules or 71.5 kcal (calories). For a total of 88.5 calories. Sheesh. I hope my math is wrong because I was pretty darn tired at the end of all this.

One question you may have been asking yourself: How did he know the weight of the checked bags so precisely? Well, we didn’t think through our flight from CPH to CDG. It had different baggage rules than the flight from SFO – CPH so the baggage wasn’t free. We were charged an overage fee of approximately $1000 for the bags :-(. The only consolation is it wouldn’t have been much cheaper to ship them, although we wouldn’t have had to lug them through the airport. And we might have packed less?

One response to “Cinquième Etage

  1. I helped pack most of those bags…you deserve a beer! xoxo, Mom

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