I did not take a science at Middlebury…

Reunion Island has a lot of cars.  The rugged topography and sprawling towns make public transportation impractical, as I have learned.  Therefore, everyone has to have a car.  But not just any car: a white car.

Reunion Island has a lot of white cars.  It was apparent the moment I emerged from the airport and followed my host teacher around the parking lot searching for her white Prius among a sea of similar-looking, small, white sedans.  Occasionally, you’ll see a silver one, or even more exciting are the metalic green ones that barely have any real color to them at all.


It has been explained to me that the Réunionnais (people from Réunion) prefer white cars because they are not as hot as black ones under the scorching tropical sun.  Is that true, though?  Obviously black objects absorb more heat than white objects, making them hotter on the surface, but I thought that the whole black car v. white car question was conventional wisdom led slightly astray.  The interior still gets pretty darn hot no matter what color the outside is.  Your car is still a metal and glass convection oven on wheels even if its white.

Comments correcting my science are welcome.



Filed under Hmmm that's odd

4 responses to “I did not take a science at Middlebury…

  1. Chris

    Coming from a desert in Phoenix, I can tell you that white cars are significantly cooler than black cars when left in the sun (although still rather warm). This being said I recommend avoiding leather seating – that gets hot and really uncomfortable regardless of the car color.

    Glad to hear you arrived safely and jealous that you got to see Matt.

  2. Matt Lowes

    I didn’t take a science either.

  3. Amanda

    Stas has always told me that white cars are a LOT more money in Uzbekistan than black ones… this doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone drives a white car, of course, but it pretty much follows the same logic regarding HEAT.

    Also, apparently it’s easier to paint over when it gets scratched. Word up, hubby.

  4. angelo

    I just wanted to comment too. I didn’t take much science at midd, unless math counts.

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