...Continued from page 1

This also used to be a favorite film scenario - which showed the global family on vacation, for example. A variation was to portray two whole unrelated families together on vacation; possibly because this cast of thousands allowed the writers quite a lot more latitude for hanky-panky.

This type of movie may have gone out of style since the beginning of the '90's even if the family style itself has not.

France's Budget for 1999

Price hikes for all sorts of common things after everybody is supposed to be safely away on vacation are no surprise to residents of France. The RATP bumped up the price of a 'carnet' by a couple of francs and I suppose the Orange Card has gone up too.

But I was surprised that the government is still at work. The Finance Minister, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, tossed out some budget proposals on Tuesday for us to mull over and for the parliament to discuss when it returns in the fall.

Since the beginning of July, various government ministers have been doing this. I have not be reporting them because these are only proposals, and may never pass a vote and if they do pass a vote, may not be constitutional and therefore may need to be completely re-thought, and so on.

On the whole, I think it is positive to do things like this. It gives citizens and taxpayers a warning of what might be coming and time to mobilize resistance if necessary. And it gives the government a chance to see which way the wind is blowing before it can paint itself into an embarrassing corner.

Two items from Mr. Strauss-Kahn's proposals are mildly interesting. He's proposed lifting the low tax-rate on diesel fuel, apparently because it has only recently been discovered that this type is fuel is very polluting. Tax-conscious car buyers will be annoyed and the truckers will be outraged.

There is another thing called the 'Taxe Professionelle.' If I understand this correctly, this is a tax employers pay, based on the number of employees they have. French taxes are byzantine in their complexity - and this one sounds as if it were inherited from Louis XVI's time.

Gérard Takes Fall On Booze

Gérard Depardieu walked out of court in Versailles last Thursday, after being ordered to pay a fine of 10,000 francs and without a driver's license for the next 15 months.

The incident that got him into court happened on Monday, 18. May, when he dumped his Suzuki Bandit while on the way to work, as Obélix in the Asterix film being shot near Clairfountaine.

This immediately cost him a broken leg and a lot of lost film production - which has since resumed. Onphoto: arcades terrace being tested for blood-alcohol after the accident, he scored 2.55, which is five times over the legal limit.

See? This is what it is supposed to be like. Memorize this scene.

In court he was allowed to say that the night before the tumble, he had been in Cannes and had successfully wrapped up the US distribution of three films. He had something to celebrate and that is what he did. What the Champagne he said he drank did not do, was wear off by 13:00 the following day.

So he said he had behaved like a drunken peasant and got his fine and the driving suspension. No one else was involved in the accident. Gérard is still limping though.

The Tour de France: An Online Sports Event

The Tour de France is the world's number one bike race by virtue of being the longest and hardest. This year's edition is the 85th and it started in Dublin.

To get a taste of it, check out VéloCity. These are the same people who brought us the Sports Café during the World Cup. All the news you want to know, and I suppose, some you wish you never heard of.

Both VéloCity and the Tour de France's official Web site sell various bicycle-related goods online, and if you feel like getting into the swing of things by doing it in French, then give 'Le Tour' a shot.

Metropole reader Ed Grant may possibly be a bike nut, so I asked him if he had any favorite Tour de France Web sites. He offered the following: Bicycling magazine and the comprehensive site of bike fan, 'kjtar.' This guy has everything except his own name here, and he even has t-shirts for sale and maybe a low-milage - never raced, certainly never rallied! - BMW 2002 tti as well. If you like this kind of '70's car, that is.

Go to page : 1 - 2
In Metropole Paris
Latest Issue
2008 Issues
2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999
1998 | 1997 | 1996
In Metropole Paris
About Metropole
About the Café Club
Links | Search Site
The Lodging Page
Paris Museums List
Metropole's 1996 Tours
Metropole's 2003 Tours
Support Metropole
Metropole's Books
Shop with Metropole
Metropole's Wine
metropole paris goodblogweek button
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini