photo: cafe le suffern

Every quarter hour, the sun pops out to see if Paris
is ready for spring.

Internet Email Schmozzel

Bonjour Readers -

Paris:- Saturday, 1. April:- Normally readers' letters come first and I get to have the 'last word' at the end. This is called 'The editor's prerogative.' I am going to have a 'last word' - at the end - here too.

But a case of 'email schmozzel' requires putting the dates in order, or everything will appear to be senseless and may, even with the dates in order, appear to be senseless anyhow.

Here's the story: Mathilda and Fred Daniel wrote via Internet email from Pietersburg in South Africa. Other residents of South Africa have written before, but all of my replies to South African addresses have been bounced back by moronic email robots.

This is worrying because I may be offending a whole nation full of Metropole readers. People who don't receive 'bounced' email may think they are not getting anything.

So I mentioned this situation in the recent 'Café' columns of Metropole issues 5.13 and 5.12.

Since I have an old pal in Australia with a solid 'bounce-back' email address too, I mentioned kangaroos in South Africa - perhaps in reference to what happens to golf balls if kangaroos are on the fairway.

The following emails are in order by date. I'm not sure I want to buy the 'Mozambique As-a-Lake' theory and while apologizing for putting kangaroos on golf courses in the wrong country, I wish to thank all readers south of the equator for being so alert.

Your 'Ed'

photo: in front of ecole militaire
One of two fountains in fron of the Ecole Militaire..
Metropole Does Not Bounce

Email from Mathilda & Fred Daniel. Sent via the Internet: Wednesday, 15. March 2000:-

Just to let you know your weekly letter is read and enjoyed in South Africa too. My wife and me are planning a trip to Europe in June 2001, either to Paris again, or to Austria.

If it is Paris, we will certainly 'virtualise' our Metropole membership. Didn't know about the 'club' in June 1999 when we visited.

Totsiens uit Pietersburg - a bientôt a Pietersburg

Mathilda & Fred Daniel

Mathilda & Fred Daniel©2000
Kicking Kangaroos Around

Email from Alan Savage. Sent via the Internet: Wednesday, 22. March 2000:-

Dear Ric,

Sorry to be pedantic but South Africans are more likely to be kicking wildebeest or lions - albeit gingerly. We in Oz alone have kangaroos. Hopefully, you will have at least two club members attending in April as my partner Carmel and I will be arriving in Paris then. We look forward to saying in person how much we enjoy your newsletter.

Best regards,
Alan Savage

Alan Savage©2000
Kicking Kangaroos When They're Down

Email from Chris Howarth. Sent via the Internet: Friday, 24. March 2000:-

Dear Ric,

I'm reasonably certain that the only kangaroos in South Africa are in zoos. Therefore, if your average South African is wandering around trying to kick imaginary kangaroos in lieu of you, surely they would be prone to falling over backwards in public and would consequently be even angrier? Please change your email service provider!

Chris Howarth
Melbourne, Australia

P.S. I try to read Metropole each week - it brings back many happy memories of Paris!

Chris Howarth©2000
The 'Mozambique As-a-Lake' Theory

Email from Fred Daniel from Sent via the Internet: Wednesday, 29. March 2000:-


I am probably one of the 'unreachables' in South Africa which you mentioned in Metropole issues 5.12 and 5.13. Maybe it canphoto: village suisse be explained by the fact that at one stage all out international borders - all five - were closed due to either bridges or roads being under water.

We had the most unbelievable rainfall this summer - I am not sure whether it is regarded as a one-in-100 or one-in-200-year happening in this rather dry country.

The 'Village Suisse' is not a banking sector in the 15th, but an arts and antiques one.

Cyclone Eline, which caused most of the problems, first drenched Mozambique, our Eastern border, then moved across the Northern part of South Africa - where I happen to be - then swept Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and finally Angola on the west coast.

Most of the rivers in these countries finally drain into Mozambique, and caused the biggest lake in Africa - called Lake Mozambique I suppose - while it lasted. You must have heard something of this, even from our part of the world.

The Namib desert in Namibia, regarded as the driest desert on earth - although not by far the biggest - had some rain. Where I stay - in Pietersburg - we just had a very nice, cool rainy season with barely any sun, which is very far from the ordinary. The cyclones might be the explanation for your problems, but it is in fact not.

We constantly have this problem from overseas. I have had it with e-mail from both the USA and France - other than your case. I did not really expect a reply from you, although I would not be upset if you do reply, so I do not feel offended by not getting one.

I mainly wrote to tell you that your letter is read and appreciated by my wife and me. Your snapshots from Paris are especially appreciated.

Fred Daniel

Fred Daniel©2000
The Final Word

The 'Mozambique-as-a-Lake' theory may be the cause of emails fromphoto: usa mustang, tour eiffel France bouncing back from South Africa. Since Australia has no borders other than the Pacific Ocean, it may also be the explanation for occasional emails bouncing back from there.

But! Ha-ha, but! Where email goes not, the Web does. I'm sure I don't get some emails from readers, and you don't get some of my replies, but everybody can get Metropole - most of the time. It runs on some Internet WWW magic unavailable to email.

This Boston-registered Mustang has no relation to anything else on this page.

If, in the course of these exchanges with alert readers south of the equator, I have offended any kangaroos working as caddies on the golf courses of either country, I am sorry and promise if I am ever down that way I will refrain from golfing - or kicking any animals, large or small. signature, regards, ric

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