'Starving In Paris'

photo: l->r, alan, carmel, linda, marion, stan

Full-house at the club; from left: Alan, Carmel,
Linda, Marion and Stan.

'City of the Week' Is a Melbourne Suburb

Paris:- Thursday, 13. April 2000:- A Brit pal who has just had a great stuff-up and trinkfest in the Schwarzwald, has noted my preoccupation with the weather. I don't know if he thinks I am doing a good thing or a bad thing by mentioning it.

I have been doing it on purpose, because all the best Web sites have weather, news, sports, stock tips and their Web cams - all blinking and winking, to appear lively even if they are only 'virtual.'

I toyed with the idea of putting up a daily photo of the coin laundry across the street as sort of a Web cam's substitute, but I don't get up early enough to do this even though it is open until 22:00.

While I'm at it, I'm going to forget the weather too. Life is beautiful; the weather is fine in Paris. No matter what it's doing, it's not doing any extremes. That'sphoto: sky over corona terrace yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's weather report. It is always beautiful.

And besides, I, we, have our Café Metropole Club. This is lively, especially when 'virtual' members show up in person to become 'real.'

The is not a 'weather' photo of the sky over La Corona's terrace.

Like just now. Before I even get in, while I am looking at some extremely black-looking clouds over towards La Défense, I turn my back to the stiff wind and the server-lady Linda Thalman is in my face. She is on time! She looks at the dark clouds too.

Inside La Corona, amid the handshakes, Patrick says new members are waiting; even before being on time. This is not strictly necessary - being on time is good enough even if it isn't always easy to pull off in Paris.

First we have Carmel McKenzie and Alan Savage. Golly! It is the same Alan Savage who wrote the email about the lack of kangaroos in South Africa. He gives me a kangaroo pin so I will recognize them the next time I'm in South Africa.

I didn't know he was going to spend 26 hours in a jet to come to the club today. He didn't know the server-lady was going to be here today, but he has a kangaroo pin for her too!

This is Carmel and Alan's third visit to Paris. They are stayingphoto: alan becomes member quite a long time on this visit - so they've found a plain and simple but charming hotel somewhere out east near Oberkampf that costs about $30 a day. This is with TV too.

Alan shows Carmel how to become 'real' member, by reading fine-print darn carefully.

Later on, they are going up to Denmark to have breakfast. Alan says he will be able to sit on one airplane seat going back, after having a lot of Paris' breakfasts.

Because of the kangaroo and everything, this week's 'City of the Week' is designated Wheelers Hill, which Alan says is the name of a Melbourne suburb, in the Oz state of Victoria.

When they came into La Corona, he says there were some Americans in the club's area, and he overheard that they were from Melbourne too - but they've gone. Actually, there are two Melbournes in the United States, and we don't know which one it was. All the more reason for Wheelers Hill to be 'City of the Week.'

While Alan is carefully filling out his particulars in the 'real' member's book, Marion Nowak shows up by surprise. 'By surprise,' I mean she emailed earlier today to say she couldn't come. In the meantime Marion lost her shopping list, so here she is.

Pinning her down to a hometown gets me little more than, "I was in Bamberg for 12 days," but since she now lives temporarily in Bures-sur-Yvette - which is close to the Cadillac Ranch -Marion and the server-lady exchange tales about the RER's line 'B' service down there.

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