...Continued from page 1

Some of the store's staff looked as if they were withstanding a hurricane; with more or less success. I tried to ask a supervisor if it was 'normal,' but she was too flustered to form a coherent answer.

She calmed down a bit when we got focused on the métro souvenirs, and she went to the trouble of showing me her favorite coffee mug. With a line drawing of the métro entrance at the Porte Dauphine on it, I think its price was 65 francs.

The reason you should use the doors on the Rue de la Chaussée d'Antin is because they were the closest exit for me. But if you like the liveliness of an animated street marché, you'll find paradise in Paris' department stores right now.

Aid for Metropole

The only word for Metropole's readers is fantastic. You know I am stuck here in Paris, strolling aroundphoto: city golf equipment and keeping an eye on things for you. You know this is the easy part, and sitting inside day and night writing it all down while everybody else is outside strolling around, is the hard part.

So sending me things like an anti-stress 'Reflexology Massage Ball' is highly appreciated. I have even had the time to try it out for 30 seconds, rolling it around in my hands. This will come in handy at 02:00 on Monday mornings.

I also have a golf set, which consists of one 3-iron and two golfballs. Needless to say, playing with these balls in my street is not a good idea because there is no proper fairway. The 'Reflexology Massage Ball' may be perfect for it. As soon as I get a couple of minutes to spare I'll be out there, shouting 'fore!'

Hotel Reservations In Paris

Some readers have written to comment positively about Metropole Paris' foray last week into the world of commerce, through its new link to 'Bookings' Paris hotel reservation service.

Suddenly, it appears as if other pure e-commerce Web sites have discovered it is difficult to stand alone - just as Metropole has found the same thing without any 'commerce' at all.

If the 'commerce' involves Paris services and French products - of real value to Metropole's readers - then more may appear here soon.

Commercial newcomers will be handled in the same fashion as 'Bookings' unobtrusive links, so none of us need worry about annoying banner-ads or any not-quite-ready jittering animations. Metropole has been around too long to start looking extra flashy now.

The Café Metropole Club's 45th Meeting

Last Thursday's club meeting was attended by three long-time, already signed-up members. If you haven't already, read the meeting's 'report.' You can do so now unless you are busy doing something else, like watching football on TV instead.

Last week, the former Monday 'Club News' was transformed into being an acutely boring page now known as 'About the Café Metropole Club.' This contains everything that regular readers and club members already know. New readers should look at the new 'About the Club' page. Doing it no more than once is not terribly boring.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 4.33 - 16. Aug. 1999 - The week's Café Metropole column was headlined, 'Two Cafés Less.' The 'Au Bistro' column was titled 'Boffo Turnout for Eclipse.' This issue had three features, titled 'The Eclipse In Paris, 'Sunshine On Montmartre' and a look at the 'Art Marché at Edgar Quinet.' The 'Scene' column had 'Thephoto: sign, rue bernard palissy Rentrée and 'Paris 2000'.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'The Eclipse Is Over.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago:

Issue 3.32/33 - 17. August 1998 - This issue was done to cover a two-week period during my annual holiday in Spain, which I no longer take but wish I did. The Café Metropole column hinted at even more doziness with the title of: 'The Shortest 'Café' Column.' There was no 'Au Bistro' column at all. This issue had only one feature, titled 'Going Wrong In Normandy.' Something else was called 'Extra Photos From Back Then.' There only two new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the caption of 'Siesta In Trouble.'

Metropole Paris' Turned-Off Nearly Solo Countdown to 31. December 2000:

This countdown - has been suspended for the duration of August. If you are reading this, you will cheer this astute move. If you aren't, you won't notice the difference.

For those still with this, there really are only about 139 days left to go until the 3rd Millennium. For really fussy readers, this figure is correct. On account of this section being kind of turned off on account of August, you probably won't care that 227 days have gone since New Year's 2000.
signature, regards, ric

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