...Continued from page 1

As 'modern' as these new versions are,photo: safari on boul st germain you still see many of them being carried on buses, which suit longer distances a bit more.

Other sights involve the difficulties encountered while unfolding them, or folding them up again to be portable.

Since they seem a bit more clumsy than rollers, the question has risen about the appropriateness of their usage on sidewalks.

Guys on safari patrol on Boulevard Saint-Germain sidewalks will not amuse the police.

The police préfect's official line is that users - of both rollers and trottinettes - are pedestrians and therefore both means of self-locomotion are restricted to sidewalks.

The question is being fundamentally examined by interested parties in the Ministry of Youth and Sport, but some politicians think it should be a matter for the Ministry of Transport or the Ministry of the Interior, or both.

Meanwhile, police have confirmed that they are more willing to hand out tickets to bicyclists using the sidewalks.

Gas Update

On Wednesday, the Total oil group announced it was lowering the price of fuel by 20 centimes. Other oil companies are expected to copy the measure. Today the government announced about the same reduction in the tax on fuel. Motorists can expect the saving on the tax reduction alone to about equal the price of an express café when filling up their tanks.

Sports News

France won the recently concluded Olympic Games in a manner of speaking. Having won 37 medals at Atlanta in 1996, France's athletic goal in 2000 was to break its own 'personal' record, and it did. By one medal.

This was, in fact, a respectable result.

Professional critics - in France - say that French trainers do their 'little thing in their own little corners' and don't consider the whole state of French athletics, as if it were some sort of national corporation.

These critics also say French athletes are too 'individualistic,' and not regimented like some professional army; as used to be the case in East Germany.

France also won a lot of fourth places, which are out of the magic metals, but very close to them. But while some bicyclists, fencers, horse riders and sailors were narrowly missing the third step on the hero's podium, French basketballers went all the way to silver, being less than slaughtered by the US team in the finals.

Who ever heard of 'French basketballers' before? The last time they copped a medal was 52 years ago.

While it is true French cyclists missed out in two disciplines, they gathered a total of eight medals, of which five were gold. Jeannie Longo's performance was outstanding - at her age of 42.

Web Life In France:

Grape Season, Continued

If you are an active fan of the red, white and rosé juices - like some astute Metropole readers - you can follow their seasonal progress from the vine to the part where the well-built but lithe Italian ladies hold their skirts up high and dance raisins into pre-wine goo in giant vats.

Even if this pleasant idea is no more than a fiction, the Web site Wine Today watches over this throughout the northern hemisphere, but the link included here should give you the section focusing on France.

Past Olympic Games

Since this year's Olympic Games are now over they fall into the historical category and therefore intophoto: rain, bd st germain the Olympic Museum, which has the history in text, photos and video of all the Olympics, plus all the latest developments - including, I suppose - a roundup of the games just over.

Rain on the boulevard, tea in the warm café.

In case you are wondering what the Olympics used to look like - without advertising - the Olympic Television Archive Bureau has a Web site with old films, plus new films showing all the logos and stadium slogans in color.

The 'Official' Weather, For Better or Worse

Météo France gets another run this week on account of approaching winter and my concern with my apartment's heating or lack thereof. This is the official source for France's TV-weather people. If you don't get French TV where you are, you can get the weather from where they get it. Because it is 'official' - meaning: as true as possible - don't expect forecasts to exceed 24 hours or be 'great.' 'Tis the season.

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