'Word-of-Mouth'

photo: club group

From left: Carolyn, Marilyn, Eileen, Charles, Thea and Dan - who deserve a better photo.

The Club's New 'Thing of the Week'

Paris:- Thursday, 2. November 2000:- Even if I didn't fail to mention the weather last week, I would like to emphasize that today's weather is simply atrocious. I must have lived through two decades of freakish balmy times, but these seem to be over. It is raining.

This is not the wispy 'balmy times' rain of many past Novembers, but some serious pouring and there is wind to blow it in your face; with the accessory puddles to hop-skip, and the 'romantic' rain-slickened sidewalks.

No wonder then, why some people have anticipated this - how, I wonder? - and are wearing coats with hoods. This must a bit like the magical appearance of all Parisians having umbrellas when they need them. How do they know in advance?

I don't know, but let this be a warning - this November in Paris is starting out with serious weather. Seriously wet.

At La Corona, which is a bit more crowded because of the Toussaint week-long weekend, and thephoto: tea & tarte rain, one member is already waiting for me according to Patrick, who is the club's 'Waiter of the Week.'

The new member is Carolyn Stetson from Trenton, New Jersey. Carolyn has flown from the United States to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt to Paris and from Roissy to her hotel and from her hotel to this club meeting, non-stop.

Tea and a tarte to combat jet-lag for Carolyn.

What is even more remarkable than yet another club member's discovery of Lufthansa's low fares but undirect flights to Paris, is the fact that this is Carolyn's first visit to Paris and the first day of it. To calm her jet-lag and the walk of unknown length from the Luxembourg area, she has a tea and a wedge of apple tarte.

Something strange is happening to your club. Rather than simply being an offshoot of a magazine about Paris on the WorldWideWeb, 'word-of-mouth' is getting around to civilian non-readers of the magazine.

The next new member to arrive is Eileen De Micco - from Teaneck, New Jersey! - who has come by 'word-of-mouth' - from last week's Marilyn Burke, who also came by 'word-of-mouth.'

While all three of us are wondering about this, I may as well mention that Eileen introduces herself as being the friend of the new member who lives in New Jersey 'right across from 125th Street in Manhattan.'

Who could forget this geographical precision? On top of it, this means the club now has four members from the same corner of the same state, and three of them are here today. However, none of them know where absent member Eva Lee's Tranquility, NJ is located.

Charles Eitel is the next new member to arrive and he is also present due to 'word-of-mouth' - also Marilyn's. I don't where this stands in the lexicographical scheme of things, but 'word-of-mouth'photo: carolyn stetson is definitely a 'Thing of the Week.'

There are several candidates for 'Quote of the Week.' Marilyn says, "No 'fat' photos!" Charles says, "I'll never learn French!"

Marilyn, again, to Carolyn who has only arrived today in Paris, "Have you planned your next trip yet?" Charles again, "How can there be so many different kinds of butter?"

Carolyn, now recovered from jet-lag by club nonsense.

Half way through today's yak-session, more of last week's new members arrive in the form of Thea and Dan Robertson, who are the first to break the New Jersey majority by being from Crockett, California, which is somewhere around the Sacramento River which everybody should know is nowhere near Manhattan's 125th Street.

Actually, Charles Eitel has already broken New Jersey's strangle hold, by coming from Tampa, Florida - but since he lives in Paris too, this week's edition of club news has no 'City of the Week,' which seems to break no hearts.

'Yak-session' is not meant in an unkindly way, but today's members really go at it, with some volume; exchanging tips, stories, hints, fibs, cards, email addresses, and generally acting like new club members who belong to a real club.

This prompts Dan to ask the club's secretary - who has lost all track of everything - why the club was started in the first place.

I can remember this, and in its 3000-word retelling, I miss even more 'Quotes of the Week' but what the heck! I am beginning to think there are more advantages to being a member of this club than being its 'secretary.'

But before you start to think I am going to completely flub this report, Eileen's reason for being in Paris is a little different and I caught this before the deluge.

She is on a Columbia University course at the Sorbonne, studying for a Masters Degree in 'Frenchphoto: marilyn burke Cultural Studies.' She explains that this is a course not available to French students, who have to take it in all its bits and pieces over a period of many years.

The course's instructors are Sorbonne professors, who do not teach the course to anybody other than foreign students. Having French 'culture' crammed into one course may be a supermarket way of learning things, but think of all the time it saves!

Marilyn laughs at the idea of the camera making 'thin' photos.

Over the course of the club's history many members have filled in the same answer to question number four in the members booklet, which asks for Paris' least lovely feature.

I have mentioned before that Parisians themselves often cite the same feature; so it is unnecessary to attribute the following quote to any particular member, made about Paris:

"If your eyes are in the clouds your feet are in the merde!"

There! It's been said. Club members, even if they come from all parts of the world, share a common problem with Parisians and use extremely everyday words like 'merde' or 'shit,' so there's no doubt whatsoever about what it is.

At some point after 17:00 the members have risen and put on their coats, scarves, hats and some gloves, and are still exchanging cards, tips and advice as they melt away onto the Quai du Louvre.

In the relative silence remaining behind, Patrick, the club's 'Waiter of the Week,' says that it'll be quieter in the café next week, after this week's long-weekend of Toussaint is over. I don't think so.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

The club's incredibly long history is less than two years in length since its historic beginning. By consulting the 'All Past Issues' file you can find out all about it. It links to all past issues with 'Club Reports' plus hundreds of other unrelated 'past issues.'

Actual real historical details about your Café Metropole Paris Club - as opposed to plain argel-bargel - in Paris, can be found on the 'About the Café Metropole Club page,' which is about your club and is accessible here, and from each issue's 'home' page.

This 'about' page contains vague notions about the free membership, the free members' card and the other free but non-vital non-rules concerning the club and other free but excess column-filler - none of which you actually need to know, unless you want to impress your friends and neighbors who only saw the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

Date, Time and Location of Next Meeting

The club's next meeting will be on Thursday, 9. November. If you are in Paris this is Saint-Théodore's Day, which is not a public holiday but can be celebrated privately if you wish to do so.

Except for this, all of Thursday 'before the club' meeting remains free for your other importantphoto: eileen de micco Paris activities and will be followed by 'after the club,' when you can continue these vital activities.

The café La Corona meeting place will again be open like it is every Thursday - and the time for your club's meeting remains from 15:00 to 17:00 - which is also known as 3 pm to 5 pm if your clock has only about 12 numbers, either Roman or Arabic, as decoration.

Eileen continues 'French Cultural Studies' at the club - kind of.

Come to the next meeting during its official hours. If you come at some other time the club's café will still be in operation, but will not have any members mentioning historically important 'Cities of the Week' and unmentionable 'New Words of the Week' that are sorry features of some club meetings.

The café's location is:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral Coligny - or - 30. Quai du Louvre, Paris 1.
Métro: Louvre-Rivoli or Pont-Neuf

A bientôt à Paris,
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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