'Ed' Does a Bunk

photo: le select, montparnasse

Beaujolais Nouveau Day Is Coming - Soon

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 13. November 2000:- First the weather. If you look nearby you will see that part of the date includes the month's name of 'November.' This is traditionally Paris' worst weather-month.

The November we've been having is a little worse than 'normal for this time of year.' It is snowing - in the Alps - not in Paris. It is mostly rainy and daily highs are about 10 C. and I don't know what this is in 'F' but I could give you its kilowatt equivalent.

On this note, one word concludes the weather report - crummy.

Real Life

Me, your 'Ed,' is taking a week off. This is why this issue is numbered 5.46/7. However, there will be an 'update' for this week's club meeting on Thursday, and for the following club meeting on Thursday, 23. November - which is also Thanksgiving, as I have learned by chance.

Even though it will be mentioned again below, this coming Thursday is the vastly more important Beaujolais Nouveau Day in Paris, in France and worldwide. For this reason, the upcoming Café Metropole Club meeting is expected to be more silly than usual.

Even though I will be on my 'week off,' for this dayphoto: musee chemin du montparnasse sign I will be performing my usual function as club secretary and will not be silly at all, just as I am not ever.

The next regular issue of Metropole will be number 5.48 and it will appear online on Monday, 27. November, probably within 12 hours of its deadline for being online.

Maybe taking a 'week off' will enable me to whittle this deadline over-run down a little. But, from recent experience, I really doubt it.

In case I haven't mentioned it lately, thanks for reading this magazine about Paris. And to all of you who are spreading the word around, resulting in icreasing its readership by 15 percent per month - I extend my special thanks.

Café Life

Rugby In Paris

France does okay with rugby because most of its players are big and strong and fast because they eat cassoulet, which is also the reason not many Parisians are great rugby players.

The great rugby players grow up in the south, where cassoulet is eaten for all meals, with a double helping at lunch time. But Paris does have great rugby fans, because it has a tradition of having a lot of cafés where rugby matches can be celebrated.

For the fans in Paris, it doesn't really matter whether the French team wins, it is the game that counts. Maybe the 'fandom' counts a little bit more, on account of the cafés.

On Saturday France was to face New Zealand, for a grudge match in the great big Stade de France. Le Parisien called the New Zealanders 'les terribles All Blacks.'

'Terrible' in French doesn't mean quite what it does in English. If you say something is 'pas terrible,' it means it is pretty good. Using French logic, 'terrible' means about the same thing as terrific. If somebody doesn't know English well, they think 'terrific' is awlful.

So the opposite of 'pas terrible' means that the All Blacks were going to be hard to beat - because they would be determined to squash France in revenge for their defeat in the semi-finals of the World Cup just over a year ago.

Besides this, Australia beat France 18 to 13 the previous Saturday in Paris. And New Zealand had Cullen, Umaga and the 'monster of monsters,' Lomu.

This Lomu was described to me by a café rugby-fan - with a ticket for the match - as 'two metres high, 230 kilos and zero to 100 in 10.5 seconds.'

Before the game on Saturday, all the local fans came into the café from the 'Vin des Rues' restaurant across the road, where they had been pre-pre celebrating the match.

They were not too boisterous because this 'pre-pre' is not like the 'win' or 'lose' celebrating - it is more like the warm-up exercises the players do before a match. The patron of 'Vin des Rues' was with them - dressed to make lots of cassoulet for Saturday's diners.

Find the result on the 'Au Bistro' page in the 'Sports News' section, if you don't mind.

My Concierge's New Car

Every summer my concierge and her family return to their old homestead in Portugal. Although it is a bit of a luxury to have a car in Paris, having one is handy if a whole family is taking a long trip. Last summer, their elderly but large Audi did not make it back due to a lack of motor oil somewhere in Spain.

I haven't seen the concierge's husband for some time, so when I ran into him on going out last week, I didn't recognize him at first. When I did, I asked him if he'd gotten a replacement car yet.

I must have been having a 'dim-eyes' day. He cheerfully said yes, he'd just gotten one, and it was filling up most of the building's courtyard, as I belatedly saw.

The first thing I noticed was that he'd changed brands, and even upgraded a notch - from a bronze-colored five-cylinder Audi to a silver six-cylinder turbo-diesel BMW.

He showed me the trunk, nearly filled with the yet-to-be-installedphoto: pedicab of the week 140-watt stereo amplifier. He showed me the very big motor. He showed me the huge battery, underneath the rear seat - and the nearly as equally huge anti-theft system, also under the rear seat.

It is - you guessed it! - the 'Pédicab of the Week.'

He told me that if the car is stolen, when he reports it as such, a satellite system finds it and turns it off - leaving it either to be recovered or disassembled for parts.

I didn't ask him if the insurance premiums are less with this kind of anti-theft device. All the BMW owners I've known have moaned about the premiums - it is these more than anything else that dissuades people from having cars like this one.

He told me he tried it out on the Perifreak! and it did 140 kph nicely at only 2000 rpm. This turnover is about idle speed for these little 'city' cars, which probably need 140 watts just to hear the radio.

Just imagine - cruising down to Portugal at 140 kph with a fado being pumped out by 140 watts, all on a thimble-full of diesel fuel. It's Euro high-life! I don't know exactly why, but I feel proud that my concierge can take advantage of it.

Metropole's 'Mois de la Photo' Continues

Last week the program for the 'Mois de la Photo' was presented as Paris' Portrait 2000. To get an overall idea of all the photo activities plus some links, consult this page.

This week I visited two photo shows. The result of getting seriously into the 'Month' is reported as Two Photo Exhibits - One Off-'Off' and the Other 'On' on another page in this issue.

Continued on page 2...
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