'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.

Metropole's Services

The three great firms listed below have chosen Metropole Paris for affiliate association. You - also great - have chosen to read Metropole, so you have something in common.

Affiliation permits Metropole to offer you products and services related to Paris. You benefit, these firms benefit and any modest benefits for Metropole will help it to stay online, or permit me to have an occasional hot lunch of hay.

Health Care In Paris

You probably have planned your trip to Paris long in advance. As unlikely as it is to happen, if you bring a mean 'bug' with you, it doesn't have mean that your holiday will be spoiled.

HighwayToHealth provides access to medical care here almost as easily as at home. A 'city health profile' for Paris has been created by HighwayToHealth, to give you information about local health care, including the ability to make appointments with doctors and for medical services.

For peace of mind, take a look at this before you leave home. See 'HighwayToHealth' for its health care and insurance services for travellers.

French Pétanque In America

The French game of pétanque - or boules - can be played anywhere, almost anytime - by just about everybody. Any handy patch of the earth can be used as a playing field - as you probably know if you've seen the game played around Paris.

Regulation French boules are made out of metal. These are available in France, but they are a bit heavy for casually hauling around in your luggage.

'Petanque America' imports France's quality Obut boules and will ship them to you anywhere in the Americas.

Petanque America's online shop also has books, containing the short list of simple rules for the game. It also has 'junior' boules for children. While you shop around for the less weighty souvenirs of Paris, let Petanque America to do the heavy hauling for you.

Online Paris Hotel Reservations

Don't wait until you get to Paris to book your hotel, only to learn that 35,000 dentists have arrived - for the World Dental Congress, from Wednesday, 29. November to Saturday, 2. December! Reserve your accommodations now through 'Bookings' Paris hotel reservation service.

Doing this will permit you to preview the hotels available in Paris and enable you to choose your lodgings with a minimum of fuss and bother.

Café Metropole Club's News and Flackery

Last Thursday's club meeting was as disorganized as most other meetings which have more had than two members actually present in the well-known central Paris café now known worldwide as La Corona.

The 'report' of the meeting may be worth reading evenphoto: bistro falstaff if I have no memory of it at all. All meetings are interesting so you may as well read about it anyway, for its amazing 'Quotes of the Week' or something.

The very next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 16. November, at the usual time and in the usual place. Note that this will be Beaujolais Nouveau Day - which only happens once a year - and very seldom on a Thursday. This too will be happening in the club's café La Corona in Paris.

New readers can also take a look at the fairly recent version of 'About the Club' to find out about the 'usual time and place.' This page also contains other mildly useful and reasonably informative information about this free club in Paris. The Café Metropole Club is the only free club in Paris for readers of the online magazine, Metropole Paris.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 4.46 - 15. Nov. 1999 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Terminal Weasels.' The 'Au Bistro' column's title was 'The War of the Beef.' This issue had one feature, titled 'Blue Skies In Paris - Rare In November.' The Café Metropole Club got into its boring routine of nonsense with 'Pets Gain Right To Join' and the meeting's Update featured 'A New Member - the Server-Lady!' Plus there was another update titled 'The Beaujolais Nouveau of the Century.' The 'Scene' column was headlined 'Online Ticket Sales.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Are Summer Sales Soon?' And, of course, they were not.

Next Week: This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 4.47 - 22. Nov. 1999 - The week's Café Metropole column was Internet-business crazy with, 'We Gain Readers.' The 'Au Bistro' column was headlined, 'Speleologists Rescued.' This issue had one feature, titled 'Artist's Open Doors On a Freezing Day.' The Café Metropole Club kept up its PR barrage with its ''City of the Week' Program' and the report, '7th Meeting - More Odd Questions.' There were two 'Scene' columns, 'A New Look' and 'Christmas '99 and '2000.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the caption of 'Roller King.'

Metropole's Exclusive & Solo Countdown to 31. December 2000:

Several weeks ago I wrote, 'The 21st Century begins on Monday, 1. January 2001' and if you ask me it is about time I wrote something new. Even if you already know this because you are the 'wiser people' who have read this several times already, it still doesn't explainphoto: academie de la grande chaumiere 1904 why the general reaction by all concerned is nil. A non-reaction like this is not Metropole- reader-like. If it keeps up I'll also quit mentioning that Thanksgiving is a whole week after Beaujolais Nouveau Day, next Thursday.

You do remember New Year '2000' was just a rehearsal? Is this the first time you are reading this? To explain, last year's countdown was not the 'Really Big One!' regardless of what you may have thought. It doesn't feel like the 3rd Millennium yet, does it? Why do you think the US election has been so special? Because it is the last one in the old 2nd Millennium, that's why.

This leaves only about 48 ever-shorter days left to go - or less, if you are counting shopping days until Christmas - or more if you are counting waiting days until January's sales start - until we all arrive in the one and only 3rd Millennium. Even if you were on Pluto - or offline! - during the last countdown, you probably don't realize or care that 318 days have dribbled away since New Year's 2000. The 2nd Millennium, which lasted nearly 1000 years, is now nearly over once and for all. It is nearly history. I don't know how you'll explain it to your kids.
signature, regards, ric

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