...Continued from page 1

Health Care In Paris

You have probably planned your trip to Paris long in advance. As unlikely as it is to happen, if you stumble over a rogue bump or pothole while proceeding along one of Paris' sometimes uneven sidewalks, it doesn't have mean that your holiday will be spoiled.

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 for travellers. HighwayToHealth also offers travel insurance which - heaven forbid! - could turn out to be very handy in an emergency.

French Pétanque In America

The enjoyable but apparently simple game of pétanque - or boules - can be played anywhere, almost anytime - by just about everybody. Any handy dirt patch can be used as a playing field - as you probably know if you've seen the game played in Paris on its local dirt.

Regulation French boules are made out of metal. These are available in France, but they may be a bit heavy for casually hauling around in your luggage with 40 metric kilos of other Christmas gifts and New Year souvenirs.

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

The online shop also has books, containing the long history and a short list of rules for the game. It also has 'junior' boules for children. While you shop around for the less weighty but more expensive souvenirs of Paris, let Petanque America truck your boules home for you.

Online Paris Hotel Reservations

Don't wait until you get to Paris to book your hotel, only to learn that 14,334 Australian ballroom dancers got here for a dance marathon first. Reserve your accommodations now through 'Bookings' Paris hotel reservation service.

Doing this will allow you to preview some of Paris' finer hotels and enable you to choose your lodgings quickly with a minimum of fuss and bother.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

Last Thursday's club meeting was more normal than other recent meetings because of the presence of the formerly absent secretary - who is not supposed to work until 6. January - but who turned up even though his leg is still in a cast.

Backup was again provided by Adrian 'I Love to Eat a Lot' Leeds, who attended the meeting as a regularphoto: illegally parked car of the week club member. A couple of new members signed up; and two members celebrated their first anniversary of club membership - a new 'first.'

Nothing unusual about this Paris car, other than it is the 'Illegally Parked Car of the Week.'

Stay abreast of your club's 'news' by reading the 'report' of the last meeting. Even though it was written by the club's secretary from his own notes, it may still seem to be somewhat fictional - but this is mere writer's 'license.'

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 28. December and your club's secretary expects to be present - still with his cast - at the usual time and in the usual place.

New readers can also take a look at the current version of 'About the Club' to find out about the 'usual time and place.' This page also contains other slightly useful 'facts' about this free club in Paris, which is the only one this magazine has for all of its readers who happen to be readers or in Paris or both.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 4.52 - 27. December 1999 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Christmas Storm Where We Are.' The 'Au Bistro' column's title was 'Updates - Storm, Oil Spill.' This issue had fours sets of emails, titled 'Emails I - IV, from Linda and Cindy; from Meredith and Walt; Carolyn and Craig; from Toni, Markus and Paul; and from John and Philip. The Café Metropole Club got much deeper into its historical surprises with its12th Meeting - the 'Last of the Century.' Ha! The 'Scene I' column was dropped entirely in favor of the week's Scene II column, which was headlined 'Come One, Come All, Christmas '99' and it was completed by a 'Scene III' column called 'New Year 2000 Yipee!' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned '2000! Surreal!'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago:

Issue 3.52 - 28. December 1998 - The week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'New, Hard 'Euro' To Hit Old Europe.' It may be 'hard' but it sure is slow. The 'Au Bistro' column was titled - with feeling, 'RATP Launches 'Clean' Buses,' a week after its rosy-smelling métro story. There were two 'Scene' columns, 'The Other Tour-Bus Company' and the 'Pre-Christmas Program VIII - New Year's '98. A few favorite photos were thrown in with a couple of favorite posters. There were also new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the caption of 'The New 'Euro' Poor.'

Metropole's Final Countdown to 31. December 2000:

It is not only Parisians who have begun to notice that the 21st Century begins on Monday, 1. January 2001 - which is also the date coinciding with the beginning of the 3rd Millennium. Signsphoto: sign, acces interdit aux chiens for the millennium change have quietly popped up here and there too. You also hear it on radio and on stage, and lately, see it on television.

For Paris' and Metropole's countdown, this leaves only about 6 measely days left to go in this century, in this Millennium. During this unique and ultimate countdown, you should know by now that 360 - somewhat crummy in the weather department - days have raced away since New Year's 2000. The 2nd Millennium, which has lasted 6 itty-bitty days less than 1000 years, is now nearly history. Get yourself ready to give it a big goodbye smooch on the kisser real soon. Adios 2nd millennium!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! Thanks for reading Metropole Paris for another year. Expect the first issue of the next millennium to be online about the time you wake up after New Years.
signature, regards, ric

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