...Continued from page 1

I will bring up the subject of relaxo-tourism with Madame Re-education at a future session. She seems to be very sensible and she might have some good ideas on the subject.

Vital Shopping Tip: 1

Paris' annual Winter Sales - the 'Soldes d'Hiver' - began last week and continue for the next five weeks. The sales are France-wide in case you'd rather shop in Cannes or Nice. First come - best served, but don't forget the Café Metropole Club's meeting on Thursday, which will be a fine place to take a two-hour 'breather' before you drop from shopping.

Vital Spending Tip: 1

While I experienced no problems getting cash out of ATMs last week, I think the warning in the last issue should be repeated just in case this situation is continuing.

Armored car crews and their unions have made a list of particularly exposed cash transfer areas, and these are currently being boycotted. The short list is 500 danger spots and the long one lists thousands.

The result is that many cash machines - ATMs - in exposed public places may not be re-filled with money. Since it is impossible to list those that won't be, be sure to stock up wherever and whenever you can.

Metropole's Affiliates

The following product or service providers have chosen Metropole because their offers may be of value to readers and I agree with them.

'HighwayToHealth' provides a 'city health profile' for potential Paris visitors as well as travel insurance. These services will be a benefit if you've signed up for them before you need them suddenly - which I hope you won't.

'Petanque America' imports the quality Obut boules from France and will ship them to you anywhere in the Americas - which will save you from carrying them all the way from Paris. Be the first to introduce the simple game of pétanque - or boules - to your neighborhood.

'Bookings' is a reservation service for Paris hotels. Check out their hotel previews and make your choice in the comfort of wherever you are in the world.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

Last Thursday's club meeting was less normal than the most recent meetings - the holiday 'rush' is over - and now I expect club meetings to be somewhat quieter for a spell. The club's secretary will be at the meetings even if no onephoto: menage, hotel de ville else is - so there will never be no one present.

Stay abreast with your club's 'news' by reading the 'report' of the last meeting. It was written by the club's secretary from his own notes, that have become more fragmentary than in the past.

The first photo of the 'Hôtel de Ville of the Week.'

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on the unique date of Thursday, 18. January 2001 - representing the club's 3rd meeting in the world's first 3rd Millennium of all time. Don't forget that this particular meeting will only happen once. If you miss it, it'll be gone forever - which is much longer than a millennium.

New readers can also take a look at the current version of 'About the Club' to find out about the 'ordinary time and place.' This page also contains other totally ordinary 'facts' about this free club in Paris, which is the only one 'Metropole Paris' has for all of its readers who are Metropole Paris readers, or are in Paris, or are residents here, or any of 'em.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 5.03/04 - 17. January 2000 - This week's issue covered two weeks, with the Café Metropole column being titled, 'Black and White All Over.' The 'Au Bistro' column's title was '35-Hour Work Week Becomes Law' which is still news to me. This issue had one feature titled 'Paris In Winter's Greys - Photography and Eugène Atget.' The Café Metropole Club got a boost from a member, called 'Kathleen's Modest Proposal.' The club's weekly updates featured two of them - on 20. January as 'A Very Quiet Meeting' and on 27. January as 'An Extra Quiet Meeting.' The 'Scene' column's brilliant title was 'Not Much New Stuff - Yet.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Where Is Libya?'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago:

Issue 4.03 - 18. January 1999 - The week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'A Dog's Life for Strollers.' The 'Au Bistro' column was titled, in dismay, 'Paris' 'Monster' Blizzard.' This issue's only feature came up with a second week of Montparnasse lore, titled, 'Foujita - Superstar! In Montparnasse.' The 'Scene' column was titled, 'Now Featuring 1999.' And about time too! There were also four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the caption of 'L'Apéro Aprés-Ski.' Was this in Paris?

Introducing Metropole's Exclusive Count-Up

I assume readers of this popular but silly feature have figured out that I completely missed the point of Paul Babbitt's suggestion for a weekly 'count-up,' as proposed here last week.

During the week he sent me a gentle reminder that was simplicity itself. He wrote, "Simply report how old, in days, the third millennium is. Today, January 9, 2001, the new millennium is already 9 days old. Though silly, implementation would be practically effortless. Each week, all the Ed has to do is add seven to the previous number. And, adding is easier than subtracting."

Even though, as Paul suggests, even I could handle adding better than subtracting, and I certainly like things to be simple - during the week I couldn't help mulling this whole problem over. Count-down or count-up - what could it be that would be unique, make Metropole, Paul and me famous, and be entertaining as well as educational; and not least, be easy for me to do?

Besides being a Metropole reader and a member of the Café Metropole Club, in his spare time Paul Babbitt is also a political science guru - as readers should recall from his excellent analysis of the geo-political implications of the Florida 'no taxes!' vote in the recent US elections.

Thus, when I asked him for the name of the very first American tourist to visit Paris, he immediately responded with, "Benjamin Franklin, not only probably the first American tourist in Paris, was also perhaps the most popular. Simon Schama calls it a mania - Franklinmania perhaps? Hephoto: sign, rue des lombards borrowed a lot of money from the French government so there could be a country called the USA, where we would make software, Big Macs, and lots of money with which to visit Paris ourselves. He arrived in Auray on Tuesday, December 3, 1776, and immediately proceeded to Paris."

Auray is in south Brittany, to the west of Rennes. It must have taken two or three days to reach Paris by overland stagecoach - so for the sake of this 'Count-Up' the first American tourist arrived in Paris on Thursday, 5. December 1776.

Day One of the 'Count-Up' is therefore Friday, 6. December 1776. Now all I have to do is add seven new days every week. As of today, it has been 81,855 days since the first American tourist arrived in Paris.
signature, regards, ric

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