...Continued from page 1

The voter's lists at this polling station contained about 1000 names I was told. I was also invited back at 20:00 to observe the counting of the ballots.

Keeping my first 'cell' meeting in mind, there were two lists I did not put in the ballot envelope. One was headlined, 'Paris Ville Française' and the other, 'Paris Française Immigration Zéro.'

Paris, 'ville Française,' might find itself in pretty poor shape without its annual 40 million taxpaying visitors - or temporary 'immigrants.'

Metropole Offers Its Photos

Last week's initial offer of a large-size Metropole photo excited a few readers and they took advantage of the offer. To make this a bit more formal, a photo / image page has been added to this issue.

In theory, one 'best' photo - or cartoon - will be offered each week. In practice, many of Metropole's weekly crop of photos will match the 'best' one for interest and quality. If these are not specifically 'offered,' it does not mean that they are not available.

As this project starts out it is doing so without impersonal 'Internet- robots' to handle the transaction. This means that the process depends on personal emails. This also makes sense because I've taken the photos with you in mind.

More details are on this week's 'Photo' page. Check it out. Any suggestions, advice and comments will be welcome.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

Last Thursday's club meeting was just as unusual as any other, pretty much as usual. I'm beginning to think a truly 'unordinary' meeting will be a solo one, but having one of these seems to be an increasingly rare possibility.

One family of four collectively signed up, and one other new member individually signed the members' booklet. Again this was no 'record of the week.'

Three other existing members put in appearances too. You should read the 'report' to find out how this meetingphoto: la bouquet, bd magenta was treated by the club's absent-minded secretary - if what the secretary does can be called a 'treatment.'

Keep up with this so-called 'treatment' by checking the 'report' of the last meeting. It's details may seem about as balled-up as usual and this is entirely the secretary's doing, with the members' help of course

Another Café Le Bouquet, but not in my 'quartier.'

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 15. March 2001. Even though Metropole will not publish a completely new issue next Monday, the following meeting on Thursday, 22. March will be held and its 'report' will be put online as usual

As is now normal, these particular meetings will only happen once. If you miss them, it means missed forever - which is a much longer miss than even semi-millenniums, especially as it involves two meetings.

All readers and prospective club members may also take a look at the somewhat antique but current version of 'About the Club,' which is useful for learning out about the club's reason-for-being, its meeting time and location.

This page also contains lesser but vital 'facts' about this free club in Paris, which is the only one 'Metropole Paris' has for all of its readers who are either Metropole Paris readers or Café Metropole Club members, or are in Paris for any reason or no reason in particular at all. If you do not fall into any these categories, you probably don't fall into any.

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.

'Bookings' has a reservation service for a selection of Paris hotels. Check out their offer and make your choice long before your arrival in France.

'HighwayToHealth' provides a 'city health profile' as well as travel insurance for potential Paris visitors. These services will be a real benefit if you've signed up for them before you need them suddenly. I hope won't be the case but you can never tell.

'Petanque America' imports 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 in your neighborhood to introduce the game of pétanque - or boules. No particular expertise is necessary.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 5.11 - 13. March 2000 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, '5 Years Online.' Last week it was '4 Years Online.' It was a fast year. The 'Au Bistro' column's title was 'Here Comes the Queen Mary II.' This issue had three features, titled 'Exhibition: Front-Page Freedom,' 'The Whipped-Cream Strawberry-Topped Deep-Fried Mars Bar' and 'Music, Rum, Music, Sun, Fun and More Rum' by Linda Thalman. The Café Metropole Club began its usual nonsense with something called 'Not Bubbleware, Champagne.' Thephoto: sign, bar club's weekly update on 16. March featured 'Cuba Libre' At the Club' - not Champagne. The 'Scene' column's title was 'Fous' In Fayetteville Help Replant Versailles.' There were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned 'Don't Monkey With the Press.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago:

Issue 4.11 - 15. March1999 - The week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'This Time Nothing Means Zéro.' The 'Au Bistro' column was titled, 'Tennis Courts At Concorde?' This issue' had two features, 'Anytime Is Tea Time in Paris' and 'Musing About Spring and Concorde.' The 'Scene' column was titled, 'More May Not Be Better.' There were also the usual four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the caption of 'What's That Smell?' Smell? Maybe it was supposed to be 'spell?'

The 'Count-Up' - Part 11

The server-lady, Linda Thalman, is an avid fan of this 'Count-Up' feature and she's annoyed that nobody else but her thinks it is a good thing. In fact, she doesn't like the idea of the 'First American Tourist In Paris' part. She thinks it should be a count-up from the date of the 1st tourists' arrival.

She says this '1st tourist' must have been an Italian from Rome. Shephoto: sign, autoroute magenta thinks it may have been Julius Caesar. I don't think so. According to legend, Paris was visited by Labienus and his 'Legions' in 52 BC. But the 'legend' does not give the exact date - so there is no way I can figure out the 'number of days.'

When confronted with this problem the server-lady replied, "I think you should count-up from the Roman days - but by years not days - it'll save on calculating leap years. That is, let's say 52 BC saw the 'first' tourists come to Paris. It's now 2001. So 2001 plus 52 equals 2053 years. I didn't do well in math, but isn't that close enough?"

It's 'close enough.' But what am I supposed to do? Add one year per week to the count-up number? By the end of the year we'll have 2074 years.

Metropole's postmillennial 'count-up' is reinstated. This widely popular feature, beloved by me and the server-lady, continues in spite of an inexplicably low general level of vast indifference.

Therefore, for us two diehard and truly unconditional 'count-up' fans, the current Day One of the now under-reconstruction 'Count-Up' is still Tuesday, 9. July 1776. As of today, it has been 82,151 days since the first American tourist had a skimpy continental breakfast in Paris.

I hope that readers will understand that I have to keep the 'First American' until we can get some true Italian numbers.
signature, regards, ric

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