'Euro News of the Week'

photo: bar, le comptoir elysee, rus miromesnil

This week only - a Paris bar instead of a 'bistro.'

Senator - Profession, Unemployed

Paris:- Monday, 1. October 2001:- Outside of a barrage of euro-flak, there isn't supposed to be any 'euro' news until the new money goes into circulation in January, and counterfeiters get their act together and their product out into the streets.

But! At Venlo in Holland, some gent waltzed into a fishing tackle and bait shop and bought some fish bait - this is a really true story! - and paid for it with a five euro note.

The bait shop owner, while accepting the five euro note as being worth about ten florins, was also aware that the new money isn't in circulation yet.

Somehow - Le Parisien doesn't explain this - the Dutch Central Bank found out about this transactionphoto: grand palais and snitched the news to the European Central Bank, which went into orbit.

They, good detectives, smell a rat - not fish bait - and figure it has to be some sort of inside-job. Because, besides central banks and counterfeiters, no ordinary consumers have any euros yet.

The Grand Palais is called 'grand' because it is big.

When last heard from, the European Central Bank was muttering about 'heavy penalties.' Meanwhile, the mystery fisherman had probably fed his five euros-worth of bait to some silly fish, who shall remain nameless to protect their identities.

Telephone Follies

There is a neat little film called, the 'Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain,' which surprised just about everybody by drawing about seven million movie-goers, which is pretty good in France for a film from nowhere.

The story goes a bit like this - timid Nino is too chicken-hearted to give his telephone number to the love of his life, sweet little Amélie. Then he gets the great idea to plaster his phone number on a wall where she will see it.

She does, and calls the number, but Nino has forgotten that he works in a sex-shop, which stupefies Amélie when she figures it out.

Meanwhile in real life, a Paris jeweler is sitting in his shop minding his own jewelry business, when all of a sudden hordes of complete strangers are calling him up to order things from his sex-shop.

Many of the first to do so where calling from Luxembourg, where they had seen the telephone number - which only appears in the movie for a few seconds. The filmphoto: wheel, concorde, daylight opened in Paris on 26. April and the phone calls are still coming in.

The jeweler can't change his number, which he's had for 20 years of jewelry business. The movie's producers say they asked France Télécom for an unused number and France Télécom says this is what they gave out.

The big wheel at Concorde is called 'big' because it is grand.

Apparently it is all going to be 'fixed up' but nobody - not the movie's producers, not France Télécom, and not the jeweler - are talking about any figures.

According to Le Parisien, the unwitting victim of this booboo thinks the movie is a 'good, little film,' and nothing more. On the strength of it, Audrey Tautou who plays Amélie, has gone on to much more serious films.

But, like some people say, the first one is always the best one.

Elected To the Senat

Among the few ladies elected recently to France's Senat, one of these has been sworn in - figuratively speaking - earlier today.

Since she is not only the only lady to be elected to this august body, the newsworthy aspect revolved around the new Senator's characteristics. She is a Communist and she is unemployed.

Imagine how surprised her unemployment office is going to be when she finds the time to break away from her strenuous Senat duties, to trundle along there and inform them that she has managed to land a job for the next nine years.

In unemployment jargon I think getting a nine-year job would qualify her for declaring that she has a 'CDI' - which stands for 'Contrat Durée Indeterminé.'

If the good lady had only landed a temporary part-time job at McDonald's sweeping floors and emptying trashcans for three months, she would have a 'CDD' - or 'Contrat Durée Determiné.'

Internet Life

If you have been concerned - as I once was - about the location of the missing Château or Palais des Tuileries, you can stop worrying.

Herve Muraccioli has written to tell me that some of it isphoto: wheel, concorde, night on holiday at the Château de La Punta, near Ajaccio on Corsica.

I was not too happy with the access to this Web site, which may be hosted for 'free' by Chez.Com. Everything 'free' - except for the Café Metropole Club! - has some sort of catch these days, and Chez.Com threw up an annoying extra window telling me about their 'free' email offer.

Concorde's big wheel is even 'grand' in the dark.

This hindered actually seeing much of the Château de La Punta, and I did not actually get to the part about the Palais des Tuileries being on holiday there.

But I leav it here for your examination - even though I know I'll have to come back in a couple of years and remove this link because Chez.Com isn't going to be in the 'free' business forever.

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