...Continued from page 1

Cheques - if you have a franc-value cheque book, it cannot be used after 1 January 2002. You are also advised not to use French euro-value cheques in euro-zone countries because the banks are being greedy with their charges. Use plastic instead.

If you have received a franc-value cheque issued during 2001, it can be cashed - for euros - by a French bank for one year plus eight days after its issue date.

Cash - after the beginning of this year, banks will only issue cash in the new euro currency. Both franc coins and banknotes can be exchanged for euros at banks in France until Saturday, 29. June 2002. Doing this at your own bank will save you commission charges. Otherwise, franc coins can be exchanged for euros at any branch of the Banque de France until 2005. The deadline for banknotes is 2012.

ATMs - the story is that all 37,000 ATM distributors in France will switch from francs to euros during the night of 31. December - 1. January 2002. According to a RATP lady I spoke to, all of the Paris transit ticket vending machines will make the switch - for both cash and cards - at the same time. No doubt the same is being said of all vending machines throughout Europe.

Whether this turns out to be true or not, you do not have to change your plastic card.

Scrambled Money - euro coins have a 'euro' side and a national side. Euro banknotes may be the same. Do not be surprised to receive euro coins in France with Italian reverse sides. France has had to 'borrow' several tons of Italian euro coins because of a three-week strike at its coin mint. No matter which EC country is featured on one side of the coin or banknote, all euros are euro 3 signuros.

Opportunity of a Lifetime - is expected to be the case for counterfeiters, especially at the beginning of the euro-era when ordinary folks are not too familiar with the new currency. People who are in the money handling professions have been taking fake-euro detection courses, so these may be the first to tell you that you've been stuck with a fake. Try to be relaxed about this.

More Good News

Despite a decree dating to 1996 that comes into effect on the first of January, France has decided to ignore it for the time being on account of it being extremely annoying to car owners. The decree says in effect, that no car containing asbestos can be sold without it first being removed.

This 'forgotten' decree was dug up by the army. The army assumed it would become the 'law of the land' and began junking its older jeeps and trucks, instead of flogging them to unwary citizens.

But since these civilians were truly unwary, and the muscular old-car lobby went into high mobilization - citing the impending 'worthlessness' of zillions of franc's worth of classic old junkers - well, the government did the 'right thing' and dropped the whole business until some date in the vague future.

One of the reasons the decree was left to wither turned out to be the fact that the mechanics who would have had to rid the older cars of asbestos - would have been the most exposed to it.

The only remaining questions are, how many of these 'surprise' decrees are lurking around the law books, and how many of them have been suspended until 'some date in the vague future?'

Internet Life

When Metropole started its 'Internet Life' in 1996 the plan was to throw out all 'dated' topical material, and treat Paris as if it were a 'right now' event. This would have meant the weekly renewal of the 'Au Bistro' and 'Scene' columns would have forced the week-old versions into oblivion.

Somewhat oddly, the server's robot-produced reader statistics have always shown that readers do look at old - nay, antique! - 'Au Bistro' columns. Luckily, the first plan was in use for only a short time before laziness set in, and everything was simply kept online - as what has turned out to be a sort of an ongoing 'history.'

Early in December Christophe Blondel wrote, "I was just going through the Web using Google with the keywords 'Airbus' and 'glider,' looking for more details about the last close-encounter between a gliderphoto: foie gras and an airliner - in which the airliner was an Airbus. And there appeared your web page the story about the Airbus-glider collision of 1999, which I had not anticipated, even though I of course knew the story.

To counter winter's chills - a tasty excess-fat shop.

"I do not know what you exactly meant when writing that 'the glider wasn't supposed to be so high,' but that may have been misleading, for even though the Airbus pilots actually did not 'suppose' that they could find a glider there, the glider, as the inquiry rapidly showed, was perfectly allowed to be where it was.

"According to the regulation of that time, the fault of the collision was entirely due to the fact that the airliner pilots had entered a 'visual flight rule' volume without, so to say, opening their eyes wide enough. Like sailboats at sea, sailplanes in such areas always have a priority over motorized planes."

In fact, Christophe Blondel said that there were many other mistakes in the short article. For example:-

"By the way, you were also slightly wrong in writing, 'The glider pilot brought his machine back to its base in one piece too,' for the Airbus had actually torn a half-metre long part of the glider's tail off, and the tail of an aeroplane may be a vital part of it."

Apparently motorless gliders have to share a lot of 'visual flight rule' airspace with powered aircraft, and there's just so much space to go around. But as a glider pilot, Christophe Blondel was actually curious about the instances of airliners becoming gliders by running out of gas.

There have been two of these incidents, both with successful landings. But because of the high speeds involved, Mr. Blondel thinks all airline pilots should have training on gliders.

Mr. Blondel belongs to a glider club located near Paris. In case you are interested in gasless flight, give his club's Web site a look. Ignore the pop-up ad until the attractive page loads, while getting ready to read some well-written French.

I wish to thank Mr. Blondel for pointing out the mistaken 'facts' in the original article, and for taking the time to write much more about 'ticketless' flying than there is room for here.

Now, all I have to do is remember to go back to the original article, and add a 'forward-to-the-future' bit of code to it, which will link it to this 'correction.'

As huge as the Web's search engines are - even Google - they have not recorded all of Metropole's contents. To find out what this magazine contains, you can use its own powerful 'Search Metropole' feature.

MuseumExperts Com/Fr - is a two-sided Web site for museum professionals and for the people who go to them. The 'Sitem' part deals with the nuts and bolts behind the displays and the 'Sime' part features up-to-date news about what is going on at the museums. The idea, created by Jean-François Grunweld, has been put online by France's Ministry of Culture, with the URL of http://www.museumexperts.com.

Winter Weather Alerts

This service from our friends at France-Météo gives warnings about near-term violentphoto: one of roissys rabbits weather that might be dangerous to your health, or, on a lesser scale, cause you some discomfort if you happen to be outside without an anchor or up a snowy mountain without a flask.

The latest of these alerts concerned normally sunny southern France, which got a ton of snow plopped on it. Paris with its simple zero temperatures does not qualify as a 'danger' area.

You asked for it - here is one of Roissy's famed rabbits in person.

If you are curious or want to know more about France's winter weather, give the Météo-France Web site a hit, for its short-range forecasts. The warning-prone 'Vigilance-Météo' area is on the page's top left.

Go to page : 1 - 2
In Metropole Paris
Latest Issue
2008 Issues
2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999
1998 | 1997 | 1996
In Metropole Paris
About Metropole
About the Café Club
Links | Search Site
The Lodging Page
Paris Museums List
Metropole's 1996 Tours
Metropole's 2003 Tours
Support Metropole
Metropole's Books
Shop with Metropole
Metropole's Wine
metropole paris goodblogweek button
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini