...Continued from page 1

Then he added, "I think I may have made a mistake."

Paris' right bank speedway is open to strollers and rollers again on Sundays.

Dimitri, who is ineligible to vote, wondered if he shouldn't move to... "Where?" Then we discussed the problems he is facing with his project to gild the horsemeat butcher's horseheads, decorating the shop's awning.

The third opinion was, "A safety-valve popped open." I'm still trying to figure this one out even if it seemed to make sense at the time.

Events In Paris

This year's presidential election seemed, before Sunday's upset, to be a straightforward affair - to be followed by the usual straightforward hoopla of parliamentary elections.

The last time Paris had a springtime like this was in 1995. François Mitterrand stood down and Jacques Chirac fulfilled his lifetime dream of becoming Président of France.

Events this year are likely to be singular, if not exciting. While the final outcome may not be a big surprise, what happens between today and Sunday, 5. May might be worth, may demand, more frequent updates to regular issues of this magazine.

According to French news sources, foreign media reports may be somewhat alarming. 'Newsweek,' for example, has a full-time journalist here who regularly files reports from France, but 95 percent of these are 'spiked' by editors in the United States. The other five percent are rewritten there, according to offshore perceptions of France.

To the press in Britain, so close, so far - France and the French remain largely incomprehensible. This is understandable because the French are not British, Britain is not 'on' the continent, and because of Waterloo anyway.

While the United States and Britain have chosen what they perceive to be their 'futures,' France has not yet done so. At this moment it is unknown if France will make a choice this spring, or put it off until another date, or put it off forever.

If this spring is going to be a real thriller or be like a flabby gasbag with a slow leak, is yet to be seen.

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

If you missed last Thursday's club meeting 'report' you can catch up with club news by hitting this link to the first 'Extinct Volcano' report.

The coming meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 25. April. The club's 'Saint's Day of the Week' next Thursday is Saint-Marc's day, which is no longer Victor's Hugo's birthday as everybody knows perfectly well.

Readers with an irresistible urge to becomephoto: place dauphine real club members can easily grasp the few minor details about this free club in 29 seconds by reading the large-sized fine-print on the 'About the Club' page.

A 'village' in the heart of the city - in the Place Dauphine.

Want to join? Do it simply by being here! Being here on a Thursday with a saint's name is even better and every Thursday has at least one. How to keep up with club 'news' is even easier, because the reports about it go online right after the meetings.

Record 'Metropole Paris' as one of your favorite bookmarks to save yourself typing out its overly-long name every time you feel like reading a club report.

Metropole's Affiliates

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

'Bookings' has extended their reservation service for a wide selection of Paris hotels. Check out their wider offers and make your choice long before your arrival in France. Try this one. Other Metropole readers have.

'HighwayToHealth' provides a 'city health profile' for Paris as well as travel insurance. If you have signed up for these services before you need them suddenly, you will benefit from them. I hope won't be the case, but 'Things Happen.'

'Petanque America' exports quality Obut boules from France and will ship them to you anywhere in the Americas - which will save you the effort of carrying them all the way from Paris. Be the first on your block to introduce the game of pétanque - or boules. Everybody can play this game, nearly anywhere - such as on any vacant lot covered with suitable dirt.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

Issue 6.17 - 23. April 2001 - This issue began with the week's Café Metropole column, titled, 'Lucky Poster Tour' and the 'Au Bistro' news column was titled, 'The Bridges of May.' This issue had one book report and interview, titled '21,173 Meals In France' adds up to 'French Fried' by Harriet Welty Rochefort. This issue's update for the Café Metropole Club meeting on 26. April was called 'The 'Sidewalk' Is Not Cricket' Report. The week's 'Scene' column was titled 'Paris Tangos Again.' Therephoto: sign, pont neuf, 1834 were four new 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'How French Toast Was Invented.' A photo page featured 'The Tower and the Flame.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 5.17 - 24. April 2000 - This week's Café Metropole column was titled, 'Update: Promenade d'Australie Opens.' The 'Au Bistro' column's title was 'Blast Kills McDonald's Employee.' This issue had three features, titled 'Galleries That Aren't,' 'Quercs' of The French' by Badger and 'Olive Oil Is Good for You' by Catherine Thevenin. The Café Metropole Club report for this issue on 27. April, was called 'Two of New York's Boroughs Honored.' A club page announced, 'A New 'Class' of Members.' The 'Scene' column was numbered again with, 'One Two, One Two Three.' The usual four 'Posters of the Week' were on view too and Ric's Cartoon of the Week had the caption of 'Our Late Egg-Bunny.'

This Year's Snivel of a 'Count-Down'

If this were yesterday, there would be only 253 days remaining in this year. This means the 'euro 3 signuro' currency has been around for a whole 113 days now and is not yet eligible for the 'first 168 days' routine.

Despite other pressing event dates, a count-down for Charles Lindbergh's solo arrival in Paris after a 33-hour non-smoking flight without movies or commercials from thephoto: tiles, atelier, rue campagne premiere United States is currently underway. He landed without a visa for France at Le Bourget, on Saturday, 21. May 1927. This was 75 years ago and this anniversary is 28 days from today.

For another, closer, date, the second round of voting for France's next Président is only 12 days from now, since it is Tuesday already. Newspeople here are no longer asking Arlette if she'll feel bad if she steals votes from Lionel Jospin. She isn't talking about it anymore.

The 14 other candidates have finished slugging it and have returned to their regular professions as civilians or politicians. This magazine thanks all of them for the show they put on, proving that France is neither black nor white.

Wind your clocks right up, turn over your egg-timers now, get a black - Black! - marker to 'X'-out days on your calendars, and start counting-down. Especially if it is until the time you arrive in Paris.
signature, regards, ric

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