...Continued from page 1

Before I forget - because I forget his name every meeting that he is 'Waiter of the Week,' Vincent is this week's 'Waiter of the Week.' As an extra bonus, he assists us with this week's photo of the 'Group of the Week' without being in the one at the top of the page because someone elsewhere in the 'grande salle' cried out for drink or onion soup.

Tom says he is reconstructing Chicago's World's Fair in 1889 and gets into a discussion with Ulrich about whether 'news' on the Web is any use at all. Ulrich says it is because he can read Der Spiegel, which is handy because he can't buy it in Houston, and there's no other place to get foreign news.

Natalia, also a member, and related to Tom, arrives from shopping without having bought anything. This does not diminish Ulrich's good mood. Even Tom perks up when he learns the scaffolding on the Rue de Rivoli is not a new 'Tour Montparnasse' under construction, but the renovation of the somewhat antique Tour Saint-Jacques.

For no reason I can think of, Jim mentions getting an oil change. This leads to bitter complaints about all car repairs costing $300 or $400. It is the same thing in France - usually $400. But most cars here are so small, if they need an oil change you just throw them away like an empty Bic lighter.

In fact, all new cars in Europe have sealed motors so you can't fix them yourself even if you knew how. For repairs under $400, you need to find a Moroccan tractor mechanic. Thesephoto: waiter of the week vincent know how to break the seals, fix whatever is wrong with baling wire and other stuff, and do it for 99 euros.

Dinny tells Eva about the Thursday evening wine, cheese and music sessions at 'Au Vin des Rues' in the 14th in the Rue Boulard. Eva says, "I love drinking French plonk."

More than for you, 'Ed' needs to remember the name of this club 'Waiter of the Week.'

Dinny says it may be cheap but it isn't plonk. When I break off doing this report to go there to see if they are properly installed, half of yesterday's street demonstration is inside the place, listening to the accordionist, drinking, singing, eating cheese, and drinking.

It takes half an hour to find them in the back, along with another club member, Mary Kvitashvili, who is without Scrumpy because it is not 'Doggie Happy Hour.' Le Bouquet's biggest rugby fan, Martin, has found them and is keeping their glasses filled with a bottle of not-plonk the MGT has lent him.

It takes me a half hour to plough out of the place, and come back to Metropole's editorial office to cross some 'i's and dot some 't's.

The Coming Meeting

The next weekly meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 9. May. This will be a fairly ordinary 19th Thursday in the year 2002, the one right after France gets a new Président. Otherwise it will be named for Saint-Ascension - which is a public holiday when most cafés and everything else is open.

The location for this meeting is near the bottom of this page, proceeded or followed by all the date and time and multiple métro-stop names, all of which have been identical for years, almost like this paragraph, which actually does change by a word or two every week.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

To find out how to become a member, you can do this by reading 'About the Café Metropole Club.' This page explains nearly everything you should know about this club - next to nothing - and its meetings - only a bit more than next to nothing.

If you feel like giving this 'About' page a pass - there are 'no rules' after all - all you really need know is that you can easily become a member of this online magazine's live, free and real club by simply being at a meeting when you are in Paris.

The 'Next Meeting' Boilerplate

Each Thursday meeting of this club in Paris begins at 15:00 and continues until 17:00 in Europe's Centralphoto: au vin des rues European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'E-DOT' - and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in worldwide zones without metric 24-hour 'Eurotime,' which is now in its 'summer' version.

Today's club meeting - continued in 'Au Vin des Rues' and it may still be going on.

The club's secretary will be making some feeble effort to make 'report' notes during the meeting. This will require only that you say something. Note your hometown's name and your own email address for reference if you tend to forget them.

Bring a new 'Quote of the Week' or propose your own 'City of the Week' so long as it is not going to be Silver Spring, Maryland, or even be prepared to mention any other original 'Things of the Week' if you want jealous friends to read them in a 'club report' associated with your name. 'No-names' is optional. Otherwise and in general, the only exception is 'no rules.'

Some of the things you say may be treated with respect and be really appreciated by the other members present, if they hear them - and by all readers of this online magazine, if they read them - if they turn out to be written here.

The café's location is:

Café-Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny - or - 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre-Rivoli, Pont-Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday from 15:00 to 17:00.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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