"It's a Virtual-Reality Club,"

photo: group, tim, kat, kathy, bill, kyle, richard, anne, kelly

Most of today's eight new members actually signed
the members' booklet.

In Case You Were Wondering

Paris:- Thursday, 27. June 2002:- We have been having pretty good weather here since the Fête de la Musique last Friday and it is pretty good today too, but it is getting cooler - as if, if there's too much of a difference between Paris and Dublin, decent warmth in Paris is unfair to Dublin.

If I lived in Dublin, I would say it is unfair. I would suggest that Dublin should have decent Paris' temperatures, and if Parisians fried, well, it's better than wearing winter woollies all summer as well as all year.

Why Dublin? On the evening TV-weather news, if they bother showing temperatures outside of France, Dublin always seems to be two degrees cooler than the western tip of Brittany, which never gets higher than 18. Of course, if you like the smell of soggy peat burning all year round, then Dublin is perfect.

The near-term outlook for Paris isn't great. You can expect mostly sunny skies, except for the cloudyphoto: kelly almost asleep periods, and temperatures will be gradually drifting down to about 21 degrees, by tomorrow. For the people who are happy enough with this, you'll like it if you are one of them.

Between bikes and cards, Kelly needs a nap. Another club 'first.'

Before it gets this drastic, on the way to the club meeting I continue taking the photos I began yesterday. These are going to make you think, if you see the coming issue of this magazine, that Paris is in one of the nice-weather parts of the Riviera. Meanwhile, grumpy weather is predicted for down there tomorrow, so these Paris photos aren't going to be totally misleading.

Both yesterday and today I have seen a lot of shoppers on the Rue de Rivoli. TV-news has said the quickest buyers get the best stuff. I should say this is true because I've gotten good stuff in the past without even being snappiest.

The only thing wrong with most of it is I always get one size too large and I never grow into it and it never shrinks. I'll tell you though, by not wearing any of it much, it sure lasts a long time and was certainly worth every franc I paid for it.

When I arrive at the café La Corona the grande salle is deserted, even more than it has been lately. Not even the 'waiter of the week' is in it. Luckily I have picked up a copy of a special edition of 'A Nous Paris,' called 'A Nous Londres.' It has a fried egg on the cover, with the headline, 'Sunny London!' right on the yolk.

photo: paris map on palmThis special edition has been produced by the Eurostar line of the Paris métro, which I suppose you know is an extension of the line four, with its endstation in London. personally, I would switch to another line before going that far.

Tim's Palm III not showing the map for the photo.

A couple of ladies out on the terrace are showing 'Paris souvenir' t-shirts to their husbands, who do not look too grumpy because they are sitting out the 'battle of the soldes' on La Corona's terrace.

I do not note the time when the 'waiter of the week' leads Kathy Neider and seven other people all at once - to the club's area, and dumps them on me.

Golly! This makes eight hands to shake, eight names to learn, and eight club sign-ins to get organized. I am usually ready, but not this ready.

However, disaster is averted by about half of the new club members who note how dim and deserted the café is while noting at the same time that the terrace is nearly as deserted, and they pop out there even though I say it is noisy. It is also, I've got to admit, sunny though.

The half who remain inside are Kelly Allen, Kat Allen, Tim Allen and Kathy Neider, who has a different last name so all the similar first names, except Tim's, don't confuse - me.

According to the way the members' booklet is filled in, Anne Watson also belongs to the group from Louisville, Kentucky, while Tim who has done most of the 'filling-in,' doesn't seem to be included.

To avoid further confusion, I declare that Louisville - home of the Kentucky Derby - is the 'City of the Week' while Kathy explains to Kelly, Kat and Tim what a great honor this is. They have never heard of the Café Metropole Club before either.

"It's a virtual-reality club," Kathy explains. While I attempt to explain what this really means, Kelly begins to fall asleep while Kat says she wants something to eat that has nothing in it, except maybe, chicken.

This could be easily arranged if there were a 'waiter of the week' around, but he isn't. Tim tells mephoto: bigger than demi they rode all over Paris the night before with Mike's Bikes. "We saw more things than could be seen any other way," he says. Kelly is now asleep.

Tim says she is tired from playing cards all night after the tour on bikes. Then he gets out his handy Palm III and shows me where their hotel is located. This isn't as easy as it sounds, because the light is bit dim, and he thinks the hotel is in the middle of the Seine - maybe on the Pont des Arts.

Unlike a close-up of a 'demi,' this is a regular photo of a 'formidable.'

Menus arrive and Kelly wakes up long enough to order a sandwich with everything, Kat one with nothing - except maybe, chicken - and Kathy gets the first croque monsieur she's ever had in her life.

Since she has told me she is a doctor, I tell her another doctor member introduced the notion of deep-fried Mars bars to the club. "Why would you want to deep-fry a Mars bar?" she asks.

Tim says maps of Paris for handheld computers like Palm IIIs can be downloaded from www.ismap.com and I can see it is very handy, so long as there's enough light to see it. I wonder how they get things like maps inthese little things.


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