...Continued from page 1

Commenting on what an extended stay in Paris can do to a person, Roberta says she eats and drinks things here that she never did in the United States. "Like at McDonald's and big Cokes."

It doesn't occur to me to suggest that La Corona can make a really big Coke with about a kilo of ice in it, so she just has a little one that has maybe one lonely cube in it. The club's secretary is really unalert at times.

Dinny has been noticing that the city is sneakily robbing the streets of parking spaces, by expanding sidewalks and planting more trees in them. She thinks, if she is going to rent a car in the future, it will be a miniature Smart instead of a huge Mercedes.

The members claim they have noticed that all the public buskers seem to have disappeared, while the number of professional-looking paratroopers patrolling the métro's platforms and corridors has increased.

At 'Group Photo of the Week' time the nameless member bolts down the Quai du Louvre whenphoto: paying the bill I thoughtlessly use her direction to lock the camera's focus. The remaining members eventually hear me - over the traffic noise - tell them to do some 'samba thing' as a pose, and they almost do it.

A moderately heavy 'addition' tilts the camera in the café's grande salle.

Without me noticing it particularly, Roberta and her companions pay their bills and leave, and Dinny is taking care of hers when charter-member Annie Salmona arrives, just after five.

While passing the café to get a Yves Montand poster at the Hôtel de Ville, she happened to remember that it is Thursday and she was passing the club's very own café with the club's secretary actually still in it, so she pops in.

Annie is from Milwaukee and is in Paris on family business, which has made her slightly forgetful about the club which she joined on Thursday, 25. November 1999. She has been at other meetings since then too.

We do a short catch-up because all of us have other destinations today, so club overtime is kept to a minimum which will not strain its 35-hour weekly limit. It is nice to see Annie again, as sort of a meeting bonus.

On the métro riding back to Montparnasse, I hear buskers playing accordions and trumpets in trains going the other way. I don't see any paratroopers on the platforms. Maybe neither are where you expect them, or the other way around.

The Coming Meeting

The next weekly meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 25. July. This will be after the Bastille Day weekend, so the weather might improve. This will be a perfectly normal 30th Thursday in the year 2002 - named for the occasion, for one of the Saint-Jacques.

The paragraph which is usually here and never changes, is suspended this week.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

To find out how to become a member you can read the page called 'About the Café Metropole Club.' But if you are reading this 'report' of today's club meeting, maybe you needn't need to bother.

'Club rules,' and there used to be some real insignificant ones for a couple of weeks, suggest that if you feel like giving this 'About' page a pass - do so, as I've already suggested. All you really need to know is that you can become a member of this online magazine's live, free and real club in a wink by simply being at a meeting when you are at one.

The 'Coming Meeting' Standard Details

Meetings of this club in Paris begin no sooner than 15:00 on Thursday and continue until 17:00, still on Thursday, in Europe's Central European Time Zone - which is 'CET' for short and not 'BAT' - and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in worldwide areas without 'Euro Metricotime,' which now seems to be in its nominal summer version.

The club's secretary will be listening to what you may say at the same time as he may be concocting some 'report' notes, whichphoto: glasses might be completely different. Please note your name, hometown, and your own email address in the members' booklet. The club's secretary is perfectly capable of forgetting to ask you to do it.

Dinny's 'starter' collection of drinkwares.

Come with a new 'Quote of the Week' or propose your hometown as 'City of the Week' - the secretary can't do this - or dream up any other 'Things of the Week.' 'No-names' is an option you can opt for too if you prefer to be 'not found' on the Internet. Otherwise and in general, the only exception is 'no rules.'

Anything you say may be treated with great respect and will be truly appreciated by the other members present, if there are any and they are listening - and by all readers of this online magazine, if they read them - if they turn out to be written here. Anything is possible.

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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