The Postman Rings Again

photo: resto louis philippe, quai hotel de ville

A handy bistro, near the beach at the Pont Louis-Philippe.

José Bové Is Getting Thin

Paris:- Monday, 22. July 2002:- Olivier Besancenot, 27, as the Communist Revolutionary League's candidate for Président, received 4.25 percent of the votes cast nationally in the first round of the election and this was a historic high point for his party.

But it was his campaign presence on TV that made him famous, especially to his customers that he serves as a postman in the richest town in France, Neuilly-sur-Seine, just north of the Bois de Boulogne.

Before the election, he was merely the postman with the yellow bicycle, but now when he rings the bell to get a signature for a registered letter, the customers are sometimes surprised. 'You really work?' some of them ask.

Unknown to his customers before the election, on his return to his postal rounds he has been frequently recognized. This sometimes gets him a café 'on the house.'

Mr. Besancenot has also opened a PO Box at his post office to handle his fan mail. But some of his clients are not so nice. One suggested he deliver mail 'in some rotten suburb' elsewhere.

Although he only received .89 percent of the votes cast in Neuilly as a whole, slightly more than one percent of the clients on his route voted for him. He received 210 votes in Neuilly.

It is mere coincidence that Neuilly is also the stronghold of the government's super minister of security, Nicolas Sarkozy, who has promised France about 15,000 more policemen and gendarmes.

José Bové Is Getting Thin

While the rest of France goes aboutphoto: line for ice cream, ile st louis its summer business of doing nothing but have fun, peasant leader José Bové gets up, washes and shaves every morning before the first round of the guards at 06:10 in the Villenouve-lès-Maguelone jail near Montpellier.

For ice cream yesterday, patience was required.

Then he reads something interesting instead of having breakfast. By doing this since turning himself in to the slammer on Wednesday, 19. June, he has shed 11 kilos.

He was visited on Saturday by Noël Mamère, the Greens' leader, who stopped by for a couple of hours before zipping off for four weeks of Corsican sunshine. Mr. Bové is expecting to be released on Thursday, 1. August.

Supporters maintain a solidarity stand outside the prison in its parking lot, but are not allowed to visit. Mr. Bové's arrival at the prison was somewhat unusual because he chose a farm tractor as transportation, and managed to arrive late.

If You Feel Lost

Le Parisien says that 'ambassadors' are available to 'seduce' tourists, but this is a literal translation. In clear,photo: sunbathers, tuileries this year in Paris there are 170 'reception ambassadors' scattered around the city, all of whom speak your language.

There are eight reception posts run by the city and 23 in the RATP's transport network. This is within the framework of 'Votre Eté à Paris,' and if you have any questions just look for the young people wearing the orange jackets.

Not at the beach, but in the Tuileries garden.

Not all of these ambassadors are Parisian university students and not all are even French, but all have been given a 10-day orientation course by the Tourist Office. Their purpose is not only to answer visitors' questions, but also to help visitors discover a less obvious Paris.

New Shortcut

I have good news for all who have faced the incredibly huge trek across either the Pont Royal or the Pont de la Concorde, to get to or from the Musée d'Orsay.

You can now take the shortcut consisting of the Passerelle Solférino over the Seine and its corresponding tunnel under the Quai des Tuileries, to gain access to the left-bank museum or the Tuileries, which is the closest summer oasis..

If you stay mainly on the left bank, here's your chance to make a rapid sortie to the right bank, just to find out how it feels, if you've ever been curious. The tunnel is open daily from 7:20 to 20:30 in summer - which is now, I guess.

Internet Life

The RATP's Souvenir Boutique(s)

A reader who visited Paris only remembered he wanted a Métro t-shirt after returning home, and asked me via email if the métro-oriented souvenirs sold by the RATP at its Châtelet-Les Halles boutique are available online.


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