Resigned From Weather

photo: cafe du marche, buci

In the Sunday shadows of Saint-Germain.

The Real Score Is Zero

by Ric Erickson

Paris:- Monday, 2. September 2002:- If you want to know the truth, I am tired of writing about the weather and not doing anything about it. Never in my worst nightmares did I ever think I would grow up and start writing weather predictions - and now I'm wondering where my head's been while I've been doing exactly this.

This has not been because of colossal nerve. I simply forgot that I wasn't meant to do it. Actually, the real weather people will freely admit that your average weather is nothing but pure chaos.

They will make this admission if you ask them straight out, 'what's the weather going to be like 90 minutes from now?' They'll say, "Beats me."

Being a professional weather person must be one of the few highly technical jobs in the world thatphoto: sign, paris respire allows being wrong 50 percent of the time. Imagine the weather person's spouse asking, "How was work today, Cuddles?"

And 'Cuddles' replies, "It was pretty good - I was 50 percent right today. I was 50 percent wrong yesterday, so if you average the two days - I'm on top of it 100 percent!"

Now that I've had my confession and resigned from this job, I may as well tell you what today's Le Parisien thinks the weather will be like here next Friday. Newspapers can take chances like this because nobody is going to see it except next Thursday's fish that'll be wrapped in it.

For Paris next Friday, there is no weather prediction at all. Just north of the city there might be temperatures in the range of 16 to 20. Just east of the city, there is one lonely grey cloud, leaking lines to the southwest. The text underneath the map says, 'Today's stars, like yesterday's, will be rain and 'averses.'

'Averses' is a codeword for 'bring your umbrella.' Le Parisien's weather person tries hard though. The headline for Thursday's weather map is, 'Une Histoire d'Eau.'

Café Life

Nothing Before Dawn

Several people have tried to cheer me up with my search for new lodgings by telling me that before any are found, there appear to be none.

Unlike 'the light before dawn' that announces its arrival, no 'signs' are not the same as rumors. Rumors could be likened to 'false dawn' - a trick your brain sends to the back of your eyeballs telling you dawn is on the way because wolves are circling.

While I don't expect any wolves, this business I have of not having a place to live until I have a 'place to live' is long past beginning to make me uneasy.

There are definitely other drawbacks to it as well.

Take right now for example. I could easily write 2000 words, even with leaving many details out, about last week's search for an apartment.

Although all of it would be about Paris, looking for lodging in any part of the world is pretty much the same. One aspect of it that really is the same - it is not funny, there is nothing humorous about it.

Oh, maybe the 'acting' is a bit amusing. You trudge along to some advertised place and when you get there it looks like it is a seedy reception hall of a cemetery. The real estate person shows you some tiny and dirty yellow rooms, and when you ask about the hole in the wall of the kitchen, they don't know it is for keeping fresh food cool - in winter.

Meanwhile you act as if the whole shambles is a palace, superbly fit and spiffy enough for a Texas oil millionaire, even though there isn't a garage big enough for a bicycle, space for a toothbrush or a light socket in the place.

While you grin like an idiot out of filthy windows facing a dim airshaft full of drizzle, you realize the agent is not really showing off the place's few good points because you are the 25th person making an inspection within 45 minutes.

There is no apology for the state of the place nor any mention that it will be fixed up to justify thephoto: pont des arts, sunday high rent - because any 10 of the previous candidates will snap the wreck up no matter how lousy it is.

The Pont des Arts - good enough for a Sunday evening stroll or picnic.

This is, of course, if they can meet the 'means test.' The way things are, I think it can be counted on that at least three of the 25 potential tenants are senior life-time employees of the Finance Ministry, and their uncles own fancy redecorating shops in the good end of the Rue Saint-Honoré.

Luckily, the 'acting' need not last longer than five minutes.

Now there are less than 1600 words left to go, to describe the other wonders I have seen in the past week. If I wasn't really looking, and was only dabbling in this for a bit of investigative journalism, I would take all of it a lot more easily and lightly.

There have been some incredible, good surprises along the way. Even though they haven't worked out, the thoughts behind them do count.

To get this over with, all the apartments already seen and not taken - or gotten - are past history. The score right now it one 'possible,' one 'remotely possible,' and two complete wild cards. This is not including tomorrow's ads. Tomorrow is a new day. Another one.

But right now, the real score is zero. This means 'Metropole Paris' will continue to be less than usual - for the duration. Thank you for all of the encouraging emails!

Café Metropole Club 'Updates'

I can't conceive of why you might have been somewhat tardy about reading news of last Thursday's club meeting 'report,' but I assume you have your justifiable reasons.

No matter what they are, before doing anything else, you can catch up with your club's 'news' right now by hitting this link to the "a href="/2002/735/735clb45.html">Don't Forget Napoléon!" report.

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