...Continued from page 1

Farris says he doesn't care for playing in smoky cellars – not anymore anyway – and his dream is to open up a smoke–free jazz club in Paris. Heather and the club's secretary fall over.

"I'm not saying 'no smoking' – just don't smoke for a couple of hours," Farris says. To pick up Heather's morale, I suggest there be a street–stand crêperie right outside the place – so the smokers will have something to do besides smoke while they're outside.

Farris likes everything about Paris except that he hasn't found out where to get eggnog yet. The club's secretary doesn't even know what it is.

Twenty minutes before 'time out,' Karla Adam arrives with Todd Montgomery. Although they have worked together 'for years,' it has been via email, and we are witnesses to almost their first 'face–to–face' meeting.

Karla has just come through the chunnel from London to this meeting. She is originally from Calgary in Alberta. Aha! It is the club's 'City of the Week.' Even if she moved from there to Vancouver and now lives in London, the UK, not Ontario.

Todd's hometown is Montréal and he has been to Paris several times in the past decade. We do not actually get around to discussing French as it is spoken in Montréal. Karla says French is a foreign language in Calgary.

As is usual at a club meeting, the secretary interrupts taking notes of what 'everybody' is saying because members are talking in pairs and it is impossible to follow three conversations at once – and a ray of sunshine is poking out from beneath the clouds to the left of the dome of the Institut de France across the Seine.

This has, at times, filled the café with wonderful winter light, and towards 17:00 the airphoto: dennis moyer outside is blue. Inside, there is no real 'Group Photo of the Week,' but many in the group exchange phone numbers and addresses.

At the end I find Patrick to hand him the money he left on the table and to say goodbye, without knowing yet that I will be bringing him a gift from a club member next week.

Dennis shows agog members how a tricky non-electronic toy operates without batteries.

Then I catch up with Heather, who needs to catch up with another club member she's staying with – so we take a looping roundabout route to an Irish pub instead of a crêperie, named The Cruiscin Lan – where the sad news about last week's 'iced' Guinness story is confirmed, although this place in Paris will not pour it.

On the way home, I go the extra métro bit to another Monoprix, to get some gloves I saw a couple of days ago, for 12 euros. I can't find them, so I settle for the nine–euro ones I do find that fit. Outside, I'm not sure it's cold enough to wear them.

The Coming Club Meetings

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 19. December, a week from today. The following two meetings are on days following holidays – Thursday 26. December and Thursday, 2. January.

If nobody intends to attend these meetings, please let the club's secretary know so he can arrange to not be present in 'good faith.'

The Saint's Day next Thursday is Urbain. This saint has no towns worth mentioning in France named after him. He was martyred early on, in 230. Urbain II was born at Châtillon–sur–Marne, and invented the first crusade. This second Urbain's fête is on 29. July, which it is called Sainte–Marthe on the calendar.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' Page

You can read the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page to learn how to become a member. If you read this 'report' about today's club meeting instead, all you need to know about how to become a member is to be here.

Ignore this 'About' page at your own risk – even though its information is next to nil. All you need know is that you can become a member of this online magazine's live, free and real club by simply being at a meeting. If this seems repetitious, reading it twice or more is harmless.

Endless Christmas Season Note Repeat

Major Paris department stores stay open on Sundays until 22. December, which is a Sunday. The Soldes d'Hiver start shortly after New Year, so they will be on in January 2003, and January 2004, and so on.

How, What, When, Where, Why Not, Who?

This club's meetings begin in Paris at 15:00 on Thursdays and continue until 17:00, in Europe's Central European Time Zone – which is 'CET' for short and not 'MITE' – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm in other worldwide areas, even though club meetings are only in Paris.

Come with your own new 'Quote of the Week' or propose your hometown as 'City of the Week' or invent any other 'Things of the Week.' New true 'firsts' will be welcome too, with 'first' being more necessary than 'true.' 'No–names' is an option you can also opt for if you prefer to be 'not found' on the Internet. 'No rules' is no longer an 'exception' and would not even be an exceptional 'rule' even if these had not ceased, which is what they've done.

What you have to say may be truly appreciated by the other members present, and there usually are some, and if they are listening which they do sometimes - and by all readers of this online magazine, if they read this – if it should happen to be written here, as some of it is occasionally.

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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