...Continued from page 1

The trick is, I think, is to be as handsome as Doug and wear a Canadian flag pin. Having one of these is like the sign of a secret society whose members are safe to talk to in English - or French! - because Canada is a bilingual country like, um, like Canada. Other countries like France are nominally mono-lingual, while Switzerland is stoutly quadri-lingual.

This is when Don Smith arrives. He says he has not been coming to many meetings lately because his métro station has been closed for renovations since January. He is underimpressed with my assertion that it is possible to walk to meetings - especially in strike days, when many stations are open even if there are no trains.

Lauren then states that the plantlife at Bercy includes white wisteria. Even though I am the club secretary and am supposed to be capable of producing these notes, I do not know if 'wisteria' is singular or plural - on account of having demolished my apartment for the cable-Internet guy - but, apparently, white wisteria are rare.

In return for this 'Tip of the Week' I suggest where Lauren may be able to locate small cardboard boxes so that she can ship French teddy bears to her nieces in the United States.

Actually, the real reason I give her these tips is because she begins her question with, "I need help from an expert."

As a bonus, I tell her the secret phrase to use in French to get nearly anything anybody wants in Paris. Parisians use it all the time, but anybody else can do it too, even if they only speak mainly Hungarian.

As you may have guessed from these notes I am not in true form today so the 'Group Photo of the Week' isphoto: don smith a less ambitious production than usual - although Lauren suggests it should be called the 'Rendez-Vous des Amis.'

Once the photo is in the box it is time to pay the notes. This is when Doug decides it is appropriate to remind us all that it is the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's coronation.

In a third club acitivity, here's Don - smiling.

I am not surprised. Club member Jim Auman just wrote to say we forgot to have a countdown for Paul Gauguin's birthday at the beginning of the month. I don't know where he got this 'we forgot' stuff - it was his subscription to the 'France-Amerique' weekly newsmagazine that didn't get delivered on time. But, in principle, members are always right.

The Tilly Hat Story

"Guaranteed for Life, Insured Against Loss" is the inspiring opening statement inside Doug's hat. The rest is no less wonderful.

"The finest lightweight hat in the world. Handcrafted with Canadian persnicketiness. It floats, ties on (front and/or back), repels rain, blocks UV rays and won't shrink. It comes with eightphoto: the tilly hat "Brag Tags" in the security pocket plus a four-page owner's manual. Made of Tilly Nylantrum - a durable, waterproof, breathable, easily-cleaned, self-sealing nylon; Hydrofil - for superb anti-sweat comfort, and the best of British brass hardware. Machine wash warm. Unsure? Check manual. Please print or place your name and phone number inside hat. Fait au Canada."

Nearly a 'first' - the Tilly 'Hat of the Week.'

The 'Call for Your Favorite Restaurants' subject used to be here. With the weather we are having it seems appropriate to update your knowledge about the latest high-tech headgear from nasty- weather land, Canada. Its 'security pocket' may also be used for the batteries, which are, alas, not supplied. Doug could not show me the original 'Brag Tags' normally found inside the 'security pocket' because he had used them all up.

About the 'Café Metropole Club' About Page

Being a member of thisphoto: cafe, bill, 10 euros club is pretty low-stress, I think. If you read the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page it will tell you a bit about the club and how informal it is. Being free and having neat members are its other plus-points. If you require more information, I suggest that you read the 'About the Club' page again.

Two more club activities - having a café and paying the bill.

Give this 'About' page a pass if its lack of needless details are bothersome. You don't really need to know more than the one fact that you can become a lifetime member of this online magazine's live, free and real club by being at any one or more of its meetings in Paris, in person.

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

The club's meetings begin - contrary to Paris usual 'exceptions' - about 15:00 on Thursdays and continue until 17:00, in Europe's only Zone of Mythical Time - which is really 'CET' for short and not 'ZMT' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm in rare yards-and-half-pounder areas of the planet, even though club meetings are nearly exclusively only held in the Paris part of it.

Bringing any 'Quote of the Week' or concocting any other 'Things of the Week' are not 'rules.' True 'firsts' are always welcome too, with 'first' scoring far higher than 'true.' The club secretary's own 'firsts' are ignored even if 'true.' This is a general rule of members' behavior rather than a club ex-'rule' or informal 'exception.'

If you prefer to be 'not found' on the Internet, or 'out-out-opted,' please tell the club's secretary before hegraphic: club location map makes you famous. 'No rules' have ceased being an 'exception' or a 'rule' a long time ago. There are some other 'exceptions,' but really, hardly any exceptional ones.

Whatever you say will be sincerely appreciated by the other members present if they are listening, which they really do sometimes - even jetlagged - and by all readers of this online magazine - even métro-lagged, if it should happen to be written here, as some of it is, sometimes.*

*The above paragraph is unchanged since last week on account of the club's secretary having forgotten why the dickens he needs cable-Internet. It is pretty clear he should have signed up for the semaphore.

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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