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'Island of the Week' Honored

photo: group, heather, pedro, lina, mike, roy, steve, lauren

Today's group - Heather with Pedro and Lina, Mike,
Roy, Steve and Lauren.

No Matter Where It Is

Paris:- Thursday, 31. July 2003:- The last day of July and it sure feels like summer. It's a bit overcast at the Cadillac Ranch but muggy and warm enough that I opt to drive into Paris rather than simmer in the RER.

Good choice - 'pas un chat' on the autoroute and almost no traffic in Paris. Metal barricades are still in evidence all along the route I take from the Tour de France. Not a biker in sight, however.

I'm parked in the underground car park next to La Corona in 35 minutes after leaving Boullay. Surely a record driving time into Paris for me - and I didn't speed even once.

Fifteen minutes early for an appointment one hour before the Club meeting and I skip down to Samaritaine to get a new watch band. 'Soldes d'Eté' signs are still up. Maybe I'll get a bargain?

I do - only seven euros and I think that was cheaper than the watch bands in the 'on sale' bin!

Zip back to the Corona and have my own meeting. Just before 15:00 Heather Stimmlerphoto: roy trew arrives along with her two doggies - who are already club members, too. We chat briefly and at 15:02 in walks Roy Trew. He is from Brisbane in Australia.

Roy is already a member and he's in Paris again for a three-month stint. 'Just enjoying 'life' in Paris,' he obediently writes on the Club questionnaire forms I've brought along.

Roy Trew should get the 'Tan of the Week' award.

I've got an outline map of Australia on my notes, where I tried to locate Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Darwin, Melbourne and slightly south of the big island - oops, small continent! - Tasmania.

We don't do a map of France but Roy and his wife are doing a tour of France, going from Alsace to Languedoc Roussillon, then up to Normandy - all by car and staying in 'gîtes' along the way.

The 'Tip of the Week' from Roy is to lease a car - but in fact it is buying the car and reselling it back to the car company. It's all straight-forward, Roy assured me, and he said he'd saved several thousand Australian dollars by booking and paying for the car before getting to France.

He's tried Renault and Peugeot and both seem to work fine. Caveat! - you must not be an EC citizen. The minimum is 17 days and maximum is a six months period, and you must book and pay prior to arrival here.

Not a bad tip if you're staying for more than three weeks in France.

Pedro and Lina - Heather and Mike's minature pinchers - didn't take any notice of Willy - is that the name? - the honorary club bird member. No crumbs were in sight and he flew off when the 'Waiter of the Week' - whose name I don't know - quickly took our drinks order.

Mike Stimmler popped in while we were in the middle of talking about cold winters inphoto: heather, dogs, mike Brisbane - unusually cold at four degrees C - with mid-twenties during the day. I forgot to ask how hot it gets in summer if it is that warm in winter down under.

My notes at this point in the club meeting are silly scribbles as we are chatting a mile a minute, back and forth, shaking hands, ordering, exchanging stories.

Heather keeps canine members from drinking too much.

Sometime before 16:00 Stephen and Lauren Murray from Boston, Massachusettes stroll in. They're both members already and Stephen - also calls himself Steve I believe - my notes are vague i.e. non-existent - says he's been to club seven or eight times. Old hands.

But I push the club questionnaire under their noses anyway and forcefully ask them to at least fill in their names for the record. They are really kind and do so without opposition.

The drinks of the week are standard - a beer, a red wine, a white wine, coffee, and a tonic water. No food - it's too muggy to eat.

At 16:00 on the dot, I yank out my camera and take three snaps that hopefully will be useable.

They look alright on the tiny camera preview screen. But, there's a bit of a reflection from the mirror. I framed the shots looking out of the café, rather than being smart like Ric and putting my back to the window.

We shall see... I must figure out how to download these works of art on to the computer once I get home I cheerfully explain to everyone, making no promises for good pics.

Lauren and Roy get to discussing English-language accents. Lauren wonders which is the 'top' language in the world - that is, the most widely spoken language in the world.

I think the first guess was Cantonese and then English, but my notes peter out about here on this topic and turn to stories of seeing people you know when you are in foreign lands.

Roy tells us how he ran into his very best neighbors in Brisbane here in Paris this week and it was not a planned event. Serendipity at work! Heather mentions she was coming out near where I live - to St Remy-les-Chevreuse "to do a hash" ... and Roy's eyes immediately light up, saying, "I've done that in Labaun."

Well, I think the club's 'Topic of the Week' is going to be about smoking a certain substance, but no, a 'hash' is not that at all! No, no, no!

A 'hash' is 'a drinking club with a running problem' apparently. Roy did one of these runs in the jungle of Labaun. And Heather's doing one this weekend in Yvelines, which everybody knows is not a jungle because Louis XIV lived in Versailles.

Labuan gets nominated as the 'Island of the Week' and not one of us except Roy knowsphoto: steve, lauren where it is. Check your maps for a great place to run through a jungle in the South China Sea, about 25 miles from Brunei, and watch out for water buffalos if you are "doing a hash!"

Everyone wishes the club's secretary a good time in New York, but they were all sorry you aren't at the club.

Steve and Lauren, both 'not working' at once.

Someone also remarked how impressed they were that the club's secretary could manage to take so many notes while listening to 3-ring circus of conversations during club meetings and then write such amazingly unrelated stories each week.

Though someone else did mention that 'Ed' often noted the oddest or silliest statements made by club members, even when they had been speaking perfectly coherently up until the time they were quoted in the reports' notebook.

End-of-club time at 17:00 rolled around much too soon. Everyone coughed up for their drinks and we headed our separate ways, all promising to be back at a club meeting again very soon.

Club Secretary Regrets Being On Holiday

The management of the two upcoming meetings will be undertaken by the server-lady, Linda Thalman, and the club's member number one, Heather Stimmler-Hall, because the club's secretary is on another continent.

The two nifty ladies have tossed coins to find out who wins which of the two following meetings on 7. and 14. August. The regular secretary will resume his post on Thursday, 21. August, for club meeting number 199. There are no other 'possible new details' worth mentioning with regard to this.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' About Page

Being a member of this club is more fun than spending two August weeks in Brooklyn. If you are relaxed enough, you can read the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page. It will tell you nearly nothing about the club except about how free it is. But if information, even in degrees of uselessness, is your goal, you could read something else in the magazine, which is also free.

There is only one other fact to retain. Actually not 'other' because it is the only 'fact.' Here it is - 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, without even buying a carnet of métro tickets. The café La Corona won't mind if you chose to buy a refreshment though, after walking to the club.

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

Club meetings start - in true exception to the usual Paris 'rules' - about 15:00 sharp on Thursdays and continue until 17:00, in Europe's only Zone of Paris Plage Time - which is really 'CET' for short and not 'EoZoPPT' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm in rare 12-hour areas of the planet. Club meetings are only held in the Eurometrical right-bank Paris part of it, because of 'EoZoPPT.'

Bringing a 'Quote of the Week' or concocting any other 'Things of the Week' are not actual 'rules.' Not doing anything special will be tolerated. True 'firsts' are more than welcome too, with 'first' having a higher 'report' value than 'true' if not unpublishable. This is a general rule rather than a club ex-'rule' or informal 'exception.'

If you prefer to be 'not found' on the Internet, please tell the club's secretary before he or she makesgraphic: club location map you mildly famous, but less famous than some members who bring their fame with them to share with you. 'No rules' have ceased being an 'exception' or a 'rule.' There are some other 'exceptions,' but really, none anyone cares about.

Talking in any languages at meetings is okay. Dancing may be permitted too, but only with the server-lady's 'okay.' She may even do it herself. Whatever you say will be honestly appreciated by the other members present, if they are listening, which they really do sometimes - and by all readers of this online magazine, if it should happen to be written here, as some of it is, sometimes.*

*The above paragraphs are unchanged since last week on account of this week's club 'report' being somewhat late.

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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Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini