...Continued from page 1

Anyway, as far as Maine goes, Jan and Dana Shaw have a much better place than where they stay in Paris, and the view towards Portugal surpasses many views of this splendid country that you can get in Paris too. The Shaws have fish and seagulls for their frontyard neighbors.

Did I say it was a clear day and very warm? All days until then were, even if warm exceeded itself sometimes. Sitting on the Shaw's front lawn was very relaxing, but shortlived, because we had a date in Portsmouth for fish and chips.

Let me explain something. When I ordered the grilled cheese sandwich 'with chips,' I did notphoto: maine diner get 'frites.' I got what are called 'potato crisps' in the UK or Ireland. But if you are in the United States and you see 'fish and chips' on a menu, you will likely get 'frites' instead of 'chips.' Conversely if you are in the UK or Ireland and you see 'fish and chips' on a menu, you will likely get 'fish and chips' if you order some. 'Crisps' you have to ask for special.

Next time I'll try the Maine Diner's fish-and-chips.

Anyway, the fish and chips were better than so-so but not quite as good as they might have been. Maybe fish are out of season. Paper plates, plastic cutlery and huge garbage cans kind of took the toney edge off the evening, which was otherwise spent in a cafe on a wharf in a little harbor with the sun sinking gracefully in the west, signalling the night-time attacks by squadrons of bugs.

All in all, my impression of the little bit of New England coast I saw during my 72-hour fact-finding tour, is that it is no worse than the Costa de Sol or the tour-package part of Palma de Majorca, with a couple of important differences.

The first thing I noticed in New England is that there is, in general, no parking available. There are autoroute rest-stops on I-93-North where free parking spots can be found, which is unlike Majorca where there is no place to park anywhere, and is the reason for small cars.

Unlike the Bronx or Majorca, Spanish is not a language commonly used in New England. Asking for a 'tostada de queso' will get you nothing, not even curious stares. Also, there is no espresso café and I am even having difficulty finding any granizada in Queens.

Monsoon-like rain is another matter. Tonight's forecast batch was called off on account of baseball.

Yes. The production of this report has overshot Monday's notional deadline by - more than a whole day now. The reasons for this are not important - but I apologise all the same.

All the folks in New England who were kind enough to share their time to enhance my fact-finding mission are thanked from the bottom of my heart even if their names are being spared on account of my not being able to face copying the facts out of the brochures I picked up along the byways of lobsterland.

One final, upbeat note - we did find and park in the only free parking spot available since 1993 in the center of downtown Perkins Cove, Maine. Right on the waterfront, beside the pedestrian drawbridge. A 'souvenir' better than any postcard!

Metropole's 'Other Stuff'

This is kind of an 'off' couple of weeks because 'Ed' is off in America, battling with an antique PC, one freighted with a surly 'attitude.' For the rest of the 'other stuff' you should scoot back to the contents page, to gaze yet again on the 'other stuff' listed on it, for the past two whole weeks. Just hit the this issue link above or below.

Metropole's 'mailto:' Change

Please read the following, with great care, again. The new email address for 'Ric,' 'Ed,' and the Café Metropole Club's secretary has been changed from what it was for the past eight years - to ericksonr@wanadoo.fr. Mail sent to the old address is even more unlikely to be read.

Café Metropole Club 'Reports'

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club in Paris will be on Thursday, 7. August. Thephoto: sign, do not tip this coming Saint's Day of the Week is just as much a mystery to me as ever.

For the meetings on Thursday, 7. August and 14. August, I am honored that both the server-lady, Linda Thalman, and club member number one, Heather Stimmler-Hall, intend to conduct the meetings on these dates, either together, or solo, or both.

If you plan to attend these meetings, please treat these two club members as if they were the club's secretary, which they are, temporarily. Linda may be a bit hard-nosed about filling out the new-member questionnaire, so humor her. Heather may forget it entirely, so be sure to remind her that someone should at least note your name, hometown and email address - and read you your 'rights' rather than the suspended 'rules.'

This Was Metropole One or More Years Ago

photo: sign, living creatures with no heart This popular feature is missing this week, by popular demand and on account of the fact that I neglected to bring the necessary files with me. I could download them from Metropole, but - ahhh - why bother when you can see the relevant items for yourself by looking at all past issues for sometime about this date, one or more years ago.

For the Ever-Relentless Countdown Fans

With absolutely no fanfare, the number of days left this year is - oops! Those files are missing too.
signature, regards, ric

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