horz line

'Slab' of the Week

photo: australia, unisphere, new york world fair, flushing meadows

1939 World's Fair version of Oz.

Vital Drink Term Arrives In Europe

New York:- Tuesday, 19. Aug 2003:- While the club's regular secretary has been doing not very much of anything on the other side of the Atlantic, Metropole's 'server-lady' and long-time club member, Linda Thalman, has been dutifully 'filling in' at the club meetings - held, by special request, during Paris' most extreme heatwave since - oh, about - since time began on Tuesday, 24. July 58 BC.

Due to atmospheric and other assorted conditions, photos to accompany the two meeting reports have not arrived anywhere in time to be included with this double 'report.' In fact, due to atmospheric conditions, nobody had the energy to shoot them, or remember how to send them through the Internet even if they were shot. For thesephoto: hong kong dragon boat race, flushing meadows reasons, the photos here originated in New York, but not during the recent blackout, which began only a few hours after last Thursday's meeting.

Hong Kong dragon-boat race on the lake in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Delayed reports about both the Paris Heat Wave and New York's blackout - 'of the century' - were intended for this mini-issue, but a freak change of weather for the better permitted a day of 'reporting' at Coney Island on Monday. The rest of the week's weather in New York is expected to be the 'best of the year' while Paris should have half-and-half, plus rain, and temperatures of about 29 degrees until they become only 21, and by definition, 'normal.'

Water On Brain and In Glasses

Paris:- Thursday, 7. Aug 2003:- The 'server-lady' who is myself - Linda - arrives two minutes late to the club as I had to climb four flights of stairs out of the nearby underground car park. Some Parisians are on vacation, but not the ones with cars it seems as the first three levels of parking are chock-a-block.

Seriously, I don't know where the cars came from. I sailed in from Boullay-les-Troux and hit every green light along the quai just perfectly. Then out of nowhere it was a traffic jam 300 metres before the left turn at the café Corona.

Waiter Patrick pops in from the terrace to say hello just after Christian, the club's 'Waiter of the Week,' has taken my order for a tonic and water. Yes, both.

Some civilians out on the terrace are talking so loudly that at first I think it is an argument. But, no, it is just to be able to hear themselves more clearly above the din of cars and buses in front of the café. I'm not surephoto: elsie the cow, 1939 they realize everyone inside the cafe can hear them, too!

At 15:20 in waltzes Roy from Brisbane. He says something like, "You've got to be crazy to be walking around Paris today."

'Elsie' is a left-over from the 1939 World's Fair at Flushing Meadows. The World's Fair was held here again in 1964.

I hand him a glass of water, hoping he isn't going pass out - which is what I feel like doing from the heat. After a couple of gulps he says, "This is definitely a beer day." His medium-sized beer that Christian promptly brings looks like a giant beer - a 'formidable' - to me.

Roy and I chat about dozens of topics and my notes don't cover half of them. Roy had been out to Fontainbleau at the weekend and he tells me of other travels he had in Britain, Italy and America.

We compare the size of Paris with Brisbane and I learn that Brisbane is very spread-out but doesn't have 'very many people', according to Roy.

I ask him how many was 'not very many'? "Oh, a million or so." Hmmm, sounds like more than 'not many' to me.

Our thoughts turn to water and the canal St. Martin comes up in the conversation. Roy had never seen a boat go through a lock until this trip to Paris. Apparently locks don't exist in Australia. I think that is an interesting travel tidbit, especially if you've ever dreamed of doing a canal trip from Sydney to Perth.

We don't come up with any new city, drink, object or 'Island of the Week.' However, as I write this, I do think we should have nominated ice cubes for some sort of award of the week. Maybe 'Portablephoto: fritada, ecuador day, flushing meadows Cool of the Week.'

The 'Quote of the Week' has to be, "You can't be a tourist seven days a week if you stay in Paris for two months." Wise words from Roy.

'Ecuador Day' at Flushing Meadows coincided with the Hong Kong dragon-boat races plus a cricket match. Tennis begins soon.

Both of us get out our cameras at 16:00 and drag Christian over to take pictures in the mirror with the three of us. We take a bunch of photos and I hope a couple of mine will turn out. But I'm not killing myself to do more than this.

We are both limp as rag dolls after our photo session. I ask Roy's permission to head back to the ranch if he doesn't mind. He doesn't. Roy graciously accepts being appointed the Club's secretary until 17:00. He still has a bit of the 'medium-sized' beer left.

Reassured, I put paper, pens and camera away - leaving the club in good hands.

You just can't believe how hot it is for PARIS! And the - gasp - Météo-France says it is going to last at least another week.

Note:- The server-lady reported a temperature of 39 degrees in the shade in the morning on Wednesday, out of town at the Cadillac Ranch. She also noted that 44 degrees had been recorded in the centre of France.

How Much Fresh Air Does Metropole Need?

Paris:- Thursday, 14. Aug 2003:- It is yet another easy trip from Boullay-les-Troux into Paris as the Route 118 into Paris is empty of cars, buses, caravans, government limos, scooters, trucks of all sizes and motorcycles.

It is rather easy to find a free spot on the minus third level today because the car park is completely empty except for upper levels minus-one and minus-two.

I arrive early enough to saunter over to the newsagent kiosk near Rue de Rivoli for a copy of Le Parisien. The newsagent says it had reached 43 degrees in his little kiosk on Tuesday and he was happy it was only 27 at the moment and he showed me his thermometer.

The club's space is empty and I am at least five minutes early. I have a Schweppes with ice, a newspaper, club forms, blank paper and a pen ready for the meeting.

Reading the headline of 'Pourquoi la canicule est devenue une tragédie' - 'Why the Heatwave Became a Tragedy' - and a couple of paragraphs about why so many people have died from the heat wave - is as far as I get before Angelika Cutler pops in.

She's been in Paris for two weeks already, though this is her fourth trip - and she is taking French classes every morning. Angelika is from Auckland, New Zealand - which is not pronounced like Oakland, California, but I suggest it still might be the 'City of the Week.'

I learn she's spent nearly seven years in Singapore woking in public relations, but she packed in her great job to come spend a year in France. Apparently it is quite easy to get a year-long visa on a cultural exchange program if you are under 30 and come from New Zealand. It has something to do with France being nice after testing bombs in the South Pacific 20 years ago.

Continued on page 2...
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