...Continued from page 1

'Tip of the week' - contact the French consulate in Wellington for details if you happen to be a Kiwi. This particular type of visa means you can work in France!

Singapore has very, very strict rules about throwing anything on the ground and Angelika smiles broadly as she tells me how she laughed when a waiter here told her to tap her cigarette ashes on the floor rather than in an ashtray. It would have meant a 500 dollar fine in Singapore!

Just before 15:30 Roy Trew comes in with new member Elizabeth Trew, who arrived from Brisbane, Australia on Monday. This is her sixth trip to France - I see on the club form. Elizabeth would also like to see air-conditioning added to Metropole Paris she writes. Hmmm, can you put more fresh air in Metropole?

Roy slyly pulls out a half sheet of paper and proudly announces that he registered a new member at last week's meeting - after I had left, and while he was in charge as 'Honorary Acting Secretary of the Week.'

Peter Martin of British Columbia finally makes it into the Café Metropole Club's ranks of members. He had never been in town before on a Thursday during his earlier visits.

Then the discussion turns to the usual where-are-you-from, what-are-you-doing, and so-on, etc. However, while the chatting is in English - it is Aussie and Kiwi-speak and I wonder if I really am a native speaker. Angelika, Elizabeth and Roy talk about places in Australia and New Zealand with their own slang and cultural references. Some city with an unpronouncable name for me - forget about spelling it - is referred to as 'K.K.' for short.

There is a debate about a place called Surfers Paradise in Australia which is or is not a paradise. Elizabeth insists that there are dangerous 'rips' in the ocean and it is usually Japanese tourists who drown in the sea from these riptides. Take care at this beach. No 'rips' at Paris Plage as far as I know, which is good news. Don't fall in the Seine though.

While we are sipping our drinks, I notice a policeman on a bike just outside the café. He is ticketing a green Renault. I'm not sure if he has pulled the driver over or if the car is getting a ticket for parking where you're not supposed to. This could be the 'Event of the Week'... n'est-ce pas?

Roy's 'Tip of the Week to Stay Cool' is to visit the Catacombs and if you're over 60 years old, it will only cost you 3.30 euros to get cool. He was with a pal who was only 54 and he had to ante up the full five euros.

The mutliple conversations cover all kinds of multiple-topics, from grape picking, to the white slave trade in Southeast Asia, visiting Versailles and English-language bookshops.

Picnics are on first when Angelika mentiones a 'slab of beer'. A what? A slab? Yep, that's what they call a six-pack down under.

Everyone tries to get me confused with the rules of cricket - which Roy said he and Lucky Checkley tried to bamboozle the club secretary with too. The 'overs' and 'unders'photo: manhattan skyline, water tower and 'maiden' something or other came up again. I'll stick with tennis, golf and soccer as I do understand some of the rules for those sports.

And the important question for cricket lovers, 'is it played any place in Paris?' In France? I do not know the answer.

Typical view of Manhattan in endless haze, seen from number 7 subway platform in Queens last week.

It is getting close to 17:00 so we pull out our change and say our good-byes and then head in different directions out in the comfortable 27 C temperatures - agreeing it really is much cooler than last week in Paris!

Note:- Through an unsharp memory, the club secretary thinks he recalls seeing a reference to a French cricket club, most likely somewhere in the Paris region. There are, after all, some true Anglophiles living in France.

Club Secretary's Holidays Nearly Over

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, except that New York airports may not have cleared away the backlog of travellers standed by last week's 'Blackout 2003.'

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' About Page

Being a member of this club is more fun than being cool in the Catacombs. But if you are otherwise relaxed enough, you can read the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page. It will tell you very little about the club except about how free it is. But if information, even in tiny doses, is your goal, you could read something else in the magazine, which is also free.

There is only one other fact worth noting. 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. The café La Corona won't mind if you chose to buy a refreshment while attending a club meeting though, after walking to the club.

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

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

Not doing anything special during a meeting is tolerated. True 'firsts' are more than welcome though, with 'first' having a higher 'report' value than 'true,' if publishable. 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 other members care about.

Talking in any languages at meetings is okay. Dancing may be permitted too. 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 double club meeting 'report' being somewhat late on account of summer blackouts.

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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