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'Cappuccino of the Week'

photo: shirley, jan, eric, bill, kathe, judith, walter, tomoko, linda

From left - Shirley, Jan, Eric, Bill, Kathe, Judith,
Walter, Tomoko and Linda.

New! 'Dancing of the Week'

Paris:- Thursday, 6. November 2003:- The first rule for professional weather forecasters is, never admit that past predictions didn't happen exactly as predicted. As a non-professional, I can confess that last Monday's forecast for the following three days wasn't quite 'on the button.'

All of the ingredients were in place, but the 500-kilometre this-way- or-that-way 'rule' caused morning fog to linger - from Tuesday until yesterday afternoon. Today we've had the weather forecast for yesterday. It's been super sunny and about 15 degrees.

This morning's forecast in Le Parisien agrees - more or less - with tonight's TV-weather news prediction. Friday should be completely sunny, Saturday should be mostly sunny and we'll have to put up with semi-sunny on Sunday.

While today's temperature has been 'higher-than-normal-etc.' for the month or the season or thephoto: cappuccino of the week moon phase, Friday's high will dip to 12 degrees. Then it goes 'plop' in Saturday with nine - 'lower-than-normal-etc.' - and evens out on Sunday with a predicted 12 again.

Lookit this! It looks atomic!

For daytime fans, the sun is expected to rise - officially - at 7:46 tomorrow, and for nighttime fans it will set at 17:22. For moonlight fans, a slice of it will rise at 16:41 tomorrow afternoon, but it will be so sunny that it will be hard to see - and impossible if morning fog persists all day.

Today's 210th Club Meeting 'Report'

On account of the pleasant weather I set off for the club early. I take a slightly different route down the Boulevard Raspail in order to pass some minor sights, but become unscheduled by meeting Dennis who is coming back from shopping at a junk-shop called 'Old Time.'

I am not absolutely required to, but I admire some of his new Laurel - no relation! - and Hardy black and white glossy photos. This ends my 'walk to the club' and I take the Métro from the usual station at Raspail. Arriving at Châtelet, I see that the Rivoli situation looks normal, so I proceed.

The Quai du Louvre is normal too, except that smart people are taking advantage of a day fit for terraces. They are eating and drinking the usual kinds of things people normally eat and drink on terraces. It is the same at the club's café, La Corona.

As I suspect in advance, the café's 'grande salle' is totally deserted except for the guy who is always in it doing crossword puzzles. The rest of the room is totally deserted. In addition to it being blasted by sunlight, I have arrived ahead of time.

For my trouble, so does the club's first new member today. This is Bill Goldsmith from Gallup, New Mexico. This is a good start, because it gives today's meeting its 'City of the Week' before 15:00.

Bill tells me Gallup was named after David Gallup - no relation! - in 1889, because of the Santa Fe railroad. It might not have been called this back then, but I'm sure rail fans will know the company's former proper name.

Without making any sort of big fuss, Bill orders a cappuccino from Patrick, the 'Waiter of the Week.' I willphoto: sunlight, shadows, glasses admit right now that I don't recall any club member ordering one of these before. Or, if any did, they didn't get a super one like Bill gets. I am so impressed I even look up its spelling.

There was brilliant sunlight, there were glasses -

Here, I must insert a geographical detail about the café's 'grand salle.' I normally sit on the banquette along the east wall, partly so I can see everybody who might be an arriving member. But today's sun is blinding and focused on my habitual position, so I move, to sit opposite Bill. He is in a bit of shadow from the street wall of the café.

So I see in the mirror behind the banquette, Linda 'Dancing' Thalman, the well-known server-lady, arriving right at 15:00. She flashes a blindingly new metallic-blue plastic Swatch watch at us, while excusing herself for buying it because her other watch cannot have its digital numbers set to winter- time. It displays perfect summer-time.

We tell her the new one is okay. She can start wearing the other one once summer-time rolls around again. We also suggest putting it in a freezer to keep its battery from wearing out. Normally we'd tell her to turn it off, but it lacks this function. Also, if it's in a freezer, she might not hear its ding- a-ling alarm either.

Two ladies named Stauber arrive from two different places in New Jersey. Kathe is from Bridgewater and Jan is from Verona - no relation! - New Jersey. Jan is at the meeting to meet Linda, and Kathe is not quite sure why she is joining the club - or what it is - but I tell her it's harmless. She agrees it probably is if it hasn't got any 'rules' anymore.

Close on their heels, Shirley and Walter Pappas arrive, along with new member Eric Tolbert. Eric moved to Paris from Alexandria, Virginia, on Christmas Day of last year. When I get back from finding this out, I find Tomoko Yokomitsu sitting next to Bill.

But before I find this out Walter shows me the club photos of this meeting he has already snapped with his portable telephone, which is named after the club's secretary, almost. There are so many 'Ericksons' - in all variants - in Sweden that some of them have changed their name to 'Smith.'

Although it is a telephone, Walter says he cannot send its photos to the club's secretary in time for this 'report,' because he doesn't have roving access to the Internet. Walter wants to know how to get an AOL account.

I tell him there's a guy at the Darty in Montparnasse who can fix him up - maybe. From what I can gather, some portable telephones have technology somewhat in advance of their possibilities. I do not tell Walter that he might be able to phone in the photos from the RATP bus number 38, which had a WiFi trial recently.

Shirley tells me there is a café called 'Breakfast in America' in the Rue des Ecoles in the 5th arrondissement. Eric says, "Donuts and Diet Coke are an 'American' breakfast." He says this is one of the reasons he moved to Paris - so he can eat ham - jambon blanc - for breakfast. "With a cup of hot chocolate," he adds.

At some time during the above, Judith Lord arrives. Judith, from Sydney in Australia, has beenphoto: scarf map, linda in Paris for ten days. She comes to Paris less often than last week's Nigel White - who is probably looking for a warm café on a Greek island this week.

And there was a giant Paris-map scarf too -

Judith has an odd job. She says that she is a judge's assistant. Judges are not allowed to talk to civilians and civilians are not allowed to talk to judges, so Judith passes on the messages in both directions. This is an Oz way of doing things. Bill used to be an attorney, and it is news to him.

Walter waxes philosophical. Why not? This is a high-class club even if it is free. He tells me his 'lion and gazelle philosophy.' "Whichever you are, you gotta get up early and running." If you are a smart gazelle, you get up earlier than the lion.

Linda is talking about flavors of salsa, as in, "There more movement in Cuban salsa," she says. She doesn't say a couple of shots of Havana Club rum really help too.

Which reminds me that it's after 16:00 and my café of the week isn't in sight. Neither is Patrick, because it is busy on the terrace.

As if we didn't know, Linda adds, "Puerto Rican salsa is more controlled - more like the Bolshoi ballet." Even if I've spelled this correctly, we don't know about how controlled it may be. Linda and Walter then show us how the Bolshoi ballet does salsa.

Kathe and Jan are about to leave so I call the meeting to order, in order to arrange the 'Group Photo of the Week.' Actually Walter decides this should be done on the café's terrace. The sun is pounding it like a bunch of massed searchlights.

From two shots out of three we get the photo. Linda then demonstrates that the scarf she's wearing is actually a map of Paris, somewhat like wartime spies used to have maps on bits of cloth that they ate if captured. It is a pretty big scarf through. It is pretty too. Cost more than the watch I bet.photo: dancing, linda, walter

Once the 'Photo of the Week' is out of the way, Lauren Camera-Murray arrives. She says Steve got the movie part and he's not at the club today because he got up in time to catch this morning's first Métro.

He was told, she says, to bring a change of clothes. Steve is playing a police officer who is going to get wet. Tomoko gives this a big laugh. She has taken changes of clothes to movie shoots many times.

So salsa dancing was only normal.

My notes say Linda says, "Lick off the chocolate?" Whatever this was about is now lost in time, but I remember telling club members that Galeries Lafayette opened the world's biggest lingerie department the other day.

When I take a minute to read the story further, it also turns out that this department store has hired a couple of strippers to give Saturday lessons to lingerie buyers - if they're female - because it is just as important to know how to take lingerie off as it is to put it on. At least, in Paris, it is.

Lauren has the year's final Halloween story. Last weekend she and Steve drove out to Carnac in Brittany to see the 'Celtic' dolmens there. These are smaller than the wierd stones at Stonehenge, but no less wierd.

"It was getting dark when we drove in, the mists were rising, and we saw the dolmens. In the town, kids were 'trick or treating.' We had crêpes."

Club Members and Readers Like You

Making voluntary contributions of support is now possible. Doing so will ensure that the magazine and thephoto: corona terrace, evening Café Metropole Club continue to exist. Please take a look at the new 'Keep Metropole Flying' page and do what you can today.

About sundown time in Paris today.

The Café Metropole Club's ex-rules and various disallowed 'exceptions' prohibit membership dues because club membership is free, as is its free membership card. I think a practical solution to get around this stumbling block might be to ask readers and club members to read the rest of the magazine, which has just become 'shareware.'

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' About Page

Writing a club meeting report is a lot fun when the server-lady decides to salsa a bit with Walter. Also take a look at the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page if you are not sure what any of this is about. It will tell you no more than you need to know, if this much.

One other fact - there are only about two - is worth remembering. You can become a lifetime member of this online magazine's free, live, and real club by simply attending any of its meetings in Paris. There's no reason to know anything about the other 'fact.'

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

The weekly club meetings still start about 15:00 sharp on Thursdays and continue until about 17:00, in the European Time of Paris Zone - which is really 'CET' for short and not 'GLOP' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm. Paris is the only part of the world where these meetings happen in metrical times.

Doing anything at a meeting is tolerated because it is Paris. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'first' having a greater 'report' value than 'true.' Don't get me wrong - 'true' isgraphic: club location map okay too. The week's 'no-shows' are never - repeat, never - counted as not having attended a meeting. This is a special no-purpose case rather than a regular club ex-'rule' or French-type 'exception.'

If you prefer to be 'not found' on the Internet, please let the club's secretary know before you become mildly famous for a week. If necessary you can even be at a meeting and not be at it. 'No rules' have ceased being an 'exception' and are still 'ex-rules.' There were some other 'exceptions,' but they were sold to the 'Old Time' shop recently.

Talking in multiple languages at meetings is fine. Dancing may be permitted too. Sit wherever you like. Whatever you say may 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 happens to be written here, as some of it is, sometimes, but hardly ever all of it.*

*The above paragraphs are unchanged since last week because Tomoko felt an urge to yawn on
account of too much sunlight.

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.
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there is no such thing
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Waldo Bini