horz line

''12 Extra for Getting Wet!''

photo: laurel, dinny, ron, gay, michael, lauren, bill, steve

From left, back row - Laurel, Ron, Gay, Michael, Lauren, Steve
Front row - Dinny and Bill.

And Other Travel Tips

Paris:- Thursday, 13. November 2003:- Following last week's 'truth-in-weather-forecasting' declaration of being willing to admit that forecasts haven't turned out perfectly in reality, skywise, this week I have to admit that I haven't been slavishly following the weather predictions. The sky, however, has not been nasty either.

Not, except, for the period I was doing my laundry. Then it rained for the ten minutes it took to get to the laundromat. Once twirling in a machine, then it got better and better until it was possible to see very clearly an almost full moon, zooming in a great arc across the southern sky over Paris.

All of this is an introduction to today's forecast for the next three days. I give the forecast a one-in-five realiability value. For followers of relative values, this amounts to about 20 percent.

Friday might be cloudy in the morning with some rain, mainly in Ivry, and the afternoon might be partly sunny. It was pretty mild today with 14 degrees, but tomorrow isn't expected to top 12.

Nearly all sunny skies are possible all day on Saturday, with an 11 degree high. No more than partly sunny is expected for Sunday, and one degree less of centigrade.

All of this has been extrapolated from tonight's TV-weather news. Today's Le Parisien goes to work with its crystal ball to project Sunday's weather onto Monday. But I suspect a thin line drawn horizontally across France might mean that there may be 'Channel' weather above it, mostly nonsense weather below it, except for some completely fictitious sunny weather hugging the Rivera.

To conclude - subtract 80 percent from the above forecast, and guess with what's left, that the weather will actually be better.

The Only 211th Club Meeting 'Report'

Last week's 'report' began with, 'on account of the pleasant weather I set off for the club early,' and so does this week's. I kick the crispy leaves again all the way along the Rue Emile Richard and wherever I can find them on Raspail.

After a short leafless urban area at Vavin, I kick crispy leaves through parts of the Luxembourg. The leaves that have be captured and placed in wired- walled concentration camps,photo: beer, wine pot, glasses I leave alone. There are not many people in the gardens today. They are missing a pretty good sky.

The Place de l'Odéon, aside from all of its renovation scaffoldings, is distinguished by red stripes painted on some of the buildings. I assume these may make sense if you stand back far enough from them, like near the Panthéon. Then several hundred buildings would block the view, but the stripes at Odéon would make sense.

Usual clutter of the club's tables.

The treeless, leafless, sidewalks of the Rue Dauphine are as narrow as usual. If made wider, which should happen some day, there wouldn't be enough room for cars to use it. Then it would be much safer for pedestrians to use it for walking.

Where it ends at the Pont- Neuf, the bridge has wide sidewalks. I guess this is to accommodate the shops that were on it a long time ago. When too many people stepped off it - into the Seine - the shops were removed, and walking across this bridge is now pretty safe - except where it is being renovated. Even in these spots there are no lifesaver rings, so watch your step, or be sure to bring your own.

Finally, without many other further ados, I arrive at the club's café, La Corona. But first, for crispy- leaf-kicking fans, note that there are scattered colonies of them along the Quai du Louvre.

As is normal for a Thursday near mid-November, there are very few customers in La Corona. In the café's 'grande salle' there is the usual old guy doing crosswords, and one couple who think they are well-hidden in the club's own area at the rear of the 'salle.'

Laurel Avery is the first member to arrive before 15:00. She says she intends to leave early. We talk about 'Paris Life' until Dinny Moyer arrives about 25 minutes later.

I can't tell you about 'Paris Life' as Laurel intends to write it for the next issue because it is secretphoto: dinny moyer because she hasn't written it yet. Don't expect Metropole to tease you with 'coming in the next issue' teasers, because your guess is as good as ours.

Dinny says she has been visiting a lot of places since she was last at a club meeting. "I just came back from Rome," she says, adding forcefully, "It is full of savages."

Dinny, wearing her night-vision Roman shades.

I ask her if she doesn't mean 'sausages' but she stands firm. "The Romans are what everybody says Parisians are, but aren't." She goes on to tell us about 'one the worst driving experiences in Sienna.'

Since she only lost her parked car for the better part of a day, I don't understand how this can be classed as a 'driving experience.'

Member Bill Goldsmith arrives and adds to Roman lore. "I was there in 1960 and had my passport stolen," says. Since Bill is with us today, I assume he got it back sometime during the past 43 years.

Laurel says that she has had more 'ugly man' experiences in Italy than in Paris. She thinks men don't have all that many 'ugly lady' experiences there, so they don't complain much. She says it is okay to be a 'tourist' in Venice because it is an island.

A sudden burst of activity beings in new member Gay Scickles from San Antonio along with member Ron Sellers. Although San Antonio is 'about' 75 miles south of Austin, it has already been the 'City of the Week' once. Gay actually reads the club's questionnaire, and writes some answers to the questions on it in the members' booklet. Nobody has done this for a long time on account of the club's lack of 'rules.'

This might be because her flight landed in Lille instead of at Roissy. The plane she was on was found not to have a working fog metre when approaching Roissy, so it landed at Lille instead. I knew Lille had a TGV station, but news of its having an airport too is news to me.

For club members and other readers unfamiliar with France's geography, Lille is up north near Brussels. It means, if you land there, that you can't take the RER to downtown Paris.

There are now so many members present that I switch to listening to Dinny, who is saying, "If you live in a town with bowling, you don't necessarily miss not having an opera."

Upon some reflection she adds, "And you don't have to get up at a single-digit time to stand in line in the dark to get a cheap ticket for the opera."

Meanwhile, Gay and Ron have finessed a first-class ride in a taxi from Lille to Roissy, leavingphoto: blurry photo of gay 'cattle-class' passengers to ride into town on a common bus. The name of a particular airport shuttle-bus operator is then mentioned in an unfavorably fashion. Apparently the 'shuttle' part of their service is illusionary.

Member Steve Camera-Murray arrives with new member Micheal Crowley, who is from Cambridge, Massachusettes. Michael also fills in some answers in the members' booklet. But Cambridge becomes the club's 'City of the Week' mainly because Cambridge hasn't been 'City of the Week' before.

Unsharp photo of Gay taking photo in blurred café.

Steve says there aren't enough bike lanes in Paris. Dinny says the one that was supposed to be included from Bir Hakeim to Montparnasse hasn't been. Steve admits he hasn't got a bike because they are too scary to ride. Motorcycle fan Dinny hasn't a bike either, and besides, if she wants to go to Montparnasse she can take the Métro.

Member Lauren Camera-Murray arrives just as Steve is asking Dinny if she 'ran with the bulls' in Pamplona. She repeats her explanation of 'not rising at single-digit times.'

About here members present have reached a critical number and the quality of the secretary's notes dwindles. One part of the tables has moved from Italy-bashing to saying things like, "Nice is nice in February," while another part, admiring Steve's new watch - golly! there was a new watch last week too - Laurel in fact, asks, "You like shiney metal?"

Why this reminds the club's secretary to ask Steve about his movie-making adventures is unclear. When we last left this story, Steve was told to bring a change of clothes to the film-shoot.

"Actually it was a towel and a bathrobe," Steve says.

"Were you playing a stripper?" Dinny asks.

Steve explains that he was given a police uniform to wear in the movie - 'L'Américain' - and a can of live Mace was on his equipment belt. He was told in some detail not to mess with it. "It was already freezing before we got hosed with freezing water," he says.

I don't understand. Usually it is the police who are using the water-cannons.

"A Cuban guy was always stealing my gun," he adds. "We were in the airport and the sprinklers were dousing us."

Dinny wants to know if Steve had any lines to speak. Steve can't remember exactly, other than the Cuban guy didn't have a good accent. Steve does remember that the crew cantine didn't have donuts, but 'croissants, madeleines, stuff like that.'

For the 12-hour day he was paid 88€, and '12 extra for getting wet!'

Gay then gets up to take photos of the club group. In the course of doing this she interferes with a café waiter, and takes his photo too. Then Steve takes a photo of somebody with somebody's camera.

Steve also mentions that his plumber has given him advise about Beaujolais Nouveau. His plumber was convinced that it was created solely for Americans to drink during Thanksgiving.

To save paper, the club's secretary does not turn to a new page and writes the rest of the notes in spare margins.

Tomoko Yokomitsu isn't here this week, which must be her first absence in a couple of months. It probably means that she will not be doing any 'singles shopping' at the Galeriesphoto: ron, steve with camera Lafayette gourmet food department tonight, which reminds the club's secretary to remind half the members present that the Galeries Lafayette now has a couple of pro strippers showing - ladies only! - lingerie shoppers how 'to take it off' on Saturdays.

Ron watches Steve take sharp unblurred photo of...?

Lauren says word of this has reached London and some of her girlfriends will be coming to Paris to do a little shopping. There is, apparently, a huge price difference, and if a lot of next-to-nothing is bought here, it pretty well covers the cost of the Eurostar trip.

The meeting goes into overtime, but there are no more notes in the 'report' booklet. But I can remember Michael saying that Paris pedestrians are 'aggressive walkers.' If he had been at some earlier meetings, he would have heard some members agree that Boston has the 'worst drivers.'

Thinking, no doubt, of Roman drivers, Dinny mentions that she would like to see 'La Dolce Vita' to find out if it is a propaganda movie. It's possible. Made in 1959, it featured a TR3 and a Cadillac Eldorado convertible and a scattering of Alfas, Fiats and Vespas.

Club Members and Readers Like You

Voluntary contributionsphoto: american, authentic beer mat of support for Metropole are now possible. Doing so will ensure that the magazine and the Café Metropole Club continue. Please take a look at the new 'Keep Metropole Flying' page and do what you can today.

Nobody knew the origin of this club beer mat.

The Café Metropole Club's ex-rules and various disallowed 'exceptions' prohibit actual membership 'dues' because club membership is free, as is its free membership card. You can consider both the magazine and the club to be forms of software that can be supported with 'shareware' contributions.

An 'Alert' for the Next Meeting

Next Thursday - a week before Thanksgiving in the United States - is 'Beaujolais Nouveau Day' in the world, and this includes the Paris part of it along with the club's café, La Corona. At this time it is not known whether Beaujolais Nouveau is actually drinkable. But in case it is, all members intending to try it out during the club meeting should remember to fortify themselves in advance. A kilo of spaghetti may do the trick.

The 'About the Café Metropole Club' About Page

If this 'report' about today's club meeting seems incomprehensible to you, 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 very few - 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 for knowing anything about the other 'fact.'

Where, What, When, How, Who, 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 'PLOG' - and elsewhere known as 3 pm to 5 pm. The only part of the world where these meetings happen in metrical times is Paris.

Doing anything at a meeting is tolerated because it is in Paris. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'first' having a greater 'report' value than 'true.' Don't get the wrong idea - 'true' isgraphic: club location map fine too. 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, be sure let the club's secretary know before you become mildly famous. 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 moved to the deeply buried archives in 1999.

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, depending on the 'notes' available, and not even all of these are used.*

*The above paragraphs are unchanged since last week because Laurel said it's okay to be a 'tourist' in Venice.

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

horz line
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