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' 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.


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