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Cashless ATM Alert

Many stand–alone ATM cash dispensers in Paris may not be functioning on or after Thursday, 1. January. This is the date that was selected by the French Banking Federation for all ATMs to conform to new security regulations. The cash machines that won't be workingphoto: la fiat 500 de maman, book are supposed to have a sticker of some sort attached to them.

Major banks say their cash distributors are mostly in conformity with the new regulations. However, it is normal during holiday periods, and on Mondays, that the handy money machines are routinely empty.

Mama's ultimate 'Fiat 500 of the Week.'

Experience in recent days has indicated that finding an ATM willing to cough up some cash is a 50–50 proposition. Machines attached to actual banks or post offices are the best bet, but several in my quartier were tried without success. My own bank's ATM was a winner though. It's record on any given day over a four–year period has only been 50–50 at best.

Beagle–Eyes of the Year

"I think 'ikky' is spelt 'icky." Is an observation from a sharp-eyed expert in English, and long–time Metropole reader who had never publically made a complaint about the misuse of 'ikky' before.

The Regular Plugs – Last Time In 2003

These are not here this week because they are within the last double super bonus jumbo issue on the 'Café' page, which you should turn to in case you dont know anything about 'Rooms to Let Online – 50¢ Etc' and 'Shareware' Is Metropole's Only Version.'

If you are completely unfamiliar with both of these, then you can also find the appropriate links in the side columns on this page – which will save me from slightly rewriting them this week when I intend to do as little as possible.

Café Metropole Club 'Reports'

Tap this link to have a look at the last meeting's "I Will Bring You a Blow–Fish" club 'report.' On an outrageously sunny Paris day two weeks ago, several first-class members showed up to provide welcome company for the club's secretary.

A few minor details concerning the club can all be found on the 'About the Club' page. The virtual club membership card shown on this page is free, so long as you print it for yourself and all of your relatives. The card is valid for your whole lifetime worldwide, but hyper–valid in Paris.

The next meeting of the Café Metropole Club will be on Thursday, 1. January. The Saint's Day of the Week will be Sainte–Marie, which is spelled the same in English five times. Except for this date, there are actually three other Sainte–Maries, with dates of 9. April, 24. April and 15. August.

This Was Metropole One Year Ago

Issue 8.01/04 – 6/23. Jan 2003 – This jumbo multi-week issue began with the Café column's 'Resolution for 2003! – 'Ed' To Take a Powder First.' But before this there was a New Years report from the Cadillac Ranch, titled 'New Years In Boullay – Beyond the Café Zone.'Then there were the Café Metropole Club's updates – for 9. Jan – The "I See You Have Good Taste", for 16. Jan – The "Yuk!" to Mushy Green Peas' and the report for 23. January, titled the "Iphoto: sign, rue des bons enfants Learned to Read and Write" report. The Scène column's title was 'Attention! Old Car – And Young Cow Fans.' There were four 'Poster of the Week' and Ric's cartoon of the week had the caption, '1st Blizzard of the Week.'

This Was Metropole Two Years Ago

Issue 7.01/02 – 7. Jan 2002 – The Café Metropole column's headline was 'New York City Wrap.' This small issue contained one feature, titled 'Two Weeks In New York – Was It One Tour or 12?' This was followed by the Café Metropole Club update for 10. January, the "Nothing To It!" report. Finally there were four new 'Poster of the Week' while the Cartoonist of the Week took some time off to fill his pen with fresh, black ink.

The Paleolithic Vision of the Countdowns

Sturdy Paleolithians can unearth the last known regular version of this ancient feature by turning to the last Café page with it, and subtract about 70 days from all numbers except the anniversary dates, which remain the same even if out–of–date for this column.

Driverless New Years Eve

If you are planning to be out and about on New Years Eve in Paris, the RATP has good news for this 'Grande Nuit.' For starters all public transport will be free starting at 17:00 on Wednesday, 31. December – and will remain free until noon on Thursday, 1. January 2004.

Regular service on all bus, Métro and RER lines will continue until the evening's normallogo: service grande nuit shut–down time. After 01:15 on Thursday, the following Métro lines will continue operation until 05:30, although not all Métro stations will remain open.

Métro lines 1, 2, 4, 6, 9 and 14 will be operating. The RER lines 'A' and 'B' will also be operating and picking up passengers at all stations. Within Paris the RER trains will be running at 15–minute intervals, and beyond the city there will be trains every 30 minutes.

The night buses – 'Noctambus' – will be operating from 01:00 until 05:35, and with three times the normal frequency. The major difference will be that the terminus will not be at the usual Châtelet. Instead, buses will be leaving from Porte Maillot, Gare Saint-Lazare, Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, the Cours de Vincennes, Place de l'Italie, Porte d'Orléans and the Gare Montparnasse.

For RER lines 'C,' 'D' and 'E,' for SNCF buses and for other SNCF suburban services, the InfoTel. number is 08 91 36 20 20, from 06:00 until 22:00.

Goodbye to 2003

The number of days left this year is only one. This is a number so small that it is hardly worth mentioning because it isn't even a weekend day. In two days, the next countdown canphoto: sign, square du cardinal wyszynski begin, with a whole 366 days 'left to go.' Put another way, in two days it will only be 60 days left until our bonus 'Leap–Year' day extra, which will actually be a public holiday in many parts of the world.

We are still able to skate on frozen rinks in front of the Hôtel de Ville, the one in front of the Gare Montparnasse or the one out at La Défense. By the time you read this, we may even be skating on our sidewalks too, or maybe building snowmen on them.
signature, regards, ric

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