...Continued from page 1

Again, as has been the case for the past several meetings, all members present are full or part–time residents of Paris. The number one topic of discussion – and exchanges of notes – is how to learn French fast and without excessive pain.

Larry watches his PowerBook make a CD–ROM for Stan.

For the first time I hear about Konversando, which is a language club – meaning that it is mainly for speaking practise, with other people who may be French, German, Italian or Spanish.

Just as club members may be studying at a school to learn French, there are Parisians who are learning English – and Konversando offers an opportunity for students of each language to talk to each other – for example, for one hour in French and then one hour in English, and everybody benefits from it. There is a free 'trial' session for anybody who wants to find out how it works.

As one club member puts it, 'It's a perfect way to have a real conversation rather than a make–believe one.'

All the conversations at this club are real enough, but when there are about a dozen members present it is no easy task for the club's secretary to note all of them for the record. Actually, some of the conversations are definitely 'off the record' so they are not here anyway.

This lame excuse for falling behind with the club notes can only be really glossed over – by calling all members to attention for the 'Photo of the Week.' Dolores says, "Ohmygod!" Diana says, "It's too cold to go out on the terrace!"

The club's official photographer also feels like he's done this 223 times before, but each and every week it is like a newphoto: cafe, ticket challenge. The café's intensely un–camera–friendly color scheme of mainly yellow and red has to be mastered yet again – whatever happened to the new upholstery that would have reduced the red hue?

Arty, sideways view of soup bowl of café, and money dish.

The members willing to be captured in an image arrange themselves in the unlikely space of the meeting area, keep their eyes open and hold still enough for long enough – which is short this week.

And there we have it. It is 17:00 or a bit after, and another session of the Café Metropole Club gradually unwinds as members gradually wrap themselves up, to get ready for a variety of windy evening excursions to various destinations.

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

photo: cafe, wineThis 'report' about today's club's meeting is less detailed than other recent ones, but those who have been at the meeting will know only if they have been at some others too. The 'About the Café Metropole Club' page will not say why the club's secretary bothers to mention this, but it does contain some facts about the club.

La Corona's new version of a wine glass.

The only vital fact you need know is – there aren't many any others. You can become a real lifetime member of this online magazine's live and free club by simply becoming a member by attending any of its meetings in Paris, for free. If in doubt, you can also attend meetings on a trial basis.

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

The Thursday club meetings start about 15:00 sharp, always on a Thursday afternoon. They continue until about 17:00, in the European Time of Paris' annual 'semi–real winter' – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'les vrais mauvais temps de février' although true – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. All of these meetings are in Paris.

Doing something clever at a meeting – like coming to one – is considered 'chic.' True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'first' having a strong edge in 'report' value over 'true.' Don't get the wrong idea – 'true' is fine too, especially if it's farfetched.

One note of caution – you may have any one of a thousand personal reasons – for not being traceable viagraphic: club location map the Web. If so, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be '404 – not found' by Web search engines before being recorded in a club report.

Former 'rules' are 'former' and have been removed from the club's chronicles except for all the latter ones still online. All 'exceptions' to any other 'rules' have been temporarily suspended forever, just to cover all the possibilities.

Talking in local languages at meetings is fine. If there's a free chair sit – optional – wherever you like, or haul one over from another part of the café. If they are listening, whatever you say may be truly appreciated by the other members present, and there usually are some – and if it happens to be written here, it could be read by all the readers of this online magazine, as some of them do part of the time.*

*The above paragraphs are unchanged since last week because the club's secretary can't think of any new excuses to write here this week.

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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