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''Who Had Tea?''

photo, group, walter, shirley, sherry, susan, joanne, paul

From left, today's Walter, Shirley, Sherry, Susan,
Joanne and Paul.

Big Weekend Coming Up

Paris:– Thursday, 30. September 2004:– The autumnal equinox passed by just over a week ago but we still have quite a way to go until the winter solstice. With my use of these terms you are supposed to believe the rest of this weather forecast.

In the mornings it has been gray and damp, and it has been the same way some afternoons too. But today's afternoon was considerably kinder, with periods of sunshine and temperatures that may have reached 22 or 23 degrees.

Tonight's TV–weather news lady said tonight that the coming days will be 'correct' for this season. Tomorrow will start like today and the afternoon may be like today too, but the temperature probably won't get above 20 degrees.

The outlook for Saturday foresees more sunny periods but less temperature. With a high of 18 degrees forecast, I would hardly call it 'correct.' As they might say on TV, 'Sortez les muffles!' if you are going to be flinging yourself into the 'Nuit Blanche' throughout the wee hours of the night.

Sunday is racing day at Longchamp, so the forecast is on the edge of bad weather coming from the west and fairly sunny skies in the east. Plus or minus three hours or 200 kilometres will make all the difference, but we're supposed to be able to count on a high temperature of 21 degrees – which will be almost 'correct' for 3. October.

The Only New Club Report of the Week

I leave my humble abode in the 14th dressed for cool and damp fall weather and get into the damp andphoto, paul, joanne warm Métro for the ride to Châtelet, which I leave at the Cité station to search for the cooler outside. I am not as annoyed as you may think because my radiators were a bit warm before noon. They may be blazing by tonight.

Paul and Joanne.

As soon as I am in the sunlight on the Pont Neuf I feel very warm. It is a naturally warm bridge, even if it is pretty old. The five lines of traffic in front of Samaritaine are pretty warm too with all their motors running.

At the club's café La Corona there are even some people populating the terrace. It looks like a fine place to be with the bouquinistes across the street, some leaves falling off the trees and the dome of the Institut de France glinting golden across the Seine.

But there is nobody in the café's 'grande salle.' Installed in the club's area I enter the vital stats into the members' and reports' booklets.

Joanne Fischer and Paul Smith arrive from Houston. Joanne says, "We never come to Paris at this time, so I've left Gumby and Pokey at home!"

These club members have never been at a meeting before without Gumby and Pokey. Paul sneezes three times. Joanne says they were going to go down south to help with the harvest but the house there isn't finished. "It isn't even started," she says.

So they rented an apartment here and because it isn't their usual one, it was full of fleurs. For the first time in his life, Paul discovered that he is allergic to French fleurs. He couldn't figure it out, why he was sneezing.

The only fleurs in the club's area are some green leaves over by the club's Our Lady of the Madonna statue. Theyphoto, paul eating ice cream might be plastic. Paul says he didn't sneeze at all in Lyon, where they've just passed a few days.

Look closely to see Paul with a big ice cream cone.

"Lyon is so steep that your toes gets squished going downhill," Joanne says. I ask where the TGV station is. It is at the bottom of town, but Joanne says there is a funicular for going up. Neither mentions any sideways directions in Lyon, which is otherwise a pretty cool place to visit, and full of Lyonnais.

Paul asks me if I know the Italian ice cream place named Amoino near Buci. Since it is news to me he pulls out his camera and shows me a postage– stamp sized photo of himself with a great big ice cream cone. Through the telephoto lens I see it is Paul alright.

Shirley and Walter Pappas come in and sit down, shake hands, trade hometowns, and order drinks while Joanne is saying their toilet is so tiny that they have to back into it. And adds, "Our bus line 63 is going to be on strike tomorrow."

I don't know it yet, but I am writing today's report notes in the members' booklet. "Making groceries," is what you say when you are going shopping in New Orleans, according to Joanne.

Paul remembers having a French conversation in Lyon. "She gargled her 'r's – I said, 'Oh yeah, I can't say that.'"

The next to arrive is Susan Chaney from Fairfax, California. Susan's arrival is a slow process becausephoto, walter, shirley she has a broken foot. She found herself of the wrong end of a 'Jones Fracture' in Amsterdam. Various medical services in Paris are taking care of it.

Walter and Shirley.

We are talking about airport security, museum security, and getting frisked in general, when Sherry Quayle arrives from Atlanta. It is only 14 months since Sherry was last at a meeting, but I can't remember how to spell her last name.

I don't know who brings it up, but Joanne, Paul, Sherry, Shirley and Walter all say they have had great times going 'camping in the woods,' as Walter puts it. In fact, all the members go to other places besides Paris. Places like Utah.

Sherry says, "If I'd never been here I wouldn't have met Walter." I think we all, except Shirley, can say this. She says, "We make time for Paris," in reference to their busy lives, perhaps 'going camping.'

After a successful – first photo, not the third – try for a 'Group Photo of the Week' out on the terrace, we all return to the club's area to puzzle over the drink tabs and try to guess who had tea.photo, susan, sherry

When the 'Waiter of the Week' is consulted he gradually comes to the conclusion that nobody had tea, and one of the tabs is adjusted. But this gets kind of lost in translation when Sherry explains what she's done in order to be able to use her phone.

Susan and Sherry.

Shirley tells me she was in Weight Watchers for a long time. I will believe anything. "Now," she says, "There's 70 steps up to the apartment."

Walter has told me about finding where to get the photo prints he was asking about last week. I don't know why he asks me anything. Every time, by next week, he's found the answer himself. Walter is a resourceful club member.

He asks me is I know the Scoop ice cream place in the Rue Saint–Honoré. What it is today? A week into fall and everybody is discovering ice cream. "They even have old–fashioned; malted milk," he says.

Walter's find:

Scoop, 154. Rue Saint–Honoré, Paris 1. Métro: Louvre–Rivoli. 4 to 5€ for ice cream and 10 to 11€ for lunch. Open daily from 11:00 to 19:00, and on Sunday from 15:00 to 19:00.

and, don't forget

Nuit Blanche 2004 – one long night only, Saturday, 2. to Sunday, 3. October. This year expect sound paintings associated with dance. Some organizational thought has been given to locales that can be easily reached on foot, on rollers or on bikes, with three main centres, and dozens or other locales.

Only Métro line 14 will by running all night, but it will be free. There will be four special free bus lines also running all night. These will form a joined loop from Gare de l'Est to Saint–Lazare to Montparnasse, to Bastille, and to Gare de l'Est. The fourth line runs from Saint–Lazare to the Left Bank and then to Bastille.

In addition, the 18 regular night bus lines will be operating for regular tariffs. The Batobus will be operating until 02:30, for a unique fare of 5€.

The Nuit Blanche program is 76 detailed pages, and should be available in likely locations. Also happening in Versailles, Les Lilas, Clichy, Joinville– le–Pont and Brussels on the same date.

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe – Paris' big race featuring the world's best horses, and if the weather is right a perfect way to spend Sunday, 3. October. The gates at the Longchamp racetrack; open at noon and racing starts at 13:45. In the Bois de Boulogne, Hippodrôme de Longchamp. Paris 16. Métros: Porte d'Auteuil, or Porte Maillot and bus. Parking available in the centre of the track. InfoTel.: 08 21 21 32 13.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report' was not interrupted by anything. The 'About the Café Metropole Club' pagephoto, susan broken foot has some other details, but you can skip them and not miss most of the ex–rules. An easier way to find out all you want to know about the club is by joining it any Thursday.

Susan's 'Foot of the Week.'

You can become a real lifetime member of this online magazine's real, live, and free club by becoming a member really easily on a Thursday by signing–in yourself during one of the meetings in Paris if you are here. Getting something to drink is even more easily arranged than said.

The club's 'rules' were turned into mere rumors by the club's very own members some time ago, much to their everlasting satisfaction. The club's other meager distinction is that it is the only club related to an Internet magazine that carries on with no newsletter.

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

The weekly club meetings start about 15:00, on Thursday afternoons. Meetings end about 17:00, also on Thursday afternoons in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'sPOoo' although it sometimes is – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. Club meetings are always in Paris. If the secretary gets no other better offers, club meetings will continue to be held here.

Do something clever at a meeting – like being present for one – and become mildly famous for a brief moment. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' having approximately the same scrabble value as 'first,' especially if pokies are involved. 'True' is perfectly acceptable too, especially if it's honestly 'first.'

There's just one note of caution – you may have any one or two personal reasons for not wanting to be traceable via 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 becoming 'found' in one of these club reports.graphic: club location map

Former 'rules' remain 'former' week after darn week, year after everlasting year, and have been purged from the club's intergalactic volumes of archives except for all the originals still online buried in the cool and deep salt mines of the Martian chronicles.

Conversation with other club members at meetings is an encouraged activity rather than merely optional. If there's an empty chair, sit – also optional – wherever you like, or haul one over from another part of the café. What you say may be frankly appreciated by other members present if they are listening, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here, as a bit of it is, sometimes.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because there was no 'Gadgets of the Week' at today's meeting other than digital cameras.

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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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
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logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini