...Continued from page 1

Bob and Priscilla have a 'first' of their own. Last week the city of Paris began a campaign to promote cafés and restaurants that are entirely no smoking. The city has worked up a little sticker for cafés to display outside.

This was reported on TV–news last week. Described as 'American tourists,' Bob and Priscilla were seen – even by the club's secretary – on France–3 TV–news, having something to eat in a ultra clean restaurant. They just walked in because they were hungry, and then I saw them while making my own dinner.

The, er, pocket 'Podotmetre of the Week.'

But I had completely forgotten about it. I wasn't sure it was them, Café Metropole Club members. Anyhow, the movement is somewhat welcome – something like 30 places have declared themselves to be no–smoking zones.

Then Bob hands me a tattered scrap of photocopy paper. It has the details of exactly what a civet is. Golly – do you remember a couple of meetings ago I said a civet was some kind of rabbit?

Well, I was wrong. It is really a cat–like animal, a bit like a striped skunk. In French they are called 'civette.' The dish named 'civet' is something else entirely. It is a ragoût, possibly containing rabbit, with onions, cooked in wine with spices.

Quite often while writing these club reports I have to consult heavy dictionaries or atlases to get the facts right about odd geographical questions or other strange subjects – like civets. Quite often this is like lifting heavy weights, in case you thought I never exercise.

Kate, who has been bicycling all over town, is trying to refold a couple of maps. Heather shows her one of the red–cover pocket ones, that fit in a pocket and don't need to be folded because the map is on pages.

"The bike routes are printed on the map in lines so thick that you can"t see the street names," Kate complains. Heather loves her new book, but the publisher thought the Métro map was too complicated, so many of the station names were left off it.photo, book, adventure guide, paris

Although it's a bit negative, it's another good reason to buy Heather's Paris guide. Its Métro map is the strangest one in the world. What are the names of the stations between Concorde and Sèvres–Babylone? It looks like silly Christmas lights in July.

While something else is going on Tomoko Yokomitsu arrives. She sits at the actors end of the tables and meets Priscilla and Bob, and they swap stories of stage and screen.

Heather's brand new 'Book of the Week.'

At the opposite end of the tables there are mostly writer types. Heather remembers becoming member number one. "It was a good career move," she says, adding "I was unemployed, I got a job, I moved away, moved back, now here's my book."

We agree. The book is, "Not too big to carry around – it's huge, not large – it's..." And then we walk across the Pont des Arts and up to Saint–Germain where Heather decides to take the bus to Montparnasse because the tunnel connection from the Métro to the train station is so dreary, as is Outer Clamart where she's going.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report' lacked some 'Food of the Week' for the fifth time in a row. Few meetings are coherentphoto, tomoko or perfect. The 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has some other details, but you can skip them and not miss any vital ones. An easier way to find out all you need to know about the club is by joining it any Thursday.

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 so long you are here. Getting something to eat like the 'Food of the Week' is easily arranged if you are hungry.

The one, the only, 'Tomoko of the Week.'

The club's 'rules' were turned into idle urban legends by the club's members some time ago, much to their everlasting enlightenment. The club's other major distinction is that it is the only club related to an Internet magazine that carries on with no newsletter, regardless of how many dots there are. There's nothing to unsubscribe to.

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

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 'ZOND' 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 anything clever at a meeting – like being at one – and become mildly famous momentarily if you are really in the mood. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' having approximately the same pingpong game value as 'first,' especially if big books 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 more 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 week after week, year after endless year, and have been eliminated from the club's mega–volumes of archives except for all the originals still online buried in the cool and deep pepper mines of Inner Angola.

Talking to other club members at meetings is an encouraged activity rather than seasonally optional. If there's a free chair, sit – also optional – wherever you like, or haul one over from another part of the café. What you say is entirely likely to be much appreciated by other members present if they are listening, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here, as fragments of it are, occasionally.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because today's new 'Book of the Week' was written by the club's only member number one.

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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