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Fumbling Around

photo, cafe le monge

Lights, warmth, full of hot café.

Bombs of the Week

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 6. December 2004:– Probably not for the first time a serious correction was made in Thursday's 'club' report concerning last week's weather. Last Monday I had just finished predicting lousy gray skies and then Tuesday pulled a fast one and was blue, sunny and blue. Not warm, but clear.

This week is an entirely different story even if it is still December and totally untrustworthy. The TV–weather news guy cooked this up but he didn't seem proud of his invention, so I don't know what it's worth. Getting the weather right here is like fumbling around with black magic. Knock on wood, here goes:

Tomorrow there will be winter fog in the morning, hiding the blue sky from our eyes. It might stay hidden all day but on the other hand it might burn off and let some sunlight in during the afternoon. The high temperature may be a low 7 degrees but is very unlikely to be anything higher.

The forecast for Wednesday calls for very blue skies. This is supposed to be that stainless–looking winter–blue. Reading between TV's lines, I suspect there may be some fluffy white clouds rolling by. With a clear sky the temperature is expected to be a chilly six degrees.

More stainless sky has been forecast for Thursday. We are supposed to be basking under a considerable high pressure thing, but as on Wednesday, there may be these little puffs of clouds, so there is something to look at if you happen look up. Six remains the temperature guess for the day. Should you want warmer, consider Corsica.

Café Life

I am coming apart at the seams. I seem to be forgetting much more than I'm remembering. I was never very organized but now the notes I write I totally forget that I've written them. I mean, I write notes because I know, I expect to forget, but where the hell are they? Do I need to write notes saying where the notes are? If these are these 'senior' moments they're lasting all week.

I was going to skip this and say there was no 'Café Life' last week. This is because I forgot that I ranphoto, cemetery bell into Matt and a couple of minutes later, Uncle Den–Den. He had won the casino at Monte Carlo or something because he invited us for a café.

Since we were hung up on the 50 centimetre– wide sidewalk in front of the Zango, getting a café was a good way to quit getting hit with shopping buggies, strollers and flailing baguettes. "The café's good here," Matt said. "Yeah," Uncle Den–Den said, "This place has good café even if it's called Zango."

If you hear this bell tolling, it's time to quit the cemetery.

Matt ordered the poor man's double espresso – a single espresso with double water. I ordered the regular big–bang double shot because Uncle Den–Den was inviting. He had a wine, because it was sometime after noon. The café is not bad in the Zango. It's the outside of the place that makes it look like a juice bar for bobos.

There is no juice bar effect inside. It looks like a dump of a Starbucks, without the cement floor. I guess it's a place one could grow to love if wearing sunglasses was a full–time habit. It takes them a long time to make an express café too, so we waited.

We were there to talk. Here, I get up and cross the room to my coat, to look at the note I wrote in the Zango. Odd. The paper is blank. I could swear I wrote a note in the Zango. I guess I must have meant to write a note in the Zango and changed my mind. I wonder what it was I was going to write?

This is not good. Matt and Uncle Den–Den have all sorts of good advice for me, for everything except writing notes. Maybe I'm not coming apart at all but I'm forgetting to even write the notes. This would explain why they're so hard to find.

All I remember is we sat there drinking café and wine for 20 minutes and talked the whole time about politics, the situation of girlfriends, cars, music, books – yeah, books. Matt always carries a book with him to read. I guess he stands in lines a lot. Maybe in the post office. It's a warm place to stand in line, and if you go there often, the same old stamps get tiresome to look at.

We left after we got tired of looking at each other and the inside of the Zango. Everybody remembered that it was an unofficial, chance meeting, and there was stuff to do. Out on the tiny sidewalk we shook hands for ten minutes, getting bumped by shopping buggies and strollers, before parting. It was a pleasant surprise to have a good conversation with friends whatever it was about.

Anyone Seen Our Bomb?

On a training exercise for sniffer dogs at Charles–de–Gaulle airport on Friday evening, gendarmes lost track of an explosive they had hidden in a passenger's baggage. Airlines, with some 80 or 90 flights departing, were alerted to be on the lookout.

The incident took place in an area accessible only to police and baggage handlers near where baggage was on conveyorphoto, jardin des plantes belts leading to different flights. During a switch from one dog to another gendarmes lost sight of the baggage in which they had placed the explosive.

In theJardin des Plantes.

According to news reports the explosive was about 150 grams of common French 'plastic.' A source claimed that the explosive was no more dangerous than 'a chocolate bar,' adding that it had no detonator. "It's totally harmless; the explosive is insensitive to shocks or fire."

The training exercise was being carried out under 'reality' conditions. The owner of the baggage was a regular passenger, and was not informed that the gendarmes had placed explosives in it. The mishap was characterized as an 'unfortunate error.'

Reports from Los Angeles indicated that authorities there searched an Air France jet making a stopover on a flight to Tahiti. Three other flights were searched at New York airports, without success.

By this evening no word had filtered back to Paris about any passenger being apprehended with the explosive in their luggage. French security officials alerted airport authorities at destinations in France, the United States, Brazil and Japan, among other countries. The Minister of the Interior was reported to be upset.

He Wants to Re–U?
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