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Say, What?

photo, group, tomoko, eva, marilee, dominique, paul, josef

'Group of the Week II,' Tomoko, Eva, Marilee, Dominique,
Paul and Josef.

Speak Up of the Week

Paris:– Thursday, 10. February 2005:– Last night Dimitri said he hates 'faux' spring weather. Nobody else said anything so he said, "I hate faux spring weather" again. Uncle Den–Den took a hit of vodka and poked the borscht to see if there was any meat left in it. If there had of been a vote, 'faux' spring weather would have lost.

Today 'faux' spring is over, almost before we can get used to it. Along the Seine the wind blew the 10 degrees to shreds where it was exposed. And the wind shifted sneakily around to get at you where it wasn't supposed to be exposed.

Tonight I have watched the TV weather–news maps and video animations very carefully becausephoto, hot wine of the week I am temporarily, I hope, deaf. On one hand it is peaceful not to be hearing the cars swish by outside, but on the other it sounds like the world is deserted. I am going to try and get some volume back tomorrow, like I tried on Wednesday.

Marilee's 'Hot Wine of the Week.'

The only word I heard the weather lady say distinctly tonight was 'gris.' Two–thirds of northern France was covered in it, with a wind pushing 60 kph out of the southwest. But the temperature is supposed to hike to 14 degrees, making more 'faux' spring. Saturday is to be the same, maybe with thicker 'gris.' The temperature will stay about the same too.

A vast change will arrive on Sunday, with considerable breezes huffing down from the Channel, pushing many dark clouds along perhaps causing the sun to wink frequently. In Le Parisien, it is called 'psychopathic.' Meanwhile the temperature is expected to be diabolical, somewhat no higher than 7 degrees.

A Different 'Completely Different' Report

Linda Thalman, the server–lady, said she was going bats out on the edge of the plains of Essonne. She said let's meet at Victor's house in the Place des Vosges, give it a once–over, have a bite to eat and ride up the Champs– Elysées with the wind in our hair and eyes sparkling like Lucy Jordan.

Being deaf lets me live an internal fantasy life. Frankly I don't know what the server–lady reallyphoto, rouge and pot of the week said, but I was at Victor's house this morning, on time, thanks to two radio–alarm clocks and a phone call from Uncle Den–Den. He said, "Wake up, punk!"

Downtown on the Rue Saint–Antoine I noticed a lot of dogs leading people around. It must be a new thing because I don't remember it from the last time I was here before noon, which was probably about 1981. Dodging leashes isn't something one is born to.

Somebody's 'Generic Reds of the Week.'

Nearly to Bastille I realize the leashes have caused me to walk right past the Rue de Birague, so I walk back, keeping both eyes open. I recognize the crosswalk where I passed two tethered dogs, look right, and sure enough, there's the Place des Vosges exactly where I left it last time. Going by, head down, the server–lady almost bowls me over. I think I shout.

I guess the server–lady has heard my squeak because she stops. I see her lips move. I guess she's said, "Hey! We're both on time!" I save my breath, and do not bother mentioning Bastille.

We go along to Victor's house and go in and see the photos which are mostly dark, in obscure rooms, full of guards nearly passing out from lack of something, possibly oxygen. My deafness interfered with my night vision, but I got a clear view from a handy window, of the other side of the place, slightly foggy. We looked at Victor's dark furniture too.

Then we go, frigid from Rivoli's breezes, to about the nearest brasserie, and wait a long time for lunch. It's a swell place and if you're down that way stop in at the Fontaine Sully for a runny omelet sometime. We got a table on the terrace, protected from the weather by lots of plastic and some fronds.

After, we went out the back way and took some 600 year–old alleys, passed Philippe–Auguste's wall and the Hôtel de Sens with its pointy turrets, and skipped across the Pont Marie like people who just had lunch. Getting to the Pont Neuf was mostly in wind–shadow, but none of it on the bridge, so to the club's café was done smartly.

Patrick, the club's historic 'Waiter of the Week,' is back. He's been on holiday in Cuba and he and thephoto, group one of the week server–lady have a good old natter about it. From what I hear, not much, Cuba isn't the fun, carefree, island in the sun it used to be. For one thing, the only acceptable currency is euros. As in, everything that cost a dollar five years ago, costs two euros today.

'Group One of The Week,' with Linda, Marilee and Josef.

No sooner are we sitting in the club's area when member Marilee McClintock arrives. Marilee was happily retired between Paris and Agadir, but she got a mission from the Peace Corps and today she is in transit between Micronesia and Benin.

In fact she says, "Benin is not a demotion." In Micronesia, way way out there in the far Pacific, it rains 400 inches a year. In comparison Benin is nearly a tropical rainforest desert. Marilee orders a hot wine first thing.

Patrick suggests a Côte du Rhône instead. Without saying so, he is not recommending the 'vin chaud.' Marilee persists, and the server–lady asks for a pot of Côte. Mrilee tells more tales from the south Pacific. Too many trees. No beaches. Two thousand miles from one end to the other. Every family with a pet pig, and no canned peas.

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