...Continued from page 1

But Diane has a suitcase on rollers that she has to haul from the 5th arrondissement to the 7th, so this needs discussion. There may be no Métro running, the buses may be full, and the pavement is guaranteed to be lumpy. A taxi could do it but the Boulevard Saint–Germain is typically one–way the wrong way.

Before she finds out that the secretary doesn't know the answer member Rita Martinson arrives, as if on return direct from Germany, Amsterdam or Timbuktou. No one is making this up. The club does have members like this. Rita says she didn't care for the mud in Timbuktou, but that was the trip before the one before last.

I guess we are still talking about beer because Rita says, "It's not my beer but it's got good water." This is about a famous Belgian brand, generally considered to be a good substitute for swill. "It's not complex at all," she adds after due consideration.

There is no connection at all, but Rita also remembers some beer she once tried that was brewed in a village near Timbuktou. It took a lot of French pharmaceuticals to get over that one.

This presents a good opportunity to switch to literature, which allows Rita to mention the largest bookstore 'on the Continent' without bothering to name it. She has a book by John Berger, about peasant life in France, titled 'Pig Earth.'

After you factor in the train fare it might still be worthwhile going to Amsterdam for books. Rita found 13 there, for 25€. Considering that 'Pig Earth' is clearly used, and is about peasants, I wonder about the other dozen titles.

As every week at about this time, it is an opportunity for the 'Group Photo of the Week.' This week the secretaryphoto, diane, rita decides to go out on the café's terrace while the members stay inside. This photo is a total failure. Other group photos are less than total failures, although it takes two of them to make one photo.

Alternate 'Group of Two' photo of the week.

By now Rita's beer has evaporated, on account of the water. She is still staying in the same apartment on Montmartre, but her opinion of it has mellowed. "It's not a dump, but it's above the sleaze."

This is all so jolly that the meeting continues on past its deadline which is not a 'rule' anyhow. We have another stab at literature when Diane mentions that her new hotel is, "On the way to some other place mentioned in Heather's Paris guide book."

Strike of the Week Note

By tomorrow morning the transport strikes should be over until the next time. All of the public and private workers managed to number about 150,000 on the march in Paris today, between Place d'Italie and Place de la Nation in eastern Paris.

There were companion demonstrations throughout France and organizers estimated the numbers atphoto, moto, statue, pantheon 500,000 to one million, while the police estimate was 600,000. There was no doubt that the forecasts made by unions were exceeded.

Scooters and horses could have been handy in Paris today.

Today was also chosen by the International Olympic Committee for its inspection of Paris, to enable it to decide if Paris could possibly organize the Olympic summer games scheduled for 2012. Obviously, holding the near–general strike on the same day can be considered a bold ploy to convince the fussy Olympic inspectors that Paris can do it standing on its head. It might not be too early to order your games tickets now.

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report,' with modest attendance less than an average mob, lacked anything edible of any kind and little but beer and café to drink. The enthralling 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has several cool photos, but you can skip them all entirely and miss nothing other than lots of words. If you do skip it, the club can be joined any Thursday that is also a saint's day.

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

Club meetings begin about 15:00 in the afternoon, on Thursday and close down about 17:00 or after on the same afternoon in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'ZZsT' although it sometimes is – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is not where meetings are held, so don't go there.

Be devilishly clever at a meeting – by being at one – and become comfortable for a hour or two especially if you have had too much Louvre. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' having more added value than 'first' regardless if 'first' is perfectly believable too, and if it is an acceptable form of 'true' but seldom on Thursdays.

Note of caution – you may have any one or more personal reasons for remaining unfindable 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 Throw your name into Google to find out.

Former 'rules' continue to be 'former' week after week after week, month after month, year after everlasting year, blah–blah, blah–blah, blah–blah, blah–blah, blah–blah, etc.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional if there aren't any. There are usually free chairs, so sit – wherever you like, or bring your own. Whatever you say will be greatly appreciated by other members present if there are any that are listening, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because the club's secretary failed to get a free Métro ride home and should have walked instead.

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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