...Continued from page 1

News from the north – "We were in Rotterdam for Queen's Day." According to Blake this is a fairly stunning annual festival that involves a considerable country–wide party that has nothing to do with tulips.

April wants to know about European bathrooms, after having tried a half–dozen of the hotel versions. Besides many being no larger than telephone booths, many do not have shower curtains. Also missing, soap and towels, or only miniature sizes.

Well, they are not worth stealing, are they? It's easier to mop up a small lake of water than buy a new showerphoto, part group, bert curtain after every guest. You see, I should have explained, nobody has a shower curtain at home – unlike the hidden umbrellas. Hotels would be where you find them, if there were any. But they aren't there so there aren't any in Europe – it's a shower curtain–free zone.

Another view, only part of today's group.

I try to find out if anybody seriously misses air conditioning. Some members begin to doubt the secretary's motives – who cares about air conditioning? This isn't Dallas or Sydney.

Actually, members care. As in, what has France done for the old folks who didn't get bumped off in the 2003 heatwave? Oh golly! Try and explain how the French look like they are going to go on strike during the 'lost' holiday of Pentecôte – the holiday everybody is meant to work so the government will have an extra two billion in tax revenues for buying the old folks air conditioners.

Dan says, "My grandfather used to say if work was good, then rich people would want to do it." Before I can find a ready reply to this, Dan adds, "Who is working? Everybody is shopping!"

He means at the Samaritaine, over by the Pont Neuf. Yes, today is a holiday, so it might be open. And there's the answer! If everybody goes shopping on Monday Pentecôte, 16. May, might it not be better than everybody going to work? The government will get all that extra value–added tax – 19.6 percent.

Two more new members have arrived. They are Rosemary and Bert du Aime, who live on a houseboat at Port Marly, near Saint–Germain–en–Laye. Rosemary and Bert have had the club recommended to them by members Priscilla Pointer and Bob Symonds.

I think a penny drops when I see member Dennis Moyer gliding into the café and up to the club's area, but it turns out that he hasn't already met Rosemary and Bert – who have lived around Paris for a long time.

Then, now, it is 'Group Photo of the Week' time. If Tomoko is going to miss it then so be it. Out on the café's terrace I am surprised to see it as full of holiday loungers as it ever is in thephoto, book paris 2005, by rick steves summer. It is almost a standing–room– only situation of getting the photo, as hordes of strollers are passing, somewhat faster than all the cars waiting the street for the lights at Pont Neuf to do something.

Final questions – what does Europe do for bug screens? Bugs have been banished from the Paris part of Europe. Where they still exist, we use anti–bug devices so we can get away with screenless windows.

Pont Hall's guide, an alternative to Heather's 'Paris Adventure Guide.'

Blake mentions dangerous situations he's seen, and wonders about lawyers filing suits every which way. The answer is, dangerous situations exist, but lawyers have to look out for themselves.

Finally, to "Where are the vanilla suburbs?" I have no answer. At least not one I can fit in to the last five minutes of a meeting. The sun is shining, the new leaves are rippling in the river's breezes and sparkles are tap– dancing on the surface of the water under the lacy Pont des Arts, where a couple of hundred of the 'at large' are gong nowhere in no hurry.

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report,' with more new members than usual, did not lack for talk but was light on food other than ice cream. The romantic 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has some blurry photos, but you can ignore them all and miss little more than a couple of words. The club is easy to join on any 'Thursday of the Week' is the condensed version.

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

Club meetings start off about 15:00, three hours after noon, on Thursday and continue for two whole hours until 17:00 on the same afternoon, in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'TsZZ' although it sometimes is – and known in a few other places as 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is not where meetings happen so be sure you come to the café La Corona's 'grande salle.'

Be darned clever at a meeting – by being at one or more. Hang around for a hour or two with new friends especially if you have the time for it. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'first' having equal worth than 'true' regardless if 'first' is perfectly believable too, and if it is an acceptable form of 'true' with any sort of vague connection to anything at all.

A 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. If in doubt toss your name into Google..graphic: club location map A made–up name might affect the search results.

Former 'rules' continue to be abolished week after week after week, month after month, year–in year–out, forever and ever. Nevertheless these may be examined so that you know the history of the past of this great club making it unnecessary to repeat it like we often try to avoid doing.

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. Standing up is okay too. Whatever you say will be properly 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 no shower curtains can be cool.

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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