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All Talking At Once

photo, group, dan, walter, olga, dietrich, shirley, philippe, vince, roland, kathleen, jerry, sue

This week's favorite 'Group Photo of the Week.'

Let's Hear It for Wayne!

Paris:– Thursday, 26. May 2005:– Generalities about the weather are often misleading, like the one about Parisians thinking there is a Mediterranean climate here. Near–white walls, window shutters, and a couple of hired palms give this illusion, but it is all a bunch of shifty baloney.

As soon as the temperature gets civilized, goes a dot above 25 degrees, Parisians start to mutter about how hot it is, how they can't stand it, how terrible it all is – when it is no more than just comfortable. One hesitates to wonder what they might say if they lived in Nice, Perpignan or Nîmes.

Well, I have bad news for Parisians. Due to some global fluke in the weather department, we are having summer–type Nice, Perpignan and Nîmes weather sent to us – because – those of us who can stand it, deserve it! Parisians can keep carrying their umbrellas and I don't give a tinker's hooter.

Here's what we have for sunshine fans – one big sunball on Friday for pretty much the whole darn country, with the highest temperatures concentrated in the centre of the country. For tomorrow expect 29 degrees on the Riviera and 33 degrees right here in downtown Paris, France.photo, two time watch

Saturday will see this ease up a bit – to satisfy fried Parisians? – but the one big sunball will still be blazing over most of the country, to give us a high temperature of 26 degrees. There may be a few clouds up along the Channel coast, but nobody here will care.

Weather–like two–time watch has Houston and Paris time.

Whatever front that heralds the end of this summer sample will be edging in from the Atlantic on Sunday, producing clouds in Brittany, Normandy and that northern part near the Channel that isn't quite Belgium. It might still be fairly sunny and the forecast high is 25 degrees. This is fine for May, and great for voting next Sunday, when France will decide if it wants the new European Constitution or chaos.

The 'Not Chartres for Monet' Report of the Week

When I set off for the club it is about 30 degrees in the shade and it is a bit humid. This hasn't been going on a long time so it is still a few degrees cooler in the Métro underground at Raspail. There aren't a lot of other passengers and none that are eccentric, and the week's crop of posters is undistinguished, so getting out at Odéon is no pain

The trees along the Boulevard Saint–Germain are still green but the air has a cooked look as if southern France has moved in and if some of the cars would give up the boules players could take over while the shade oozes into an afternoon doze.

Some wide folks are creeping along the sidewalks on Dauphine that are only 1.45–people wide. Going down to the Seine I have to keep looking over my shoulder to see if a bus isphoto, kir of the week coming, and looking quickly back to avoid the no–parking poles. These bats should be in the street where they belong – pedestrians have enough obstacles.

The usual riot of traffic is snarling around the north side of the Pont Neuf. The air smells faintly like the inside of a washing machine, and sounds like a rush hour air raid over Essen. What is this panic?

'Drink of the Week' is a cool Kir.

The terrace of the club's café La Corona is about as full as it ever gets, which means that there might be a couple of hundred people sitting outside enjoying the sunshine and the sight of over–hot thirsty drivers inching along no more than seven metres away. From under a jolly parasol lift that litre of fresh cool beer and salute the insane.

All of the doors and windows are open in the café's 'grande salle' and a sometime breeze is pushing the fronds around in bursts, and the very alert brand–new 'waiter of the week' tries to interest me in a refreshment. I put him off and take care of the club's statistics but do not get a chance to glance at the paper before greeting members Shirley and Walter Pappas, who are coming as usual from Falls Church, Virginia.

Walter shows me an improvement he's had added to his trousers, which is a zipper on his pants pocket. He says he studied this problem carefully and rejected other possibilities. Shirley is a bit nervous with this subject, so Walter shows me the club membership card that he had laminated. The photo of this doesn't work – unsharp! – but members should know that Walter has written on it 'valid from NOW.

Then drinks come and Walter wants to know how to pronounce 'euro.' As in all French words, even this European one, you skip saying the first 'e' and hope to get the rest right.

Then Olga and Dan Ciupitu arrive. I would say they are from Sydney but they are in Paris for weeks to come after being here for weeks already. When they leave they will return to Sydney, I'm sure, but whether they stay there is another matter.

On their heels member Ulrich Diederick arrives. He's from Houston in Texas. Walter immediatelyphoto, group, club area says, "Your stock went up!" But Ulrich is not in the oil business. In fact he says he drives a Mini and has a hard time there. "The Mini is too big," he says.

The club's balmy area.

This is a true quote but there is no way to get a clarification now, so I'll just move this right along. "You drive for four hours and you're still in Texas," he says. This is in comparison to Europe where in four hours of driving you can pass through three whole countries, some of them kingdoms.

About here is when two new members arrive and these turn out to be Kathleen and Roland Proulx, from Wayne, New Jersey. Hello! This is a place in New Jersey that hasn't been a 'City of the Week' yet. This is the club's lucky day. Let's hear it for Wayne!

Meanwhile Olga and Danphoto, fiat 500 of the week are mentioning a visit to the cemetery in Montparnasse to view some of the Rumanians in it, including Eugene Ionesco, Tristan Tzara and hard rock man, Constantin Brancusi.

A proxy version of the 'Fiat 500 of the Week.'

Then while Ulrich is telling one end of the tables about a homeless guy with a dog that he was going to give a euro to until he saw that the guy was listening to a MP3 player, Roland is telling the other end of tables Hoboken tales. It sounds like the Ritz.

Members want to help out their club, mainly by having the good intention of photographing all of the Fiat 500s they see, but they neglect to carry their cameras at the crucial moment. 'We'll email you the photos,' they say.

Member Jerry Marterer pulls up with to–be member Sue Marterer, from Jacksonville, Florida, just in time to catch the Fiat 500 subject. And lo! and behold! Jerry does have a fresh photo of a red Fiat 500 in his camera, and POW! and click, into the club's lore it goes.

'The big rain five years ago,' is recalled by Shirley and Kathleen, and the secretary is having a moment of note–taking breakdown. Outside the cars are honking and sirens are wailing and inside everybody is talking at once – it's a club, right? – and new breezes are causing the café's mini–fronds to tremble and shiver.

More new members arrive at this unlucky moment, and do not get quite signed up because of the complexity of the bureaucratic fuss. These are Vince and Philippe who sit down, order drinks, say they will be back, join in, take part in the 'Group Photo of the Week,' and generally behave like club members – they're here, it's Thursday – but miss the booklet. Saving a blank space for them.

Members trade tips about places not to miss – not Chartres for Monet but Rouen – thephoto, lucky jewel, tomoko château at Auvers – print up fake 'green cards' to be able to stand in a shorter line – "You get to an age when you say, 'why bother?' Why change, move someplace else?"

It is warm, and members drift off after the 'Group Photo of the Week,' so it is only natural and right that Tomoko Yokomitsu should arrive and Sue and Jerry immediately want to know about the safety of eating poison blow–fish. "Normally we don't die," Tomoko reassures us.

Tomoko's duty–free magic jewel.

But it is not so simple. Tomoko shows us her good luck charm crystal, that she bought duty–free, 'on the plane.' Obviously having one of these could make a great deal of difference to the length of one's future when eating poison blow–fish.

Just so there's no mistake Tomoko hauls out 'Lili,' her brand new mascot. The silly club secretary says, "You had a 'Lili' before, didn't you?"

"No. That was 'Kitty,'" Tomoko says, somewhat out of patience with the secretary's memory. Then her portable phone makes a ding–a–ling, and the club secretary makes his escape.photo, lucky mascot, tomoko

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report,' with more than enough members for a general hubbub, probably doesn't totally clear up what this is all about. See the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with some meaningless photos, but you can ignore them and not miss the smazzle of words. The club is a snap to join on any 'Thursday of the Week' is the short version to remember.

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

Club meetings always start around 15:00, in the afternoon, 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 'szZt' although it sometimes is – and known in some other places as 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is not where meetings are so be sure to come to the café La Corona's 'grande salle.' The people lounging in the rear are us.

Grace a gathering – 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' being equal to 'true' even if 'first' is slightly unlikely too, and if it is an alternate form of 'reality' with any sort of vague connection to facts you've learned.

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.graphic: club location map If in doubt toss your name into Google.

Former 'rules' continue to be in abeyance week after week after week, month after month, year–in year–out, forever and ever over the moon and crosscountry. Nevertheless these may still be consulted so that you know the history of the past of this social club making it redundant to repeat it, as we often attempt 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 allowed too. Whatever you say will be honestly 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 of today's no–show appearance of fly–in member 'Willy the Bird,' substituted by 'Lili.'

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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Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini