...Continued from page 1

Then Jennie is telling us about how Ballarat was a famous town for gold rushes a while ago when members Priscilla Pointer and Bob Symonds arrive and drop themselves into vacant chairs and order drinks, with Priscilla opting for Champagne on account of them returning to Santa Monica soon. Bob makes do with vin rouge.

It is bound to come up, so when the bombs in London do, they are shocking news to Caitie. She hauls out her portable phone and calls for an update and after about 20 minutes of redialing she gets through and everything is okay.

Once this worry is out of the way the mademoiselles all do the club's questionnaire one by one. Caitie notes that rain in Paris is what she likes least. This is not compared to London, but to a myth about Paris always being sunny. This is one I have never heard before. Maybe it has something to do with the photos.

Many new members don't do the questionnaire, especially since the 'rules' were abandoned without pity. I see that Lily doesn't like the weather much either, but Jennie's number one peeve is big and unfriendly hostels, which could be improved with 'better' ones.

None of the three mademoiselles has any suggestion for improving Metropole, partly because they never heardphoto, wine of it before seeing it mentioned on the questionnaire. I guess member Dennis must be given a point or two for his recruitment activities, but there isn't any rule covering this.

Besides learning French Lily's other interest is the opera. Dennis specializes in snagging 'last minute' tickets, which he did recently, only to find that the opera they were seeing wasn't Romeo and Juliet but Elektra. Dennis says that you try to buy the tickets just before they become worthless. Apparently it's a form of art.

One of the 'Wines of the Week' with the blues.

Out on the café's terrace but barely out of the gloom cast by the awning we gather for the week's 'Group Photo of the Week,' and it goes off without a hitch. The secretary wishes he knew why it will do this one week but not two weeks in a row.

Back inside there is no problem coming up with more subjects requiring discussion – architecture, cellos, Serbia, the rain some more, photography, Samuel Beckett's 'Diary of a Nobody' – but before long we are as full of this as we want to get and then it is time to drift off in our various directions, until next week.

Berlin Update

Club members Lennie andphoto, raincoat Doug Carlson arrived in wet and cold Berlin and immediately proceeded to Checkpoint Charlie in order to write the welcome and timely report below.

Almost on the terrace, the 'Raincoat of the Week.'

"The mood in Berlin with the rain and dark sky was something right out of a John le Carre novel. Missing were the East German Vopos on the Wall's watchtowers with their conehead helmets, which always made them look menacingly ridiculous. They did indeed tear down the Checkpoint Charlie memorial on Tuesday, but it wasn't as alarming as we had supposed. What was taken down were the thousand–plus crosses on a vacant lot and a Wall replica. We spent a fair amount of time in the permanent museum, which is impressive, and it was doing a huge amount of business."

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report' with enough different 'Cities of the Week,' probably doesn't exactly clear up what this is all about. If you have time take a glance at the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its collection of photos, words and the famous crossword puzzle of a membership card. You can join the club too, with or without one, on any 'Thursday of the Week.'

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

Club meetings, as these afternoons are laughingly called, begin at 15:00, in the afternoon, always on Thursdays and continue for two whole hours until 17:00, usually in the western European Time zone, now in its stretched summer version. Known in other exotic places as 3 pm to 5 pm, around somewhere else is not where meetings are held. Be sure to turn up in the café La Corona's 'grande salle.' The folks in the back, are us.

Enhance a meeting – by being at one. Stay around for a hour or two with old and new friends especially if you have the time for it. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' being equivalent to 'first' even if 'real' is just as likely too, and if it is an alternate form of 'true' with any sort of connection to reality, fact or fiction.

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 Throw your name into Google if in doubt.

Former 'rules' continue to be former week after week after week, month after month, year–in year–out, forever and beyond the plains, divides, comets, stars and universes. Nevertheless these ex–rules may still be consulted so that you know that this historical social club makes it rare to repeat them, as we never tire of repeating.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional. There are usually empty chairs, so sit – wherever you like. Standing is permitted too. Whatever you say will be honestly appreciated by other members present if there are any that are listening, and there usually are some but not always – and if it should chance to be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of today's not so total surprise turnout by the three mademoiselles in person.

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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