...Continued from page 1

Why the plug? Because Tomoko is a club member, and she gives me a DVD with Beatles' Story on it, not realizing that techno–wise, Metropole's editorial office has dial telephones, a turntable, an analog TV, steam radio, but no DVD thingee.

Meanwhile, Edna is remembering the first ice cube she ever saw in Paris. "It was hard to get ice in Paris in 1980," she says, adding that they would take drinks out of a cooler and say, "It's cold, dearie!" I think, a real 'Quote of the Week' is worth the long wait.

Tomoko takes up the theme of ice and mentions all the frozen stuff you can get in Japan these days – chicken, pizza – and then has a culinary discussion with Ednaphoto, lake of coke about odd kinds of meat in Japan, and Korea.

Finally they narrow it down to an item they agree on – Kobe beef. They talk about patting cows you are going to eat, how clean their hair is. "It's very expensive, but tender. You can cut it with a chopstick!"

Or a big lake of 'real' cold Coke.

Next Edna is wondering how many pearls are found by oyster lovers in France, which evolves into a technical discussion about pearls in Japan, and Majorca.

But Edna is nervous about flying and when Tomoko says she has flown twice with Aeroflot from Tokyo to Europe, Edna flinches. Then, upon reflection, she says, "She eats poison blow–fish and flies Aeroflot!" Living dangerously on a wing and a prayer.

Just before we go out to the terrace for the 'Group Photo of the Week' the 'Fiat 500 of the Week' flies by on the Quai du Louvre, and gets hung up long enough to be photographed. The usual 'Police of the Week' go by, without flashing bluelight or howling siren, with the copcar on a flatdeck.

Back inside Edna asks the 'Food Question of the Week.' She has heard that it is illegal to ask for substitutes in restaurants. She has heard that the waiter will be insulted and will go in the cuisine and have a smoke and curse. She has heard that it is 'not done' to ask for substitutes.

Since neither I nor Tomoko have ever heard of this, we collectively think this may apply to prix fixe or the 'menu ou plat du jour. Ordering à la carte means that everything is a suggestion and you can have any combination you feel like paying for. But once ordered, you are supposed to accept what you've ordered – too late change your mind. It doesn't mean you can't order more though. If you've got sauteed potatoes and mashed potatoes and you want frites as well, go ahead and ask for them. Waiters aren't food Nazis.

Since our 'Waiter of the Week' is a new one, when we are going out to the terrace for the photo I decidephoto, fiat 500 of the week to tell him we aren't skipping out on the tab. He puts down his cigarette and says, 'do what you please.'

No week complete without the 'Fiat 500 of the Week. Yah!

He has this little badge on his vest. It looks familiar, like the logo of a moving company from the Bretagne, but he says it is the logo of the Auvergnat bistro syndicate. This used to be the controlling factor of the Paris bistro scene, but is now under assault by the Chinese. No matter. To have an Auvergnat 'Waiter of the Week' is another true club 'first.' I tell him we'll back next week, on Thursday.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This club meeting 'report,' today's, tapped out on dirty keys, barely clears up what this is about. If you have a half hour to kill spin your orbs over the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its silly podgehodge of photos in color, tiresome words and the wretched scrap of a membership card. You can join the club too, without fuss or bother, on any 'Thursday of the Week.' There are a week of Sundays of them left this year.

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

These club meetings, as these affairs are loosely called, begin at 15:00, in the afternoon, always on Thursdays and continue until 17:00, always in the western Euro Time zone, now in its getting shorter glide into autumn modus. Known in semi–exotic places as 3 pm to 5 pm, around somewhere else is not where meetings are held. Come to the café La Corona and its 'grande salle.' The folks in the back of the 'grande salle,' waving their arms around, are us.

Attend a meeting – by being at one. Hang around for a hour or for a whole meeting with new friends, if you have time to spare. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'real' being equivalent to 'true' even if 'first' is more than likely too, and if it is an alternate form of 'real' with any sort of connection to true, like invented facts or true fiction.

A note of caution – you may have 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' ingraphic: club location map one of these club reports. Test a Google session with your own name if unsure.

'Ex–rules' we used to have continue to be former. Nonetheless these former rules may still be accessed so that you can learn that this less than hypothetical club of slight reason repeats them seldom, as we tend to repeat occasionally.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional. There are usually lots of empty chairs, so sit – wherever you like. Standing is acceptable too. Whatever you say will be honestly appreciated by other members present if there are any 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 quite amazing new and spontaneous 'Stuff of the Week' and 'Nonsense of the Week.'

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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