...Continued from page 1

But, she says, she was ignored in a cheese shop. I make another speech about how it is necessary to be born in France and be brought up in a home situation full of French cheese. It is not enough to go into a cheese shop and point willy–nilly at cheeses – it is absolutely necessary to have an opinion about cheese, and be able to name them by name, and defendphoto, karen, lyn, fran your choice. Hasn't anybody noticed all the fistfights in cheese shops?

Karen, Lyn and Fran.

Fran agrees, although she has just arrived. She says she had a job on a cheese counter – perhaps in Neptune – and she had to jump–start by having a taste of all the cheeses. It's not like chocolate!

Another new member joins our little group, in the person of Lyn Briody, currently of Bellevue, Washington and formerly of Sunnyvale, California. In the course of introductions Lyn picks up on Yorkshire Dales, mill towns, smoking chimneys and cobbled streets.

Which leads, if you can believe it, to snowfall. In Lancashire, according to Roy, it doesn't snow much or often because of global warming. According to the club's missing notes, it doesn't snow much anywhere else, as near as I can remember on account of these notes which somebody has forgotten to write.

The 'Waiter of the Week,' again a new one, unused to club affairs, forgets to bring the drinks ordered by Fran and Lyn. He not only forgets, he disappears. Lyn spies him, back turned, and calls out, "Yoohoo!

When he does arrive, at my French–style signal, he says, translated – 'Oh, gosh, I forgot. What did you order?'

Unlikely. He forgot water and a Coke? What is complicated about it? These ladies have thirst. Theyphoto, water of the week are expiring. Doesn't he realize that we will be talking about the lines in Monoprix again if this keeps up?

When the water finally arrived, it sparkled.

Then in a welter of activity we all get out on the café's terrace for the 'Group Photo of the Week' and back inside I take more questions, for which most of my answers are dubious. The leaves do change color in France, but never when you expect them to – or never when you are here to see them.

If you do see them, it will only be in an off–year when the colors are so sublimely subtle that yellow, orange and red are hard to distinguish from brown.

Club–Bis–Bis

By now I have completely stopped keeping notes so there's nothing left to do except make public service announcements. This week these are two:–

Nuit Blanche happens on Saturday, and continues until Sunday morning. Details will be published in Saturday's edition of Le Parisien, and handy little transit maps are supposed to be available at Métro ticket windows. Dressing warmly will probably be a good idea this year.

Strike of the Year is scheduled for Tuesday, 4. October. This is expected to be an all–union affair involving both the public and private sectors. Expect the Métro, RER, buses and trains to be affected beginning on Monday in the evening. This strike will affect all of France, for 24 hours.

For fans of 'big deals in Paris,' getting a copy of Le Parisien on Tuesday morning might be useful for finding out where to find the day's demonstrations, parades, and other displays of the public's displeasure with the government. In principle, most cafés, restaurants and cinemas will be open. In fact, everything will be open because it's a working day, but there may be organized picketing.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

This club meeting 'report,' today's, brutally hammered out with my own little fists, gives only misdirection to what this is about. If you can waste part of your life take a quick skim across the virtual 'About the Café Metropole Club' page with its greasy photos, hack writing and the disgraceful parody of a membership card. You can join the club too, without credit or money, ID or plastic, on any 'Thursday of the Week.' Wednesdays, no matter if you prefer them, are not the day.

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

Club meetings, you can believe it, begin at 15:00, in the afternoon, only on Thursdays and continue until 17:00, always in the western Euro Time zone, now in its trek through autumn to winter. Known in faraway locales as 3 pm to 5 pm, around somewhere else is not where meetings happen. Come to the café La Corona and its 'grande salle.' Bring a friend or two. The folks in the rear of the 'grande salle,' without the cheese, are us.

Attend a meeting – by being at one. Hang out for a hour or for a whole meeting with new friends. Real 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' being equivalent to 'real' even if 'first' is more than likely too, and if it is an alternate form of 'reality' with any sort of connection to truth, like true lies or fictional facts.

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. Dash your own name into Metropole's search if you are lost.

The 'ex–rules' that we used to have continue to be former. Nonetheless these discontinued rules may still be accessed so that you can learn that this less than hypothetical club of high purpose repeats them seldom as they are already on record, even if apparently missing.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional. There are usually several empty chairs, so sit – wherever you like. Standing is okay too. Whatever you say will be truly 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 spontaneous questions about weather, leaves changing and shopping in general and cheese in particular.

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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