...Continued from page 1

There was an older lady there with a watering can, taking care of the plants. Others stopped by too. Serge is still a popular guy. You can tell. I mean fresh cabbage is fresh cabbage after all.

I got the idea that Willy and Max had no idea that cemeteries could be so entertaining. It was like, "Yeah, Serge is okay, so what else is there?"

The place is full of interesting stuff. You could spend days seeing everything in the cemetery. Except I see it all the time from my window. So we went to see the glass bird, and after that, the couple in bed on top of a tomb. You might think all cemeteries have stuff like the one in Montparnasse. Well, other Paris cemeteries have their sights too.

After hitting a café and a tabac on Raspail we found the crazy clothing store that has all the fins de series Willy and I were there last summer when it was having its own fin d'été, and he remembered some wild and crazy shoes. But they were gone, so he lucked into a denim boiler suit, XXL, cheap! I managed not to buy a black cashmere overcoat for 199€.

Then we went back up Raspail to Monoprix and got some chocolate cereal, crisps, Tequila and industrial rum, for dinner, which we actually had with Uncle Den–Den just returned from San Francisco, at our special Italian pizzeria. Except for Uncle Den–Den, we refused all free drinks.

Then it was video time and we watched 'Brooklyn Boogie' again. They've gone off 'Pulp Fiction.' It took long enough.

Demo of the Week

This was scheduled to take place on Saturday and that's what it did, starting from right down the road at Denfert–Rochereau. Teenagers like big crowds that wave banners around and chant slogans and dress in funny costumes, and fill up big places and climb on top of the lion.

We struggled through the mass and got beyond the head of the parade, to pick a good spot on Arago below the wall of the Santé with 10,000 others, to watch the marchers pass. Just as many were coming up from Gobelins so for a long time it seemed as if there was no parade, just more and more people gathering outside the Santé prison.

photo, champs elyseesA little Sunday traffic on theChamps–Elysées

When they moved finally, after the TV interviews were finished, it was sluggishly. Prisoners cheered the demonstrators and the marchers cheered back. There could have been a prison break and nobody would have been the wiser. About 25,000 paraders passed, mostly students.

The main union elements were about 50,000 people further back, lined up in the Boulevard Saint–Jacques. We passed them and squeezed through Denfert, on the way to Monoprix, to get a lot of beer.

Yeah, so, that was it. No fuss, no drama, and the evening's TV–news gave it full coverage, mentioning all the parents who showed up with their little kids. I suppose they never notice all the kids in the May Day parades. I wonder sometimes if the news people are French.

The Sight of the Week

This was Max's choice. He wanted to see Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe at the Etoile. It is a very sporty monument, what with getting to the top by going a long way up a narrow, winding stairway made out of stone. The climb is worth it if it is sunny and bright because the arch stretches up towards the sky.

On a semi–gloomy day like Sunday, with the distant edges of Paris blurred by fog, the view is only two stars. Add a northwest wind and hanging around on the top has limited interest. But we timed it right and went downstairs, spinning around, and back through tunnels to the RER.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The 'Club Meeting of the Week' last Thursday was a jolly affair in the club's café which was not quite all repainted. Take a look at the 'report' of the meeting, which, for want of inspiration was titled 'A Real Big Meeting.'

This coming Thursday's meeting of the Café Metropole Club will without doubt be a surprise for all, with the club's acting secretary Josef M. Schomburg in the driver's seat. The 'Saint of the Week' will be Sainte–Mi–Carême, about whom I know absolutely nothing because I haven't been out looking for Easter eggs for about 50 years. I never found any either.

photo, sign, place de l'ile de sein

A true but fanciful story about the club is on the 'About the Club' page. Should curiosity befall yourself take a gekko at the club's original and hand–crafted membership card, good for absolutely more than nothing but not much.

Crucial Club Note II

The next meeting is on Thursday, 25 March. During it I will be on holiday until the next meeting on Thursday, 13. April. Between now and then the substitute club secretary will conduct the meetings. Watch this space, or GoodBlogWeek, for updates. Beyond this be sure to keep an eye on Metropole – expect to see GoodBlogWeek become what it is supposed to be. Although this is unchanged since last week, it doesn't mean I don't mean it. Are you still watching?

Faits Divers XX

'Ed,' Ric, the secretary of the Café Metropole Club and not least, radio ric – they all wish to thank all readers and club members, my kids, my bank manager and the staff of the Bistro 48 for longstanding patience through these tiresome times of reconstruction and waltzing in and around somewhere near here. Salut les copains!

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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