...Continued from page 1

Then I ended up eating eggplant a lot. This was at Joe's Shanghai on Pell Street in Chinatown. Every time I went there the people I was with ordered the eggplant because it was so good. I can think of 14 other dishes I like better than eggplant but being the visitor, I got eggplant, probably all I'll ever need for the rest of my life.

But almost the first thing I had was Cuban sandwich. Experts think these are better in Queens than in Miami but what do I know? Actually I went there to have a coffee because they have strong espresso, for a weak price.

Here, after about one day's eating in New York and long before the second Polish sausage on Greek Day in Astoria, I interrupt myself on account of a documentary on TV tonight – about the situation around Lake Victoria in Africa.

This was the story about the fish somebody introduced into the lake about 50 years ago. This fish ate all the other fish, eliminated them, leaving only itself destroying the entire ecosystem, including the Africans who catch the lousy things.

photo, chinatown, pell street, new yorkWhere eggplants bloom.

The fish are huge monsters and the international fish cartel has set up factories where the fish are frozen and they are hauled away to Europe – mostly by Russians with these huge jet transports – and the documentary wanted to know what sort of freight is brought back to Africa. At first everybody said the planes came empty to pick up the fish.

Meanwhile the film showed the Africans living around Lake Victoria, working like donkeys hauling in these horrible–looking fish out of the lake, but living in utter slums, with Aids everywhere and all these homeless kids, starving. And then it got worse because they showed how the parts of the fish Europeans don't want is handled.

And the film also showed a meeting between big boyos from the northern Orgs and the local politicos – talking about fish, factories, jobs, money, all those grand things – and the camera drifted over to a window and there in the dirt street down below was the starving kid with only one leg, hobbling along in his flopping rags.

Then gradually the Russian transport crews began to talk. They don't fly to Africa empty, they haul equipment with them. To the Congo, Angola. Yeah, equipment, heavy stuff, like tanks. These Russian jets can haul 55 tons after all, and land on dirt.

photo sign, eat here now

So, that's the story. The Africans catch 500 tons of fish per month and most of them are starving or dying, and the planes used to haul the fish away come back with guns and bombs that other Africans use to bump off Africans, and nobody cares much except some documentary film maker. The name of the film was 'Darwin's Nightmare.'

After that what I had to eat in New York, or yesterday at Uncle Den–Dens, is of no consequence whatsoever.

The Latest Café Metropole Club 'Report'

The 'Club Meeting of the Week' last Thursday was a tempered afternoon in the club's café which about what we wanted and expected Take a look at the 'report' of the meeting, which, for lack of inspiration, was titled 'Chocolate Covered Museli.'

This coming Thursday's meeting of the Café Metropole Club will without doubt be no surprise at all, with the club's secretary in the driver's seat with a fully–charged camera battery. The 'Saint of the Week' will be Sainte–Zita, about whom I know absolutely nothing other than she wasn't my aunt.

photo, sign, easter fish, chocolate

The true and fanciful story about the club is on the 'About the Club' page. Should curiosity befall yourself have a peep at the club's original and hand–crafted membership card, winner is exactly zero Internet prizes.

Faits Divers of the Week

'Ed,' Ric, the secretary of the Café Metropole Club and not least, radio ric – excluding Radial Ric – all of them wish to thank all readers and club members, my bank manager and Air France crews for longstanding patience through these irksome times of reconstruction and juggling in and around somewhere near here. Salut les copains!

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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