Yoko Ate Raw Fish

photo, yoko, ex-tomoko, club member, actress Welcome back Yoko, almost fresh from Japan.

Not the Pizza Boom

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 15. June:–  Our unseasonable June heatwave just waved goodbye and high temperatures have dropped back to the 25–degree level which is a lot better than cool. Agreeable is what it is, and with everybody still in the hot–weather mode there is a lot of skin and flashing legs, and decontraction in the French sense. Being decontracted is being relaxed, as in, cool, de–dressed for summer, quoi?

photo, orange, green drinks Almost like in Brazil!

Before getting to see the TV weather news tonight I got to hear Ségolène Royal – the hot Socialist non–candidate for president – talking about her vision for France. She said the French 'desire the future.' By implication they are impatient with the present. Unsaid was that they are probably bored with the past, even if so many work in it. But 'desire the future' is better than Sarkozy can put it.

And now the weather. Around here tomorrow should start off sunny and gradually become slightly cloudy, but these will be high, light clouds, that keep the sky from being blue but do not cut down the light much. This can be good photographic light even if it isn't perfect for the soul. With this, a high temperature of 25 degrees is forecast.

In a reversal of the usual scenario, the blue sky will be over northern France on Saturday and this means it will be sunny here, with a prediction for 26 degrees in the afternoon. This continues right around here on Sunday with more blue sky, sunshine partout and a high foreseen to be 28 degrees. Our reward for loyal 'desire of the future.'

The 'Yoko Ate Raw Fish Report

Before the club meeting let me mention that France is currently having a 'pizza boom' on account of all the lads watching football on TV. The moms cook eight‐course meals like usual but the dads are so glued to the glotz box that they forget to eat, until late during some halftime they discover their hunger and speed dial the local pizza kitchen.

There the pizza guys are all watching the matches on TV – some companies have put up big screens in their cantines and boardrooms – everybody, according to TV–news is watching the games. Out on the street while games are on the traffic consists entirely of pizza kids on scooters and mopeds, rushing from fan to fan – where they too get topped up with the latest scores.

photo, traffic on quai du louvre The shouters, the honkers, the crazy beepers.

Meanwhile this afternoon I was slow getting in gear and getting my feet to the pavement and down to the Métro at Raspail, to ride down to Odéon, you know, like hundreds of times already. On the bridge, the Pont Neuf, Joes were unpacking brand–new lanterns for the lights – these combo three and one century old models, newly cast and painted in olden colors. Thought you would like to know.

There were a huge gang of school kids on the bridge and crossing the quay, and all the way to the club's café, La Corona. I had to walk in the gutter to get ahead. These were too young to be writing their exams. They were probably studying history on the bridge. Paris is full of scholars of all sizes.

On entering the café Patrick the club's sometimes 'waiter of the week' says he was unable to pass me a card last week, and hands me a card left for the club by 'future member in good standing,' Wayne Ivester of Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Wayne dropped into the café on a Monday on his way to Normandy and back to Florida, in time for tropical storm Alberto.

Much cheered I organized the club's area and booklets and then turned to today's Le Parisien for distraction or inspiration until the arrival of today's first member or new member. Aha – the French are bothering the government by taking the high gas prices and applying a non–approved solution. They are buying cooking oil by the case and pouring it into their tanks.

photo, orange, green drinks Almost like in Brazil!

The government's response is to stake out customs agents in supermarket parking lots, to ask all shoppers with hundreds of litres of corn oil what they think they are doing. Some deft shoppers have discovered what oil companies say corn oil will do to modern motors, isn't exactly true. Others say that if the government can't control the oil companies consumers have a perfect right to seek solutions.

I'll just blitz past the rest. Veolia wants to buy Vinci, Printemps wants to sell itself, Airbus had a black Wednesday, Halal products are booming, De Villepin is facing crises number 43 with the fusion of EDF and Suez, while Sarkozy is being mum, and the whole rest of the news is about the French World Cup football team being in a right snit.

So I was mightily pleased to see Yoko – formerly Tomoko Yokomitsu – sitting down opposite me, unloading her bags, taking up her club station, bringing fresh news of Japan.

I should mention that all the doors and windows in the club's region inside the café are open. For some reason, most drivers have their windows open too and some of them have loud sound systems boom booming, while others when they are stalled opposite the café, are shouting at folks calmly sitting on the terrace The overall noise is horrendous.

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