...Continued from page 1

It was members from heaven! To be precise, Kim and Ed Hurwitz from Sanibel in Florida. Of course, this is later after I respectfully hinted that they should remind me of their names. At first Ed said, "From Sanibel," but that was the part I did recall without the prompt. Yes. That's the place in Florida that has hurricanes sometimes, like the last time Kim and Ed were here, and the French family whose place they were in, was there.

Ed told me that he bought a phone card, for either 7.50€ or 15€, and he could talk for 5000 minutes with it. I have meant to to tell readers about these cards, which can be used with fixed telephones, but I have no idea how they work. Ed was amazed about the 5000 minutes. Like, he said, years–worth of talking on the phone. I thought one would only get 300 minutes on those cards. Whichever, a whole lot cheaper than France Télécom, cheaper than a SIM card for your own GSM phone.

photo, gray sky, tabac, louvreMore of today's lousy sky.

Kim said in the apartment they rented, that the TV is broken, and the elderly PC had died. Other than that there was cable TV and DSL and the only chore they had was feeding the goldfish. They accepted this kind of deal because they have a condo for rent in Florida – in fact, that's why Ed got the jumbo–minutes phone card.

They said, after 15 years of visiting France, that when they were working they came without computers or telephones and didn't buy phone cards, but now that they have tenants they need all that stuff.

Then Kim asked me some questions about speaking French. I suggested, before I heard about the defect TV, that she listen to Valerie Alexandre doing the weather on France–2. This Valerie, I don't know if she has less time than the other weather folks, but she talks very fast. If you feel like a bit of speed–listening, catch her act!

That obviously was no help as a suggestion so Kim began speaking French, telling me about folks in the markets down south, and about her professor of French in Florida, and he sounded like a real philosopher. On top of it Kim was making the effort to learn ten new and unusual words a day or a week. I never heard of any of them before.

With regret I reminded her that many Parisians were out of town, being down south and talking to those very same people on the markets who are ripping them off because they are snooty Parisians. She sighed. I sighed. Ed asked me if I'd seen the Rock'n'Roll show at the Fondation Cartier. I didn't get a chance to say that I had seen it years ago on TV, on Les Enfants du Rock.

photo, dog on leashYou expected, the Dog of the Week?

Then they told me about the free show at the Espace Electra. Run by the EDF with money I pay for electricity, they have a show about electricity and how fast you can use a lot of it. Ed said it was very interesting, very well presented. I was glad to hear that EDF is using my money wisely.

Luckily, Kim and Ed had dropped in because sooner or later it was time for the Group Photo of the Week and having a couple of members in it is always better than having none. By this time, beyond 5, the café was nearly empty – must have used up all the onion soup – and the café's terrace was about the same, except for Monsieur Ferrat handing out menus to likely–looking passersby. I did click and click and Kim cracked up, but the light was very low, and it blurred. The rest were fine, if a little overcolorful.

News You Can Always Use

WiFi For Email Addicts

Cyber cafés may be a bit thin on the ground in Paris but the city has begun offering free access to the Net via the magic of WiFi. This note has been here so long that it's turned into blah–blah. Just remember, although this WiFi is free, you do have to supply your own computer.

Soldes d'Eté Finally Over

The annual summer sales in Paris continued until they ended on 4. August, last Saturday. Until the Soldes d'Hiver start try and remember this.

About the Café Metropole Club

Treat your mouse to a club meeting report buried fathomless in the deep archive of the Internet. Speed–skimming long semi–boring reports is faster than being at tiresome club meetings but only provides a smidgen of the real goods. An explanation for what we are doing here may be unconvincing but can be found on the dubiously named About the Café Metropole Club webpage.

graphic, club location map

Speed Written Gobbley Fine Print

Nearly spontaneous as ever, half unrehearsed, semi out of control and again less than three members. Club meetings are actually from 15:00 to 17:00 every Thursday. The next meeting will be on Thursday, 16. August. These times are not virtual but are the same as from 3 pm to 5 pm around some other places, while meetings are held around here. Whatever you feel like saying will be completely appreciated by the other members present if they are here and listening, and sometimes they are, but not always.* Your other, absolutely true, stories are all welcome too. Members like jokes if they are funny.

Caution – should you have a personal desire to remain unfindable via the Web, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be 404 – not found by Web search engines before becoming found. To stay unfound refuse membership.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the Paris phone cards with 5000 minutes. No one needs to ever go home with this many.

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.
Next club meeting on Thursday, 16. August.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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