Chinese In Flames

photo, spring in the quartier latin, saint germain, deux magots A true cliché, spring in the Quartier Latin.

A Durable Shambles

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Monday, 7. April:–  The météo folks issued a warning for northern France last night saying that we should be prepared with our shovels and snow chains and, no, it wasn't so unusual for it to snow around here at this time of the year – so I start this with the weather again after telling myself I was going to give it a rest – and toss in a photo of the snow in New York the day after I arrived, and dump the photo of the new Fiat 500, partly because it looks like a committee car rather than an amusing expression of Italian automobile flair. Phooey.

New, Improved, Weather

It just goes to show what good intentions are worth. While 4 centimetres of snow plagued the north there was none to see around here when I was able to see it because my eyes were open. Instead it was semi–sunny part of the time and semi–cloudy the rest. It was a bit chilly too, but when isn't it in April?

My TV is working again and today was the first when France–2 upped its format to 16:9. When the weather ladies are at the edge of the screen their derrières appear normal now, so the weather is less exciting. Accordingly it will be mostly sunny tomorrow, the same on Wednesday and half–and–half on Thursday. Temperatures are kind of cool, with two 10s and a 12 coming. Snow was not forecast, but 29 and sunny was predicted for Guyana.

photo, more spring, quartier latin, blossums More spring, still in the Latin Quarter.

Like the famous mountain coot, Météo Jim's forecasts are predictable. I haven't told him about the new regime yet, so here is the last old version of how it will be overseas:–

Baseball Score – Miserable

Pommeland had its first and only snow storm of the winter. To call it a storm stretched the imagination, but after going weeks and months without snow, what else could it be called? Now that spring is here and winter is over – although there is a movement to change the name of winter to wimper since it has become so pathetic – the chances grow for a significant springtime blizzard.

While winter in Pommeland has been wimpy, it must also be noted that in northern Maine, a record snowfall of 192 a–inches – 487 e–middle meters – has fallen. Once again the European Translator Union has gone on strike over these inhuman measurements.

The faded month of March also marks the 40th anniversary of the infamous headline, "Paris s'ennuie?" which set the stage for les Evénements de mai and the arrival of les soixante–huitards 39 years and 11 months ago. As for les Evénements for the coming week, le Poisson d'avril will see partly cloudy weather and a high of 65 a–degrees. The warmer weather will arrive and raise temperatures into the low to mid 60's during the day. A rain shower is scheduled to arrive on Friday, then depart and leave the weekend mostly cooler but mostly partly sunny.

photo, sign, traffic sign of the week, at denfert

A la prochaine, Météo Jim

Café Life

Chinese In Flames

I have never seen the Olympic flame. I was close once. I went to Munich to get a job with the Olympical hustle, but it didn't pan out and I moved to Hamburg. I wasn't even in the country when it all went wrong at the '72 Olympics.

Time takes care of disappointments so I thought today might be the day to see an Olympic flame, live, in person. However the TV–news wasn't encouraging. Everybody who had an opinion about Tibet and China had been on TV, so it looked like the event might be controversial, might even be contested. Then they ran the flame through London and we saw how the Bobbies had their hands full – of demonstrators.

And that's the place that won the next Olympics. What about here, the place that lost the Olympics to London? For the first time it seems as if a lot of Tibetans live here, and everybody knows there are a lot of Chinese too, although on other days they might be Vietnamese. But the official word was that this was a sporting event, belonging to all mankind, with a lot of money at stake. Plus, think of the athletes!

photo, t-shirt slogan, pekin 2008, handcuffs The anti-Beijing t-shirt.

For the moment, forget the refugees, in other words. But things don't work like that in France, where a portion of the French can decide their government is not representing them and Republican ideals.

Another portion had already decided that folks should keep quiet and do as they're told and to prove who had might they put 3000 security agents into place, including the cops, the anti–mutiny police, Gendarmes, firemen, army, navy and airforce, radar, helicopters, speedboats, motorcycles, spy cameras, roller flics, secret agents, the whole caboodle. More, far more, than for Sarkozy's coronation. Plus, the Chinese themselves supplied a troop of trained musclemen, dressed in sky blue jump suits.

I went down to Denfert where the procession was supposed to pass the Lion on the way to the Charléty stadium, where they were to have some sort of solemn ceremony. I was a bit early and there was no sign of any security, barriers, demonstrators, nothing. The sun was mostly shining, with a photogenic sky, looking like spring. Birds tweeted.

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