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OFFBEAT

VIDEO: Parisians enjoy candlelit raclette dinner… on the Metro

The Paris Metro would be the last place on earth where you would want to sit down for a cosy, raclette dinner, wouldn't it?

Not according to four tuxedo-wearing Frenchmen who took to line 5 of the Paris Metro at Place d'Italie last week to eat a raclette, washed down by a few glasses of fine wine.

The men set up a table between the seats, placed a table cloth over it and served up the usual cold meats, potatoes and pickles that make up a raclette dinner. The all-important cheese was melted using small candles rather than the usual electric grills.

If you don't believe it, just watch the video below.

 
The stunt was carried out by a group who go by the name Smart Joker of Paris who specialise in creating bizarre scenes, especially on the Metro, all done simply to amuse passengers.
 
“As we were eating the raclette, the passengers were laughing. They didn't stop filming us and taking photos,” said Thomas one of the “jokers” involved.
 
“The driver of the Metro came to have his photo taken with us saying that if he didn't his wife would never believe him.”
 

The men told how they got on at the beginning of the line at Place d'Italie to be sure to have seats, something which is never guaranteed as anyone who takes the Metro in Paris will confirm.

The stunt was almost stopped before the wine was even opened when a security guard asked what they were doing and checked that they didn't have any candles.

“Luckily the candles were not lit at this point,” said Thomas.

Could dining on the Paris Metro take off?

Perhaps Paris Metro authorities should think about installing restaurant coaches in Metro trains for commuters to enjoy a sit-down dinner on the way home from work.

Or would RER passengers be tempted by Champagne breakfasts on their way to work?

 

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OFFBEAT

France’s mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo

A black panther rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, officials said.

France's mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo
Photo: AFP/ Sapeurs Pompiers du Nord

The feline was seized overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, the city's mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This animal was the only target,” Decagny said, adding that “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.

Zoo personnel are worried about the young panther's health, “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added, saying the animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30kg.

The panther after its capture. Photo League Protectrice des Animaux de la Nord de France/AFP

The panther was going to be transferred to a centre specialised in rehabilitating wild animals that had been domesticated.

Firefighters caught the cat last Wednesday as it roamed rooftops in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.

The panther's owner is thought to have escaped through the same window, for fear of being charged with illegally harbouring a wild animal.

Police have not located the fugitive owner, who could face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and €15,000 in fines, Decagny said.

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