Stephan Meyer, a German-born now residing Sainte-Valière in France, may modestly define himself as a cafetier, which is the French word for a café owner, but don’t let that fool you. The man practically runs the town, and it probably wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call him Deputy Mayor of Sainte-Valière, a small town near Narbonne and the southern coast of France.
I am proud to announce that Stephan has started Lo Gal, what is for all practical purposes the world’s first Fifth World culture centre.
It’s a place where up to 19 customers, speaking three official languages, can sit down and enjoy organic coffee, chocolate, or fruit juice. Hearing the customers chat, you would think the place is somewhere on the border between France, Germany, and the UK, but of course places like that don’t exist in the real world, only in the Fifth World!
Lo Gal also has a small beer and wine shop, which distributes especially organic faire from local wine producers and microbreweries; a delicatessen (or deli) that serves with fresh organic bread and spices; a multilingual library with over 2,000 books on stock with Fifth World themes such as gardening, homeschooling, natural health, organic cuisine, and nature (the overstock is sold on location or through the Internet); a multimedia library — with independent music, films, and art, and a proud member of the Association de l’Indépendance Musicale Solidaire Autonome or AIMSA — with Wi-Fi Internet access; a Linux demonstration centre for Open Source software; a tourist office; and a melting point where people gather to book author’s readings, small art exhibitions, or for alternative astrologer/magician guests. And by the way, if you decide to visit pretty Sainte-Valière and stay overnight, Lo Gal is also a small Bed & Breakfast!
By Christmas Lo Gal’s multilingual library will also have several copies of very Fifth Worldish books like The Fifth World: Micronationalism on Steroids, and All Religions Are Cults: And What a Few Good Priests, Monks, Rabbis and Mullahs Can Do About It, since the author of those books is making a donation to the library section of Lo Gal.
Lo Gal is open every day from 9 am to 7 pm, except Tuesdays.