A visiting Stanford friend and I passed a recent weekday afternoon having lunch in the Marais before heading over to the Champs-Élysées to check out the Christmas market. Mostly unimpressed by what the vendors were selling, we decided to keep walking towards the Louvre where the real entertainment was.
Near a fountain in the Tuileries Garden, we came upon a woman playing with two sticks. We watched for a few minutes as she would wave one around in the air above her head, drop it on the ground, and repeat the same procedure with the other. Said woman did not appear to be part of some experimental film project, so I can only surmise that this behavior was purely of her own volition...And that she was casting a spell?
Being young adults of a certain age, we couldn't let this go without making a few Harry Potter references.
"Doesn't she know that the wand chooses the wizard, not the other way around?" said my friend.
Or maybe she was a squib. At least that would explain the lack of results from wand-waving.
2. Eastern European Scam Artists
Just in front of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, we were accosted by two girls that wanted us to sign their petition. Initially they pretended to be really friendly, explaining that it was to benefit some orphanage for the deaf-mute and asking us where we were from. But suspicion began to set in when I saw the "donation" column on the spreadsheet.
I said I didn't have any money on me. They pleaded, then begged, and still I refused to take out my wallet. Finally they snatched the paper back, gave me the dirtiest bitch face, and scuttled off...probably to scout for some easier targets.
3. Extreme Photo Opportunists
Crossing Place du Carrousel we were greeted by the sight of a grown man surrounded by a flock of birds. I wasn't sure whether to be concerned or not, but upon closer inspection we realized it was intentional - the man was tossing bread crumbs into the air around him while his wife snapped photos of the action.
I'm not sure which was worse: the fact that the couple decided this was a good idea at all, or that their small child was nearby, strapped into a stroller. Seriously? Have they seen The Birds? Those creatures will not hesitate to attack children.