Burton Dane Travels

We're traveling through Europe and parts nearby for a year. We'll be posting our pix and adventures here.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Parisian Mysteries

Here are three mysterious pictures. What are these men doing? What is that big wooden ball behind Jules and Ben. Why is there a tower of bunnies?

These men are running a scam in the flea market. One is playing a version of three card monty while the other three appear to be winning and losing money. They each have a character to play. There’s a rube, a friendly guy, a serious guy. They are “betting” 20 to 50 euros while they congratulate and console each other. Eventually, they attract tourists who see how easy it is to pick the right card. If the tourist is reluctant, they’ll offer them money to bet with.

Of course the pay off is when the tourist reaches for their wallet. I saw one young girl quickly lose 20 euros. I wanted to warn her but figured I couldn’t handle the repercussions.

If you look closely you can see one of the guy spotting me taking the picture. He quickly came over and told me “no pictures”. We left....

The ball is a cleaning ball they use in the sewers. Over time, the sewers fill with a “hybrid mixture” and “sand”. They insert balls that are slightly smaller than the sewers. The water flows around the ball in a high pressure flow sort of like putting your thumb on a running hose. This squirts the solids forward into a clean out bin.
We learned all about this and the dredging boats they use to keep it all moving under the streets of Paris.

The bunnies were for sale and probably just cold. We think they are sold as pets, not for food or coat trimmings.


  • At 4:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi guys,
    How was Mark's bday?
    I couldn't agree more with you with the scam. But I bet you had fun watching until you took the picture.
    Keep enjoying yourselves in Europe.
    Hugs and kisses,
    Los Ortega


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