Free Mustard in Paris

There are a number of sites in Paris where photographers can get “unique” photos of the Eiffel Tower. One is beneath the Bir-Harkeim Bridge. There is a lovely arch there that frames the scene. We went there on our last visit to Paris.

While photographing the tower, each of us felt plops on our clothing and heads, then more plops. A well-dressed couple (certainly more natty than us) approached and said  “We saw what just happened! Those birds just pooped on you. Here, let us help.” The woman of the couple reached a container of wet wipes to us. A small alarm went off in our still jet-lagged brains since the birds seemed very well fed, had exceptional aim, and seemed particularly malevolent towards us. Also, it seemed suprisingly fortunate that someone was walking by with an open container of wet wipes. Because it was difficult to process what had happened, we accepted some wet wipes and thanked them but refused their offer to help us wipe the droppings off our clothing.  They went farther down the bridge and began to “help” another couple with their camera.

We got our pictures and left miserably to get a fresh change of clothing at our AirBnB. As we were riding the metro back to the apartment, we began to notice a strong smell of vinegar on our clothing. After briefly considering the possibility that Paris has gourmet pigeons, we began to realize that the bird droppings were actually mustard (our guess was grey poupon with a nice dash of dijon).  We had just missed being victims of a classic pickpocketing scheme. In any case, we got this photo with a serving of mustard on the side.



4 thoughts on “Free Mustard in Paris”

    1. We’d heard about the scam before we went, but couldn’t envision how it worked. We still don’t know where the mustard bottles were. 😜


      1. It’s just bizarre. And what a waste of good mustard! I once had the gold ring scam attempted on my behind l’Orangerie, but I had heard about it beforehand. I excitedly shouted, “OMG!”, at the guy and then started laughing. It was a comical reaction that I’m sure he wasn’t expecting. He disappeared really quickly. 😂

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