Saturday, 21 October 2017

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 45

A week later, Mme. Empathy was in a foul mood.  ‘That Japanese imp called the police for 5 nights straight!  I thought she didn’t speak French!’  It was so embarrassing seeing those policemen calling the party off in her restaurant.  Most clients blamed the caller, but there were some who complained that they did not get their money worth.  They would not return and that hurt.  It was easy to fool young policemen with her smile.  ‘But officers, we are in the process of resolving the problem.  Please, give us time.’  Of course, she had no intention to spend a centime to solve the problem, but with her victim act she managed to send policemen away. 

However, there was this older major who was not fooled.  He had been moved by the tone of this Japanese caller, so desperate and vulnerable.  The situation had to be dire if someone with such a limited French would have to call every night.  He did a research and soon discovered that Mme. Empathy had been sentenced to pay the fine for her irresponsible management of another restaurant.  The major may have taken it as a mockery to the authority of the French police that Mme. Empathy would again open another restaurant just 2 minutes away.  She had nothing to fear because she was protected by Mr. Honour, the man who vows to fight against discrimination but is not above PISTON or nepotism.

After the policemen broke up another party, Mme. Empathy was defiant.  She told the guests that the party would go on and turned on the music again.  She smirked imagining the Japanese bug, distressed at the prospect of another long sleepless night.  That bug needs to be taught not to mess with the grand dame that was Mme. Empathy.   However…

‘Madame!’  The policemen barked as they returned 10 minutes later because they had not yet returned to the station.  Mme. Empathy could not believe that I called the police twice in the same night.

The French neighbors had not called the police because they believed that the restaurant would not last long, but also the French tend to leave the dirty work to the others.  But I am a Japanese woman who was raised to be the rock behind her men.  Submissive, but diligent, meticulous and finally, patient.

To be continued.
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Saturday, 14 October 2017

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 44

What is not widely known is that there is in fact a regulation that forbids all the restaurants in Paris to make noise after 22:30.  However, the authority will force it only if a resident of the building places a call to the police.  Therefore, it is one regulation that is defunct because most tenants do not know this.  Hell, even I did not know this until so informed by Mme. Landlord.  Then what about the owner-residents, you may ask.  After the arrival of AIRBNB, the landlords now prefer to lend their apartments out for a big profit while they move to the suburbs.  They do not care if their tenants suffer any noise.  There will always be unsuspecting tenants applying for apartments in Paris.  Their cold attitude hardened even more by the system of AIRBNB. 

Therefore, it fell on me to call the police because the tenants on the same floors had already left.  Their landlords did not knock the rent down like my landlord.  She was a rare gem.  Mme. Landlord would call the police herself, but she did not live in the building.  So with a shaking hand I dialed 17, the police.  The message was given in French and English.  Relieved, I opted for English.  However, the person who took the call blatantly lied to me that ‘Paris never sleeps’ and hang up.  He thought I was a tourist.  So, I tried again in French which was not good yet.  The woman who took my call had no patient and hang up.  I thought I heard a jeering laughter of Mme. Empathy as the music blasted on filling up my apartment along with the extractor vibrating noise.  I had to cower back to the small corner of my kitchen and cried.  

The following day, I rehearsed my lines over and over.  I called the police for the third time and a young man answered.  He tried to pull one over me, but I insisted in French that it was against the rule to be noisy after 22:30.  I live in Paris, I added.  He uttered, 'Ah' and transferred me to the police station of the appropriate district.   A sympathetic major answered my call and he took the address of the restaurant from HELL.  He also took down my phone number and promised to send his men.  After the call, I waited without much hope.

Then it happened.  30 minutes later, all the noise stopped, the ventilator and the music.  Well, not all because I could hear a hysterical voice of a woman.  Mme. Empathy?  Or her new waitress?  Whoever.  The police in Paris had taken my call seriously and stopped the devil…for the night.  I would have to place several more calls before the police would intervene on a larger scale.  Still, the battle was on.  
To be continued.
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Saturday, 7 October 2017

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 43

There was an electricity bill placed on the table between Mme. Empathy and a man, her patron.  The bill was of course was not in her name.  Would she ever pay anything herself?  Her Patron was worried if she was making profit to justify all her expenses.  Mme. Empathy turned on her radiant smile, ‘Party season has arrived.’ 

Did she tell her patron that she had her ventilator running all day at the maximum noise level to blow out ‘that Japanese bug living upstairs’ from the building?  Whatever.  It did the restaurant no good as the chef and staffs were seen hanging around outside the restaurant to escape the noise and heat themselves.  Not a sign of a good restaurant and it drove away potential clients.  A good new restaurant would take off after a month in Paris where elegant gourmets are forever in search of new gastronomical delights.  It was clearly not happening for Mme. Empathy’s restaurant. 

She suddenly noticed a small figure in the street.  Mme. Empathy saw me coming back from Vienna and raised one eyebrow visible to a woman chef nearby.  ‘Is that the neighour taking you to the court?  She does not seem such a strong woman.’  Mme. Empathy span around and spat out.  ‘It’s her old landlord who’s putting her up to it.  That Japanese woman is just stupid!’  I remember her look darted at me across the street, but I was not offended knowing she thought everyone stupid.  Besides, everyone did fall for her lies and little schemes, even Mr. Honour, the protector of integrity.  Mme. Empathy could not have been just a pretty face.

The noise attack from the restaurant became shorter but still damaging enough to shred my nerves all over again.  However, I had to stay home to keep records of the hours and level of the noises until the police came to intervene.  Every day made me sicker than the day before…it seemed forever until my lawyer rang.  The police would finally come to measure the noise level in my apartment.  It was scheduled at 10:00 at night.  Two police men came in regular clothes so that the restaurant would not be alerted.  The verdict was delivered swift.  The device of the police found my place to be inhabitable.  It was not me being fragile, or oversensitive.  Mme. Empathy and Mr. Pride were truly running ‘the restaurant from Hell’ in Paris.  However, with the police report submitted to the court, my active counter attack began.  To be continued.
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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 42

I normally update weekly, but I felt the need to explain the title.  You would not consider a group of unethical restaurant team ‘Goliath’, but the protector behind them really is a Goliath.  He is a public figure in Paris whose photo you can see on a few sites.  What gets to me is that he bills himself as ‘a protector of the weak and the minority.’  However, his favorite, Mme. Empathy has been causing hazard in Paris.  She was sued by all the neighbours of her last restaurant for being disrespectful of the well-being of her neighbours.  And yet, this Goliath, or should I name him Mr. Honour, has allowed Mme. Empathy to start restaurants again and again. 

I remember one night when the music in the restaurant was not on.  I saw a man who conducted himself as ‘an important man’ dine at the restaurant with Mme. Empathy serving him herself.  This is why I recognized the man in the photo.  Mr. Honour sure knows about my dire circumstances and yet he would step into repeatedly to sabotage my moves.  Well, if he does not care for the well-being of Asians, fine.  Then he should not go around making speeches encouraging Asians to visit Paris to drop their money.  Mr. Honour should not pose as a protector of the weak when he has sabotaged the 2 years-plea of Mme. Landlord for intervention of the authority.  She is a fragile old French lady suffering from cancer, for God’s sake.

The only branch that is yet to be corrupted by favoritism or in French 'Piston' is the French judicial system, thank God.   However, their procedures take the looooongest.  To be continued.
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Sunday, 1 October 2017

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 41

Mr. Pride could not remember who I was for some time.  One thing I learnt about France is that this is a brutally structured society.  The life of the poor does not matter and the rich make sure the poor remain where they are.  I had not looked kindly upon their frequent strikes before I came to France, but now I get it.  For the poor it is the only way to survive.

Thus you can imagine how low I would rank in the mind of Mr. Pride.  My lawyer expected to hear some bargaining, but I wondered.  Mr. Pride and Mme. Empathy knew that it would be some time before the French authority intervened and I was not even a French woman.   Sure enough, the two chose to wear me down even harder so I would leave the place.  Problem solved.  The noise level in the kitchen went up notches higher that even the chefs would seek refuge outside the restaurant.  The extractor which is now a devil’s weapon was switched on all day at the maximum level.  It was utter inhumane, but I did ask to learn the truth about this society that looked glam on the surface, didn’t I?  Be careful what you wish for. 

However, I had suspected as much so I flew out to Vienna.  My lawyer would notify me when the police contacted for an investigation.  I was on my way to the airport when a group of Chinese clients were having a banquet in the restaurant.  As Mme. Empathy had failed to win serious local diners, she had opted to offer a party package.  I could see the disappointment on the faces of the Chinese clients.  Women were clearly dissatisfied for they must have sensed the rip-off.  Mme. Empathy was destroying one Asian while swindling from other Asians.  Never mind the acrimony between the Chinese Government and the Japanese government.  I felt sorry for the Chinese clients as much as for myself.

I landed in Vienna, utterly demoralized.  Every slight noise now attacked my nerve from everywhere.  But then I chanced upon a chorus at a church.  To my surprise, the hymn did not hurt me.  In fact, it soothed my tattered nerves.  Though I have not yet picked a religion, I do believe in God because there are so many questions only He would know the answer.  However, as my mother is a Christian I remember Jesus Christ more often than the other religious figures.  I felt hopeful that I would recuperate during the two weeks stay in Vienna while back in Paris, the restaurant team would be doing their worst until they realized that I had left.  They would be disappointed or even annoyed a bit when I returned.  To be continued.
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