Sunday, 17 June 2018
The pain in my wrist has returned that I must take things easy, so I cannot update my blog this week. But I am sure the world is focused on the World Cup 2018 anyway. I know I am. What a world cup magic that Iceland and Mexico have held their ground against two Golliaths of the football world.
Saturday, 9 June 2018
I’ve been enduring inflammation of a tendon in my wrist. It is getting better, so I resume my blog about the three evils I encountered since arriving in Paris. The Goliath-type predators stand before you like a wall, so there is a chance you can spot them and run the other way. The second evil, the hypocrite sludge, save their smile for the people in power, while ruthlessly stomp over the weak, or in their term, the useless, and will walk away in search for another conquests. The silver lining is that the sludge will leave you alone if you let them win on small scale battles. The third type of evil is not that easy to shake off because those hyenas are after small gains that even the weak victims can give if you press their wounds hard enough.
The real estate agent of Jupiter was indignant with the offer made my Mme. Landlord. Though she posed as a generous landlord by giving her tenant 6 months until November, the real estate agent knew of the French laws that forbids landlords to turn out tenants during the winter month staring December. Mme. Landlord needed to get rid of Jupiter before winter, but she still wanted him to continue with the rent without her having to pay a fee to find a new short term tenant. The real estate agent naturally knew of the renovation of the kitchen Jupiter had been tricked to pay. For once, the real estate agent was on the side of the weak and a new room was quickly found for Jupiter. In France, tenants only need to give one month notice no matter how long your contract is signed for. So this, Jupiter did and he left the apartment immediately taking all the new electric appliances with him,
Mme. Landlord was enraged and demanded Jupiter to buy her new set of appliances. Jupiter reminded her that her old appliances, such as refrigerator, were stored down in her basement. Jupiter had carried them down there by Mme. Landlord’s request, but she now complained that the humidity of the basement had damaged them and held Jupiter responsible for it. However, she would not tell me this. She acted as a feeble old lady whose faith in Jupiter, despite his being gay minorities was cruelly betrayed. She asked me weakly to accompany her when she would plead Jupiter to honor his obligations to restore her kitchen bathroom the way it was before the renovation. I would not dream of doubting Mme. Landlord then, so I confess I turned to Jupiter with reproaching eyes when he walked in. He looked more sad than awkward by my presence as her ally. I could not tell you the fast communication in French that took place between the two, but she remained imploring which rose my sympathy for her even more.
Jupiter left, looking very pained, and Mme. Landlord’s voice cracked explaining me that he agreed to reimburse her only partially. How she detested the black wall paper and the modern shelves that he had installed in the place of her classic style kitchen…a lie it turned out to be later. But I found myself offering to help her paint her apartment. I had no ideas the price my sympathy would cost me, including the injury of my wrist which threatens my future as a graphic novelist. I was going down the path that many immigrants, whom she had befriended to expoit, had fallen before. To be continued.
Saturday, 26 May 2018
In hindsight, there have been many clues, but you do not want to admit that you have misjudged your friends. Your sense of loyalty forbids you to even suspect them and those hyenas are gifted in appealing to your noble streak by throwing in noble statements here and there. However, their actions betray their words, if you allow yourself to scrutinize them.
I first wondered about Mme. Landlord’s nobleness when I witnessed the way she treated her gay tenant. She is of the generation still unaccepting that souls do not choose to love somebody by their physical gender. And yet, she outwardly behaved tolerant of gay movement and rent one of her apartment to this young gay man, shall I call him Jupiter? My readers have already figured out that I name unpleasant characters with a virtue they claim to possess, but do not actually. However, with normal characers I just pick a name randomly, and this time I chose Jupiter because I had just watched an episode from ‘The Big Bang Theory.’
Jupiter responded to the kindness of Mme. Landlord by regularly giving her advises on IT or any issues that were too modern for this old lady. Trust between the two deepened to the extent that Mme. Landlord suggested to Jupiter to renovate the kitchen to his taste. Jupiter was tempted because Mme. Landlord’s kitchen was old and outdated. However, it would cost him a lot of money to renovate. Then Mme. Landlord told him that she was thinking of selling her apartment. She needed to concentrate on her cancer treatment for the time being, but someday… ‘Would you be interested in buying my apartment?’ she asked Jupiter. He was. Mme. Landlord smiled and assured him that he would be the first to know when she was ready to sell. Thus, Jupiter decided to invest his money into updating the kitchen, style wise and appliances wise. He was made to believe Mme. Landlord would offer the apartment at the friend’s price.
Several months later, the kitchen looked brand new. It was about this time I first spoke to Jupiter as his new neighbor. He was looking forwards to buy the apartment from Mme. Landlord. However, she told him that if he offered the same price as the top bidder, Jupiter would have the priority. What? So, there was a chance his investment in renovating her kitchen could end up being waste if someone with more money appeared? Jupiter reminded her that it was not their arrangement, but Mme. Landlord insisted otherwise. ??? Jupiter bitterly accepted that it may be her age that was messing with her memory. She still was still kind lady inside, right? He would still have two more years left in the contract to enjoy his new kitchen which he would have to leave behind most of it.
However, several months later, Mme. Landlord told Jupiter to leave as she was selling her apartment for her family…or whatever. Jupiter found out the hard way that Mme. Landlord changed her story pretending to be old. Reverse-ageism attacked Jupiter and later me, but I could not imagine it at that time.
To be continued.
Monday, 21 May 2018
The sharpest sword in the world is said to be the samurai swords. My ancestors were entrusted with enormous responsibility that could cut through anything…except sludge. It would simply wrap itself around the sword while dripping on your clothes to stick as stains, which you just cannot shake it off. I started to wonder if Mr. Honour and Mr. Pride were themselves preyed upon by Mr. Justice’s crowd. Anyway, it was time to adjust myself. You do not fight sludge. The best you could do is to let them win until they weaken themselves with their own toxins. Did I believe this? Not at the time, but I chose the reverse psychology by instinct. Well, more like a prayer it was.
Speaking of prayer, I recall having touched something at the moment I was falling down the abyss, despairing the reality of human nature (part 71). It was a small statue of Jesus Christ. Though I am not a Christian, my mother is a protestant that I would take the little statue with me for a nostalgic reason. I must have knocked it down off the book shelf and the statue fell near me. In the movies, this would have been the moment I was converted, but I did not wish to choose a religion out of spite of other religions or cults. Besides I could never bring myself to believe the unrealistic stories preached by each religion. I wanted logic or psychology. However, I realized that no logic could explain why the evil was triumphing in the real life either. Hmm…I could stop being criticizing of the religion. But like I said, hatred did not seem the right reason to embrace a religion.
Though I concede that I cannot explain it, I learnt since I arrived in Paris, that there are three types of evils: First is the predator Goliath; the second is the sycophants who support and empower the Goliath; and the third…the hyenas. In the trail left behind by the Goliath and the entourage, there lay their victims. Weaken and helpless, desperate for a tiny hint of kindness. They may not seem much, but most likely the easiest to exploit. The hyenas know it. It took me months to realize that I was standing next to one. It was Mme. Landlord.
To be continued.
Saturday, 12 May 2018
‘Don’t tell me you found a dead body down there!’ An English speaking landlord emailed me. He must have half believed it for such was a dodgy reputation Mr. Pride and Mr. Justice’s team had. When I titled my experience as ‘The bullied takes on Goliath’ I had imagined Mr. Honour to be a formidable antagonist, the kind people hate but grudgingly give credit for owning up to his reputation with guts. Now I do not presume to know anybody well, let alone the leader of the mighty nation like Russia who has been said a lot of things about, but I do not recall coming across any articles that accused Mr. President Putin for playing the ‘Victim Card’. He has his own strength to rely on anyway.
But not so with Mr. Honour who portrays himself as the defender of victims. Self-rightious one as that as I am the living proof of his true colour when it counts. Was he like Mr. Justice before he rose in the society, claiming to be a victim and accusing any one opposing his wish to be discriminating? I can picture Mr. Justice telling Mrs. Harmonie with a sigh about me as ‘ungrateful Japanese trouble maker despite all the improvement his sister had made in the restaurant kitchen.’ That his sister installed a commercial refrigerator prohibited in the old buildings made of wood and plaster that would not shield its mechanical noise, Mr. Justice would not mention. He knew that the authority would not look into such a minor offence, no matter how devastating it was for me. I found his smile more spine-chilling than Mr. Pride’s greed or irresponsible Mme. Empathy.
I waited for Mme. Landlord to arrive because I was too scared to investigate the basement alone. She opened the door and found the staircase to be covered with drips. Water was heard pouring intermittently in the depth of the dark basement. The stench was so stinging that we began to cough. We had to stop for there was a large pool of putrid water. ‘This is a gift of Mr. Pride!’ screamed Mme. Landlord. The relentless use of water by his restaurant had burst the building’s old sewage system. I quickly searched for anything sinister, but this is a true story, there was no body. However, dark sludge was everywhere. It was an apt symbol of what this old French building had been taken over by.
Mr. Justice and his team had been driven out from another restaurant by the lawsuit launched by their old neighbours. However the same colony was allowed by Mr. Honour to return to the same area playing the same old victim game. I got scared that my existence was known to those people whose nature resembled this dark putrefied sludge. What would become of me? From the next post, the title will revert to the original ‘the true horror stories in modern Paris’ because Goliath is for someone with a spine, not for those ‘victims-turned-predators.’
To be continued.
To be continued.