Sunday, 16 September 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 88

You might wonder why I still honored my promise I made to Mme. Landlord to paint her apartment despite her harsh nature that had revealed itself with time.  One was for the honor of all the migrants.  Mme. Landlord would spread around a slander about another ungrateful migrants who would not return her kindness.  Completing the painting was the only way to prevent it.  But another reason was a sentimental one.  I naively hoped that my sincerity might soften her attitude in the end.  In hindsight I guess I realized something was wrong, but I believed sincerity was the only way an Asian could befriend a French in Paris.

Mme. Landlord informed me that she was having a guest over in April and thus she must have her apartment ready by then.  She was not in Paris in the month of January, so I assumed there would be no painting during the cold winter months.  I decided to have my mother flown from Japan into Paris to my new room.  I should have done so sooner considering her advanced age, her fragileness precipitated by four operations, but I had to delay it thanks to the restaurant from Hell below who made my former apartment a hell to live.  Not the environment for my fragile mother.  February was not exactly the ideal month for a visit, but Paris is mesmerizing at any time of the year.

The first 10 days with my mother was wonderful.  She needed my assistance all the time, but she loved every minute of it.  Then…it happened.  Mme. Landlord returned all of sudden to Paris and ordered me to resume the painting of her apartment to repay her for her kindness.  I explained that my mother was here with me for just another 10 days and there would be a plenty of time before her guest arrived in 2 months.  But non, Mme. Landlord was going away on holidays in March and she could not fully relax and enjoy it if her apartment was not done.  She was going away with her grandson that I should know the importance of family.  I wrote to her that my mother was my family too and this was probably going to be her last chance to see Europe if her pending eye operation was not successful.  Mme. Landlord completely ignored this and still insisted.

I realized then that the kindness to migrants was costly and that migrants’ family clearly came secondary to the French family.  I could not abandon my mother, but then she fell ill.  She told me to go fulfill my promise while she rested in peace.  I knew my mother’s keen sense of obligation would suffer if I violated it, so I sadly went up the stairs to Mme. Landlord’s apartment on the top floor.  The hyena looked satisfied that her free help came.  She stayed around for a while to give me tons of instruction but left because the room was too cold.  She told me that her heater was still not fixed, and the toilet was still broken.  Needless to say, Mme. Landlord had no words of sympathy for my mother who had fallen ill.  Instead, she bang on my door loudly to wake my sick mother up so she could use my toilet.  Economizing on toilet paper was more important than the health of an aged migrant to Mme. Landlord.  I hope that no other French women are this vulgar.

I continued to finish the painting because coldness made me numb, body and mind.  I was too sad to confront the reality that my sincerely had been exploited.  Days after I was finally cleaning up having finished the job.  The cold water numbed my wrist for the last time.  I said ‘last’ because the tap snapped as I turned it.  I realized with horror that I had broken Mme. Landlord’s tap and the mobility of my wrist was gone. 

My readers would know that which one of us demanded compensation.  To be continued.
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Monday, 10 September 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 87

The month of January 2018, I was left in peace during the long absence of Mme. Landlord.  She wanted to enjoy the time with her grandchildren.  However, she did not leave quietly…as my readers might guess by now.

Mme. Landlord would not release my deposit easily.  She cooked up all the things that needed to be replaced new.  Luckily, my insurance agent had advised me to take photos of the apartment when I was first allowed in.  They needed to contest the claims concocted by Mme. Landlord, just like she did with her former tenant Jupiter who had his deposit denied for taking out what rightly belonged to him.  What happened next needs a bit of explanation, so unbelievable her attitude was.

She had an accident falling off from a ladder when her phone rang.  Now the phone call was from my insurance agent and the ladder belonged to me.  She had insisted on leaving it in her apartment until the painting was completed.  She made a huge fuss about her fall, telling everyone that she fell from the ladder while removing the glues from her walls.  She repeated to the world that had I done the job right, she would not have needed to be up the ladder.  Had I lefft her apartment in a good condition, my agent would not have bothered her.  Mme. Landlord had a lot of experience with Japanese students and tenants that she knew my sense of obligation would yield if she succeeded in making me feel guilty. 

She was right.  I felt obliged to pay her medical bills because she got injured in relation to the action of my agent.  Later my French lawyer advised me that I was not responsible for her injury, but I had already paid her.  There was a flash of sheepishness in her eyes, but she took the money and quickly pushed it down her pocket looking very satisfied.  I asked her for the receipt issued by the pharmacy.  I did not want to repeat the same mistake made by the Japanese government who paid a chunk of compensation money without an international witness and ended up endlessly being demanded of compensation by a certain group of people.  I personally agree that financial compensation does not heal everything, but it does not hurt for them to acknowledge what they have already received from Japan over decades. 

After Mme. Landlord left to join her family, I spoke with my insurance agent.  It turned out they had never called Mme. Landlord.  They had in fact called me and left a message.  I checked my mobile’s records and found the message sent on the day Mme. Landlord claimed to have the accident trying to answer the call from my agent.  It was a petty lie and yet her circle of friends were disgusted that ‘here is another ungrateful migrant causing a trouble to the French.’  I understand the concern of Madame Le Pen about the ungrateful migrants because some of them are disrespectful of the French ways.  But I hope she knew of migrants like me who are made ‘scapegoat.'

To be continued.
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Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Congratulation, Mr. John Millman

This is an extra update.  I had to because Mr. John Millman, an Australian tennis player has just won a great victory.  To be honest, I would not have reacted much if he had not been an Australian.  I may have left that big island nation, but I still feel a sentimental connection that is strong enough to rejoice every time good thing happens to Australia, the nation that helped me grow a backbone.  Without it I would have perished a long time ago in Paris.

Congratulation and many thanks.
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Sunday, 2 September 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 86

Not all migrants are financially challenged.  Some of them are elites who had to flee their homeland to protect their wealth.   Such was this Turkish doctor whose acquaintance Mme. Landlord boasted of a lot.  She would say ‘I was raised as a Catholic, but I do not like religions.  Thus, I do not discriminate Muslims.’  For many months this kind of her comments impressed me.  She told me how many of her rich friends frequently invited her for all expenses trip in exchange of her doing them some favors.  Still, I thought she would pay for her own meals.  I would if my travel and accommodation fees were paid.  

However, one day I asked her about the meal arrangement and I was surprised by her response.  She casually replied to my question that it was not her problems to worry about the expense.  She did not even look up from her smartphone while saying ‘Je ne sais pas.’  There was no hint of gratitude, but only the sense of entitlement on her arrogant profile.  This Turkish doctor must have imagined a friend in Mme. Landlord, just like I was fooled for many months.  He may have felt vulnerable in the face of religious discrimination in the world that Mme. Landlord’s sweet words felt like music.  In my case, I had been weakened by the restaurant from Hell and thus I was ripe for the easy exploitation by She the hyena. 

However, I was not angry.  Sad and disappointed, but not angry because being a bad judge of character was my fault at my age.  I preferred to move forwards.  Besides fate dealt me a kind hand for a change and had one Italian couple in the neighborhood offer their apartment when they learnt that I was looking for one.  They had also been disillusioned by Mme. Landlord and somehow chose to trust me.  Their apartment was in the same building that I first hesitated because I had had enough of Mme. Landlord and the restaurant from Hell.  However, the one decisive factor was that I would not need to report the change of address to the French Government.  In order to extend my visa, continuity was considered important.  I had not yet studied the Baroque French history as I had initially planned to do.  At that time my wrist was still fine, thus I hoped to become a graphic novelist in France.  Of course, there was no guarantee that I would have succeeded, but I would like to have a crack at it at least.  So, I accepted the offer of the Italian couple and gave one month notice to Mme. Landlord. 

I had expected rage, but her concern was whether I would continue to fight Mr. Pride.  She blurted out that she needed the restaurant to be driven out from the building so that the former financial value of the property would be recovered.  In order to fight Mr. Pride, a lawyer was needed.  Now the readers of my blog would remember that I have been paying all the legal expenses because I believed in fighting the evil that had victimized the neighbors.  I was the only one who could not speak French well, thus I was the weakest useless link.  I believed Mme. Landlord was genuinely sympathising with my ordeal and her crying face compelled me that I should step up and bring in a French speaking lawyer.  Everything appealed to my Japanese sense of obligation.  

Did she con me?  I would not know, but by this time a new piece of information had reached my lawyer.  Mme. Landlord had once been engaged in a legal battle with another commercial neighbor, but the all the expenses were paid by this one wealthy French neighbor.  His lawyer won the case, and the compensation was paid out, even to Mme. Landlord who had not paid any legal expenses.  That she did not decline the money that should have been paid to this wealthy French man revealed a lot about her.  

I replied to her that I no longer wished to fight Mr. Pride now that I have purchased the advanced insulation materials from Japan.  She put on her distressed face again and pleaded me to continue engaging my lawyer so that other neighbors, notably her, did not have to pay a cent to combat the restaurant from Hell.  I was not fooled again, so I refused.  Then her sweet face distorted into a dark vulgar face as she hissed.  ‘No amount of insulation from Japan would work.  You will still suffer!’  She wished me to suffer while she insulted the advanced technology of Japan too.  Luckily, a young man passed by and Mme. Landlord quickly put back on her lady face.  As she greeted the young man with a sugar voice, I escaped.  But remembering how tedious and persistent she was in pursuing Jupiter for money she did not deserve, I knew it was not over. 

The only small consolation was that Mme. Landlord does not discriminate French nor non-French when it comes to parasite-ing.  To be continued.

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Monday, 27 August 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 85

My wrist has been hurting the last few days thus my delayed update.  I am still paying the price for having glorified Mme. Landlord’s personality and let her abuse me till my wrist snapped.  The amount of labor she threw upon me may not have done less damage had my muscle not been tense from the stress the restaurant from Hell was exposing me too day and night.  It may have helped if Mme. Landlord had allowed me to turn her heater on during the cold winter months.  

But I soldiered on for the honor of migrants, not just for Japanese people, because Mme. Landlord wrote to me that her friends applauded her for the few hours after I had put in one week into preparing and sanding her walls.  That she did not share with her French friends that I had done the hard work, was still tolerable.  However, she had the nerve of writing to me that her friends were disgusted that I had done nothing useful which surpassed the level of mere lying.  Mme. Landlord probably meant it as a blackmail so that I would put in more free work, but I realized with horror that she needed migrants to remain useless, so she could shine as the saint protector of pathetic migrants. 

The only way to silence the hypocrite was to do the excellent job.  Of course, she would take all the credit, but at least she would have no reasons to complain anymore.  So, I applied three layers of paint on her walls.  At this stage I had put in another three full days of work.  I must remind you that she had purchased the half priced cheap paint and the three layers was not giving her the desired result.  My arms were feeling sore which did not stop even during the night.  I asked Mme. Landlord for a break promising her to do more later, but she pretended not to have understood my French.  I repeated the same thing in English, which she ignored despite that her former occupation was a teacher.  I had to go down to my own room should nature call because Mme. Landlord lied me to that her toilet was broken.  I did not doubt her words because she always insisted to use my toilet every time she came to inspect my work in her other apartment.  It was also hard to believe that a lady of the advance country like France would stoop to mooching toilet paper from one of the migrants she boasts herself to be the protector of.  This went on for 9 months since her last tenant Jupiter left her apartment.

Then suddenly she told me to interrupt the painting and assigned me with a new task.  She decided to go after Jupiter for compensation and she needed a secretary for preparing documents.  My printer was made to work till it broke because she was persistent.  My wrist did not get as much rest as I needed.  However, I had started looking for a new apartment to distance myself from Mme. Landlord that it was easier to just go along for a while.  I wish a doctor had warned me of the risk, but instead there was my Japanese sense of obligation to keep promises.  Mme. Landlord made sure that I did by constantly repeating to me how much I owed her for her kindness.  

She did not know that my French reading had improved beyond her imagination, but I could read the communication between them and discovered that Jupiter had tried many times to fix the things she complained of in her apartment and that she sabotaged his effort each time.  She kept writing to him that she loathed the modern kitchen he left  had behind, but she had insisted that I covered the modern kitchen board and shelves with cloths before I paint the walls for protection.  Mme. Landlord was only pretending to loathe the modern kitchen.  Financial extortion was her true aim.   If you are the first-time reader of my blog, let me tell you that Mme. Landlord also boasted herself to be gay tolerant that she would lend her room to Jupiter.  She would have nagged him on for compensation if it was not for me.  Seeing that Jupiter would not cave in, she turned her attention on my saving, small as it is. 

So, you see, Sir. Farage of Brexit, it is handy to keep migrants around because your white people can be shielded from the true evil who prefer to go after the weaker prays.  While this sounds sarcastic, I later became friends with Jupiter that I am truly glad that Mme. Landlord is off his back.

To be continued.
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