A fashion clueless struggling in Paris. The world is attracted to the light of this city,and me to the history, but the shadow beneath her reveals herself to you eventually. The Parisians are forged thus so attractive is their culture. Why ‘the third red apple?’ A hint maybe in the page available in English and French.
Mme. Empathy was being confronted by her chef. ‘Madame, you lied to me. I only agreed to install the extracting
ventilation directly on the ceiling because you assured me that the ceiling had been
insulated.’ Mme. Empathy replied with a
smile ‘but it is! I cannot do any more insulation than this.’ He did not quite
believe her because this chef did not abuse the extractor to his credit. Any chef would know the hell I was being put
through upstairs. At least the other chefs I had the chance to consult was aghast.
I was incessantly hit by relentless
vibration that my hands started to shake regularly. My lungs and my necks felt oppressed that I desperately needed to leave
the apartment. However, I had to go back
and record everything for at least one month.
The police would only come and measure the noise level only after I have
suffered and got affected by it. My
lawyers needed time to gather all the necessary documents and the tribunal in
France required HEAPS. Many times I had
to grit my teeth to prevent myself from vomiting. Every time the extractor stopped I would drop down on the floor like a puppet
with a string that got snapped. At least 10 hours of this every day and all the muscles around my neck and my shoulder became stiff as rock.
Mme. Empathy was annoyed that her mood was
ruined by being reminded of me. I knew
she was more angry than sorry because I had run into her one morning. She looked at me like a trouble maker whom
she had every right to be indignant with.
She tried to get the chef to agree with her by saying, ‘that Asian woman
is exaggerating to deceive money out of us.
It can’t be that bad if she is staying.
Asians can breed in any kind of conditions, can’t they?’ Mme. Empathy did not realize that the chef,
whom she had hired in order to ride on the Asian cuisine wave in Paris, did not
reply. Shortly afterwards, the Asian chef quit
the restaurant. This I heard from the other chef who would
also quit the restaurant later.
Mme. Empathy is right in believing herself
not to be a racist. She does not indeed
see the colour of people’s skin. In fact
she does not see human beings in anybody either. There are cases when even racism feels more
humane. To be continued.
Mr. Pillar, the lawyer, had defended many restaurants, but not vice versa. ‘Generally, the restaurants in Paris observe the regulations and it is the Syndics that do not want a restaurant in their residential building. However, this is clearly an exceptional case. In all my years of practicing laws in France, I have never seen this extent of malignant breach of regulations as in your case.’ Even his partner lawyer nodded because Mr. Pillar uncovered many other wrong doings by Mme. Empathy which I was not yet aware of. I have travelled all way from Japan to be sunk by a pirate. According to Mr. Pride, I had it coming because…of what?
Mr. Pillar was curious as to why I chose to stay. Very legitimate question. I thought of this tenant next door who recently left. The landlord simply washed his hands off on this unsuspecting Chinese girl. It was much cheaper for this landlord than hiring a lawyer to fight Mr. Pride. This is Paris where there would be no shortage of tenants from overseas. I tried to warn this Chinese girl, but she had already signed a long term lease.
My Mme. Landlord, on the other hand, was no such a coward. She offered to reimburse me the deposit and offered a free lodging at her other house until I found another. Mme. Landlord would not lend out her apartment to anyone until this problem with the restaurant was solved. She chose to fight solo despite her cancer. This impressed me immensely. There had been 4 landlords in Paris before her and three of them had exploited their tenants. Mind like Mme. Landlord is clearly rare to find in this dangerously beautiful Paris. So this was it. I chose to stay because I wished to learn from this respectable French lady. I may still lose and leave after spending a rather large sum of money on lawsuits, but at the end of the day, I liked Mme. Landlord.
Mr. Pillar nodded. ‘The restaurant owner needs to receive the registered mail from the tribunal so that the stop we shall put on their restaurant permit will become valid. You must not let on anything to raise their suspicion lest the restaurant refuse to receive it. I am very sorry but you are going to have to stay in your apartment all day all night to record all hours and volumes of the noise the restaurant emits.’
This was going to cost my health on many levels. To be continued.
Mme. Landlord was on the phone. ‘Mais, Non!’
She repeated in utter exasperation.
Mr. Pride had called her to demand access to his roof through her
apartment’s window where I rent, so his workers could install a sky roof on his
restaurant. Mme. Empathy believed that
the lack of a sky roof was the reason her restaurant was sparsely occupied. You would think that good food with honest
price is the keys to more customers, but not Mme. Empathy, our lady with substance. So here he was, Mr. Pride, demanding that I complied
his request. He knew I was suffering insomnia
and was weakened. Mme. Landlord defended me, ‘You and Mme.
Empathy keeps installing electric appliances that make loud noise all night long,
which keep my tenant up every night. I have
told you this many times!’
Mr. Pride interrupted Mme. Landlord with a
scoff. ‘Your tenant chose to live above a restaurant. Where does she get off complaining?’
Mme. Landlord corrected him, ‘I too live above a restaurant in the other building,
but the restaurant owner there is causing no problems. Why can’t you do the right thing and pay for
the insulation? You are a wealthy man with
many business, Mr. Pride!’ But alas, he kept demanding that ‘this Asian
woman should stop feeling sick and open her door to the tradesmen.’ He was relentless even after Mme. Landlord
pleaded him to let her keep her doctor’s appointment for her cancer. He kept demanding for nearly two hours until
she finally dropped the telephone receiver from exhaustion. I am not so naive as to judge him for putting his profit above the
health of the others. But I was stupefied when he demanded respect. Yes, ‘respect.’ Was there another meaning to this word that I
did not know of? Mme. Landlord said to him
that ‘respect must be given mutually’ but of course, it fell on deaf ears.
Two days later, a secretary showed me into
an office full of books. Probably the
most unpragmatic decision of mine had been made by Mr. Pride. A lawyer named Mr. Pillar greeted me
quietly. To be continued. にほんブログ村
Without women tenants’ participation, I had
to make a case for the nuisance of the restaurant by myself. Mme. Landlord could not help me with this
because she did not reside in the building herself. For my complaint to be accepted by the police
I had to live in inhabitable apartments to record all the activities by the
restaurant that were making it inhabitable.
It should not have to be this hard, but I moved into my kitchen aka my
living room and bedroom for some times to come.
The smug laughter of the restaurant
staff was heard too that I quickly pushed ear plugs into my ears. However, the noise pierced even those ear plugs that I dreaded the long hours of ventilation hell from the restaurant
below. According to Mme. Empathy and her
staff, I should just parish.
However, before long Mme. Empathy’s the
restaurant started to go quiet during the dinner hours. Mme. Empathy’s reputation had preceded her that no respectable locals would dine there. Winter was
coming and terror attacks in Paris had stopped the flow of tourists. The empty looking restaurant suffered a stark
contrast with the other restaurants nearby that were filled with the locals and
the expats. Mme. Empathy had designed it
so that there would be a lot of dining seats, which left very little space for
kitchen. The crammed kitchen must have inconvenienced
the chefs. Those sparsely occupied seats
in a large dining area enhanced the emptiness of the restaurant. All this was visible from the street. ‘A
good restaurant would pick up after a few weeks in Paris,’ said Mme.
Landlord. The restaurant was not an instant success.
However, some food critic wrote a glowing
reviews on the restaurant. This was the
same writer who had praised Mme. Empathy’s previous restaurant that closed in
red figures. I do not intend to
discredit the review and the writer who was probably served a special dinner
made with better ingredients than the meals Mme. Empathy would normally serve
the ordinary clients. However, this is
one good example that Michelin Guide is still the one to be trusted, despite
all the criticism. The Michelin agents dine
‘incognito’ leaving no room for special treatments by the restaurant. I imagine the Michelin agents would refrain
from taking photos of the food while the food bloggers would snap away, a
tell-tell sign to alert the restaurants’ people. The worst case is the critics being chummy
with the managers.
Mme. Empathy was going to break more rules
and morals. To be continued.