Saturday, 13 October 2018
I could not update my blog last week as I moved back to Paris. Yes, the gong rang and the gloves were off. Mme. Landlord is still lurking around. This is what it means to live in Paris. One month of holidays to wind down and 11 months of fighting battles.
However, it did not worry me anymore because after Mme. Landlord received a legal letter from my lawyer demanding to check her smartphone for the records to back up her claims that she fell off from my ladder while she attempted to take a call from my insurance company on my behalf, she did not even show up to the designated meeting. This shuttered my last hope that the insurance company may still have called her after leaving a message on my mobile. Mme. Landlord did not even try to explain herself to my lawyer, nor did she offer to pay back the medical fees she had wrongfully received from me. Any illusion I may still have clung to about her having some integrity was no more. I shall rename her as Mme. Harmonie, the senior. She was always preaching about ‘living in harmony with friends and the weak’ which impressed men and the gullible like me. The truth was that the weak had to do as she demanded and and if the weak had money they had to pay her up in gratitude.
Mme. Harmonie Sr. thought I would meekly pay her for the flashy new water tap which would have cost me far less than a legal letter by a lawyer. To her surprise I opted to leave a legal record of her behaviors because by then I had learnt that she would lie through her teeth to play a victim. Her sweet singing voice saved for gentlemen. Sure enough she spread the slander about me and had the nerve to send me the emails she had exchanged with her friends accusing me of wrong doings. The man who knew nothing about the sacrifice my mother had to make so that I would paint the apartment of Mme. Harmonie. Sr., he advised her to act harsh with me in his email. Did she not think that giving me his email address was a bad idea? I duly sent him the copy of my legal letter. Of course, Mme. Harmonie would insist that it was all lie, but the legal fee in France is steep. No one has that kind of money to spend on lies. At least, I did not hear his advice again.
All I wanted was the big old leech to be out of my life. I am not angry because her French friends do not fair so well either. I remember the time when Mme. Harmonie Sr. made me and a man (another gullible fan of hers) move a discarded mattress that had been laid in the garbage room for weeks, to the guest room of her apartment. I was horrified. ‘You are not going to let your guest sleep on it? The rats were seen there running around!’ She was not fazed at all. ‘A clean sheet would hide it.’ Then I knew she would lie to her French friend that she went out of her way to purchase the mattress for him.’ I did not miss anything but ceasing to be her acquaintance.
I am not above wishing for a revenge, but I do not carry it out because moving on is far more important. However, in this case a revenge was done without me lifting a finger. My lawyer offered to reimburse Mme. Harmonie. Sr. for her old water tap in exchange of the reimbursement for my labor painting her apartment. Of course, she would calculate that the tap costs one tenth of what my lawyer demanded, so she backed off. But I know her greed would be in pain for months wrestling over the new tap fees she could not squeeze out from me. Just like she was writhing nearly a year over her failure to take more money from her former tenant Jupiter. Her agony was tangible. His real estate agent stepped in to shield Jupiter, and my lawyer had to step in to shield me from the big leech. Sadly, my wrist will never regain its former strength, but I must take the responsibility of having a bad judge of character. Revenge is about shifting all the blame onto the other person, but one's stupidity is not plausible either, unless you are a still a child.
I decided to reassess all the things Mme. Harmonie sr. told me about Mr. Pride. I later had the chance to speak to him in person without the presence of Mme. Harmonie. Sr. Yes, he is still letting the restaurant from Hell to run, but he was not quite the character I had been made to believe. To be continued.
Sunday, 30 September 2018
A French lawyer working as the assistant of my regular lawyer was assigned my case against Mme. Landlord. He would naturally be bias as I was his client, but still the genuine shock on his face was enough proof that Mme. Landlord had behaved without honor according to the French standards. My lawyer was even more disgusted because he had once spent hours calming the nerve of Mme. Landlord when the restaurant from Hell was winning. Who paid for the expense? Me, of course. But I arranged it as a gift from me to Mme. Landlord because she was a dear friend of mine…at that time. I had expected it would cost me one-hour legal fees, but Mme. Landlord took the advantage of my offer and consulted my lawyer for her own business too. My legal tab was for 2 hours and more. However, I was still happy when I paid for it that my French lawyer was touched by my generosity and loyalty.
However, Mme. Landlord has chosen to abuse my trust and even extract more money from me. My French lawyer was indignant that an aged woman who was a grandmother of many grandchildren should have chosen to exploit a migrant young enough to be her daughter. In hindsight, he was puzzled that Mme. Landlord who started with a few words about my plight by the hand of the restaurant from Hell, the two hours legal consultation soon disintegrated into how much she despised the restaurant that had depreciated the financial value of her apartments. She was adamant about kicking Mr. Pride and his restaurant from Hell and for that she made use of my suffering…and my money. I was once grateful that my rent was lowered for it, but my lawyer immediately suspected that Mme. Landlord would collect the difference after the restaurant was out of the building. She has tried this method before with Jupiter. She allured him into paying for renovating her apartment and then terminated the lease and demanded compensation for the damage. This way she could sell her apartment, now done up in a modern style thus more sellable than before, with no expense on her at all.
My lawyer suspected Mme. Landlord would repeat her antics with me, so his legal letter to her covered many grounds. Mme. Landlord made a mistake of having consulted her own problems with my lawyer, leaving a legal record that she had knowingly benefitted from my lawyer. My lawyer demanded a counter compensation from on all the hours of legal fees. My painting labor alone would have cost Mme. Landlord 5000 euros had she employed a professional. My lawyer halved it out of good faith. He wished to demand her for the injury on my wrist because it has affected my career and would continue to do so in future, but as I left France immediately after the injury to accompany my fragile mother back to Japan, it would be difficult to prove the liability of Mme. Landlord.
While he was finalizing his legal letter, Mme. Landlord bombarded me with her emails demanding me to do the right thing and observe the harmony among the neighbors. Her hypocritical words resembled that of Mme. Harmonie of the restaurant from Hell. No wonder Mme. Landlord detested her. They were birds of a feather. To be continued.
Sunday, 23 September 2018
I wrote in my last post the reason why I have been irregular in updating my blog. My wrist has had up days and down days when it simply hurt too much to type. Today has been one of those latter days. I apologize in advance if I fail my readers again.
With my left hand only I emailed to Mme. Landlord to apologize for having broken her tap. I offered to replace it as soon as I return from Japan. ‘…right now, I need to catch a plane to accompany my mother because she is too fragile to travel alone.’…Yes, that cruel Mme. Landlord had made me work till the morning of my mother’s departure from France. Mme. Landlord did not even give my mother a chance to drive around Paris briefly for the last time. To her, migrants were hers to own and benefit from.
I managed by tipping whoever willing to carry our luggage because my wrist had lost its mobility. Once on the plane, my mother started to cry and blamed her for my injury. It did not make sense to me, but she revealed that she was never ill during her stay in Paris. She only pretended to be ill so that I would leave her to fulfill my promise I made to Mme. Landlord about painting her apartment. She sized up Mme. Landlord immediately that she was a dark character who would spread slander about me if she did not get what she wanted. My mother was worried that her slander may ruin my chance of befriending other decent neighbors, so she chose to sacrifice her last chance to see Europe and stayed alone in my room for a full week. Little did she imagine that Mme. Landlord would be so avaricious that she would abuse me to the point my wrist would snap in the cold chilly apartment where she refused to turn on her heaters for me.
Soon both my mother and I were crying in the plane bound for Japan. I regret that my desire to befriend a French, my desire to become a grateful migrant has sacrificed my mother’s happiness. I had sort of suspected that Mme. Landlord’s kind words were not without agenda, but my principles disciplined me to repay her fake kindness all the same. How naïve of me to have hoped that she would be touched by my sincerity. I should distance myself from Mme. Landlord after this hard lesson.
It was not over. When I returned to my mother’s home and turned on my computer, a message was waiting for me. It was from Mme. Landlord sending me a bill for a new tap, more expensive than her old one, and the installation fee. I explained my wrist and how my mother sacrificed her dream holidays for Mme. Landlord. Surely, she could wait till I return in a month? I was still naive. The cruel woman ignored my mother’s distress and simply warned me that if I did not pay immediately, I would be paying interest.
The hyena was after my money shamelessly, just like she pursued Jupiter, the sensitive gay tenant for his money. Very well, I would pay. Not for her, but for fighting her. I placed an international call to my lawyer in Paris.
To be continued.
To be continued.
Sunday, 16 September 2018
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.
Monday, 10 September 2018
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.