Saturday, 19 August 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 36

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.
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This Is What Happens When A Wild Wolf Approaches A Pet Dog

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 35

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. にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ

Friday, 4 August 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 34

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.
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Friday, 28 July 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 33

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.
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