Sunday, 15 July 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 79

I have deleted my last update which deviated from the updates of my true struggles in Paris.  I wish to make up by responding to the suggestion made by my loyal follower.  Christopher Meade (a writer, funny and compassionate) was so indignant about the calculating Mme. Landlord, that he suggested that I should take revenge in the comment section of episode 78.  Appeasing thought and I am only human. 

However, I must first analyze the process that I got taken in by this experienced hyena so that I will not repeat the same mistake.  Hard as it is, I must take my responsibility for having fallen…a victim.  I hesitate there because I dislike this word, more precisely, the people who refer to themselves as ‘victims’ as if it is a license.  Apart from children and the physically weak, there is no such a thing as blameless victims.  Greed makes people fall for scams.  Lack of preparation makes you lose.  In my case underestimating the weak was my undoing.  

Mme. Landlord was ill when I first met her.  Foolishly I believed she was too sick to harbor any evil thoughts.   I should have remembered that some women have dedicated good many years of their life caring their sick lovers, only to be dumped after their lovers have regained their health, walking away with a new, often younger, girlfriend.  In the case of Mme. Landlord, as soon as her cancer was contained, she reverted back to a money mongler who would extort even from her allies.  It was not just me, but there was other landlords whom she would extort compensation for her cooked up stories.  I am more a fool than a victim to have missed seeing her true color in the early days.  I succumbed to the temptation of the role of a virtuous woman befriending a sick lady and fighting evils with her.  It is extremely hard to admit but it was my vanity that I lost my future as a graphic novelist.  I cannot with this wrist now.  I may be able to write some pages slowly, but that is not going to cut it in the professional world.  Not that I ever had any chance, but now I have none for sure.

Another reason for my misjudgment was the existence of the even bigger devil, the restaurant from hell.  I was blown away by their audacity to present themselves as decent lots while breaking many regulations regarding restaurant business.  The religion was used to justify the corruption which I abruptly stopped writing its details because I got scared.  The collective evil overshadowed the individual evil of Mme. Landlord.   But there is one thing they have in common: they both refer to themselves as ‘victims.’  The restaurant folks lament that they are being unfairly persecuted by the heartless neighbors and Mme. Landlord referred to herself as ‘a good person betrayed.’  This convenient shift between ‘predator’ and ‘victim’ is a lot worse than a solid predator.  However, after being exposed to them for many months I realized that it was easier than I thought to slip into this pattern.  I shall share what happened to me in my next update because...

...tonight is the final of Coupe du Monde.  I wish to end this post with my respect to the two nations.   The French who remain sympathetic to migrants even though they suffer reverse-discrimination in their own land.  Cudos for the Croatians who remained modest despite their success during the world cup, keeping to themselves any negative views about other teams.  But what I had not expected was that one individual would rise above all the national flags and shine as the epitome of World Cup 2018:  Mr. Luka Modric.  His pleasant but calm existence is so reassuring.  It does not matter which flag wins tonight.  His existence and the memory will define the world cup 2018 in years to come.  It is the triumph of individual which is  so gratifying to me who got crushed by the collective power aka corruption.  To be continued.
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Monday, 2 July 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 78

The pain in my wrist lingered too long that I had to return to Japan because my other wrist began to hurt.  I needed the help of my family in Japan with every day chores.  Thus I have been following the news of the World Cup in Japan.  Let me tell you, the Japanese would have preferred our national team to have progressed to the top 16 in a different manner.  No need to condemn us.  We know that stalling to keep the lead, which many teams have done in the soccer history, is different from stalling when you are losing.  We are also painfully aware that we possess none of the gifts that other teams have.  After all the flakks the Japanese players copped, the Japanese team will be clobbered by the Belgium who openly speak of the Japanese team as a warm up practice before facing Brazilian team.  Despite what you think of the Japanese, we have accepted all this with resignedness, not smugness.

If there was one thing I would ask…please, do not take your anger out on the Japanese supporters.  As soon as the media credited them for cleaning the stadium seating areas after the games, there was a backlash.  The Japanese supporters were accused of trying to make their national team look grander than the real life.  I need to point out to you that cleaning is just our habit.  The supporters have been doing this in Japan all the time, not just in the international venues.   Japan is such a tiny country that if we each did not clean up after us, the life would have been intolerable.  Those who look for ulterior motives in the others, are often projecting their own pattern of thinking.  The man who went out of his way to speak to Japanese media about his contempt on the Japanese fans may approve if the Japanese start wrecking the shops that belonged to our opponents as well.  

Let me point out the obvious: the Japanese people have always been the butt of joke and there are reasons for that.  Look at me for an instance.  For over one year I made every effort to please Mme. Landlord whom I believed to be my friend.  Instead of appreciating me, Mme. Landlord chose to exploit the situation. 
Geek Japanese may seem fair game to you, but you would gain far more by befriending us.  Our loyalty goes a long way.  I was even thinking of inviting Mme. Landlord and her family to Japan during the Tokyo Olympic, all expenses paid.  Of course, I dropped this idea when she wronged my aged mother who visited me in Paris.  That was the wake-up call.  
To be continued.
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Saturday, 23 June 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 77

My injured wrist has had some rest.  I’m not sure if anyone would care for my updates while the world cup 2018 is on, but I’d better write some before my wrist gives way again.

In hindsight, I was always uneasy that Mme. Landlord constantly reminded the people around her of her good deeds.  She called herself ‘a good person yet underappreciated.’  It may be very Japanese of me, but I was brought up with the idea that good deeds may be recognized, but should not demand rewards.  It was sad because she did not need to remind me of her kindness because I always remembered it.  When she asked me to print all her private documents, I did not doubt her explanation that she found the modern technology difficult.  I had to go through several ink cartridges, each quite expensive in France, but I was happy to do them for her free. 

However, one night, Mme. Landlord needed her vast documents for her freelance work and I had to deliver the printed documents after 22:00.  Unfortunately, after hours of consecutive printing, my printer broke down.  As I apologized to her that it was not all done, there I saw it, a printer hidden behind her books.  Mme. Landlord looked sheepish for a moment, but still rejected my suggestion to use her printer.  She would wait till I got my printer fixed.  Had she not told me to deliver her documents late at night because it was urgent?  I felt uneasy but, tried to suppress the feeling.  Japanese are too loyal to question their friends’ motives.  So I agreed when she asked me to carry one of her chair to her other apartment on my way home.  It was heavier than it looked, but I would not suspect that Mme. Landlord, who did volunteer works to help migrants receive visa in France, would exploit me, another migrant, to economize 15 euros worth of taxi fares which would have costed her otherwise.  My arms hurt after 30 minutes long slow walk while holding onto the heavy chair, but there was another four staircases up to her apartment, now vacated by Jupiter.  I tried to focus on the honor of being trusted with the key to her apartment.  Of course, Mme. Landlord saw the situation completely differently because with the keys came another instruction, which was to open her windows every morning to let fresh air into the apartment.  Of course, the windows had to be closed every afternoon. 

So I was a free secretary and warden at her disposal.  I served Mme. Landlord for 16 months because I did not want to be one of those ungrateful migrants.  I was grateful that a Parisian had befriended me.  Only my injury that rendered me useless would repel this hyena who was not even a true Parisian, it turned out.  To be continued.

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Saturday, 9 June 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 76

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.

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Saturday, 26 May 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 75

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.
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