Saturday, 10 February 2018
Mr. Pride demanded (he never asks, he commands) that the next general assembly of the co-landlords be held one month earlier than usual to put an end to this ongoing harassment of his tenant, Mme. Empathy the director of the restaurant from Hell. Yes, he claimed (and still does to this date) that ‘the Asian woman is lying about her suffering and Mme. Landlord is wrong in wanting to protect her tenant. The other landlords should not be influenced by the sentimental nonsense of my Mme. Landlord and landlords should vote with a sensitive mind. The true victim is him, claimed Mr. Pride.
Mr. Proud Victim, his second name, planned well to sabotage Mme. Landlord’s votes by picking a date that coincided with her cancer treatment when she would be away from Paris. You might ask why the Syndic accepted his request. As a rich man Mr. Pride was one of the two big shareholders. Unfortunately, this other big shareholder became his partner in crime. I shall refer to this new character as Mr. Brave who had been hereto polite towards Mme. Landlord despite his seething chauvinism because everyone respected Mme. Landlord, the smart lady with a strong sense of justice who had long looked after the interest of the building in a fair manner. Mr. Pride had the sense to see the importance of the large number of shares Mr. Brave possessed and proposed the latter a lucrative business. Thus Mr. Brave and Mr. Pride became buddies. Out came the true color of Mr. Brave who started to mock Mme. Landlord openly. He slandered Mme. Landlord to be a trouble maker, not worthy of her noble reputation.
Poor Mme. Landlord was shattered as she had not been aware of the dark sentiment of Mr. Brave towards her. Two men ganged up against this cancer patient, the true horror story in Paris. The two men influenced the date of the general assembly with their large number of votes combined. The Syndic was obliged to accept. Our Mme. Landlord chose to take a break from her treatment to attend the meeting because Mr. Pride demanded the Syndic and the co-landlords to legalize his unauthorized machine on the building. He could do it with the help of Mr. Brave who had revenge on his mind. My suffering did not even enter Mr. Brave’s mind because I too was a woman. I had thought that French men were fair and respective of women, so I inquired. It turned out that he was only half French. Not that it meant anything, but at this point I needed the French to be near perfect, worthy of the price I was paying to live in Paris.
However, my questions about the nationality led to the fact that quite a number of the landlords were either Italian or Americans. Mr. Pride and Mr. Brave did not fear them because they were all small shareholders. Combined, they would pose a larger number of votes, but they spoke little French and they resided overseas. Mme. Landlord could not reach them to ask for their power of attorney because of the language barriers. She lamented her English was not good enough to explain this complicated situation to those non-French landlords. Thus Mr. Pride and Mr. Brave disregarded the other landlords. I, this Asian woman, was of course forgettable to them. However, they overlooked the fact that I communicated in English and that I was also a Japanese woman with diligence. Most of all, I am a genuine descendent of Samurai Warriors who accepts every battle, even a losing one, to have some learning values. There is no medals given to join winnable battles. In fact, my ancestor feared complacency after a win more than a loss because one often ends up losing more than the gain of a win in a long term. I hope my ancestors were right about the reverse.
To be continued.
Friday, 2 February 2018
Mr. Pride has hereto ignored everyone refusing to hold a decent communication through the proper channel. However, he cannot afford to do the same with the authority that had the power to shut down his business. The part of the authority which even Mr. Honour had no power over was demanding Mr. Pride to remove his unauthorized machine on the roof, but without it his restaurant cannot operate. Mr. Pride could apply for a permission, but the permission required that the consent of the Syndic and the other landlords, the very people Mr. Pride had been ignoring. He had already tried boxing Mme. Landlord into accepting his business which she resisted despite her weak condition.
He could not care less about my well-being, but he could see that there may be some bleeding heart who may care for this disposable Asian woman. The reader of my blog may ask how would I know if he thought like that. I do because he wrote in his letter to the Syndic that he had spent money fixing the noise problem of the restaurant. ‘ The woman who is still complaining (he meant me) about the noise is pretending to be a victim. She should come back from wherever it is she is hiding so that the landlords of the building can make a sensible decision about accepting his restaurant business.’ If the noise problem had been solved why would I waste my money paying two rents?
To be continued.
Sunday, 28 January 2018
Bitterly Mr. Pride read the recent email from Mme. Landlord whose cancer suffering had not deterred him from pounding demands on her. Her recent triumph over death was certainly not a welcome news to Mr. Pride. You know the saying ‘kick a man when he is down.’ In Mr. Pride’s case, it was ‘strangle a profit out of a cancer patient.’ You would think Mme. Landlord would be livid, but no. She calmly brushed it aside and focused on her next move.
Mme. Landlord had once told me that she would show me how the French must fight for their rights. I had learnt of the ordeal of one union leader whose health had been severely damaged. My near death experience by the hand of the restaurant from Hell was not that outrageous after all if one wished to live in Paris. I was not born a Parisian, nor had a great fashion sense to pass myself as a near Parisian, but I was under a crush course of transforming from a tourist to a resident of Paris in a painful way. Would the privilege of having a tiny space carved out for me in Paris be worth all the troubles and suffering?
Hell, let’s find out. Sure I did not wish to waste the money I had paid to my lawyer, but what had started from my sense of obligation as a Samurai descendent to fight a losing battle was turning into something else. I wished to see the place I was being taken to. I might be exposed to danger again on the way by the restaurant from Hell, but I had survived them to this point which was something. Beside me was Mme. Landlord who had continued her fight against Mr. Pride even during her cancer treatment.
Mme. Landlord contacted a section of the authority over which Mr. Honour had no influence. She did not receive replies initially, but she persisted and months later it was noticed. The authority came and confirmed that the restaurant had a machine installed on the roof without a permission of the authority. It violated the regulations that maintain the beautiful appearance of Paris. Mr. Pride and Mme. Empathy who were French only by national did not give a toss about it. Mr. Honour may have tried to sweep it under the carpet, but the tenacity of Mme. Landlord had this violation exposed in the end. She was born a French in every way and could not stand seeing this piece of French history dismembered by the restaurant from Hell. I am not a French, but I share her respect for the French people who built this old building. Thus I was dismayed every time I heard drilling noise from the restaurant. It meant that they were installing another machine that did not conform to the regulations (I would be further exposed to noise and electromagnetic), but I also lamented for the holes they callously dug into the historical wall. I almost felt its pain. To be continued.
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Up to this moment Mme. Empathy had snubbed me if we passed each other on the street. Therefore I was stupefied by her smile. I felt like a small rat stared down by a serpent. With a pearly sweet voice she began.
‘There seems to be a misunderstanding between us.’ What a great phrase to evade one’s faults or wrong doings.
.‘…because you kept calling the police, I have paid a fortune fixing the problem.’ She took on a victim tone as if I was the mean trouble maker.
‘But we are neighbours and I do not want you to be distressed.’ An Oscar winning performance. All my sufferings and the near death encounter, was it all just a dream?
‘…We can solve this among ourselves. You need no lawsuit against the restaurant so long as the noise is removed, right?’ Here comes the logic and bargaining. The thought of permanent silence lift the weight off my shoulder.
Mme. Empathy was gaining ground on me, but I remembered to mention one point. ‘Thank you, but I am still exposed to the noise of your machines every night. I can’t say the noise is removed at this stage.’
The smile on Mme. Empathy froze. Her eyes took on harsh colour. Why was I feeling apologetic? Probably from fear. Mme. Empathy slipped back into a considerate smile.
‘I blame Mme. Landlord who has gotten you in this mess. She does not even live here, but we do. You and I should live harmoniously, but that woman has been giving you bad advice. We don’t need her, you and I’
My God, Mme. Empathy was using a brainwashing technique practiced by cults. First shifting blame on me, making me feel guilty and then severing emotional bond with my friends. No wonder Natalie had fallen for this. Mrs. Empathy was also a beautiful woman with a great body. Men would stand no chance with her.
By instinct I turned around and ran away. The only way to save myself from brainwashing process was to physically remove myself from the situation. To my horror, Mrs. Empathy came running after me too. I picked up speed until I could run no more. I did lose her in the end, but I was scared that she knew where I lived.
However, that was the last time Mme. Empathy ever approached me. My dear Mrs. Landlord was coming back from her cancer treatment. She had escaped death and was ready to resume the battle with me. I admit Mme. Empathy was way above my league, but Mme. Landlord was also formidable. To be continued.
Sunday, 14 January 2018
Mr. Honour was not amused. His high status gave him the power to manipulate the lives of others, but at the same time it also put him under the scrutinizing eyes of his opponents, eager to expose him. We are both impressed and suspicious of those who gained fame on the moral ground. It is not as clear cut as making a great invention or discovery, or winning medals at the Olympics, etc. Mr. Honour had won accolades for being the champion of the minority and yet he had hands in the life-or-death ordeal of an Asian woman. Granted indirectly, but he knew his favourite Mme. Empathy had been convicted of running unregulated business before and yet he intervened so she could continue her dark ways.
Now, I have no illusions that my life mattered as much as a rat floating along the river Seine to Mr. Honour or anybody for that matter, but his opponents may pretend to care. Neither the police nor my lawyer had enough proofs to make a case against the restaurant for my first ordeal, but Mr Honour knew that if I sought sanction at the police again from electricity exposure, things may be different. I would be able to report to the Japanese Embassy. I cannot claim to know the thoughts of Mr. Honour, but only he could have persuaded Mme. Empathy to do redo her kitchen. She finally contacted the architect employed by the Syndic of the building. I happened to walk in when the architect was instructing her to insulate the kitchen ceiling too. Would she finally come to do the right thing?
Weeks later I returned to check things out. The vibration noise from the ventilation had significantly dropped, however, Mme. Empathy had not yet insulted her kitchen ceiling. Other decent restaurants in Paris would either install their noisy machines in the basement, or rent or buy the first floor above the kitchen to protect their neighbours from the noise. Of course, Mme. Empathy would install her kitchen on the ground floor directly under the residential apartments. This meant I would continue to be exposed to the mechanical noise during the night. The restaurant had ameliorated just enough so that Mr Honour would not be linked to my near death ordeal. I could still perish from insomnia for all they cared, the restaurant from Hell.
I was not her only casualties. If you do not remember the American young man in the episode 48 who was beguiled by the pretty waitress Natalie into helping the restaurant, here is the link to that episode. http://www.thethirdredapple.com/2017/11/the-bullied-takes-on-goliath-in-true_11.html
The young man thought the restaurant would respond to his kindness by being considerate to him who lived right above the client area. No such luck. Once he had done his part, the restaurant responded by turning up the volume of the stereo to the max every night that the floor shook literally for the poor man. Our misled American hero shortly left the apartment he had loved and stayed for a long time. I blamed Natalie for going along with the scheme of Mme. Empathy…until that day when Mme. Empathy approached me with a dazzling smile. To be continued.