Sunday, 16 February 2020

The end that I had dared not hope has really happened to the true horror stories in Modern Paris part 119

This world is not a fair place, justice is but a fragment of our wishful imagination.  However, it may not be quite the Hell after all.  The restaurant from Hell that nearly silenced me physically has finally fallen.

I thought they would get away with it with all their cheating and utter contempt for the everyday living of their neighbors.  They thought they would not need local clients for there would be plenty of gullible tourists they could rip off.  They billed their food as 'fresh food straight from the market' yet I saw boxes of powdered potatoes delivered into their kitchen early in the morning before tourists would see.  The managers personally knew many famous food critics.  Praising reviews adorned the entry door, but the neighbors knew they were fake because the praising reviews appeared too soon after the opening of the restaurant.  A respectable critic like Michelin would wait nearly one year to see if the chef could constantly maintain the high standard expected of Michelin. 

However, it may be this excess promotion that brought upon their doom.  The taxation office may have expected the restaurant to have generated some big profit if the great reviews on the walls were anything to go by.  In reality, the restaurants remained fairly empty aside of those occasional loud all night parties organized by the managers themselves.  It is quite possible that their tax return was genuinely low, but the taxation office would not buy it because the restaurant had successfully made the place appear 'happening'.  Also the restaurant was suspected of exploiting their chefs, many of them colored.  There were too many of them coming in and out like yoyo and their working hours was too long.  However, their last head chef was a French man thus he may have become a whistle-blower of the appalling condition. 

Whatever the reasons may have been, the curtain fell on Mme. Harmonie, the woman who haughtily told me to live with my windows closed instead of insulating her restaurant to contain the noise.  She condemned me to the life without fresh air but her attitude bit her in the end.  She would be in red after paying many months of expensive rent during which her restaurant was forced to close by the authority.  Now I have learnt that the landlord of the restaurant has gotten a new tenant.  

To my surprise, I did not feel joy.  Of course, I am relieved but that is all because it was not just the restaurant that robbed me.  Mme. Landlord who turned out to be a greedy leech, not just to me and even to the buyer of her apartment was a huge disappointment.  My former lawyer was only pretending to be a Japanese and I discovered that he was over charging me.  I got some money back when I confronted him with proofs, but I did not want to launch a lawsuit against a lawyer.  It would be too immature to cry that `they took an advantage of my trust', but they both were ruthless people who took an advantage of my weakened state.  So, you see, the world is full of villains and I cannot afford to invest my emotions let alone waste my time on revenge because my life is not long enough for it.  Besides the God is more genius than men when it comes to revenge (or everything) that it is better to leave it to Him. 

As I look into the deserted restaurant, I remember the night I was almost electrocuted by Mme. Empathy, the creator of the restaurant from Hell.  Without the self preserving knowledge passed down from my Samurai ancestors, I would not have lived to tell this story.  My former lawyer could not (or would not?) persecute Mme. Empathy for her crime and she got away by selling the hellish creation to Mme. Harmonie.  For all I know karma has not caught up with Mme. Empathy.  I told you this world is not a paradise and I have paid out of my pocket to insulate my apartment which I will not get compensation unless I file another lawsuit.  It may sound naïve but one needs to grow out of being a victim without the intervention of the predator if one wishes to claim 'pride' in the real sense of the word.  You will not earn respect of the world if you receive hand out, even in the form of compensation unless you are a child or were a child at the time.

My decision to leave the landlord of the restaurant alone has led to an unexpected effect.  My neighbors, French and Italians have shown me their support in the midst of Corona virus crisis when the discrimination against the Asians heightens in Europe.  Now this is priceless and I am glad that I am a person who can appreciate the value of things other than money.  I am all about moving forwards and pray that the new tenant of the restaurant will be law abiding.  We'll see if he/she will be honest enough to take down the endorsement stickers from the wall until they have genuinely earned the credit. 

Whether the true horror story in the modern Paris continues or the new happier chapter begins, it remains to be seen.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Unexpected Christmas gift from the true horror stories in Modern Paris part 118

Today's gift is the reassurance that Karma may exist after all.  It has been a long time since my last update, but our restaurant from Hell, its operation has been suspended for months.  

It is not yet closed down because their noisy refrigerators and freezers were left switched on.  I know it because I can still hear the dreadful mechanical noise if I move part of my insulation material a little.  The bloody restaurant had installed a gigantic refrigerator which the authority would have prohibited on the ground that it was not proportional to the size of the kitchen.  Also such a modern refrigerator was not suited to an old building made of rock walls because the old rock walls transfer noise more efficiently than cement walls.  The regulations were meant to protect the living standard of the neighbors surrounding the restaurants, but of course, our bloody restaurant manager could not care less about their neighbors and the monstrous refrigerator was installed.  Their friend in the high place made sure that no surprise inspections would take place and that any inconvenient report to the authority against them would be crushed.

However, there is one authority almost always reliable to be mightier than any other authorities: Taxation office.  The rumor has it that the taxation office is onto our restaurant from Hell.  I am not at all surprised having witnessed their cheating behaviors.  It may have started with small things such as serving their clients powdered potato under the claim of being a fresh market food restaurant.  I know this because boxes of Knorr dried mush potatoes were seen delivered early in the mornings…before the tourists arrived.  The list went on that I nearly lost my faith in the code of my ancestors.

One of the codes revered among the ancient warriors in Japan is '…letting the enemy gain all that he or she desires'.  It is based on the doctrine that we human are not capable of wishing what is good for us.  In life, we tend to indulge ourselves if things go our way.  Thus I ceased fighting the restaurant and opted to pay for all the insulation materials out of my own pocket.  My intention was to stay and prevent other unsuspecting French tenants to be trapped in this apartment above the restaurant from Hell, but my silence still served the bloody restaurant well.  Too well that it may have accelerated their cheating attitude.  They still must pay rent for the venue even during the forced suspension months and their fake good reviews will lose their validity after so many months of non-operation.   The  restaurant will still reopen someday, hopefully as a law abiding institution instead of Hell, but definitely under a new management.  

Karma caught up with the old cheating management in the end, reaffirming my faith in good after a long three years.  I lost a lot of money in the meantime but It rendered me a forged resident of Paris.  Many people ask me if I have lived here for decades, thus it cannot be my wishful imagination.

Merry Christmas.


Sunday, 28 July 2019

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 117

It's been three weeks since I last updated my blog.  I had again temporarily lost mobility of my wrist, the one that got damaged by Mme. Landlord who overworked me by making me clean and paint her apartment without a heater during the cold month of February while she was warming herself in her other heated apartment.  It was a blatant abuse of immigrants' labour by the self-acclaimed protector of the weak, but I needed to learn the lesson of life the hard way. 

Enough about myself.  I promised to an author Mr. Meade to give updates on the characters of my true horror stories in this modern Paris.  The restaurant from Hell went all out to deceive potential clients.  Each time some honest reviewer wrote a negative comment about their rip-off price for their stingy portion, the chef would bribe a young French with a free meal for a good review.  I once saw a girl chatting friendly with the chef inside the courtyard.  Shortly 5 stars review appeared on a social media with her photo.  Thus tourists and some French who are looking for a new place continued to get sucked in.  Nevertheless, the restaurant is never full because the neighbours would not dine there, not after being blasted with a loud music continuously until midnight.  This tactics backfired though as the restaurant kept losing their chefs who must have been exhausted by the long hours. 

However I find myself without zeal to write about the misfortune of the characters from the restaurant now that I know that they had ignored my written pleas about my physical suffering caused by the restaurant because they knew that I was under the influence of Mme. Landlord.  Mr. Pride and the other landlords all knew that Mme. Landlord would lie and exaggerate her suffering and thus I was suspected of fabricating my suffering under the instruction of Mme. Landlord.  In hindsight she forbid me to insulate my floor which would have mitigated my nausea and sickness because she needed to use my physical suffering as a big humane excuse to drive out Mr. Pride's restaurant.  Later it was revealed that she wanted to recover the value of her apartment which had been devalued by the opening of the restaurant.  My readers would have read about the hell that broke out after I disobeyed her.  She tried to drum up the residents to impeach me, which failed because they had already gotten to know me.

Never the one to be discouraged, Mme. Landlord turned to the new woman buyer of her apartment and fed her with the lies and scandals about me.  Mme. Landlord accompanied the new buyer…I shall call her Mme. May because that is when we first met, with the purpose to abet the young couple Mme. May and her husband to…God knows what she wanted, but she had this odd habit of announcing her move in advance in emails.  She had announced to the residents that she was going to correct all the wrong in the building for the sake of Mme. May.  So I had prepared all the written documents to counteract her lies and practiced my poor French phrases.  However, the God was on my side because Mrs. May had worked in America and thus spoke English fluently.  So I quickly explained the situation in English (thank you, Australia, you taught me well) and the obvious relief on her face was uplifting.  Mme. Landlord screamed ordering me to speak in French but Mme. May and I, we both ignored her and we bonded.  We are going to meet again on a cup of tea soon. 

Horror stems from many thing, but in my case it was my naïve bleeding heart.  In hindsight I refused to recognize some signs that old Mme. Landlord was a user because it was easier to hope that my patience with her ways would soften her avarice.  My damaged wrist is a stark reminder of my weakness which I must combat.  Some people may say that suing her for compensation would be the right revenge.  Yes, logically.  But if a person grows by overcoming the misfortune or troubles, then accepting money from the culprit would leave the person as the same weakling as before.  Being a weak fool is not a virtue.  In my case I have lost a lot through associating with Mme. Landlord, financially and physically, but only through earning back the loss through my merit I would be able to deem myself to have grown and overcome the hardship. 

In the meantime, Oh, the injured pride of Mme. Landlord upon realizing that her plan to humiliate me had failed.  I have at least gained the right to stand on the higher ground and look down on her.  This feels surprising good enough while I note that facial expression of Mme. Landlord has become both sheepish and vulgar.  What a face to show to the Lord when her time has come to return to Him.  But of course, she is an atheist so it would not have mattered to her.  I see religious people as trouble makers stirring up division among people.  God has been used to shield man's ulterior agenda for centuries.  Here in Paris I have witnessed the snobbery of one religion, the violence of one other religion, the victim game of one other religion and even the manipulation of one other religion.  And yet having no religion risks a weak soul like mine to turn into a self-acclaimed God as in the case of Mme. Landlord.  I need a religion to keep a check on my soul and attitude which is what the religion was initially set up for.  It is the people who have changed the good religions into self-serving cults.  Then only through keeping my religion absolutely private and secret may protect me from corruption.

So at the end of my long true horror stories in the modern Paris, I found myself bruised but in the place I had least expected.  I have chosen one faith.  This takes care of my soul and as for my career, I have learnt to use my left wrist to lessen the burden on my damaged right wrist.  NEC of Japan has launched a laptop whose keyboards offer 'light as feather touch.  I will resume my translation work with this new device.  And as for my dream to publish a book through a publisher, well this one is gone forever because my wrist will no longer cope with drawing many graphic novel pages at a time.  However, I have discovered that a few pages of graphic novel can be uploaded onto YouTube.  This will allow me to write at my slow pace and the potential readers will not have to pay money to see my work.  It would give me a sense of purpose if my graphic novel earned some clicks even though it is extremely difficult to earn living through clicks.

The last four years, Paris has thrown so many things at me without intermittence that I did not have time to sit down to draw a single page of graphic novel.  It may have been waste of time or life?   Yes and No because my plot will be more realistic after all this.  This post concludes this section of my True Horror stories.  Will Paris provide me with more 'True Horror'?  I wait with apprehension because this beautiful but cruel Dame will most likely do so.

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Sunday, 7 July 2019

The true horror stories in modern Paris and Bucharest part 116

Outside the Bucharest airport it was already pitch dark.  Miss J was still recovering from the shock of having missed the last shuttle bus that had left the airport before the scheduled time.  She remembered the all the horror stories about cabbies who would take advantage of women passengers, financially and sometimes even more…Yes, women, we've all been there.

Miss J looked up at the smiling face of her savior, ironically that was how the man appeared to her, this Mr. R from Romania.  Judging from the photo of an article, Mr. R's facial feature was surprisingly normal in the photo that his smile would have been disarming.  She did not know him but surely the cab driver would not misbehave towards her in the presence of another man…

Once inside the cab he told the driver to go to North Station where Mr. R had offered to accompany Miss J so that she would not be alone with the cab driver.  Miss J was a beautiful young lady who was no stranger to the kindness of men.  Thus she missed the fatal sign, the understanding look exchanged between the unofficial driver and Mr. R.  The taxi started driving towards the opposite direction, which of course Miss J would not know it. 

Shortly the taxi stopped.  Bucharest airport is practically surrounded by the forest where the light would be scarce.  Miss J could not quite see where they were, but as Mr. R got out the car to get her suit case the taxi driver insisted to be paid.  Unfortunately, the keen sense of obligation of Japanese compelled Miss J to focus on paying the taxi driver.  I know I would as the same Japanese woman.  I am 90% positive that she only had Euros on her because I personally experienced that none of the ATMS at the Bucharest airport accepted my Japanese bank credit cards.  I had to use my French card to get the local cash.  So back to the fatal night, the unofficial driver would have attempted to rip Miss J off, or at least confused her with the currency conversion rate.  Miss J would have felt uneasy by sensing a foul play which blinded her from the other more sinister risk.  She wanted to join her savior Mr. R outside, away from this dodgy unofficial driver.

The spot where Miss J got off the taxi with Mr. R was only 2 meters away from the forest that Miss J would not even have had the time to look around before she was grabbed by the strong Mr. R and abducted into the forest.  She would have screamed but they were out of hearing distance of any human existence.  In just a split second she had left the normal world behind.  Her blood must have curdled inside her veins from fear.  However she fought back, fiercely…until she felt a knife slashing her thigh.  According to many articles the autopsy found the muscle tissues torn so horrendously which would have rendered Miss J impossible to move from the extreme pain.  But there was more to come. 

I do not have the right to go into the details of her brutal defilement, but recounting of her pain may not tarnish her dignity.  After Mr. R had his way with Miss J, he punctured her eyeballs.  She lost her eye sight.  Then he attacked her ears.  She lost her hearing.  I can only hope that she had fainted before Mr. R lunged his knife into each of her organs.  The following morning, pieces of her were scattered all over the place.  Nobody deserves such an excruciating painful death.  Sadly the Romanian press disagreed.  'Stupid Girl', they condemned the deceased.  'All she had to do was to take an official taxi.  Our country's image got smeared by one foolish Japanese woman!'  I hope this was mistranslation for Miss J's sake, but apparently no sympathy was shown to this tragedy that befell on a human being.  Or was an Asian woman not seen as such here? 

The Romanian press did not let up with Miss J's parents either.  The translated text stated that 'The parents of this Japanese girl failed to raise their daughter to be sensible.  Even our three years old would know better than trusting strangers.'   Was it necessary to kick Miss J's mourning parents when they had to hold the severed head of their daughter?  

Despite their broken heart they took the criticisms in silence.  They head home carrying their dismembered daughter while being made to feel guilty to compound on their pain.  I wish to share with them my own experience at Bucharest years later.  I had pre-booked an official transfer through an airline site, but the driver was not at the airport.  I contacted the Romanian transfer company but they texted me coldly that there was not enough cars.  'Take a taxi.'  Needless to say I never received reimbursement for the fare that I had paid in advance.  Miss J's parents ought to know that Miss J was never foolish, just unlucky.

My guide informs me that even if Miss J had arrived at North Station in one piece, she would have still been doomed.  My guide points a finger at an entry to a sewage system as he drove past the North Station.  Underneath the block of cement that seals the underworld, a colony of orphans live there, abandoned by the government.  They are exploited by the adults to prostitute themselves thus many of them are infected with AIDS.  My guide continues 'they are also drug addicts and would do anything for money.  The locals stay away from this area after dark.'  

I sensed doom from that concrete lid that hid the hell on earth.  Those Romanian orphans would know better than trusting strangers even before the age of three.  Finally something that I could agree with the Romanian press.  Miss J was raised by loving parents to be kind but a little too trusting than those three years old orphans abandoned by their people.  

Her death finally stopped Mr. R who had long been suspected of murders. But I must mention one courageous act in this gruesome episode.  Mr. R was apprehended following the call from the taxi driver, the one who drove Mr. R and Miss J from the airport.  He may have been a partner in a small financial crime of Mr. R, but not the partner in murder.  As soon as the news of the death of Miss J was aired, the driver contacted the police.  It was courageous act because he knew it would enrage Mr. R and that it would put the driver at the risk of retribution.  The driver would have known that the police had released Mr. R without conducting DNA test in order to grudge the expenses.  If Mr. R was released again, the next target would have been the driver himself.  The irony of life is that it was one unofficial taxi driver who did the right thing in the end.

My trip to Transylvania of legendary Count Dracula necessitated my mother and me to fly into Bucharest, but the death of Miss J cast a shadow throughout our trip.  I could not shake off the sinking feeling until we crossed into Bulgaria where it is becoming more popular destination for Japanese tourists than Romania.  My Japanese guide noticed the decline in the number of visiting tourists after the tragedy of our Miss J and the arrival of one Bulgarian athlete whose warm personality made him a popular figure in Japan.

This post concludes the horror stories in Bucharest, but that of  Paris continues.
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Saturday, 22 June 2019

The true horror stories in modern Paris and Bucharest part 115

After the initial panic, I willed myself to calm down.  I knew what to do in the situation like this for I had been sexually harassed by every superior (of various nationalities) that in the end I opted for working from home by myself.

Now sexual harassers can be sorted roughly in two types: one who enjoys overpowering the weak and delights in the misery of the victim.  The second type is the overconfident who believes that every woman wants a piece of him.  Both types ignore the will of women and thrives on our reaction, either pain or joy.  So I had developed this method that always worked which was to turn into a cool cucumber showing no pain nor joy which would fuel the excitement of the harassers.  
I blocked the curious hands of Mr. Treasure by covering my breast with my both arms while letting him continue to stroke my back.  I regularly receive remedial massages for my stiff back that it was easy to switch off my senses of that area.   
I made sure that my back was facing him so that he could not kiss my lips.  That would have grossed me out.  He was kissing my neck from above my hair, but the hair are essentially dead cells that again I felt nothing.  It was time to activate my precautionary insurance.

What Mr. Treasure did not know was that before I let him into my apartment I had contacted the president of the Japanese Association in Paris because Mr. Treasure had put his advertisement on the Association's communal Page.  The president naturally wanted me to report the result.  The words of mouth is sacred among the Japanese society which Mr. Treasure would have known after living 15 years in Japan.  His breathing was becoming louder but I spoke calmly.  'Would you like to meet the president of Japanese Association? 

Mr. Treasure finally stopped.  My method worked again as I used to check my former superiors' sexual advance by befriending their wives or their bosses.  Those jerks who would stoop to take advantage of their subordinates were always cowards.  I took this waited opportunity to break away from Mr. Treasure's grip, now weakened in his bewilderment.  He muttered.  'Why aren't you getting excited?'  What a pathetic question.  Thanks for ignoring my preference in men.  
Mr. Treasure whispered that 'I like you' as if that would have justified his unwanted advancement without my consent.  But I felt the danger had passed that I almost laughed at his next question.  'Did you not ever date a white man?  This reflected his low opinion on Asian women and my thoughts were on those Japanese women who had encountered him in the past.  No doubt, they endured his ego with bitterness.

I said to him 'we are very tight, the members of the Association.  The president welcomes friends of Japan, but he is also watching out for friends in disguise.'  The expression on Mr. Treasure became uncertain.  He had boasted himself to be more capable than French tradesmen and that many Japanese clients saw him as their savior.  However, I have a written proof that he aggravated the electricity leaking in my apartment.  He was correct in pointing out the flaw of my former architect, but when the man from my washing machine came to fix it, his testing equipment registered unusually high electricity leakage.  It was worse in the kitchen.  The figures on his report became the concrete proof of Mr. Treasure's substandard job.  In the end, it was this Japanese electrician who was able to stop the leaking.  And this was the man whom Mr. Treasure had badmouthed as 'an old man whose amateur jobs I (Mr. Treasure) had to redo.'  So, Mr. Treasure discriminated against the aged too. 

As soon as he left, I contacted my lawyer to deal with Mr. Treasure.  In a way I was lucky that he was the lesser dangerous of the two types of sexual harassers.  Mr. Treasure sought my excitement to endorse his ego.  However, the other more sinister type of sexual harassers thrives on the pain and the misery of the victims.  I have only encountered this type through my girl friends who suffered domestic violence.  (None of them ever listened to my pleas to leave the aggressor)   No doubt, Miss J fell in the evil clutch of this sadist with no mercy at Bucharest.  It is daunting that I must finally recount the gruesome crime in my next post.  
To be continued.
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