The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 10

If it was ever disclosed, my complete profile would reveal all sorts of minority groups, starting with my gender and race. I have been harassed on many levels throughout my life, but I lacked the stomach and power to carry out revenge. This was a blessing in disguise because retribution eventually manifested itself, which inspired me to share it on this blog. I quote many others before me that 'True horror is hidden within man'.


At last, I signed the three years contract. My new landlord, Patrick, was a French man, to my relief, and there was no sinister shadow about him. The air around him was light, in fact, a little too light, but I was pleased. He even spoke English as an extra bonus. 

'So, you wish to insulate the ceiling? Of course, you can, though an unusual request.' I told him the hell my former neighbour from Hell Leila put me through. 


Yes, furnished apartments would have been more straightforward and less binding (only one month's notice required), but tenants come and go in Paris that it was realistic to assume that they would be all noisy, one way or another. I needed the freedom to insulate the apartment. Patrick nodded sympathetically and wished me a happier life. 

'Although it is an empty apartment, I'll have it painted for you, fixing all the holes on the walls.' I thanked him and felt hopeful for the first time since I arrived in Paris. Patrick quickly added, 'About the new restaurant in the building you inquired about, your apartment is not located above it, so you will not hear clients talk and laugh or even sing.' He laughed, and I was led to laugh along, wondering what was so funny.  

However, this meeting made me calm enough to face the man sent by my former landlord on the last inspection day. I did not want to spend a second unnecessary in the cursed apartment where I had the brush with the underbelly of Paris, but here is a brief update on the cowardly former landlord. The man he sent me informed me that he had fallen ill and would have to semi-retire.  

His condition must have been later aggravated by the new regulation binding the rent to be compatible with the size of the property. My former landlord owned many one-room apartments or studios in Le Marais, the most sought-after area of Paris. He was charging the foreigners 'the hefty Marais price', but now he had to reduce the rent to match his small-size properties. The small apartments market was crushed, and it would have been a great time to buy one-bedroom apartments because the price later picked up thanks to Brexit. The pro-Europe Brits rushed to purchase apartments in France, and the price resumed the upward trend. However, my former landlord might have sold his properties earlier because of his illness. 

Mirror that reflects your soul
On the other hand, I secured a low-rent apartment for three years. Empty apartments are cheaper than furnished ones. What I would save over the coming years would compensate for the money stolen by the crooks. Here is a small example of the retribution exacted by the universe. You may say it is not a big deal as I will be getting back what I lost, but I get to study French culture in the next three years, which is priceless. Also, having a fixed address will help with my Visa situation. 

Days later, I moved in. I was puzzled that the dirty wall had not yet been painted. Then a sweet voice was heard at the door. A senior French lady had come to greet me.   I shall call her 'Mme. HARMONY' because it was her favourite word. She welcomed me and said her tenants lived here. She lived elsewhere, but she would come by to look after her tenants. She spoke some English and offered her assistance should I need it. I was moved by her gesture and her smile.  

Mme. Harmony noticed the dirty wall with lots of holes. 'Oh, that Patrick. Never looking after the apartment, let alone tenants. He gets away with it because the landlord of this apartment does not live in France.'

'What? Then who the hell is he?'

'A real estate agent looking after the apartments owned by this old lady who trusts him too much. I know a friend who sold his apartment through Patrick but was annoyed by his sloppy job.' 

I never saw Patrick again. It was better than the dark shadow of the crooks who aggressively sought to steal from me, but too much light air I sensed about Patrick translated into irresponsibility. It would not have mattered had it not been for the restaurant in the building. Patrick had omitted to inform me that its kitchen was located right below my apartment. I would not hear the clients like he cheerfully said, but I was to be exposed to the machines' noise.