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.