Sunday, 19 August 2018
The true horror stories in modern Paris part 61
At the beginning, Mme. Landlord asked me each time she wished to borrow something from me. Then gradually ‘borrowed’ became ‘taken.’ After 16 months, she would just take them and would be rather cross if I retrieved my things from her apartment. Still, I made excuses for her, telling myself that it was her advanced age making her forgetful of manner. Of course, she was miserly to the bone, but I did not want to see it then. My plate was already full of dark sludge of the restaurant from Hell, I could not handle another type of evil.
So, I got to work in the cold month of December in her apartment. I spent two days in total scraping off the old layers, filling up the numerous holes. A professional painter would tell you that this was the most tedious work of painting, but I did it because Japanese would honor their promises. It was becoming evident that Mme. Landlord did not see me as her equal, but that was natural. France was her land and she had priority here over me. I was never invited, I came to France on my will to learn her culture. It would be audacious, even unpractical to expect a red-carpet reception. Thus, it would have been sufficient to me if Mme. Landlord only realized that I was too useful to mistreat…to lose
I had underestimated her avarice, financial or any forms. She even lied to me that her heater was not working. She made me work in the unheated apartment during the winter to save her money, but I would not doubt her words. I did not even touch her heater. Mme. Landlord had taught many Japanese students and spoke fondly of their politeness, but what she really appreciated was their obedience. She knew I would complete any hard task, once I took it upon. She hated the black wall paper Jupiter had left behind. Instead of paying a professional a lot of money to remove it, she opted to make me paint several layers over it. I could see it was going to be an impossible task, compounded by the cheap semi-transparent paint she had purchased for me to work with. However, a decedent of Samurai warrior would keep his or her promises. It was going to be the last favor I would ever do for Mme. Landlord, and misjudging her personality was not going to be the excuse to break my promise.
So, I found a way to peel off the black wallpaper. Unfortunately, it did not make my work easier because there were still many glues stuck on the wall and it was hell removing it a strip by strip. I spent three whole days removing the glues, but Mme. Landlord was not satisfied by the result. She insisted that since I removed the wall paper without her agreement, I had the responsibility to make the wall smooth and void of any glues. She wrote an email to me so there would be no misunderstanding. She wrote to me how her son and her family were appalled that Mme. Landlord was left to finish my lousy job. If they had come, why did they not help their own mother? Unfortunately, their mother had raised them with the ideas that migrants were the source of free labor.
Just in case you were thinking that I might have really done a lousy job, then let me tell you about this professional painter who was sent by the insurance company of the Syndic to paint the ceiling of Mme. Landlord. There had been a leek on her roof. The painter did a good job, but Mme. Landlord said it was NOT, pointing at the one tiny , oh, so tiny spot left near the window. She refused to pay unless the painter did more extra works for her. It turned ugly that the boss was summoned. After the heated argument, the painters left fuming. One of them insisted on shaking hands with me, but not with Mme. Landlord. He told me that ‘That is a nasty woman there’ indicating that other French women were nicer. I was much relieved to hear that. I much prefer Mme. Le Pen for her honest acknowledgement of discrimination over the hypocrisy of Mme. Landlord who acted as a defender of the weak, the gay and the migrants while actually exploiting them.
To be continued.