Every cheating trick-The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 9


Mme. HEART looked genuinely surprised when I congratulated her on the opening night of her new restaurant. Her manipulative smile was dazzling that I, too, may have been fooled by it had I not been exposed to her hellish noise. She tilted her head down to one side and muttered how Mme. HARMONY was making her life difficult. Any man would have felt protective of her. That was how she amassed her followers, who would let her get away with anything. She even had this somewhat famous food critic write a great review on her restaurant, even before it was opened. I had to fight the urge to call her a liar and did not respond to her criticism of Mme. HARMONY. Mme. HEART took me for a fool and assumed I was not worth manipulating. She left me alone to look around. 

The finger food was laid near the kitchen, and there it was, the commercial ventilator roaring aloud, shaking my apartment above. Its mammoth size was disturbing but what froze me was how it was installed.  I then discovered that it did not have a hood like other restaurants. The roaring turbo was attached directly to the ceiling, aka my floor! You might think that her architect would have installed the ventilator properly, but the fees of employing an architect are so expensive in Paris that Mme. HEART had opted for cheaper interior designers who are not responsible for the infrastructure by law. Their job is to make the place look gorgeous. If someone gets electrocuted and dies as the result of a wrong configuration, the interior designers will not be held liable in France. Or so I was informed by an architect whom I would meet later. What anarchy.  

With a heavy heart, I returned to my apartment. I could hear the staff’s every movement, every shelf, and the indoor door slam shut as if they were all in my room. Mme. HEART and Mr. PRIDE had not insulated their ceiling AT ALL, yet they were approved by the authority. It was the beginning of my long dark period in Paris. As I rewrite this blog, I now know that Mr PRIDE had violated much more than I could see back then. And yet it was up to me to discover and prove his underhanded acts to the authority. Only then might the administration pay attention.

At one a.m, the drunks were still laughing away with Mme HEART as the hour passed. But I was relieved to find that the chef was outside smoking, so at least there would be no more cooking and ventilator noise. This chef was Asian, which was considered trendy in Paris in those days. He did not know yet that Mme. HEART later would reveal her racism and throw him out after stealing his French-Asian fusion recipe. A woman who tramps down her neighbors would have no scruples about mistreating her employees.  

Likewise, she would not be sincere with her clients either. I saw boxes of powdered potatoes stuck up in the kitchen, but on the front window was the sign that said ‘Cuisine Marché, ’ meaning ingredients fresh from the market. Sadly, this was not the only restaurant in the tourist area of Paris that deceived clients, as I would learn over the years. It is not just about rip-off prices. I have seen chefs cooking without wearing a mask at the back of the restaurant during the Covid 19 pandemic. 

I desperately waited until everyone had left the restaurant. It became quiet for a while. However, to my dismay, their dishwasher was set in motion. There were other mechanical noises too. Even in France, the electricity rate was cheaper after midnight. Of course, Mme. HEART would take advantage of this. I was left behind as the only one exposed to their electric appliances all through the night. Insomnia was to damage my health which I badly needed to fight the two devils.  

Mirror that reflects your soul

After the sleepless night, I opened my door to Mme. HARMONY. Her tenants must have complained to her as well. She saw my distress but was too honest to offer me unrealistic consolation. In silence, one old lady with one Asian woman headed to the restaurant.  Power was not on our side.  

Mme. HEART stood there glowing after the successful opening party last night. However, when Mme. HARMONY and I entered the restaurant Mme. HEART looked at us as if we were vermin. Mme. HARMONY started the conversation politely but was rudely interrupted. To my surprise, Mme. HEART glared at me and spoke to me in English. She insisted that I did not hear anything. Even if I did, then it was me being oversensitive. I had anticipated this but did not anticipate her reaction when I begged Mme. HEART to refrain at least from using the dishwasher after midnight.  

Mme. HEART looked me straight in my eyes and said, ‘we have no dishwasher.’ I could see one in the kitchen and pointed at it. ‘Oh, that is not it.’ without even flickering in the eye. I realized that I was dealing with a pathological liar. My will to fight the restaurant wavered because there was no winning with such a psychopath. Any efforts would be just futile.

Then I observed Mme. HARMONY as we walked out of the restaurant. She looked fragile every day because of her age. She appeared to be a sympathetic French lady to me back then. She had been a teacher and spoke fondly of her former Japanese students as sincere and loyal. What would it make me if I abandoned her after all the compassion she had shown me? Another ungrateful immigrant, of course, and I refused to go down that path. We Japanese may be many things, but ungrateful is not one of them. The right thing to do would be to stay above the restaurant from Hell and fight with Mme. HARMONY.