Justice delayed is justice denied in Paris-Part 15


The lawsuits in France progress is exceedingly slow.  It takes several months for the lawyers from both sides to meet, only to decide on the next date, etc.  Therefore, Mr. PRIDE was not too disappointed by their recent failure.  They knew that their ventilator could still damage me.  They would have liked me to shrivel up like a dead insect and disappear.  

I would have loved to stay in a hotel after submitting the noise record, but I had requested an inspection by the police.  It could happen at any time.  I had to stay and wait for them.  It was torture, but the police finally rang me a month later.  I felt hopeful for the first time in a long while, and my appetite returned.  I went out to buy some cheese, but Mme. HEART was watching me.  I tried my best to conceal my joy to avoid raising her suspicion. 

The officer came finally!  I shall refer to him simply as Officer Raphael (though not his real name to protect his identity) because my blog readers would know that I name the unpleasant characters with virtue they do not possess.  Like Mme HEART, who has no sympathetic heart.  So, back to officer Raphael.  He measured the noise and shook his head in disapproval.  It was way beyond the acceptable level.  He noticed my cardboard bed in the small kitchen and gave me a look of sympathy.  I was stoked with relief and gratitude. 

Officer Raphael had come with another police Officer B who was instructed to go down to the restaurant kitchen to check the ventilator.  My window was opened so I could hear the new chef and a waitress girl begging to stop.  They did not stop their abuse when I asked them, did they?  Mme HEART was not present that night.  Officer B halted the ventilator so that Officer Raphael could measure my place without noise to compare the difference.  A week later, the report from the police ordering the restaurant to reduce the noise reached the restaurant.  It should have been the end of my misery, but I did not name it the restaurant from Hell for nothing.

Mr. PRIDE could not believe that he, the chosen one to reign over others was ordered to spend his precious money on this bug from Asia.  This was the impression my lawyer later came away with after talking to him.  Mr. PRIDE told my lawyer that he would not spend a cent more unnecessary on me.  Mme. HEART was no better.  She hated abiding by the rules.  She opted to delay tactics again, and I started looking for a hotel to escape.  I needed a break because one of my eyes was twitching, and I had lost the sense of the tip of my tongue.  However, my budget was limited, and hotels in Paris were expensive as always.  My lawyer suggested that I ring the police, a different jurisdiction from the one where Officer/Inspector Raphael was stationed, after 22:30 to report Mme HEART's breach of the regulations.

Mirror that reflects your soul Restaurants in Paris must not make noise after 22:30 unless you have applied and paid for the expensive 'service continue' non-stop license.  This license requires that the restaurant either buy or rent the space above their venues to not disturb the neighbours on the upper floors.  Needless to say, the restaurant from Hell never paid for such expenses, and they simply chose to cheat, play music and use the ventilator until after midnight every night.

My lawyer could not place the call because the caller needed to live near the offending restaurant.  I had to speak French because the French police would not usually accept English.  After all, they were protectors of the French residents and were so busy.  I dialled the number nervously, and my first attempt was a failure.  The police took me as a tourist and said Paris is a noisy place and it is not an offence to be loud.  I practised my French lines more and tried again.  I was nearly cut off, but I quickly said the residents of Paris could seek help from the police.  I even mentioned Officer Raphael's inspection.  The tone at the other end of the phone turned serious.  He took my phone number, verified that I lived near the restaurant from Hell, and police officers were dispatched. 

Having achieved this tiny success, I slumped down on the floor, rocked by the noise from below.  I waited, and after 30 minutes, the noise stopped.  Totally stopped.  The police had done their job!  Why didn't I do this sooner?  Oh, that's right, my French had been poor.  If there was a silver line to my ordeal, it was that my necessity to read and listen to French intensely sped up my learning process.  The bliss of silence led me to sleep.  I called the police three nights in a row because my lawyer advised me that the police would eventually penalize the restaurant by suspending it for a week. 

On the fourth day, the chef visited me, to my surprise.  He wanted to see my place so the noise problem could be fixed.  His request was logical, so I let him in.  He examined the area above their ventilator and spotted my cardboard bed in my kitchen.  He shook his head in a fake sympathy as he looked at the appliances in my kitchen.  He said that Mme. HEART was distressed that I had contacted the police.  What?  Now, she was the victim?   Always blaming someone else!

The following day I heard a drilling noise from the kitchen below.  It sounded eerie for some reason, but I told myself that they might be fixing the problem.  Did they have any other choice?  The kitchen closed early that night, to my delight, but I could not move my cardboard bed out of my kitchen because of their refrigerators and freezers that became loud after midnight.  Still, I was rather happy and fell asleep.  It was the calm before the storm, in hindsight.