Revenge is best served cold in modern Paris Part 5


From the ripped corner of the large envelope Leila was holding, I could see that it was a bag of snacks.  Why would anyone go pale over that, I wondered?  Leila and I were still in the talking phase then, so I suggested, ‘Has a company sent you a sample?’ She replied ‘No’ with a subdued voice.  ‘A gift from your friend?’ I asked, thinking it would be an odd gift to send by post.  Leila blurted out, ‘but I am allergic to this!  No friend of mine would send me this stuff!’ 

Some allergies are more severe than others.  People can pass out…even on the streets where automobiles go by.  The snack that contained ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions would be an unkind gift had the sender known it.  ‘Do you recognize the name of the sender?’ Leila showed me it was blank.  To make the matter weirder, the package had been posted overseas.  I was absolutely stupefied then, but a few months later, here I was looking at another anonymous package addressed to Leila.  I could tell the content was again a bag of snacks.  Someone wanted her dead.  I just sensed it.  I saw the postage and recognized the country related to this one person I knew.  Mr KIND.  But I quickly shook my head.  He could not have.  Would he even know about Leila’s allergy to the wheat?  They were not chatting friendly to each other. 

However, I must confess to having wondered if Leila wanted that old gentleman to have a stroke or something from her noise harassment and…die.  What a wild imagination, or so I thought.  The sender of the package must have known she would not touch the food, but she would get the message, which probably was ‘I know you wished to kill me.  Secular criminal laws would not punish you.  Still, your soul is tainted no matter how nice a person you tried to portray yourself with your sweet egalitarian speech.’ Leila certainly got the message and thus turned pale.  Not that it stopped her from noise-harassing me later.

The next moment I dropped the package because another thought occurred to me.  Mr KIND could have spotted Leila eating at a nearby vegan shop and discovered her allergy.  If the sender was Mr KIND, it meant that he had knowingly exposed me to the unhinged anti-social.  I even moved in a month early so Mr KIND could leave sooner.  I wished he had warned me about Leila and her deranged man, but instead, Mr KIND was going on and on about how he, the Brit, found the French to be lazy.  Brexit was the best thing that ever happened to the UK.  However, he returned to Australia, where his aged mother needed him.

Another Australian was pretending to be a Brit to Asians.  I have come across his kind many times during my extended stay in Australia.  To this day, I still do not know the reasons behind this peculiar conduct.


So back to Leila who would have been amused if Mr KIND died…likewise Mr KIND did not care if the psychotic couple harmed me.   What a hypocritical gentleman he turned out to be?!  Paris may bring the best out of you and the worst out of you if you are not careful.   My soul would be tested repeatedly in the years to follow in this city of light…and its shadow.   Parisians get a bad rep, but if I may say so, immigrants take more advantage of tourists and other immigrants with less experience.  Take it from me, who learned it the hard way in the years to follow.Mirror that reflects your soul Like a newbie with dreamy eyes in this historical city, I initially rented an old apartment in the historical quarter.  The place looked authentic, and I was ecstatic…until I found out that everything I touched would fall apart.  While my real estate agent was prompt in fixing the problems, there was one thing she could not fix.  The old lock was tricky; one evening, it finally got stuck.  My door would not open.  In a panic, I asked my French neighbour, and he casually picked up a flyer in his mailbox and rang one locksmith.  He would not have done it if he had been a Parisian, but he was a tourist from the French countryside.

When two locksmiths came, I felt uneasy, not because they were not French men, but because it seemed shadow followed them.  In Japan, the association of locksmiths sets a very high standard, both on technic and morals.  Thus, the locksmith in Japan has a dignified feel about them and is much trusted.  However, I sensed none of that from those two men.  They were observing the stuck lock while the French neighbour who had rung them was around, but as soon as he left, the two men looked at one another knowingly.  I, a small Asian woman, was alone with them, and it was getting dark outside.

Suddenly, one man took out an electric saw and cut the wooden door.  Another man struck down with a hammer.  I screamed because the wooden door had lost a good chunk of it.  Then the two men ganged up on me and demanded that I pay a hefty price if I wanted to fix the door and the lock.  If not, they would leave the door as it was that burglars could come into my apartment.  They were not going empty-handed as they checked out my laptops, the top of the line brought straight from Japan.  As a Japanese woman, I felt obliged to fix the door for the landlords, so I offered to give them what cash I had.  I had some 800 euros (980 USD then) for the rent I would pay the following day.  How naïve I was.