Crime overrides racism in True Horror stories in Modern Paris-Part 31

As I reported in my last post, I was assaulted and left unconscious on the street bleeding outside and inside my brain, which resulted in doubling my vision. I could not look at a light because it would sicken me. I lived in pitch dark with all my rollers shutters down. At least I would be isolated from the evil of Paris, you would think. But no, the underbelly of Paris had exceeded my imagination and, perhaps, yours too.  

There was renovation work going on in the basement of the building. A group of carpenters were at it, but one of them came up to my door and buzzed. I could not get up from bed fast, so I took time while this man buzzed repeatedly. I observed through the peeking hole on my door, and a middle-aged white man with a blue baseball hat was now banging on my door. His expression made me refrain from opening the door. Then he raised his voice to say 'Hello' repeatedly in English. 

So he may not be a French man, I thought. Finally, he gave up and walked down the stairs. I headed for my bed but heard the same voice from the courtyard. I slowly rolled up the shutters, and even with my double vision, I recognized the blue cap. The man started working with the team, and that is how I knew he was one of the carpenters. I was relieved but also puzzled. What could he possibly want from me? He could not access the basement through my apartment.

The rogue carpenter who informed the thieves of a suitable target.  His youngish blue baseball cap on his grey hair may indicate his internal conflict about himself.

The funny thing is that this man kept coming back to buzz and knock on my door for the following four days. I could see that he was listening in to see if anyone was home. He would have noticed that all my shutters were rolled down for two weeks, so why bother? However, this mattered to him because on the fifth day, there was a ferocious banging on my door. More than one man was shouting 'Hello' and buzzing like crazy. 

 

I got up from bed and looked into the peeking hole to find two men, dark-skinned but not black, certainly not Orientals. And then, they suddenly went quiet, and I heard this soft scathing noise…around my lock! They were burglars! I kept calm because my key was inserted from inside, and rather than letting them know that a woman lived here, I kept quiet until the door slowly pushed in. I immediately pushed the door back and quickly locked the key. I think the burglars got a jolt of shock and fled the scene.  

 

Two minutes later, the carpenter stealthily walked up the stairs with his blue cap. This time he completely ignored my door and went straight to the upper apartment. Instinct told me that he was the informant of the new Digi code of the building and the information that my apartment would be vacant. Now he was checking around to see if anyone in the building had noticed the commotion. Then he stopped by the window on the stairs and looked out. Remember, he was hired to do a job down in the basement. What business he had in checking out the apartments on the higher floors? The rogue carpenter was searching for a new target. I thought of the last burglary that happened only 4 months ago in the same building. Another renovation work was going on at the time. So…tradesmen who appear to be wholesome were, in fact, pimps for burglars in Paris. At least some of them are corrupted.

 

I should alert my discovery to the Syndic and other neighbours, but they would not take me seriously. They never have, and they never will, despite their idealistic rhetoric. The rogue carpenter and his boss would call this Asian woman a stupid liar, and the Syndic will continue to hire them. I would become a target of petty revenge (still with a drastic consequence), so I had better keep quiet about this. My apartment will be OK because the words will get out among the thieves about a psychopath (to them, I am) living in darkness with all the shutters rolled down. That room is not worth the bother of breaking in.  

 

The racket the thieves drummed up before the break-in indicates that they prefer not to be caught than go violent to hush the victim. The thieves and beggars in Paris have been spotted gathering early in the morning and receiving instructions from the boss. They have each other's back despite the diversity among them. Greed can overcome racial differences, whereas idealism cannot. I sort of understood the pull of the underbelly. But I can also imagine such a strong bond won't let go of you when you finally want to turn over a new leaf. The soulless face of the man who assaulted me for money and the sheepish sly eyes of the rogue carpenter did not register happiness.  


I gladly choose to go solo, and Paris is the best place for it. Be aware of all those amateur videos bragging about their wonderful Parisian life.   

 

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