Showing posts with label Philosophy and psychology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philosophy and psychology. Show all posts

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 93

Back in the old ages, predators were savage and physical.  Victims were slain to death.  There was no coming back from that.  But in the modern age, predators tend to shy away from physical abuses remembering the legal consequences.  Thus, came the age of victim-business.

It is quite fool proof and yet potent.  Generally, people are sucked in by the former victims’ sad tales, no matter how shamelessly elaborated, and believe them without checking the facts.  Some smart or life-wise ones would voice their suspicion, only to be struck back with the accusation of discrimination of all kinds: racist, religious persecutors, misogynist, ageism…the list goes on.  If you have some money, the victim-business will send their lawyer to milk you, over and over because it does not matter how much money you have paid already, it is the heart that counts, and you have not apologized sincere enough.  So, pay up!  One word from you complaining their elaboration of the facts, the price will hike even steeper.  It is quite lucrative, this victim-business of the modern age.  Best of all, no one can stop them, and they feel no remorse about having turned predators of a more sinister kind.  In their mind they are always right that the world should revere them.  The sense of obligation and respect for the order goes out of the window.  It is not cheating if they do it.  Hard work is for the idiots, like Japanese workers, who are forever indebted to the victim business.

It is so tempting to go down this road.  God knows, I nearly did after being exposed to ‘the sludge’ community for so long.  But Mme. Landlord showed me what is in store for the victim-business.  She manipulated me by mimicking Mr. Pride jeering at my health damaged by his restaurant from Hell.  It was such a vulgar sight that spoke a world about her true color.  And yet I attributed the vileness to Mr. Pride because my self-righteousness blocked me from seeing who she was.  I was against ageism, and she took much advantage of it.  Wasn’t I fooled when she acted out the scene where she was being bullied by Mr. Pride?  Furthermore, she thoughtfully advised me not to have a direct contact with Mr. Pride because he was a crafty man who would use my word and twist them against me.  In hindsight she robbed my chance of finding out the facts.

I am so grateful that I ran into Mr. Pride after I had left the influence of Mme. Landlord. His eyes were not as arrogant as I had been made to believe.  In the end he was a man who was  duped by Mme. Empathy, just like I was by Mme. Landlord.  In his own way, he apologized to me for my horrendous near-death experience caused by Mme. Empathy.  It took me a while to apologize to him myself for having opposed him without verifying the facts, but I needed time to be sure that Mr. Pride was not part of ‘The Sludge’ or ‘the victim-business.  And more time to find a definition of myself.  I was not going to be a victim, the word I detest now.  I must not turn a predator either.  

Then what am I to be?   To be continued.

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にほんブログ村

Sunday, 21 October 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 92


I have just edited my last post in which I had renamed a character.  In hindsight it may have caused confusion, thus I decided to bring back the old name, Mme. Landlord, to the hyena lady.  I also mentioned in the last post that she had lied to me about the personality of Mr. Pride, but smart readers would have suspected it already.

So, instead I shall report to you the latest of the restaurant from HELL.  In my last post I explained why I refrain from investing my life in revenge.  However, I still take measures to stop any further damages.  This is called ‘survival.’  Let me refresh your memory by referring you to my post number 74.  In it, I explained why my last resort was to let them win until they weaken themselves with their own toxins.

I no longer proceeded with my lawsuit against the restaurant from Hell.  I cannot reveal the facts, but Mr. Honor pulled the string in the end and my lawyer was made to feel the pressure.  In this sense, a lawsuit against the restaurant from Hell never had a chance and Mme. Landlord knew this.  Thus she did not want to spend her own money on legal procedures and schemed to use mine while pretending to be sympathetic to my suffering.  But even if she had been a nice lady as she portrayed herself to the world, I still would not have appealed because I sensed that any defeat would further empower the sludge. 

In case you have not read my posts about the young Mme. Harmonie who became the new owner of the restaurant from Hell, she was the one who demanded the residents to show understanding to the restaurant in the name of harmony while telling me to keep my windows closed if I did not want to hear their noise instead of insulating her noisy machines up to the standard.   However, I stopped calling the police as the restaurants from Hell broke the regulations and repeatedly blasted the neighborhood with a monstrous music.  Had it faced the busy street, it would have been understandable, but they terrorized this quiet off-street in the historic corner of Paris.  With nothing to stop her, Mme. Harmonie kept on and wasted her only chance to change the bad reputation she had inherited from Mme. Empathy who had washed off the restaurant from Hell on Mme. Harmonie.  The neighborhood was about to organize a petition against the restaurant, but stopped to see if the new owner would behave right.  Mme. Harmonie proved to be no better than Mme. Empathy, if not worse. 

The restaurant from hell failed to win local regular diners that even its chef quitted before his anniversary.  Of course, this was far from over for Mme. Harmonie, but I have become immune to disgust after three years in Paris.  Instead I thought it was interesting that there was these two women who shared the similar attitude but one was Mme. Harmonie from a cult and one was Mme. Landlord, an atheist.  To be continued.

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Sunday, 30 September 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 90

A French lawyer working as the assistant of my regular lawyer was assigned my case against Mme. Landlord.  He would naturally be bias as I was his client, but still the genuine shock on his face was enough proof that Mme. Landlord had behaved without honor according to the French standards.  My lawyer was even more disgusted because he had once spent hours calming the nerve of Mme. Landlord when the restaurant from Hell was winning.  Who paid for the expense?  Me, of course.  But I arranged it as a gift from me to Mme. Landlord because she was a dear friend of mine…at that time.  I had expected it would cost me one-hour legal fees, but Mme. Landlord took the advantage of my offer and consulted my lawyer for her own business too.  My legal tab was for 2 hours and more.  However, I was still happy when I paid for it that my French lawyer was touched by my generosity and loyalty.

However, Mme. Landlord has chosen to abuse my trust and even extract more money from me.  My French lawyer was indignant that an aged woman who was a grandmother of many grandchildren should have chosen to exploit a migrant young enough to be her daughter.  In hindsight, he was puzzled that Mme. Landlord who started with a few words about my plight by the hand of the restaurant from Hell, the two hours legal consultation soon disintegrated into how much she despised the restaurant that had depreciated the financial value of her apartments.  She was adamant about kicking Mr. Pride and his restaurant from Hell and for that she made use of my suffering…and my money.  I was once grateful that my rent was lowered for it, but my lawyer immediately suspected that Mme. Landlord would collect the difference after the restaurant was out of the building.  She has tried this method before with Jupiter.  She allured him into paying for renovating her apartment and then terminated the lease and demanded compensation for the damage.  This way she could sell her apartment, now done up in a modern style thus more sellable than before, with no expense on her at all.

My lawyer suspected Mme. Landlord would repeat her antics with me, so his legal letter to her covered many grounds.  Mme. Landlord made a mistake of having consulted her own problems with my lawyer, leaving a legal record that she had knowingly benefitted from my lawyer.  My lawyer demanded a counter compensation from on all the hours of legal fees.  My painting labor alone would have cost Mme. Landlord 5000 euros had she employed a professional.  My lawyer halved it out of good faith.  He wished to demand her for the injury on my wrist because it has affected my career and would continue to do so in future, but as I left France immediately after the injury to accompany my fragile mother back to Japan, it would be difficult to prove the liability of Mme. Landlord. 

While he was finalizing his legal letter, Mme. Landlord bombarded me with her emails demanding me to do the right thing and observe the harmony among the neighbors.  Her hypocritical words resembled that of Mme. Harmonie of the restaurant from Hell.  No wonder Mme. Landlord detested her.  They were birds of a feather.  To be continued.

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Sunday, 16 September 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 88

You might wonder why I still honored my promise I made to Mme. Landlord to paint her apartment despite her harsh nature that had revealed itself with time.  One was for the honor of all the migrants.  Mme. Landlord would spread around a slander about another ungrateful migrants who would not return her kindness.  Completing the painting was the only way to prevent it.  But another reason was a sentimental one.  I naively hoped that my sincerity might soften her attitude in the end.  In hindsight I guess I realized something was wrong, but I believed sincerity was the only way an Asian could befriend a French in Paris.

Mme. Landlord informed me that she was having a guest over in April and thus she must have her apartment ready by then.  She was not in Paris in the month of January, so I assumed there would be no painting during the cold winter months.  I decided to have my mother flown from Japan into Paris to my new room.  I should have done so sooner considering her advanced age, her fragileness precipitated by four operations, but I had to delay it thanks to the restaurant from Hell below who made my former apartment a hell to live.  Not the environment for my fragile mother.  February was not exactly the ideal month for a visit, but Paris is mesmerizing at any time of the year.

The first 10 days with my mother was wonderful.  She needed my assistance all the time, but she loved every minute of it.  Then…it happened.  Mme. Landlord returned all of sudden to Paris and ordered me to resume the painting of her apartment to repay her for her kindness.  I explained that my mother was here with me for just another 10 days and there would be a plenty of time before her guest arrived in 2 months.  But non, Mme. Landlord was going away on holidays in March and she could not fully relax and enjoy it if her apartment was not done.  She was going away with her grandson that I should know the importance of family.  I wrote to her that my mother was my family too and this was probably going to be her last chance to see Europe if her pending eye operation was not successful.  Mme. Landlord completely ignored this and still insisted.

I realized then that the kindness to migrants was costly and that migrants’ family clearly came secondary to the French family.  I could not abandon my mother, but then she fell ill.  She told me to go fulfill my promise while she rested in peace.  I knew my mother’s keen sense of obligation would suffer if I violated it, so I sadly went up the stairs to Mme. Landlord’s apartment on the top floor.  The hyena looked satisfied that her free help came.  She stayed around for a while to give me tons of instruction but left because the room was too cold.  She told me that her heater was still not fixed, and the toilet was still broken.  Needless to say, Mme. Landlord had no words of sympathy for my mother who had fallen ill.  Instead, she bang on my door loudly to wake my sick mother up so she could use my toilet.  Economizing on toilet paper was more important than the health of an aged migrant to Mme. Landlord.  I hope that no other French women are this vulgar.

I continued to finish the painting because coldness made me numb, body and mind.  I was too sad to confront the reality that my sincerely had been exploited.  Days after I was finally cleaning up having finished the job.  The cold water numbed my wrist for the last time.  I said ‘last’ because the tap snapped as I turned it.  I realized with horror that I had broken Mme. Landlord’s tap and the mobility of my wrist was gone. 

My readers would know that which one of us demanded compensation.  To be continued.
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にほんブログ村

Monday, 10 September 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 87

The month of January 2018, I was left in peace during the long absence of Mme. Landlord.  She wanted to enjoy the time with her grandchildren.  However, she did not leave quietly…as my readers might guess by now.

Mme. Landlord would not release my deposit easily.  She cooked up all the things that needed to be replaced new.  Luckily, my insurance agent had advised me to take photos of the apartment when I was first allowed in.  They needed to contest the claims concocted by Mme. Landlord, just like she did with her former tenant Jupiter who had his deposit denied for taking out what rightly belonged to him.  What happened next needs a bit of explanation, so unbelievable her attitude was.

She had an accident falling off from a ladder when her phone rang.  Now the phone call was from my insurance agent and the ladder belonged to me.  She had insisted on leaving it in her apartment until the painting was completed.  She made a huge fuss about her fall, telling everyone that she fell from the ladder while removing the glues from her walls.  She repeated to the world that had I done the job right, she would not have needed to be up the ladder.  Had I lefft her apartment in a good condition, my agent would not have bothered her.  Mme. Landlord had a lot of experience with Japanese students and tenants that she knew my sense of obligation would yield if she succeeded in making me feel guilty. 

She was right.  I felt obliged to pay her medical bills because she got injured in relation to the action of my agent.  Later my French lawyer advised me that I was not responsible for her injury, but I had already paid her.  There was a flash of sheepishness in her eyes, but she took the money and quickly pushed it down her pocket looking very satisfied.  I asked her for the receipt issued by the pharmacy.  I did not want to repeat the same mistake made by the Japanese government who paid a chunk of compensation money without an international witness and ended up endlessly being demanded of compensation by a certain group of people.  I personally agree that financial compensation does not heal everything, but it does not hurt for them to acknowledge what they have already received from Japan over decades. 

After Mme. Landlord left to join her family, I spoke with my insurance agent.  It turned out they had never called Mme. Landlord.  They had in fact called me and left a message.  I checked my mobile’s records and found the message sent on the day Mme. Landlord claimed to have the accident trying to answer the call from my agent.  It was a petty lie and yet her circle of friends were disgusted that ‘here is another ungrateful migrant causing a trouble to the French.’  I understand the concern of Madame Le Pen about the ungrateful migrants because some of them are disrespectful of the French ways.  But I hope she knew of migrants like me who are made ‘scapegoat.'

To be continued.
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Sunday, 2 September 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 86

Not all migrants are financially challenged.  Some of them are elites who had to flee their homeland to protect their wealth.   Such was this Turkish doctor whose acquaintance Mme. Landlord boasted of a lot.  She would say ‘I was raised as a Catholic, but I do not like religions.  Thus, I do not discriminate Muslims.’  For many months this kind of her comments impressed me.  She told me how many of her rich friends frequently invited her for all expenses trip in exchange of her doing them some favors.  Still, I thought she would pay for her own meals.  I would if my travel and accommodation fees were paid.  

However, one day I asked her about the meal arrangement and I was surprised by her response.  She casually replied to my question that it was not her problems to worry about the expense.  She did not even look up from her smartphone while saying ‘Je ne sais pas.’  There was no hint of gratitude, but only the sense of entitlement on her arrogant profile.  This Turkish doctor must have imagined a friend in Mme. Landlord, just like I was fooled for many months.  He may have felt vulnerable in the face of religious discrimination in the world that Mme. Landlord’s sweet words felt like music.  In my case, I had been weakened by the restaurant from Hell and thus I was ripe for the easy exploitation by She the hyena. 

However, I was not angry.  Sad and disappointed, but not angry because being a bad judge of character was my fault at my age.  I preferred to move forwards.  Besides fate dealt me a kind hand for a change and had one Italian couple in the neighborhood offer their apartment when they learnt that I was looking for one.  They had also been disillusioned by Mme. Landlord and somehow chose to trust me.  Their apartment was in the same building that I first hesitated because I had had enough of Mme. Landlord and the restaurant from Hell.  However, the one decisive factor was that I would not need to report the change of address to the French Government.  In order to extend my visa, continuity was considered important.  I had not yet studied the Baroque French history as I had initially planned to do.  At that time my wrist was still fine, thus I hoped to become a graphic novelist in France.  Of course, there was no guarantee that I would have succeeded, but I would like to have a crack at it at least.  So, I accepted the offer of the Italian couple and gave one month notice to Mme. Landlord. 

I had expected rage, but her concern was whether I would continue to fight Mr. Pride.  She blurted out that she needed the restaurant to be driven out from the building so that the former financial value of the property would be recovered.  In order to fight Mr. Pride, a lawyer was needed.  Now the readers of my blog would remember that I have been paying all the legal expenses because I believed in fighting the evil that had victimized the neighbors.  I was the only one who could not speak French well, thus I was the weakest useless link.  I believed Mme. Landlord was genuinely sympathising with my ordeal and her crying face compelled me that I should step up and bring in a French speaking lawyer.  Everything appealed to my Japanese sense of obligation.  

Did she con me?  I would not know, but by this time a new piece of information had reached my lawyer.  Mme. Landlord had once been engaged in a legal battle with another commercial neighbor, but the all the expenses were paid by this one wealthy French neighbor.  His lawyer won the case, and the compensation was paid out, even to Mme. Landlord who had not paid any legal expenses.  That she did not decline the money that should have been paid to this wealthy French man revealed a lot about her.  

I replied to her that I no longer wished to fight Mr. Pride now that I have purchased the advanced insulation materials from Japan.  She put on her distressed face again and pleaded me to continue engaging my lawyer so that other neighbors, notably her, did not have to pay a cent to combat the restaurant from Hell.  I was not fooled again, so I refused.  Then her sweet face distorted into a dark vulgar face as she hissed.  ‘No amount of insulation from Japan would work.  You will still suffer!’  She wished me to suffer while she insulted the advanced technology of Japan too.  Luckily, a young man passed by and Mme. Landlord quickly put back on her lady face.  As she greeted the young man with a sugar voice, I escaped.  But remembering how tedious and persistent she was in pursuing Jupiter for money she did not deserve, I knew it was not over. 

The only small consolation was that Mme. Landlord does not discriminate French nor non-French when it comes to parasite-ing.  To be continued.

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にほんブログ村

Monday, 27 August 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 85

My wrist has been hurting the last few days thus my delayed update.  I am still paying the price for having glorified Mme. Landlord’s personality and let her abuse me till my wrist snapped.  The amount of labor she threw upon me may not have done less damage had my muscle not been tense from the stress the restaurant from Hell was exposing me too day and night.  It may have helped if Mme. Landlord had allowed me to turn her heater on during the cold winter months.  

But I soldiered on for the honor of migrants, not just for Japanese people, because Mme. Landlord wrote to me that her friends applauded her for the few hours after I had put in one week into preparing and sanding her walls.  That she did not share with her French friends that I had done the hard work, was still tolerable.  However, she had the nerve of writing to me that her friends were disgusted that I had done nothing useful which surpassed the level of mere lying.  Mme. Landlord probably meant it as a blackmail so that I would put in more free work, but I realized with horror that she needed migrants to remain useless, so she could shine as the saint protector of pathetic migrants. 

The only way to silence the hypocrite was to do the excellent job.  Of course, she would take all the credit, but at least she would have no reasons to complain anymore.  So, I applied three layers of paint on her walls.  At this stage I had put in another three full days of work.  I must remind you that she had purchased the half priced cheap paint and the three layers was not giving her the desired result.  My arms were feeling sore which did not stop even during the night.  I asked Mme. Landlord for a break promising her to do more later, but she pretended not to have understood my French.  I repeated the same thing in English, which she ignored despite that her former occupation was a teacher.  I had to go down to my own room should nature call because Mme. Landlord lied me to that her toilet was broken.  I did not doubt her words because she always insisted to use my toilet every time she came to inspect my work in her other apartment.  It was also hard to believe that a lady of the advance country like France would stoop to mooching toilet paper from one of the migrants she boasts herself to be the protector of.  This went on for 9 months since her last tenant Jupiter left her apartment.

Then suddenly she told me to interrupt the painting and assigned me with a new task.  She decided to go after Jupiter for compensation and she needed a secretary for preparing documents.  My printer was made to work till it broke because she was persistent.  My wrist did not get as much rest as I needed.  However, I had started looking for a new apartment to distance myself from Mme. Landlord that it was easier to just go along for a while.  I wish a doctor had warned me of the risk, but instead there was my Japanese sense of obligation to keep promises.  Mme. Landlord made sure that I did by constantly repeating to me how much I owed her for her kindness.  

She did not know that my French reading had improved beyond her imagination, but I could read the communication between them and discovered that Jupiter had tried many times to fix the things she complained of in her apartment and that she sabotaged his effort each time.  She kept writing to him that she loathed the modern kitchen he left  had behind, but she had insisted that I covered the modern kitchen board and shelves with cloths before I paint the walls for protection.  Mme. Landlord was only pretending to loathe the modern kitchen.  Financial extortion was her true aim.   If you are the first-time reader of my blog, let me tell you that Mme. Landlord also boasted herself to be gay tolerant that she would lend her room to Jupiter.  She would have nagged him on for compensation if it was not for me.  Seeing that Jupiter would not cave in, she turned her attention on my saving, small as it is. 

So, you see, Sir. Farage of Brexit, it is handy to keep migrants around because your white people can be shielded from the true evil who prefer to go after the weaker prays.  While this sounds sarcastic, I later became friends with Jupiter that I am truly glad that Mme. Landlord is off his back.

To be continued.
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にほんブログ村

Sunday, 19 August 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 84

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.
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にほんブログ村

Saturday, 4 August 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 82

She was chatting away about her grandson and how well she was getting along with her son and her daughter in law.  Mme. Landlord and I were in Leroy Merlin, a hardware shop in Paris.  Paint needed to be purchased to paint her apartment, the one that had been left in mess by her former tenant Jupiter.  Not knowing that she was lying I offered to help with the big task because she had put on an Oscar performance of a crestfallen old lady.  Besides, her son who lives in Paris would surely help his old mother too?   To this Mme. Landlord replied as ‘Oh, no, I cannot ask my son (and his wife).  They are raising children.  Their time is precious.’ I let pass this inconsiderate comment about my time being insignificant as a childless single woman because Mme. Landlord was from the generation when women’s worth was measured solely by the number of children she bore and raised.  She cannot be accused of the general opinion.  To her credit, she had shed off racial discrimination that was prominent among the older generation.

Or had she?  Her eyebrow moved up as Mme. Landlord spotted some paints with the reduced price.  She asked a shop assistance if it was suited for painting over dark color.  The assistant replied ‘Non, it is semi-transparent.’  Now Jupiter had left black wall papers on the wall and yet Mme. Landlord wished to paint the walls in light beige. She should have a professional painter remove the black wall paper or invest in high quality paint.  She chose neither because the both options were costly.  She purchased the cheap paint and decided that I should paint many layers to compensate the poor quality.  And yet such was my loyalty to her that I did not oppose.  I wished to help her economize, just like I did all the printing jobs she needed for nearly two years. 

I had to carry all the heavy cans of paint back to her apartment because Mme. Landlord would not spend 50 euros for delivery.  Mme. Landlord thought I deserved some reward and served me a pumpkin soup.  It was the weakest soup that I had ever tasted that even water would have had more flavor, but ‘it is the thought that counts’ I told myself.  Then one of her gentleman friends knocked on the door.  She had asked him to come give her some advice on the best way to paint her apartment.  I was amazed by her transformation.  She behaved coy and flirtish, her voice was a pitch higher than the one she would use with me.  Well, that’s French woman for you, I was amused…until she started telling lies. 

The gentleman said the painting of the entire apartment was a bit much for an amateur woman like me.  He advised Mme. Landlord to use a good quality paint to compensate for my want of stamina and experience.  I was relieved that he had spoken some sense into her, however, Mrs. Landlord replied ‘oh, I have bought the best that the shop recommended to me.’  My French had improved enough to understand her lies, but my speaking ability was never to be on par with a native speaker.  As soon as I opened my mouth and uttered a few words of French, Mme. Landlord spoke over me to shut me up.  She went on to say to the gentleman that it was me who insisted on doing this favor for Mme. Landlord because I wished to repay her for her kind services.  It was true, but the minute she boasted it publicly, it lost its class.  I felt used by Mme. Landlord to impress her gentleman friend. She went on to plead him to tie two chairs on a small lorry.  The gentleman obliged and asked if she wanted him to deliver the chairs to her other apartment.  Mme. Landlord declined saying that she could not be so impolite to her good friend.  And yet, as soon as the gentleman left, she turned around, back in her normal tone, and told me to deliver her chairs across the old town of Paris at 23:30 at night.  On her lips there was a sheepish smile, but her eyes were malicious.

To be continued.
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Sunday, 29 July 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 81

After the phone call, I felt like a fool that I had just spent a whole day feeling lousy about myself for having denied Mme. Harmonie the access through my apartment.   Caution told me to have the message heard by a French speaker, but I was convinced that she was making a demand that she did not deserve to make.  So, I wrote another refusal message to Mr. Pride and the syndic, adding that I did not appreciate the aggressive tone of Mme. Harmonie.  She never sugarcoats her words, which even her own employee admitted to me later, but I did not know that her usual tone was less soft than other French speakers.

Thus, I was astonished when I received an email from her that she did not call me that day.   It turned out that I had replayed her old message making plans for our first meeting, which took place a month ago.  A mistake is a mistake, so I apologized to her in writing immediately.  Part of Japanese culture is ‘swift apology’.  Japan is too small a nation to live with a reputation of ‘a loser who does not acknowledge one’s mistake.’  The only case we stubbornly refuse to apologize is when the recipients have elaborated the facts.  We have compassion for the victims, but not any more if the victims turn into something else who treat the compensations they received like it never happened.

Back to my mistake.  I had jumped to the conclusion.  Mme. Harmonie deserved an apology. She further demanded a public apology in writing, which was fine except she also criticized Mme. Landlord whom I still adored at the time in the same email.  I had also heard that Mme. Harmonie had spoken rudely to Mme. Landlord who accused the restaurant for having dumped their commercial rubbish into the residential area.  I felt I had let down Mme. Landlord, so, I wrote an apology note to everyone in the building about my mistake, adding my plea to Mme. Harmonie that she should leave Mme. Landlord alone after this.


That night I wondered why I did not practice my usual caution before accusing Mme. Harmonie, and then realized with horror that I was acting with the sense of license as a victim of the restaurant from Hell.  That it was so easy to blame someone without checking the facts, shocked me.  I felt self-righteous and blamed someone for something she did not commit.  In a beat I shifted from a victim to a perpetrator.  Disgusting but I had acted like Mr. Justice, the most hypocrite of all!  (Please, refer to the episode 71~73 for the details about Mr. Justice, or  http://www.thethirdredapple.com/2018/04/the-bullied-takes-on-goliath-in-true_29.html)


I became afraid for my soul.  The traditional potion passed down through my family protected my body, and the teaching of my Samurai ancestors saved my sanity, but my soul was still weak.  I finally acknowledged the importance of religion.  Their function was to shield our soul from corruption.  My soul was in jeopardy indeed.  However, it was not just the restaurant from Hell that pushed me towards the religion.  It was Mme. Landlord, an atheist who dared to take over the God.  
To be continued.
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Monday, 2 July 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 78

The pain in my wrist lingered too long that I had to return to Japan because my other wrist began to hurt.  I needed the help of my family in Japan with every day chores.  Thus I have been following the news of the World Cup in Japan.  Let me tell you, the Japanese would have preferred our national team to have progressed to the top 16 in a different manner.  No need to condemn us.  We know that stalling to keep the lead, which many teams have done in the soccer history, is different from stalling when you are losing.  We are also painfully aware that we possess none of the gifts that other teams have.  After all the flakks the Japanese players copped, the Japanese team will be clobbered by the Belgium who openly speak of the Japanese team as a warm up practice before facing Brazilian team.  Despite what you think of the Japanese, we have accepted all this with resignedness, not smugness.

If there was one thing I would ask…please, do not take your anger out on the Japanese supporters.  As soon as the media credited them for cleaning the stadium seating areas after the games, there was a backlash.  The Japanese supporters were accused of trying to make their national team look grander than the real life.  I need to point out to you that cleaning is just our habit.  The supporters have been doing this in Japan all the time, not just in the international venues.   Japan is such a tiny country that if we each did not clean up after us, the life would have been intolerable.  Those who look for ulterior motives in the others, are often projecting their own pattern of thinking.  The man who went out of his way to speak to Japanese media about his contempt on the Japanese fans may approve if the Japanese start wrecking the shops that belonged to our opponents as well.  

Let me point out the obvious: the Japanese people have always been the butt of joke and there are reasons for that.  Look at me for an instance.  For over one year I made every effort to please Mme. Landlord whom I believed to be my friend.  Instead of appreciating me, Mme. Landlord chose to exploit the situation. 
Geek Japanese may seem fair game to you, but you would gain far more by befriending us.  Our loyalty goes a long way.  I was even thinking of inviting Mme. Landlord and her family to Japan during the Tokyo Olympic, all expenses paid.  Of course, I dropped this idea when she wronged my aged mother who visited me in Paris.  That was the wake-up call.  
To be continued.
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Saturday, 23 June 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 77

My injured wrist has had some rest.  I’m not sure if anyone would care for my updates while the world cup 2018 is on, but I’d better write some before my wrist gives way again.

In hindsight, I was always uneasy that Mme. Landlord constantly reminded the people around her of her good deeds.  She called herself ‘a good person yet underappreciated.’  It may be very Japanese of me, but I was brought up with the idea that good deeds may be recognized, but should not demand rewards.  It was sad because she did not need to remind me of her kindness because I always remembered it.  When she asked me to print all her private documents, I did not doubt her explanation that she found the modern technology difficult.  I had to go through several ink cartridges, each quite expensive in France, but I was happy to do them for her free. 

However, one night, Mme. Landlord needed her vast documents for her freelance work and I had to deliver the printed documents after 22:00.  Unfortunately, after hours of consecutive printing, my printer broke down.  As I apologized to her that it was not all done, there I saw it, a printer hidden behind her books.  Mme. Landlord looked sheepish for a moment, but still rejected my suggestion to use her printer.  She would wait till I got my printer fixed.  Had she not told me to deliver her documents late at night because it was urgent?  I felt uneasy but, tried to suppress the feeling.  Japanese are too loyal to question their friends’ motives.  So I agreed when she asked me to carry one of her chair to her other apartment on my way home.  It was heavier than it looked, but I would not suspect that Mme. Landlord, who did volunteer works to help migrants receive visa in France, would exploit me, another migrant, to economize 15 euros worth of taxi fares which would have costed her otherwise.  My arms hurt after 30 minutes long slow walk while holding onto the heavy chair, but there was another four staircases up to her apartment, now vacated by Jupiter.  I tried to focus on the honor of being trusted with the key to her apartment.  Of course, Mme. Landlord saw the situation completely differently because with the keys came another instruction, which was to open her windows every morning to let fresh air into the apartment.  Of course, the windows had to be closed every afternoon. 

So I was a free secretary and warden at her disposal.  I served Mme. Landlord for 16 months because I did not want to be one of those ungrateful migrants.  I was grateful that a Parisian had befriended me.  Only my injury that rendered me useless would repel this hyena who was not even a true Parisian, it turned out.  To be continued.

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Monday, 21 May 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 74

The sharpest sword in the world is said to be the samurai swords.  My ancestors were entrusted with enormous responsibility that could cut through anything…except sludge.  It would simply wrap itself around the sword while dripping on your clothes to stick as stains, which you just cannot shake it off.  I started to wonder if Mr. Honour and Mr. Pride were themselves preyed upon by Mr. Justice’s crowd.  Anyway, it was time to adjust myself.  You do not fight sludge.  The best you could do is to let them win until they weaken themselves with their own toxins.  Did I believe this?  Not at the time, but I chose the reverse psychology by instinct.  Well, more like a prayer it was.

Speaking of prayer, I recall having touched something at the moment I was falling down the abyss, despairing the reality of human nature (part 71).  It was a small statue of Jesus Christ.  Though I am not a Christian, my mother is a protestant that I would take the little statue with me for a nostalgic reason.  I must have knocked it down off the book shelf and the statue fell near me.  In the movies, this would have been the moment I was converted, but I did not wish to choose a religion out of spite of other religions or cults.  Besides I could never bring myself to believe the unrealistic stories preached by each religion.  I wanted logic or psychology.  However, I realized that no logic could explain why the evil was triumphing in the real life either.  Hmm…I could stop being criticizing of the religion.  But like I said, hatred did not seem the right reason to embrace a religion. 

Though I concede that I cannot explain it, I learnt since I arrived in Paris, that there are three types of evils: First is the predator Goliath; the second is the sycophants who support and empower the Goliath; and the third…the hyenas.  In the trail left behind by the Goliath and the entourage, there lay their victims.  Weaken and helpless, desperate for a tiny hint of kindness.  They may not seem much, but most likely the easiest to exploit.  The hyenas know it.  It took me months to realize that I was standing next to one.  It was Mme. Landlord.

To be continued.
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Sunday, 29 April 2018

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 71


You may wonder why I still retain the title ‘The bullied takes on Goliath’ after Mr. Honour went out of the picture.  Well…I learnt from this grim experience that Goliath does not exist on its own.  It may even have been made to turn into one by the sycophants surrounding the former honorable man. 

The man who walked into the restaurant was Mr. Justice, brother of Mme. Empathy.  My readers would remember that they sold this restaurant pending 2 lawsuits without a full explanation.  It was a text book case of property frauds and yet Mr. Justice had the nerve to show up with a smile to meet his prey, Mme. Harmonie.  How is that possible?  I screamed inside me.  

In need of some explanation that would make sense I searched the internet.  The discovery was even more incredible.  Mr. Justice worked as a humanitarian.  He denounced Mme. Le Pen for racial discrimination, but this was the man who let his sister build the chamber of horror where I, an Asian woman, was fried above the restaurant cooking ventilation.  This is the man who let his sister terrorize her neighbours at two restaurants and more from what I heard making many French neighours sick day and night.  And yet he smiled in the photo like an icon of justice and benevolence.  Scary part was that he really seemed to believe it himself.  Talk about selective memory…

And where did Mme. Harmonie fit into this equation?  I soon found out.  One night I heard a chorus from below that gradually turned into howling.  Then my apartment started to shake.  The whole building shook from what I learnt later from stomping that continued all night.  I was not annoyed, I was scared.  Usually my curiosity would beckon me to find out what was happening, but instinct told me to stay away from what was obviously a ritual of some kind.  As I listened to their primitive shouts, getting louder each time, I could not help but remember the dark souls of the butchers who lived near Notre Dame Cathedral praying on the tourists to consume their flesh.  Their shops are no more and there is a police station, but their souls that could not have been accepted into the heaven may have found a new hang out.

Nonsense, I tried calming myself.  But I sadly remembered that Mme. Harmonie knew that I suffered from the thin ceiling of the restaurant.  And yet she allowed this thunder like gathering to happen.  No, she probably did not even remember that I existed.  I pictured herself dancing away merrily with Mr. Justice down stairs.  Outwardly she is a respected critique and he is a revered humanitarian.  The whole community of them, protected by Mr. Honour, the Goliath.  I choked on the cursed vapour invading into my apartment.  I felt sick to the core.  I was falling down the abyss of human souls that is essentially evil.  I searched for something to grab at frantically. 

Then it touched my finger.  To be continued.
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Sunday, 15 April 2018

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 69

Mme. Landlord creased her face and spat ‘Do not expect this tenant to reciprocate decency.  She is from the lowest end of the society!’  Now I do not claim to know much about the society in France, but I had been surprised that Mme. Harmonie allowed her team to do renovation work over 4 weekends in row in this respective area of Paris where sensible people refrain from doing washing on Sundays.   Even Mme. Empathy left us in peace on Sundays to show some class.  

Nevertheless I still had to pin hope on her because the sales of the restaurant to Mme. Harmonie practically rendered my lawsuit against the restaurant invalid.  All the deception to the authority was committed by the former restaurant owner, not the new one.  Even the name of their lawyer was withdrawn from the online noticeboards of the court cases because there would be no meaningful verdict now.  

The plus side of this, however, was that Mr. Honour, the biggest Goliath, was gone with Mme. Empathy.  It was a humongous relief.  Sure it was his misplaced sympathy in his friend that put the restaurant from Hell beneath my floor, but it was also his influence that forced Mr. Pride and Mme. Empathy to do the right thing, though partially.  I was rescued from the death chamber of noise and leaked electricity.  Now it was up to Mme. Harmonie to insulate her ceiling.  She had called out to the landlords that she would like to come to favorable agreement, had she not?

It turned out what Mme. Harmonie really meant was ‘favorable to her only.’  She walked into my room and closed the window and told Mme. Landlord that I should keep my windows closed all the time if the restaurant noise bothered me.  Mme. Landlord hit back, ‘People have the right to enjoy fresh air from the opened windows in this part of Paris, though it may be different from where you are from!’  I gasped that a restaurant owner who serve food to the public should have little regards to the well-being of others.  Also the decisively superior attitude of Mme. Landlord made me wonder how she really saw me and her gay tenant in her mind.  I was to find out several months later.

Back to Mme. Harmonie.  She turned to me all of sudden in English demanded that I admit that the noise of the kitchen did not bother me.  Now, she came in the morning when there was no clients in the restaurant.  There was only one chef and he was standing still in front the cooking table.  It would be different once the guests came in and the chef and his assistant chef would be rushing around the kitchen, opening and bang closing the refrigerator.  As I tried to explain this I saw a crafty grin on Mme. Harmonie.  She knew all these but trying to feed her words into my mouth.  I said ‘it would be different at later hours.’  Mme. Harmonie was adamant to trap me.  ‘But are you annoyed by the noise now?’  Seeing that she was not going to let up, I had to resort to shake my head slightly.  It was ‘no’, but I gave her no words to quote me later.   She was taken back in silence.

During the conversation pursued between Mme. Landlord and Mme. Harmonie, it was revealed the new owner of the restaurant had not been informed of the unauthorized ventilation pipe by neither Mr. Pride nor Mme. Empathy.  Mme. Harmonie had been deceived, but she was no way a victim by nature.   
To be continued.
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Sunday, 8 April 2018

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 68


You might wonder why I was not disappointed that Mme. Empathy did not get her uppercomance.  First, I had not expected any because this is not a movie, but a true story in the real life.  Secondly, it was all those men who had bent the rules and morality to indulge her ever since she could remember.  What person would not be affected by that?  What person would even think of doing the right things or playing by the rules after such easy rides?  I have no sympathy for those men who ended up being trodden by her.  I was just sooooo grateful that I had survived the woman.

Besides, a few months break in Japan had normalized my noise sensitivity.  
I realized that the worst was over.  Mr. Pride’s architect had done a good job suppressing the noise of the ventilation.  Sure there was still some noise during the night, but my super-duper insulation SHIZUKA would conceal it.  Sure it was unfair that I had to pay for them from my own pocket, but they were portable thus I could take them with me anywhere.

Mme. Landlord was still ever bent on driving Mr. Pride’s restaurant out, but I was feeling sorry for the new owner.  The new owner was also a victim of Mme. Empathy.  I shall call her Miss Harmony because she sent a letter to every resident and every landlord that she would like to talk and come to an amicable agreement.  No one replied, except me.  I felt sorry for the woman who had been lied to and invested her savings into this dodgy restaurant permit.  If she could agree to insulate the ceiling of the restaurant, I would have loved to make peace with Mr. Pride for her sake.  With this high expectation I went to meet the woman with Mme. Landlord.

How naïve I was.  I should have remembered my instinct when I first saw Miss Harmony: the dark shadow leaning against the wall puffing smoke out with confidence.   As I got to know her, I began to see why Mme. Empathy felt no remorse for deceiving the new owner of the restaurant from Hell. 

But what surprised me just as much, if not more, was Mme. Landlord who was not at all pleased about meeting Mme. Harmonie.  To my surprise the departure of Mme. Empathy did not excite her either.  ‘They're just tenants.  Dealing with them does not solve the problem at the root.  It is the landlord that matters.’  Her reasoning was correct, but I was a tad surprised to detect classism in her tone.  We are all guilty of some form of discrimination, but not everyone poses to be egalitarian.  I had respected Mme. Landlord for her volunteer works for migrants and her tolerance for homosexuals.  Unfortunately, she was having problems with her other tenant who was gay and that may have affected her frame of mind?

To be continued.


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Sunday, 1 April 2018

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 67


Pork Barrel is politicians’ one mean out of many (hopefully legitimate ones) to ensure their office, but Japan is currently rocked by a scandal tagged by the word SONTAKU that can be translated as ‘Conjectures’.  It all started by our First Lady whose desire was to become ‘a Saint.’  God, help us.  According to the media (thus not guaranteed, these days) she had been urging people to exploit her influence that came from her status.  People with good sense did not take up the offer, however, at least one man thought, ‘why not?’ and to cut the long story short, one bureaucrat had to commit suicide and our current Prime Minister’s third reelection is off the table. 

It may have been the same with Mr. Honour.  He may have wanted to do a genuine favour for Mme. Empathy.  But many people, not just me, have suffered physical damage as the result of his action.  But what Mr. Honour and the First Lady of Japan ought to have known was that doing a favour to one person would result in depriving a fair chance from other candidates.  In Mr. Honour’s case, some other decent restaurant team which deserved the chance to contribute to serious Paris dining scene was wasted on Mme. Empathy's team who was in it for easy cash.  The First Lady of Japan may have become a Saint to her acquaintances, but she has become a predator in the eyes of the others. 

My neighbors live in fear of Mr. Honour after their official complaints against Mme. Empathy’s restaurants were rejected based on inconclusive evidence.  The officers had come to measure the noise and odour when the restaurant was closed.  Coincidence?  My lawsuit was slowed further by an odd counterclaim from the accused.  My lawyer could not believe how things were different from his other cases.  However I somehow sensed some darkness had been lifted from the building. 

It was not long before Mme. Landlord found out that Mme. Empathy was searching for a new apartment where she could live with her new man with the money she had obtained from the sale of her shares in the restaurant business.   Our femme fatal had found a sucker to wash her hands off.  This meant my struggle would continue, but it brought about a wonderful twist.  Mr. Brave, her arduous admirer, also sold his apartment, which left Mr. Pride with less allies.  I chose to celebrate for the time being.

…until another shadow was leaning by our wall, puffing out the smoke.

To be continued.
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Saturday, 24 March 2018

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 66

No more sugar sweet voice, Mme. Empathy bared her fangs at Mr. Pride.  ‘I and my brother (Mr. Justice) will sue you for compensation for failing us.  My patrons invested into the renovation and machines of the restaurant based on the 10 years guarantee you signed.  However, you failed to silence that nagging Mme. Landlord at the last assembly general.  You said you had intimidated the Syndic so that he would yield to your demand!  But we cannot forever ignore the lawsuit against us by that Jap or Chinese, oh, whatever!’

I had seen the scary side of Mme. Empathy which could send shiver down the spine of anybody, even Mr. Pride, the man who sniggered at the physical ordeal of an Asian woman.  Despite that, I could still see his points that she was to be blamed for not having played by the book which led to my lawsuit.  He was also a victim of Mme. Empathy because if it were not for her silver tongue, he may not have purchased this defective property equipped with an extractor pipe installed illegally by the former owner without the consent of the Syndic.  In fact this was the main issue of my lawsuit.  My lawyers saw that my physical suffering would not carry much weight in the court (wow!), but the illegality of the pipe may.  This is why the otherwise confident Mme. Empathy was rattled.

She softened her expression and cajoled Mr. Pride.  Oh I have seen that transition a few times myself.  Mme. Empathy purred ‘But we can get out of this if you follow my plan.  I will find some sucker to buy my machines off me.  You just keep your mouth shut about the pending lawsuits and I will not need to sue you.’  My lawyer did not think this was possible as any sensible buyers would check the status of the restaurant permit.  The prospective buyers would soon see the records of the pending lawsuit and would stay away from the trouble.  No problems as Mme. Empathy would choose her preys wisely.  Would her protector or my Goliath give her time she needed to run?  Would there be another prey added to Mme. Empathy’s trail of victims? 

To be continued. 
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Saturday, 17 March 2018

The bullied takes on Goliath in the true horror stories in modern Paris part 65

I returned to Paris well prepared.  It would have been suicidal not to against the likes of Mr. Pride who would not blink at the physical pain he incurs on others.  It would take a professional psychologist to explain how he justifies believing him to be the victim, not me, because I am causing loss on his business.  But there he was, I just had to deal with it. 

You may ask again why I would not leave and rid myself of this problem.  I already wrote in the old episodes that some landlords simply replaced their tenants with unsuspecting ones.  One of them even lied to his tenant that it would be absolutely quiet.  What saddened me that all the new tenants who were duly terrorized by the music beats from the restaurant day and night…were all Asians.  One Taiwanese student was stuck because her landlord would not return her deposit despite the problem.  In the end she chose to betray her friend from Beijing.  I was surprised to see the new girl who took over the apartment.  The landlord had agreed because he was not losing any money. 

I instantly felt sorry for her because she had been told lies by someone she trusted.  I shall refer to her as Miss Plum (the national flower of China) who was initially wary of me, a Japanese woman.  However, I assured her that Mrs. Landlord and my lawyer were working to solve the problem, and let her know all the times that Miss Plum was not alone.  Knowing how lonely an Asian woman by herself can be in Paris in times of illness, I informed her all I knew about good medications available in Paris.  I do not know what Miss Plum thinks of me, but we are amicable neighbors and that is enough for me to feel happy.  She even signed the petition against the restaurant.  I respect her gut because other tenants became chicken and declined to sign.  They left to escape the noise, but Miss Plum stayed on to fight with me.   It is for beautiful surprises like this I stay in Paris.

Back to my preparation against Mr. Pride who had decided a long-term harassment could wear me down.  We’ll see about that.  I purchased the most advanced insulation material made in Japan.  It is the first and only insulation material in the world that is effective against the low frequency noise.  The company is called SHIZUKA meaning science of tranquility.  The inventor was recently given the top award at the national commercial invention contest in Japan.  They have already begun exporting their products to USA.  Germany, the leading nation in Europe in the field of regulations and combat against noise of all types, has shown interest.  

This is what I needed to shield myself from the low frequency noise emitted by the big refrigerator and freezer which Mme. Empathy installed right beneath my bedroom instead of her basement like other decent restaurants in Paris do, including most Michelin starred restaurants.  SHIZUKA is also effective against electromagnetism.  Mr. Pride had used his votes, he had many, to annul the plan to install earth tours in our building despite it would expose the residents to physical danger relating to electricity leak.  I do not presume to know what he hopes to happen to me, the one who lives above his deadly kitchen, but whatever he wishes for, the advanced technology of Japan would protect me from it.

I am keenly aware that I am an idiot for wasting my money and time on this restaurants from hell.  However, I just could not be the one to dump the problem on someone else.  Not until it is clear to the world that I have done all I could against this demon.  I had always respected Chinese women for their dynamism.  With Miss Plum’s boldness combined with my Japanese meticulousness, I felt empowered. 

And then, I learnt a surprising news about Madame Empathy.  To be continued.
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