Sunday, 1 October 2017
Mr. Pride could not remember who I was for some time. One thing I learnt about France is that this is a brutally structured society. The life of the poor does not matter and the rich make sure the poor remain where they are. I had not looked kindly upon their frequent strikes before I came to France, but now I get it. For the poor it is the only way to survive.
Thus you can imagine how low I would rank in the mind of Mr. Pride. My lawyer expected to hear some bargaining, but I wondered. Mr. Pride and Mme. Empathy knew that it would be some time before the French authority intervened and I was not even a French woman. Sure enough, the two chose to wear me down even harder so I would leave the place. Problem solved. The noise level in the kitchen went up notches higher that even the chefs would seek refuge outside the restaurant. The extractor which is now a devil’s weapon was switched on all day at the maximum level. It was utter inhumane, but I did ask to learn the truth about this society that looked glam on the surface, didn’t I? Be careful what you wish for.
However, I had suspected as much so I flew out to Vienna. My lawyer would notify me when the police contacted for an investigation. I was on my way to the airport when a group of Chinese clients were having a banquet in the restaurant. As Mme. Empathy had failed to win serious local diners, she had opted to offer a party package. I could see the disappointment on the faces of the Chinese clients. Women were clearly dissatisfied for they must have sensed the rip-off. Mme. Empathy was destroying one Asian while swindling from other Asians. Never mind the acrimony between the Chinese Government and the Japanese government. I felt sorry for the Chinese clients as much as for myself.
I landed in Vienna, utterly demoralized. Every slight noise now attacked my nerve from everywhere. But then I chanced upon a chorus at a church. To my surprise, the hymn did not hurt me. In fact, it soothed my tattered nerves. Though I have not yet picked a religion, I do believe in God because there are so many questions only He would know the answer. However, as my mother is a Christian I remember Jesus Christ more often than the other religious figures. I felt hopeful that I would recuperate during the two weeks stay in Vienna while back in Paris, the restaurant team would be doing their worst until they realized that I had left. They would be disappointed or even annoyed a bit when I returned. To be continued.
Saturday, 23 September 2017
It started out as another lovely afternoon for Mme. Empathy who had thoroughly enjoyed last night’s party. It was also fun giving a brush off to her former Asian chef who came to complain that his recipe was still featuring in the menu of her restaurant without a due credit to him. She could not take it off because it was the dish that earned a good review from a food critic whom she had charmed. What could the chef do? He was too poor to sue.
She went into the restaurant to give a job interview to a girl. She had fired the young waiter when a raise was due. They are replaceable to Mme. Empathy. The trial waiter/waitress are the best kind because they try hard to impress…and don’t forget the cheap pay. Did she feel remorse? Of course not. Who did he think he was to criticize her when he had willingly participated in her scheme? He flirted with the women tenants of the building so that they would not complain of the music or the kitchen noise to their landlords for two months. The landlords could cause her serious problems before the restaurant’s permit was solidified. He shared a good laugh with Mme. Empathy over a dumbfounded look on one of the besotted woman after he told her that he was in a serious relationship with another girl. This is why Mme. Empathy loved having young folks around. They think it is so cool to be on top of the others by foul means…only they never imagine of themselves being on the receiving end. Trust me, they will eventually.
No sympathy was due for that duped woman either. She first came to complain the noise but the waiter flirted with her. How stupid could she be to actually fall for that? Did she think she was that attractive? She obviously did for she kept coming to the restaurant every evening looking expectantly. Mme. Empathy was tired of serving free drinks to this stalking woman tenant. Again, this woman tenant had no rights to reproach anyone when she had betrayed the solidarity of victims of the restaurant. Mme. Empathy had a contemptuous smile on her when the phone rang. It was her brother, the legal owner of the restaurant while Mr. Pride was the landlord. The news was incredulous. A lawsuit had been filed against the restaurant 2 days before the 2 months expiry date. ‘I thought you had everything under control!’ The brother raised his voice. ‘Damn!’ uttered Mme. Empathy. It was so right firing that useless waiter who had failed to seduce that imp Japanese woman!
To be continued.