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Showing posts with the label neighbors from hell

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 71

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A weird thing happened two weeks ago.   Mme. Landlord who had sold her apartment was seen wondering in the garbage room of the building.   Of course, I nearly screamed.   What is it with this woman and her obsession with the garbage?   I have heard that the French people are not big on cleanness, but this still felt extreme.   It gave me a shudder when she looked at me and smiled a little, as if she had run into an old friend.   This was the woman who sent an abusive slander about me to everyone in the building last month.   What did she expect from me? I returned her greeting politely but coldly and walked past her without slowing down.   No more the usual and well-known Japanese warm smile.   I am a traditional Japanese woman who would tolerate condescension, selfishness, impoliteness, what have you, for a very long time, but once we have burnt the bridge, you do not exist to us.   I am not morally above revenge, but mere breathing of the same air with the disappointing person ma

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 70

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I was making a move back from Japan to Paris last weekend thus I could not update my blog.   Today I am going to make it up by writing a fairly long post. As always the writer Christopher commented  that ‘compensation junkie’ would be stopped one day.   That is very likely on an individual level and the family level.   Even the company taken over by compensation junkies may be stopped albeit it will be more difficult.   However, when the plague spread nationwide…the history tells us it has happened several times, other nations will seize the opportunity to invade a self-weaken nation whose people have lost the will to endeavour.   Why would you want to be industrious when a bunch of social moochers are fed free while increasing your burden to support the system?   As a history buff, I read books and articles and found several traits that were common among those compensation junkies:  1)      They bend to the powerhouse like USA or the Great China.   However, to the less threaten

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 54

The following morning, the sky of Paris looked gray white.   The crazy howling had finally subsided.   I could not contact the police for help, not after the compassionate Major has left the nearest station.   With the heavy sleepless head I went downstairs not knowing what to expect.   I looked into the restaurant glass fa├žade.   Oddly, the floor had been cleaned.   Very much puzzled, I returned to the building.   Something told me to look into the residential garbage area.   I gasped.   It was filled with hundreds of empty drink bottles and a mountain of litters.   Mr. Pride had promised that his staff would take their litters out to the nearest commercial garbage station.   Like many other his promises, this was hardly observed.   Now it was up to the residents, like me, to clean up the mess because the employed cleaner would refuse to do more than what was in the contract.   Paris revealed the dark side to me, but she was not done yet.   It seems that there are three types of evils

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 53

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The man who walked into the restaurant was a brother of Mme. Empathy.    He was obviously friend with  Mme. Harmonie.   How is that possible?    In need of some explanation that would make sense, I searched the internet.   The discovery was even more incredible.   Mme. Empathy's brother  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.   This is the man who let his sister terrorize her neighbours at two restaurants and more from what I heard making many French neighbours sick day and night.   And yet he smiled in the photo like an icon of justice and benevolence.   The scary  part was that he really seemed to believe he was Mr. Justice himself.   Talk about selective memory… After midnight, I had no choice but to return to my apartment despite the party.  I hoped it would taper out.  How wrong I was because  I heard a cho

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 52

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Mme. Harmonie was not beautiful.   But Scarlet O’Hara she was not either.   But the two women shared the look of determination, not letting anyone get in her way.   Mme. Harmonie derived her power from her occupation which was critique.   It would have made more sense to open a restaurant if she had been a food critique, but no.    She decided to have a restaurant on side to lean back on.   A very condescending attitude to get into any business, especially the food industry.   It is much more than providing food, drinks and a fake smile promoting ‘honest artisan experience’.   There are several reasons why there are so few restaurants are awarded Michelin Stars.   I have come to notice that Michelin Star awarded restaurants, they mostly rent or own the floor above their restaurants so as not to annoy their neigbours.   Their kitchens with commercial size machines are kept down in the basement to protect the clients and the neighbours from electromagnetic, low frequency noise and al

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 50

Finally, Mme. Landlord received the news that Mr. Pride was going to re-install the ventilation properly.  It was done while I was at school and the noise from the ventilation indeed dropped.  However, Mme. Empathy had not yet insulted her kitchen ceiling.  Other decent restaurants in Paris would either install their noisy machines in the basement, or rent or buy the first floor above the kitchen to protect their neighbours from the noise.   Of course, Mme. Empathy would install her kitchen on the ground floor directly under the residential apartments.   This meant I would continue to be exposed to the mechanical noise during the night.  Then puzzling incidents unravelled.  As a rule if a restaurant in Paris got caught more than 3 times for breaking the regulations of public health the authority would suspend the restaurant for one month.  Well, the police had already caught Mme. Empathy 5 times breaching the regulations.  However, the restaurant from Hell was still open.  The police

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 49

A week later, Mme. Empathy was in a foul mood.  ‘ That Japanese imp called the police for 5 nights straight!  I thought she didn ’ t speak French! ’   It was so embarrassing seeing those policemen calling the party off in her restaurant.  Most clients blamed the caller, but there were some who complained that they did not get their money worth.  They would not return and that hurt.  It was easy to fool young policemen with her smile.  ‘ But officers, we are in the process of resolving the problem.  Please, give us time. ’   Of course, she had no intention to spend a cent to solve the problem, but with her victim act she managed to send policemen away.    However, there was this older major who was not fooled.  He had been moved by the tone of this Japanese caller, so desperate and vulnerable.  The situation had to be dire if someone with such a limited French would have to call every night.  He did a research and soon discovered that Mme. Empathy had been sentenced to pay the fine f

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 48

The electricity risk was removed but the noise persisted.  As Mme. Empathy would stick to delaying tactics, I had to act.   What is not widely known is that there is in fact a regulation that forbids all the restaurants in Paris to make noise after 22:30.  However, the authority will force it only if a resident of the building places a call to the police.  Therefore, it is one regulation that is defunct because most tenants do not know this.  Hell, even I did not know this until so informed by Mme. Landlord.  Then what about the owner-residents, you may ask.  After the arrival of AIRBNB, the landlords now prefer to lend their apartments out for a big profit while they move to the suburbs.  They do not care if their tenants suffer any noise.  There will always be unsuspecting tenants applying for apartments in Paris.  Their cold attitude hardened even more by the system of AIRBNB.   Therefore, it fell on me to call the police because the tenants on the same floors had already left. 

Thhe true horror stories in modern Paris part 46

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My good FB friend made a valid comment last week.  I agree with him that I should not have made myself visible to the chef from Hell, Mr. Sincere, before the electrician arrived, but believe me I had it planned very differently.  Probably the first harsh lesson the expats have to learn is that ‘France does not give a rats about your plan.’  Perhaps I ought to have changed the title of this post to “pulling hair out until you go bald in Paris.  My electrician had gone to a different address and despite the urgent nature of my predicament, he left without calling me on my mobile because he had misplaced my number.  The appointment was rescheduled after some difficulty but I knew it might all be for nothing because of what I witnessed while I waited for the electrician for his first visit that never took place.  I was watching the front door of our building from a distant when an ambulance siren was heard.  Then out came from the restaurant from Hell a man whose face had gone blue be

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 45

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The compassionate Major came out to meet me himself at the police station. French people are aptly described as ‘fire and ice.’   There are those with warm hearts and the others who can cut you off instantly.  I was most grateful to the warm words of this Major who was aghast by my predicament.  He gave me the name and contact address of his superior because things were getting out of his hands.  I went to seat myself on a bench but the major arranged to have a secured detention cell to protect me from the criminals and drug addicts.  I was given full privacy for the night.  The reality did not hit me until I smelt the unusual odour of the cell.  However, this was the only safe sanctuary in the whole Paris to me that night …while Mr. Pride and Mme. Empathy each relaxed in their own fluffy bed: one was counting profit and one was planning another loud parties. The following morning, as soon as a library opened I used their computer to book a room because my laptop was in my apartme

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 43

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The machines in the restaurant below were pounding louder than usual around me as if I were inside the dark kitchen crawling.  Usually I would have taken a glass of wine to numb my hearing against the noise, but that night I had not had any.  In hindsight I did not trust that chef from Hell, Mr. Sincere, after all.  It was not until several months later that we discovered the criminal charges pressed against him by many victims.  However, Mme. Empathy and Mr. Justice would naturally feign not to have known about his recklessness which saw me in this fatal situation. My palm and the back of my feet felt the sting at every contact with the floor that was buzzing with some sort of electricity.  Somehow I reached for my shoes, opened the door and I crawled up the stairs.  It was still cold at night, Paris in March, but my body was burning.  I collapsed near the second floor gasping to breathe, but I sensed that I had escaped the danger.  Three hours passed while the fever and nausea s

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 42

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I recognized Mr. Sincere as the man I had seen wandering into the residential area of the building for the last couple of days.  There was a regulation that forbids people from the commercial area from wondering into the private residential area.  Not only Mme. Empathy did not discipline her staff, she was the one who regularly opened the door.  This annoyed my Mme. Landlord because she was respective of rules and courtesy.  She asked Mr. Pride to admonish his tenant Mme. Empathy, but of course, he ignored Mme. Landlord consistently.  The Syndic and Mme. Landlord instructed me to take photos of the restaurant staffs illegally entering the private area, which I hated to do.  I was worn down by the noise and compared to my suffering, it seemed such a trivial issue.  However, Mme. Landlord was my friend so I took some photos, but I did not send the ones that pictured Mr. Sincere. Don’t get me wrong.  I did not fall for his charm.  I was hoping against hope that he may be the one who would

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 41

Mme. Empathy was furious when the police ordered her to insulate her ventilator because it she did not want to invest much into her business.  She was never into running a good restaurant.  There is a record of her summon to the court following a big petition signed by her former neighbors whose lives had been wrecked by her irresponsible management of her last restaurant. But it did not hurt her one bit because in Paris you can always sell the restaurant permit and make a huge profit.  Therefore, it was essential for Mme. Empathy to invest as little as possible.  One of it was installing a cooking ventilator without insulating hood (which you would find in any normal restaurant kitchen).  It damaged my health, but what did she care?  Mme. Empathy was counting the huge profit she would make by selling the permit to a sucker.  Sure her reputation follows her everywhere, but she just needs to apply under someone else ’ s name and partners in crimes she has no shortage of.   Mme. Emp

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 40

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There was an electricity bill placed on the table between Mme. Empathy and a man, her patron.  The bill was of course was not in her name.  Would she ever pay anything herself?  Her Patron was worried if she was making profit to justify all her expenses.  Mme. Empathy turned on her radiant smile, ‘Party season has arrived.’  Did she tell her patron that she had her ventilator running all day at the maximum noise level to blow out ‘that Japanese bug living upstairs’ from the building?  Whatever.  It did the restaurant no good as the chef and staffs were seen hanging around outside the restaurant to escape the noise and heat themselves.  Not a sign of a good restaurant and it drove away potential clients.  A good new restaurant would take off after a month in Paris where elegant gourmets are forever in search of new gastronomical delights.  It was clearly not happening for Mme. Empathy’s restaurant.  The noise attack from the restaurant became shorter but still damaging enough to

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 39

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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 cheap to pay.  Did she feel remorse?  Of course not.  Who did the waiter think he was to criticize her when he had willingly participated in her scheme?  The waiter flirted with the women tenants of the building so that they would not complain of the music or the kitchen noise.   He shared a good laugh

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 37

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Mr Pride was preparing for a party Mme. Empathy was hosting at the restaurant.  It had already been opened two months and things were going swell, or so he was told.  The truth was that the restaurant had been hardly occupied.  Having failed to attract serious diners, Mme. Empathy opted to go party venue serving booze at a rip-off price.  It started to attract the wrong kind of clients whose focus was not on food, which was far from a Michelin starred restaurant that Mr Pride dreamt of.   So blissfully, Mr Pride was still eager to carry out more works.  His tradesmen needed to access my apartment to install a glass roof over his restaurant.  Mme. Landlord repeatedly told him how much I was suffering because of the restaurant’s unlawful infrastructure.  It all fell on his deaf ears because he simply reiterated ‘Tell that Asian what’s-her name to cooperate.  I want my glass roof installed.’ That morning I woke up with unnatural shiver.  The temperature was not low therefore I was not shi

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 36

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With the departure of the Asian chef, the last ounce of conscious left the restaurant.  New replacement chefs, there were a few of them as not one lasted long under Mme. Empathy’s management, they would all set the ventilator at the maximum strength convinced that a due insulation had been applied.  Of course, it would not occur to Mme. Empathy to correct their error.  So I was exposed to both the high and low-frequency noise, the latter which rocked my wall and furniture.  While the high-frequency noise would offend our hearing, the low-frequency noise would penetrate our skin and grab our internal organs to shake it relentlessly.  The shaking furniture showed me what was happening inside me.  Ironically, it was a French researcher who first discovered the damage of low-frequency noise, yet it is the citizens of other nations, Germany for one, that are protected by the regulations.  While the human ears eventually would get used to the high-frequency noise, the low-frequency noise wou

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 35

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Mme. Empathy was being confronted by her chef.  ‘Madame, you lied to me.  I only agreed to install the extracting ventilation directly on the ceiling because you assured me that the ceiling had been insulated.’  Mme. Empathy replied with a smile ‘but it is!  I cannot do any more insulation than this.’  He did not quite believe her because this chef did not abuse the extractor to his credit.  Any chef would know the hell I was being put through upstairs.   At least the other chefs I had the chance to consult was aghast.   I was incessantly hit by relentless vibration that my hands started to shake regularly.  My lungs and my necks felt oppressed that I desperately needed to leave the apartment.  However, I had to go back and record everything for at least one month.  The police would only come and measure the noise level only after I have suffered and got affected by it.  My lawyers needed time to gather all the necessary documents and the tribunal in France required HEAPS.  Many times

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 34

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Mme. Landlord was on the phone.  ‘Mais, Non!’  She repeated in utter exasperation.  Mr. Pride had called her to demand access to his roof through her apartment’s window where I rent, so his workers could install a sky roof on his restaurant.  Mme. Empathy believed that the lack of a sky roof was the reason her restaurant was sparsely occupied.  You would think that good food with honest price is the keys to more customers, but not Mme. Empathy, our lady with substance .  So here he was, Mr. Pride, demanding that I complied his request.  He knew I was suffering insomnia and was weakened.   Mme. Landlord defended me, ‘You and Mme. Empathy keeps installing electric appliances that make loud noise all night long, which keep my tenant up every night.  I have told you this many times!’  Mr. Pride interrupted Mme. Landlord with a scoff.  ‘Your tenant chose to live above a restaurant.  Where does she get off complaining?’  Mme. Landlord corrected him, ‘I too live above a restaurant in the

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 33

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Without women tenants’ participation, I had to make a case for the nuisance of the restaurant by myself.  Mme. Landlord could not help me with this because she did not reside in the building herself.  For my complaint to be accepted by the police I had to live in inhabitable apartments to record all the activities by the restaurant that were making it inhabitable.  It should not have to be this hard, but I moved into my kitchen aka my living room and bedroom for some times to come.   The smug laughter of the restaurant staff was heard too that I quickly pushed earplugs into my ears.  However, the noise pierced even those earplugs that I dreaded the long hours of ventilation hell from the restaurant below.  According to Mme. Empathy and her staff, I should just parish. However, before long Mme. Empathy’s the restaurant started to go quiet during the dinner hours.  Mme. Empathy’s reputation had preceded her that no respectable locals would dine there.  Winter was coming and terror a