Showing posts with label neighbors from hell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label neighbors from hell. Show all posts

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 36

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 I had to grit my teeth to prevent myself from vomiting.  Every time the extractor stopped I would drop down on the floor like a puppet with a string that got snapped.  At least 10 hours of this every day and all the muscles around my neck and my shoulder became stiff as rock.  

Mme. Empathy was annoyed that her mood was ruined by being reminded of me.  I knew she was more angry than sorry because I had run into her one morning.  She looked at me like a trouble maker whom she had every right to be indignant with.  She tried to get the chef to agree with her by saying, ‘that Asian woman is exaggerating to deceive money out of us.  It can’t be that bad if she is staying.  Asians can breed in any kind of conditions, can’t they?’  Mme. Empathy did not realize that the chef, whom she had hired in order to ride on the Asian cuisine wave in Paris, did not reply.  Shortly afterwards, the Asian chef quit the restaurant.   This I heard from the other chef who would also quit the restaurant later.

Some readers may suspect as Mrs. Empathy did that I may be suing the restaurant for money.  The compensation for noise nuisance is amazingly small in France.  My lawyer warned me that the legal fees would be easily be tenfold of the compensation price. However, Mme. Empathy is right in believing herself not to be a racist.  She does not indeed see the colour of people’s skin.  In fact she does not see human beings in anybody, otherwise she would have paid more attention on the facial expression of the Asian chef she addressed.  There are cases when even racism feels more humane.  

To be continued.
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Saturday, 12 August 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 35

Mr. Pillar, the lawyer, had defended many restaurants, but not vice versa. ‘Generally, the restaurants in Paris observe the regulations and it is the Syndics that do not want a restaurant in their residential building. However, this is clearly an exceptional case. In all my years of practicing laws in France, I have never seen this extent of malignant breach of regulations as in your case.’ Even his partner lawyer nodded because Mr. Pillar uncovered many other wrong doings by Mme. Empathy which I was not yet aware of. I have travelled all way from Japan to be sunk by a pirate. According to Mr. Pride, I had it coming because…of what?

Mr. Pillar was curious as to why I chose to stay. Very legitimate question. I thought of this tenant next door who recently left. The landlord simply washed his hands off on this unsuspecting Chinese girl. It was much cheaper for this landlord than hiring a lawyer to fight Mr. Pride. This is Paris where there would be no shortage of tenants from overseas. I tried to warn this Chinese girl, but she had already signed a long term lease.

My Mme. Landlord, on the other hand, was no such a coward. She offered to reimburse me the deposit and offered a free lodging at her other house until I found another. Mme. Landlord would not lend out her apartment to anyone until this problem with the restaurant was solved. She chose to fight solo despite her cancer. This impressed me immensely. There had been 4 landlords in Paris before her and three of them had exploited their tenants. Mind like Mme. Landlord is clearly rare to find in this dangerously beautiful Paris. So this was it. I chose to stay because I wished to learn from this respectable French lady. I may still lose and leave after spending a rather large sum of money on lawsuits, but at the end of the day, I liked Mme. Landlord.

Mr. Pillar nodded. ‘The restaurant owner needs to receive the registered mail from the tribunal so that the stop we shall put on their restaurant permit will become valid. You must not let on anything to raise their suspicion lest the restaurant refuse to receive it. I am very sorry but you are going to have to stay in your apartment all day all night to record all hours and volumes of the noise the restaurant emits.’

This was going to cost my health on many levels. To be continued. にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ
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Friday, 4 August 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 34

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 other building, but the restaurant owner there is causing no problems.  Why can’t you do the right thing and pay for the insulation?  You are a wealthy man with many business, Mr. Pride!’   But alas, he kept demanding that ‘this Asian woman should stop feeling sick and open her door to the tradesmen.’  He was relentless even after Mme. Landlord pleaded him to let her keep her doctor’s appointment for her cancer.  He kept demanding for nearly two hours until she finally dropped the telephone receiver from exhaustion.  

I am not so naive as to judge him for putting his profit above the health of the others.   But I was stupefied when he demanded respect.  Yes, ‘respect.’  Was there another meaning to this word that I did not know of?  Mme. Landlord said to him that ‘respect must be given mutually’ but of course, it fell on deaf ears.

Two days later, a secretary showed me into an office full of books.  Probably the most unpragmatic decision of mine had been made by Mr. Pride.  A lawyer named Mr. Pillar greeted me quietly.  To be continued.
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Friday, 28 July 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 33

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 ear plugs into my ears.  However, the noise pierced even those ear plugs 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 attacks in Paris had stopped the flow of tourists.  The empty looking restaurant suffered a stark contrast with the other restaurants nearby that were filled with the locals and the expats.  Mme. Empathy had designed it so that there would be a lot of dining seats, which left very little space for kitchen.  The crammed kitchen must have inconvenienced the chefs.  Those sparsely occupied seats in a large dining area enhanced the emptiness of the restaurant.  All this was visible from the street.    ‘A good restaurant would pick up after a few weeks in Paris,’ said Mme. Landlord.  The restaurant was not an instant success.

However, some food critic wrote a glowing reviews on the restaurant.  This was the same writer who had praised Mme. Empathy’s previous restaurant that closed in red figures.  I do not intend to discredit the review and the writer who was probably served a special dinner made with better ingredients than the meals Mme. Empathy would normally serve the ordinary clients.  However, this is one good example that Michelin Guide is still the one to be trusted, despite all the criticism.  The Michelin agents dine ‘incognito’ leaving no room for special treatments by the restaurant.  I imagine the Michelin agents would refrain from taking photos of the food while the food bloggers would snap away, a tell-tell sign to alert the restaurants’ people.  The worst case is the critics being chummy with the managers.

Mme. Empathy was going to break more rules and morals.  To be continued.
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Friday, 21 July 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 32

Absurd decisions are not always made by fools.  A reasonably sane person can be pushed into making one.  I did not jump right into employing a lawyer either.  Besides, Mme. Landlord did her best salvaging the unfair situation with a petition.  She hoped that it would prompt the other landlords, who do not reside in the building themselves, to get involved.  A couple of my neighbors signed the petition and Mme. Landlord entrusted me with the task of talking to girl tenants who had also been annoyed by the noise from the restaurant. ‘I wanted them to close that restaurant!’ she spattered.  I promised to return with Mme. Landlord’s signed petition. 

I was startled when I saw a male figure in the corridor near my door because I recognized the man to be a staff at the restaurant when I went to see Mme. Empathy.  To my surprise, he smiled and greeted me a musical ‘Bonjour.’  He was convinced of his charm and melting smile, except it froze me inside.  I saw his eyes were condescending, but at the same time with a purpose.  Instead of going back to my room to get the petition letter, I went pass by him to go out the building.  As I passed by the restaurant I spotted another figure inside: Mme. Empathy.  She had a half-smile as she looked at me.  Instinct told me that she may have sent the young man to me.    Did they think that I would accept the horrible condition they subjected me for a piece of flirtation?  What idiot would fall for that?  Impossible!

Not really.  When I later returned to the building, I saw the young man from the restaurant and one of the girl tenant getting cozy.  Or more precisely, the girl was giggling away, obviously smitten.  The affection, however, was not reciprocated judging from the coldness in the young man’s eyes, but he was indulging her.    

Needless to say, that I could not secure the signatures of any girl tenants for the petition against the restaurant.  I could not believe that those women could not see through the ploy of Mme. Empathy and her staff.  Never again shall I blame men for falling for honey pot traps. Women are no wiser.  

To be continued.
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Saturday, 15 July 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 31

Mr. Pride raised an eyebrow on learning that Mme. Landlord had reported his act of breach of trust to the Syndic.  ‘That old hag is always interfering with my business and yet the other landlords always follow her for doing the right things.  What do they know, those small fishes?’  He was the largest shareholders of the building thus had the power to fire the Syndic.  Despite the claim of being the nation of equal rights, France was severely polarized society, financially.  The frequent strike that French workers are renowned for was more like act of desperation rather than defiance.  In the end the money wins out. 

As they had expected, the Syndic refrained from taking any actions against the restaurant.  The blow struck Mme. Landlord hard.  There was no way she could gather consent of the other landlords to hire a lawyer against Mr. Pride in time.  Three weeks had already passed since the legal permit was granted to the restaurant.  Mme. Empathy was confident that two months provisional limitation would pass without a hitch.  Mr. Pride knew that Mme. Landlord, a retired lady who had to pay an enormous medical bill for her cancer treatment could not afford to come after him with a lawyer.  I could foresee the hell that would follow after the expiration date, not that it was not already hell in my apartment.  The sight of all the deserted rooms above restaurants in Paris crossed my mind.   The victims of the financially polarized France.

However, I was from Japan, a nation of ‘nearly all-middle income class.’  I am not a rich person, but had a saving that I had meant to spend on learning French culture.  I was at the cross road: one was to keep my saving and leave France; the other was to learn the French culture in a hard but the most unusual manner.  To gather information I contacted a lawyer and found out there was one exception to the rules.  The person who has been residing in the place before the problems started can launch an appeal to the tribunal regardless of his or her legal status.  This means, even a tenant like me can try stop the establishment of the legality of the permit falsely granted to Mme. Empathy.

To be continued.
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Saturday, 8 July 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 30

‘Incroyable!’ (unbelievable), she repeated over and over as Mme. Landlord read the copy of the restaurant authorization granted to our infamous Mme. Empathy at the office of PASU. 

We had expected lies about the insufficient insulation in her kitchen, but Mme. Empathy had falsely reported to the authority about the lack of consent of the other landlords on many other issues.  For this she did not act alone.  Her landlord, Mr. Pride had betrayed the trust of the other landlords of the building.  In order to protect the quality of the living condition of their homes, the other landlords stipulated a list of conditions to Mr. Pride.  One of them was a partial installation of a glass roof.  The other landlords had voted to reject this request fearing that it would transmit noise and flickering light at night to the apartments nearby.  Mr. Pride blatantly ignored this decision and wrote to the authority PASU that the other landlords had unanimously agreed to his request.  As the result, PASU granted the permission for its installation.

Mme. Landlord left to inform this discovery to the Board/le Syndic.  I went home which was more like an inferno without flame.  My heart sped up as I entered my apartment.  I ran into the kitchen, a tiny sanctuary from the blowing force.  The ear plugs I had purchased could not block out all the noise and the vibration travelled through the air and the floor pressuring my lungs and my neck.  I should have been angry at Mr. Pride and Mme. Empathy who had no problems putting other human beings through this.  However, I also learnt that they did not even remember me and would never bother themselves with the thought.  The true evil has no malice which is still essentially a human emotion.  Therefore, without malice Mme. Empathy genuinely believed her to be a lovely person and whoever got in her was the nasty vermin.  As for Mr. Pride, winning was everything.  Again I felt no malice from him because to him I was not worth acknowledging its existence.  Therefore, I saw no points in becoming enraged at the perpetrators.

My strange lack of anger helped me assess the situation with a cool head.  I would have to stay away from this place until the restaurant kitchen closed.  Of course, I would still be exposed to their electric appliances piercing through their non-insulated ceiling and onto my floor throughout every night so an extra mattress would have to be purchased.  The Syndic would surely help by righting the wrong.

I was still naïve and new to the French society.  To be continued.
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Saturday, 1 July 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 29

After the successful opening party of the previous night Mme. Empathy stood there glowing.  However when Mme. Landlord and I entered the restaurant Mme. Empathy looked at us as if we were vermin. 

Mme. Landlord politely explained the situation, but was rudely interrupted.  Mme. Empathy glared at me and spoke to me in English to my surprise.  She insisted that I did not hear anything.  If I did then it was me being oversensitive.  She then turned to Mme. Landlord and said in French ‘You should pay for the insulation, not me.’  Not knowing this, I naively begged Mme. Empathy to at least refrain from using the dishwasher after midnight.  She looked me straight in my eyes and said, we have no dishwasher.  I could see one in the kitchen and pointed at it.  Oh, that is not it’.  Without even  once flickering in eye.  I realized that I was dealing with a pathological liar.  Logical thing would be for me to walk away, but her command of English puzzled me.  It was too good for a French.  It turned out that Mme. Empathy was French only by national.  It was a typical case of immigrants dumping on other immigrants.

I observed Mme. Landlord as we walked out the restaurant.  She was looking fragile every day because of her cancer.  She was a good French lady, very sympathetic to immigrants and one of them is returning evil for good.  What would it make me if I abandoned her after all the compassion she had shown me?  Another ungrateful immigrant, of course and I refused to go down that path.  We Japanese maybe many thing, but ungrateful is not one of them.  We would much rather wage a losing battle and thus I declined when Mme. Landlord offered to return my deposit so I could leave. 

So, together we headed for PASU, the authority that approved the infrastructure of the restaurant.  Mme. Landlord was sure that Mme. Empathy had lied to the authority.  To be continued.

Friday, 23 June 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 28

I returned to my building after midnight but the guests were still in the restaurant.  The drunks were laughing away with Mme. Empathy.  But I was relieved to find that the chef was outside smoking so at least there would be no more cooking.  This chef was an Asian which is considered trendy in Paris these days.  He did not know then that Mme. Empathy would later reveal her racism and threw him out after stealing his French-Asian fusion recipe.  A woman who tramps down her neighbors would have no scruples mistreating her employees.

However, there was one group of people Mme. Empathy would turn her charm on and that was 'elites'.  She boasted of being chummy with famous food critics.  Even her brother had a connection with someone in the Council or in French le Mairie.  Can such a thing be possible in an advanced nation like France?  But how do you explain the fact that their permit to open a restaurant was granted by one person at the Council only a few months after the first application was turned down by a different person?

I walked up the stairs expecting my apartment to be quieter, but even after the cooking had finished I could still hear the staff’s every movement, every shelf and indoor door slam shut as they were in the same room.  Mme. Empathy and Mr. Pride had not insulated their ceiling AT ALL and yet they were granted the approval by PASU for the facilities in their restaurant.  In Paris, you need two types of permit, one from the Council and one from PASU, but our two clever pair managed to cheat both systems.  

To my dismay, their dishwasher was set in motion.  Even in France the electricity rate is cheaper after midnight.  Of course, Mme. Empathy would take advantage of that.  Eventually the guests and the staff would leave, but I was to be left behind exposed to their electric appliances for hours.

After the sleepless night, I opened my door to Mme. Landlord.  She saw my distress but was too honest to offer me unrealistic consolation.  In silence one old lady with one Asian woman headed for the restaurant.  Power was not on our side.    To be continued.  
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Saturday, 17 June 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 27

The hell-turbo engulfed my apartment.  The invisible but strong force gripped my lungs and pinned me down onto the floor…which transmitted the vibration from the extractor of the restaurant directly into my body.  I had to push myself up with all my strength while losing balance to the vibration from below.   I was fast losing breath and felt the blood pressure rising. 

I managed to stagger towards the small kitchen that was half shielded by a wall.  I gulped water down instinctively in hope to ease my heightened blood pressure.  With my shaking fingers I called Mme. Landlord.  She immediately perceived my distress.  There was concern in her voice which felt like a ray of light in dark.  She promised to come the first thing the following morning to speak to the restaurant.  This small new hope gave me enough strength to go back out to the hell turbo, walk across to the door and leave my apartment.  I ran out of the building, passing the restaurants where guests were making merry with drinks.  Mme. Empathy was flirting away with guests, not shedding a thought to the hell she had subjected me to.  In fact, I did not even exist in her mind judging from her jubilant face.

I could see that the opening party was to continue until midnight, or even later, so I started to roam around.  The beautiful city of Paris suddenly looked ominous.  The river Seine at night looked rebuffing.  You might advise me to move out of the hell apartment, but I had already changed my address several times because of an attempted burglary, crooked locksmiths, a dishonest landlord and rats.  It was not recommendable thing to change addresses frequently if one wants to renew one’s visa in France.  It may spell the end of my humble dream if I moved again and I was no longer young.   And yet, I already knew that Mme. Empathy would not make anything better.

I rang my home in Japan and did a thing that I had not done in many many years—crying to my mother like a lost child.  To be continued.
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Sunday, 11 June 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 26

In spite of everything Paris continues to draw people in for many reasons, but one of mine was to fulfill the dream of my parents.  They wished to live there basking in her historical glories.  As an Asian with no siblings, it was all up to me to make this happen and my father’s mind was gradually being eroded by Altimizers.   Time was running out so I settled on this apartment in Le Marais. 

Thus I came face to face with the notorious Mme. Empathy whose desire was to have fun at the expense of other people.  Her smile made me feel uneasy, but I needed to ask her to show me her kitchen.  I was initially hesitant to live above a restaurant, but my parents had weak knees that they could only walk up to low floors.  As the small apartment was not above the client seats area I had decided to move in.  The kitchen noise from below should be manageable with insulation and so in order to insulate my place effectively I needed to see where her kitchen appliances were installed.  To my request Mme. Empathy obliged with a smile and pointed at a refrigerator which was only slightly bigger than a domestic refrigerator.  Something did not sit right with me, but she kept talking and talking that I could not think straight.  Against my better judgement I forced myself to believe her smile and left quickly.  Such was her manipulative gift.

Then it began.  The chef switched on their cooking ventilation attached directly to their ceiling with no insulation.  The vibration force virtually threw me away from that particular spot.  It was like inside the airplane engine.  The heat would have scorched me had it been summer.  The only sanctuary was my kitchen but the hellish noise and vibration would continue for 8 hours straight in preparation for their opening party.  I could not move because of the oppressive force on my lungs that rendered me immobile.  With my shaking fingers I dialed Mme. Landlord.  It was beginning of my long dark days in Paris.  To be continued.

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Monday, 6 February 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 16

Needless to say I caught up with my long awaited restful sleep in Wien the first few days.  As I regained my strength I assessed the situation.  The bar next door should not be too much problems as the owner-residents would surely take care of the noise once they are back from Christmas holidays.  So it was back to those two anti-socials upstairs. 
Perhaps I could notify the owner and the police and stay away from Paris for a while.  That would have cost me unnecessary expenses, but quitting Paris for good never occurred to me.  Not until I got harassed by the French.  Those two misfit foreigners were not going to drive me away from Paris.  Besides…something told me the things were going to be all right as I listened to the God sent voice of angels by the Vienna Boys’ Choir.
In January I returned to my place.  As I climbed up the stairs I noticed the air was light.  I said this before but people’s negative aura carries an actual weight.  An old lady passed by and wished me Bonne Année with the news that Leila and her fiancé had left.  Or rather gotten kicked out by their landlord.  Now if you remember of this poor tourist who came knocking on my door for a hair dryer because Leila had taken hers with her.  I felt so sorry for this innocent tourist whose dream holidays in Paris was ruined by the endless party noise from the bar next door that before I left for Wien I asked this old lady neighbor to rent this tourist a hair dryer.  I would have rented out mine, but I was not going to return before this tourist left. 
It turned out that this building had a strict regulation against the tenants renting out to the tourists without the knowledge of the landlords.  The old lady neighbor promptly informed Leila’s landlord who immediately kicked Leila out.  The fate may have intervened through the misdemeanor of the bar next door to which Leila and her fiancé responded with greed.  They thought to extract some cash from tourists while they escaped the party noise at their parents’.  I could not touch those two anti-socials, but their own greed could.
I sat down and cried from relief.  However, this is Paris.  It would not end without one more twist.  To be continued.

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Friday, 3 February 2017

The true horror stories in modern Paris Part 15

Fate—a factor you cannot overuse in fictions lest the plot becomes unrealistically convenient.  Thus the characters have to take the matters in their hands.  The readers cheer on while fully being aware that it does not happen in real life.  As this is my true story I could only wait for the fate to intervene.  I could not even move out the apartment because the agent would want to know the reason for breaking the contract.  If I told them, they would contact the landlord of Leila and that would tick off her fiancé.  Thus, I was barely surviving with a sound masking application which softens the onslaught of the washing machine and her relentless high-heel strikes on the floor without carpets.

Then one night a blast of disco music blocked out every sound in the world.  It was coming from the next door bar whose manager had no respect for the thin walls of the historic buildings.  The drumming beat continued to hit me until 03:00 in the morning.  Maybe longer but my memory stops there.  Hours later when I woke up shivering.  It was not from cold but from my extreme stress.  The tip of my tongue had lost sense, just like Mr. A. had lost his.  It was December the party month.  Staying in this environment until the New Year’s Eve would really break me.  With shivering fingers I booked a flight to Wien, Austria.  I must spend nights in a café for 5 days until the departure.  I would have left sooner but in December, the tickets were scarce.

Fortunately, the party at the next door pub repeated just once.    But on the fourth night, there was a tap on my door.  I jumped out of my skin, but realized that the tap was soft.  So I opened the door and saw a demure looking French girl.  She wanted to borrow my hairdryer because Leila had rent out her apartment without one.  Leila and her fiancé had wished to escape the bar’s noise too.  While it never occurred to me to get someone to pay for staying in this hell, these two had no moral issues about it, of course.  I rented the poor tourist my hairdryer which she promptly returned hours later.  Soon after that the drumming of party started at the bar.  I gritted my teeth telling myself it was for just one more night. 


As I could not sleep I left while it was still dark.  Never thought I would want to leave my beloved Paris so badly.  But unknown to me the fate had already dealt its card.  To be continued.
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Saturday, 28 January 2017

The true horror stories in Paris-Part 14

Up to this point I had never thought of the possibility of the two neighbours from Hell being involved in crimes.  I was afraid of Leila’s fiancé turning physically violent on me, but the frequent use of the washing machine upstairs was becoming abnormal. 

So I decided to google two words, ‘washing machine’ and the other word…I had no ideas what it was called because I was a boring prude that I still am.  Then by pure luck the YouTube videos featuring Mr. Bill Maher that I had been following was discussing the medical use of some potent plants.  I saw the word that starts with ‘W’ on the monitor next to Mr. Maher.  That must be the second word I needed.  I googled and then was blown away by all the videos that came up.  I knew that man was not in cleanliness.  But how could Leila, who seemingly a smart woman, could be supporting such a man?  Then I remembered one conversation we had before she turned anti-social on me.

I remembered Leila hobbling down the stairs a few days after I moved in.  She looked weak so I stopped to inquire.  She was in agony because of her chronical pain in her knees.  ‘Have you tried acupuncture?  It works,’ I said as any Asian would.  Leila, however, had already tried it, but could not keep up with the expensive fees.  Everything is expensive in Paris.  She looked so miserable when we parted that I was surprised to see her bouncing around in her high heels shortly afterwards.  She was in a very jolly mood too.  That’s nice and I did not think much of it until now. 

Back to the video of Mr. Bill Maher.  He had a back pain and relied on medically prescribed Marijuana.  I never thought I would ever write this word in my prudish blog, but I am seeing it differently now.  First, Mr. Bill Maher had already impressed me with his fair and accurate observations coated with British style satire and American enthusiasm (best of the two worlds.) Secondly, now that I have learnt that it was medically helpful and prescribed through the proper channels in some states, why blame the plant for the immorality of the shady dealers who used to sell them illegally? In fact had it been legalized in France, Leila would have been able to afford it and she may not have been vulnerable to her fiancé, or rather what he could provide her with.  And had it not been for that shady fiancé, I could have contacted the police to complain Leila’s anti-social behavior without the fear of retaliation by his associates.

Was moving the only solution for my plight?  To be continued.


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Thursday, 26 January 2017

The true horror stories in Paris-Part 13

Our survival instincts are often compromised by our denial of the imminent danger.  A pair of amoral people were living above my studio, and yet I chose to be blind to the risk.  Maybe I was too scared to confront the truth and yet foolishly refused to acknowledge the defeat by moving out.  As much as it sounds like ‘Victims bashing’, I feel victims, unless children, may be partially responsible for the tragedies, judging from my own behavior.

But in my defense, the noise of their washing machine was weakening me.  I was puzzled as to why it should have oppressed my chest (technically 'breast', but I felt the pressure deeper inside).  It turned out that the washing machines emit infrasounds, otherwise known as a slower killer that triggers depression in the long run.  The noise was amplified by their tile floor and insulation material was difficult to apply on my centuries old uneven ceiling lined with woods.  Like the title says, it is the true horror story in Paris.

Normal people wash once per day or every other days, so the infrasound would not cause damage, but Leila and her fiancé were running their washing machine virtually non-stop.  I started to drop things for my hands were shaking.  How could the two upstairs be not affected by the noise?  I frantically searched for an answer and it seems if you drink a lot, you are less likely to be affected by the infrasound/low frequencies noise.  The wine is cheap in Paris so I tried this solution.  The oppressive feeling in my chest subsided to my delight.  No wonder the Parisians do not seem to be affected by the infrasound that passes through the thin walls.  (Incidentally, the high frequency noise do not penetrate solid object like walls)  Maybe Leila and her fiancé drank a lot?  Yes and no, as I was about to find out.


One afternoon I saw Leila’s fiancé, again by the window on the staircase, but he did not notice me.  He was frantically banging the window grid with something.  The rhythm reminded me of the other night when he was banging his floor/my ceiling.  There was no usual smirk on his face, and I sensed that his mind was absent.  It slowly dawned on me that while Leila’s action stemmed from her desire to hurt others, he may have been driven by another thing.  I was never a cigarette smoker and drank light but I had read about the other substances that affected our nerves.  To be continued.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

The true horror stories in Paris-Part 12

I was going to call the Police should the washing continue to the later hours, but the image of Leila’s fiancé was somewhat unnerving.  Besides, that night Leila did not do her washing.  Probably she had tediously done so during my absence, only to have found out that she wasted her electricity for nothing because I had not been there to suffer the noise.  Her high heels could be heard on my ceiling though.  It conveyed her mood that she was irritated.  Being with her beloved did not seem to improve her mood.  Who said that love conquers all?  Not the dark desire to harm the others from the looks of it.

The following morning her high heels left the apartment.  I was surprised to see her fiancé standing by the window of the stairs in the afternoon.  I did not ask any questions, but he started gloating on his high educational degrees.  And he found himself living in Leila’s room with no day jobs?  I would accept that as appropriate from writers and artists only.  He went back to Leila’s place and to my surprise, started the washing machine.  Once was normal, but he repeated.  Now that is unusual in men.  My apology in advance for stereotyping, but aren’t men generally pigs who hate washing?

I found it difficult to concentrate on my home works under the tedious washing machine noise, but I was further dismayed when I heard Leila’s high heels came home.  Their washing machine continued until 12:00 but I could not call the police.  Something made me hesitate.  I was only glad that it stopped and fell asleep immediately.


I was woken up by the banging on the ceiling.  It was 03:00.  The banging was repeated like 20 times.  I froze.  Then as if that had not been enough, the man started banging a furniture on his floor/my ceiling.  It had to be the man because a woman could not lift up a furniture repeatedly to strike it down on the floor.  My only thought was ‘why?’  I knew Leila was a dark character, but would a man go along with her sick game?  How suited they were to each other.  And they would be sick enough to have their revenge if I ever called the police on them.  This was why Mr. A. had not done so.  To be continued.
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Friday, 13 January 2017

The true horror stories in Paris-Part 11

Incapable of escaping the suffering I was being subjected by my anti-social neighbor upstairs, I prayed for the morning to come sooner when Leila would have to go to work.  She did and her high heels kicking the floor subsided, but right before she left she had set her washing machine for another long cycle again.  Beaten, I lost conscious.  I woke up with a lot of sweat.  Weak as I was my survival instinct kicked in I managed to get up and hobbled down to the nearest grocery shop to buy some fresh orange juice.  I drank 2 liters at one sitting.

Now what?  Complaining to Leila’s landlord did not work out for Mr. A.  Besides it would only fuel Leila’ morbid desire to prey on the vulnerable.  It was her only way of mitigating her own sense of inferiority she is subjected to by other Caucasians in her miserable life.  I had to pretend that her washing machine did not bother me so as not to encourage her further, but to do that I had to book a hotel for to get over my flu.  The hotel fees are exorbitant in Paris, particularly if you did not book in advance.  It was really unfair, but it gave me time to research.  Apparently in Paris you can call the police if the noise persisted after 22:00.  One would be liable for a fine of 90 euros each time someone called on them.  Fortunately, the washing machine’s noise was included.      I went home wondering why Mr. A. had not resorted to this mean. 

When I reached the stairs I felt heaviness in the air.  Aura does carry a weight you know.  A pleasant person brightens up the place while those with dark aura oppresses.  My premonition turned out to be right.  There was a man standing by the window in the middle of the stair cases.  He was not tall and had dark hair.  When he turned around and saw that I was a woman his shrewd eyes broke into a condescending smile.  Then her voice was heard from above.  ‘Hey, that’s our new neighbor I was telling you about.’  Leila then turned to me, ‘he is my fiancé.  We’ll be living here.’ 


The fiancé, I shall refer to him as this because I could not pronounce his name, offered with a forced sweet voice to carry my grocery.  It contained a bottle of juice and loaf of bread only.  Besides I did not see him coming down the stair to get it.  Shamelessly fake who believes he can pass himself as a gentleman by a gesture of empty kindness.  Leila was observing me, evidently to see how much damage she had inflicted on me by her washing machine antics.  ‘How is your flu?  Feeling better?’  I suppressed my anger and replied quietly.  ‘It was not as bad as I thought, so I’ve just returned from a lovely short holidays.’  The disappointment in Leila’s eyes was disgusting.  To be continued.
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Saturday, 7 January 2017

The true horror stories in Paris-Part 10

No matter how many times she has been terror attacked Paris does not lose her glamour and continues to allure tourists.  The life in Paris has been a battle of some form or another all along.  It is nothing new and the Parisians, the survivors deserved to be proud.  The world may judge the Parisians to be arrogant, but they have earned the right to be selective as to whom they befriend.  You cannot fool them with a mere superficial smile.  They can see through you, just like they have seen through Leila and not one Parisian opted to be close, polite but not embracing.  Leila wonders why but there is one man who knows the reason.  Our poor Mr. A. who woke up with less sense in his tongue.

He immediately complained to Leila’s landlord.  However…Leila made good use  of her youth and turned the story around.  Mr. A, a lonely old man, had been seeking her attention and after declining his advance he tried to get back at her with his ludicrous claim.  

Now, the landlords tend to believe their paying tenants.  

Also the centuries of old men lusting after young women has come back to bite Mr. A.  To be honest, even I suspected him of that a little not knowing him personally.  Mr. A left the apartment, broken and beaten, before the noise affected his blood pressure more.

I decided to move in after him because of its affordability.  So back to the scene of True horror stories in Paris-Part 8 where Leila approached me.  She had already trashed her landlord as a spoiled Parisian and spoke of Mr. A. as a narcotic invasive man.  I secretly wondered what she would be saying about me later.  I kept the conversation polite and hoped for the best.


One night I came home with flu and headache.  Leila saw it and kindly said ‘I am sorry for that.  I hope you will have a good rest for a quick recovery.’  Her eyes, however, were glimmering with amusement.  That night, her washing started at 10:00 and went on until 02:00.  My French was not yet good enough to contact the Police.  Besides I was suffering from nausea, high fever and headache.  Mr. A. was telling the truth.  Leila was the anti-social from Hell.  Who else would walk around her home in high heels after midnight?  To be continued.
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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The true horror stories in Paris-Part 9

Mr. A. returned to his apartment feeling much relieved that his talk with Leila went cordially.  He would at last have peace and quiet after this night.  He put on his kettle to make himself a cupper…then his hand stopped.  That blasted grounding noise started above his head.  Leila had turned on her washing machine as soon as he had left.  ‘Oh, maybe she just needs to do one lot because she could not help it that she came home after 19:00…’  Mr. A. tried to explain Leila to himself, but she could have set the timer on her machine so that it would wash during the normal hours of the following day.

The machine got louder as it reached the final spinning stage.  Because of the thin walls and ceiling in Paris’ old buildings, it felt as if he was inside the spinning machine with his guts being oppressed.  Mr. A held on waiting for the final bang.  It came and the quiet that followed relaxed his muscles.  Mr. A sighed.  It was nearly 22:00.  But wait…Leila re-started the washing cycle immediately.

Mr. A felt his blood pressure rising.  He had told Leila that he was taking medication for his high blood pressure, that he needed peace and quiet at night.  She was very sympathetic about it and eagerly listened on.  This behavior did not make sense to him because he was a genuinely sympathetic man himself and could not imagine that some people thrived on other people’s misfortune.  Up to this point her washing was just anti-social behavior, brought about by her obvious ill upbringing, but now she has been informed that it stresses Mr. A., both mentally AND physically.

The washing finally stopped after 01:00.  Mr. A. was suffering from mild palpation but the much craved silence gradually turned him drowsy.

The poor man was woken up by the grounding noise again.  It was 02:00 in the morning.  Leila knew her game.  She must have observed misery in the others and learnt by now that giving her victims a pause makes the following strike more potent.  Mr. A. felt his chest squeezed and passed out.  He made a futile effort to knock on the ceiling, but he slid off the ladder from the shaking limbs.  His memory ends there.

He had lost some sense in his tongue when he woke up later.    To be continued.
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