While the painting was interrupted, Mme. Landlord had an accident falling off from a ladder when her phone. This ladder was mine and Mme. Landlord had insisted on leaving it in her other apartment. 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. 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 planned it right. I felt obliged to pay her medical bills because she got injured in relation to my action. There was a flash of sheepishness in her eyes, but she took the money and quickly pushed it down her pocket looking very satisfied. Something made me ask her for the receipt issued by the pharmacy. At this stage, I did not suspect her story to be a fabrication, but as I resumed painting and she supervised my work, she started boasting her rich friends.
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, when 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.