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The true horror stories in Paris-Part 3; 現代パリの本当にあった怖い話第3

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‘I am so sorry this should have happened to you,’ said my councilor as she closed into me…again, her disturbing habit.  But in my weakened stress, I almost wanted to believe her sincerity.  ‘How much money does your father keep in his bank account?’ I could not assess her question immediately.  ‘Huh?’  The woman continued firmly. ‘How much is your father in Japan worth?  As his only child, you can invest his money for him.  Let’s move all the Japanese Yen in your family over to France.’  Those were not her exact words, but a summary of her proposal, but her next phrase, I write here word for word.  ‘It is time you deposited your money to this ‘fund’ I have been recommending to you.’  She had shed her usual demureness and was now commanding down to me like a cult guru.  Any other Japanese would have capitulated and I am afraid her other clients had, but I was forged in American school and Australia.  I snapped out of my distress and ‘You see my misfortune and the first thing you

The true horror stories in Paris-Part 2;現代パリの本当にあった怖い話第2

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I feel sorry for the stalked victims because I went through a similar experience with, wait for it, my bank councilor.  She had all my information thus enabled her to call me at home persistently.  I would ignore the calls but she would start calling me at earlier time.  It felt like my money had been taken hostage by this woman who would start giggling ‘I thought you would leave for school after this hour.’  She clearly had no problems disrupting my daily routine and would tediously solicited me with new funds I should sign up (so she could get her commission.)  ‘It is for your benefit only that I suggest this…’  Such an officious utter lie whispered into my ears by a sad middle-aged woman was a depressive start of my days back then.    As I had a bit of share trading history, I could find faults with all the funds she presented to me.  She lied through her teeth making up fault facts but I knew more about the world of shares than she did.  I felt sorry for her other clients who would

The true horror stories in Paris-Part 1; 現代パリに実在する恐怖物語1

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For a nation famous of giving the world the concept of liberty, France has a peculiarly nanny-like financial system.  Let me explain.  Each client is allocated a councilor whether you like it or not, and every transaction, such as things you could do over the internet, must be handled by this person.  The French banks insist on holding the hand of their clients, thus the nanny financial system.     The objective is fairly easy to see.  The councilor takes every opportunity to recommend new financial products.  If you are a French person, you can tell them to Puck off and they will note that.  However, if you are from overseas, they bare their fangs.  I have heard of many horror stories of bank councilors who keep cancelling the funds they had previously shoved down the throat of their clients so they can get their vulnerable clients to sign up for a new fund.  To bag the commission fees.    But my councilor was in another league.  Unfortunately, she was a Japanese in charge of Japa

One step at a time amid Paris’ subdued New Year Eve (静かなパリの大晦 日、前進は一歩づつ)

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You must never take anything for granted.  Last year, I joined the crowd on the streets of Paris and stayed on until the midnight when the city of Light lit the sky with fireworks, laser beams spreading out from the Arc de Triumph.  Something told me I had to unless I wanted to miss out.  That hunch proved to be right unfortunately because this year there will be no fireworks after the recent terror attacks.    This year, many locals have opted to celebrate subdued New Year Eve by staying home. I celebrated twice: first at around 16:00 when it was New Year in Japan.  I am grateful that I had a friend with me this year.  My Swedish friend was an orderly and responsible person, a breeze of clean air after the filthy menacing grin of Colombian crooks who swindled me.    Afterwards, I went by myself to Café Constant, a popular local eatery in 75007 for my first Réveillon, a big festive dinner the French enjoy on the last day of year. Café Constant takes no bookings so naturally there was

Three types of people, three types of joy. Who is the happiest? (喜びの 違いで分ける三種類の人間)

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One week from now I will have lived one year in Paris.  I remember landing on a dark rainy morning with some trepidation, which was soon repelled by the magic of Paris, all decked out in Christmas fashion.    This year, I am observing the Parisians putting up decoration on their shops, maisons and jardins.  That took some magical wonder out of the end result, but it was appreciative in a different way.  The joy of making Christmas spirit.    As you know, there are three types of people regarding the kind of joy they choose.   One is ‘the Builder’ inclusive of creators, makers, or people who prepare things.  They mostly do so for the pure joy of making things and if it pleases the world, great!   Second comes ‘the Dependent’ who rely on others for fulfilling their needs.  They copy the ideas for a quick money, or convince ‘the Builder’ that it his/her mission is to please the Dependent.  The ultimate example is ‘gold digger’   The third one seeks a dirk joy in destroying the fruit of ot

My camera has been broken (カメラが壊れていました)

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One should not make ‘busy days’ an excuse not to update one’s blog because everyone is busy.  Everyone is tackling problems one way or another.  However, losing access to a camera may make a passable excuse?  I should have seen it coming as its focus had been fuzzy for some times.  Until I buy a new one the next time I visit my parents in Japan, I must do without one.    It may be just as well that my camera broke because my September 2015 saw so many things happen that I may have been tempted to disclose some private events which no one would have been interested.  This has made rethink about writing blogs and comments in other people’s blogs under pseudonyms.  In the safety of anonymity I may have failed to check myself from expressing my exasperation on certain nationalities.  Most of the time I have enough sense to know that one should not judge a nation by a small group of misfits.  However, I’m a human too and on days when my patience had been sorely tested I was possessed wi

Once a stabled life…or world (安定が崩れ始めた時代)

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There are always people with a genuine intention to improve life of others.  I am not referring to those who seek for a quick fame through convenient charity events after a big recognition for their study or work proved not forthcoming.  What started as a good system either ends up being hijacked by abusers or simply disappear for being too sincere.  Don’t even get me started on religious organizations and you don’t need me to tell you that ‘good’ is unreliable.   So people have long relied upon ‘stability’ instead.  But even that is starting to look shaky in this fast changing world.  The last global financial crisis revealed that even banking is not a secure job any more.  Volkswagen scandal, Oh, Germans, you were the symbol of stability.  I could not believe it when TV showed the footage of Air France executives running away in tattered shirt from the sacked workers.  Of course, the former employers would be angry because they had chosen the stable job instead of pursuing adventures