Monday, 27 August 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 62

My wrist has been hurting the last few days thus my delayed update.  I am still paying the price for having glorified Mme. Landlord’s personality and let her abuse me till my wrist snapped.  The amount of labour she threw upon me may not have done less damage had my muscle not been tense from the stress the restaurant from Hell was exposing me too day and night.  It may have helped if Mme. Landlord had allowed me to turn her heater on during the cold winter months.  

But I soldiered on for the honour of migrants, not just for Japanese people, because Mme. Landlord wrote to me that her friends applauded her for the few hours after I had put in one week into preparing and sanding her walls.  That she did not share with her French friends that I had done the hard work, was still tolerable.  However, she had the nerve of writing to me that her friends were disgusted that I had done nothing useful which surpassed the level of mere lying.  Mme. Landlord probably meant it as a blackmail so that I would put in more free work, but I realized with horror that she needed migrants to remain useless, so she could shine as the saint protector of pathetic migrants. 

The only way to silence the hypocrite was to do the excellent job.  Of course, she would take all the credit, but at least she would have no reasons to complain anymore.  So, I applied three layers of paint on her walls.  At this stage, I had put in another three full days of work.  I must remind you that she had purchased the half-priced cheap paint and the three layers was not giving her the desired result.  My arms were feeling sore which did not stop even during the night.  I asked Mme. Landlord for a break promising her to do more later, but she pretended not to have understood my French.  I repeated the same thing in English, which she ignored despite that her former occupation was a teacher.  I had to go down to my own room should nature call because Mme. Landlord lied me to that her toilet was broken.  I did not doubt her words because she always insisted to use my toilet every time she came to inspect my work in her other apartment.  It was also hard to believe that a lady of the advance country like France would stoop to mooching toilet paper from one of the migrants she boasts herself to be the protector of.  This went on for 9 months since her last tenant Jupiter left her apartment.

Then suddenly she told me to interrupt the painting and assigned me with a new task.  She decided to go after Jupiter for compensation and she needed a secretary for preparing documents.  My printer was made to work till it broke because she was persistent.  My wrist did not get as much rest as I needed.  Mme. Landlord made sure that I did by constantly repeating to me how much I owed her for her kindness.  

She did not know that my French reading had improved beyond her imagination, but I could read the communication between them and discovered that Jupiter had tried many times to fix the things she complained of in her apartment and that she sabotaged his effort each time.  She kept writing to him that she loathed the modern kitchen he had left behind, but she had insisted that I covered the modern kitchen board and shelves with cloths before I paint the walls for protection.  Mme. Landlord was only pretending to loathe the modern kitchen.  Financial extortion was her true aim.   If you are the first-time reader of my blog, let me tell you that Mme. Landlord also boasted herself to be gay tolerant that she would lend her room to Jupiter.  She would have nagged him on for compensation if it was not for me.  Seeing that Jupiter would not cave in, she turned her attention on my saving, small as it is. 

So, you see, Sir. Farage of Brexit, it is handy to keep migrants around because your white people can be shielded from the true evil who prefer to go after the weaker prays.  While this sounds sarcastic, I later became friends with Jupiter that I am truly glad that Mme. Landlord is off his back.

To be continued.
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ
にほんブログ村

Sunday, 19 August 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 61

At the beginning, Mme. Landlord asked me each time she wished to borrow something from me.  Then gradually ‘borrowed’ became ‘taken.’  After 16 months, she would just take them and would be rather cross if I retrieved my things from her apartment.  Still, I made excuses for her, telling myself that it was her advanced age making her forgetful of manner.  Of course, she was miserly to the bone, but I did not want to see it then.  My plate was already full of dark sludge of the restaurant from Hell, I could not handle another type of evil.

So, I got to work in the cold month of December in her apartment.  I spent two days in total scraping off the old layers, filling up the numerous holes.  A professional painter would tell you that this was the most tedious work of painting, but I did it because Japanese would honor their promises.  It was becoming evident that Mme. Landlord did not see me as her equal, but that was natural.  France was her land and she had priority here over me.  I was never invited, I came to France on my will to learn her culture.  It would be audacious, even unpractical to expect a red-carpet reception.  Thus, it would have been sufficient to me if Mme. Landlord only realized that I was too useful to mistreat…to lose

I had underestimated her avarice, financial or any forms.  She even lied to me that her heater was not working.  She made me work in the unheated apartment during the winter to save her money, but I would not doubt her words.  I did not even touch her heater.  Mme. Landlord had taught many Japanese students and spoke fondly of their politeness, but what she really appreciated was their obedience.  She knew I would complete any hard task, once I took it upon.  She hated the black wall paper Jupiter had left behind.  Instead of paying a professional a lot of money to remove it, she opted to make me paint several layers over it.  I could see it was going to be an impossible task, compounded by the cheap semi-transparent paint she had purchased for me to work with.  However, a decedent of Samurai warrior would keep his or her promises.  It was going to be the last favor I would ever do for Mme. Landlord, and misjudging her personality was not going to be the excuse to break my promise.

So, I found a way to peel off the black wallpaper.  Unfortunately, it did not make my work easier because there were still many glues stuck on the wall and it was hell removing it a strip by strip.  I spent three whole days removing the glues, but Mme. Landlord was not satisfied by the result.  She insisted that since I removed the wall paper without her agreement, I had the responsibility to make the wall smooth and void of any glues.  She wrote an email to me so there would be no misunderstanding.  She wrote to me how her son and her family were appalled that Mme. Landlord was left to finish my lousy job.  If they had come, why did they not help their own mother?  Unfortunately, their mother had raised them with the ideas that migrants were the source of free labor.

Just in case you were thinking that I might have really done a lousy job, then let me tell you about this professional painter who was sent by the insurance company of the Syndic to paint the ceiling of Mme. Landlord.  There had been a leek on her roof.  The painter did a good job, but Mme. Landlord said it was NOT, pointing at the one tiny , oh, so tiny spot left near the window.  She refused to pay unless the painter did more extra works for her.  It turned ugly that the boss was summoned.  After the heated argument, the painters left fuming.  One of them insisted on shaking hands with me, but not with Mme. Landlord.  He told me that ‘That is a nasty woman there’ indicating that other French women were nicer.  I was much relieved to hear that.  I much prefer Mme. Le Pen for her honest acknowledgement of discrimination over the hypocrisy of Mme. Landlord who acted as a defender of the weak, the gay and the migrants while actually exploiting them.

To be continued.
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ
にほんブログ村

Saturday, 11 August 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 60

If the Police kept the records of the city cameras that night, you would see me, a tiny Japanese woman pushing two chairs twice the size of herself across Paris.  My arm muscle ached but so did my heart.  I could not adjust to the sobering reality that Mme. Landlord was not quite a philanthropist that I had believed her to be. 

I remembered of this recent cocktail party held at Mme. Landlord’s apartment.  I felt honored at being invited so I dressed up for the occasion and brought a thank you gift.  Mme. Landlord happily accepted the gift and seated me on a chair.  I marveled at the group of French ladies as I thanked God for allowing me this rare glimpse into the French socializing scene.  

Then as more guests arrived I noticed that colored ladies were being seated near me.  Initially I suspected the dark-skinned ladies to be non-French speakers like me, but no, they turned out to be fluent in French who would have been capable of joining the discussion among the French guests who were seated the other side of the room.  The only time we were spoken to, was when Mme. Landlord gleefully boasted of having tolerance for diversity within her circle.   She spoke to her French peers how she was being respected by me, and that I wanted to repay her kindness by helping her with the re-doing of her apartment.  Indeed, I wanted to prove that I was not an ungrateful immigrant.  My sense of loyalty prevailed as I suppressed a small prickle in my heart.

However as I carried the heavy chairs up four stairs up to her apartment alone at midnight after having witnessed the two faces of Mme. Landlord for the second time,  (the first time was described in the episode 82), I had to concede that I had been used by Mme. Landlord all along.  She knew that I was suffering from chronical insomnia because of the unsympathetic bar-restaurant below me.  And yet she chose to take an advantage of my weak state.  

Mme. Landlord was the last band of the pyramid of predators.  The goliath on the top who bends the order and morality; the sycophants who conspire to build a system around the Goliath, leaving a trail of victims that got churned up behind, and at the bottom are the hyenas who preys on the victims.  Profit may not be much, but can achieved with less investment.  A hint of kindness is all it takes to extract whatever left in the wounded victims.  Which one of three types of predators is the worst, I wonder.  The Goliath is heartless, the sycophants are shameless, but the hyena may be the most cruel.

It was around this time that I noticed that things went missing every time Mme. Landlord visited my place.  To be continued.

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ
にほんブログ村

Saturday, 4 August 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 59

Mme. Landlord was chatting away about her grandson and how well she was getting along with her son and her daughter in law.  Mme. Landlord and I were in Leroy Merlin, a hardware shop in Paris.  Paint needed to be purchased to paint her apartment, the one that had been left in mess by her former tenant Jupiter.  Not knowing that she was lying I offered to help with the big task because she had put on an Oscar performance of a crestfallen old lady.  Besides, her son who lives in Paris would surely help his old mother too?   To this Mme. Landlord replied as ‘Oh, no, I cannot ask my son (and his wife).  They are raising children.  Their time is precious.’ I let pass this inconsiderate comment about my time being insignificant as a childless single woman because Mme. Landlord was from the generation when women’s worth was measured solely by the number of children she bore and raised.  She cannot be accused of the general opinion.  To her credit, she had shed off racial discrimination that was prominent among the older generation.

Or had she?  Her eyebrow moved up as Mme. Landlord spotted some paints with the reduced price.  She asked a shop assistant if it was suited for painting over a dark color.  The assistant replied ‘Non, it is semi-transparent.’  Now Jupiter had left black wallpapers on the wall and yet Mme. Landlord wished to paint the walls in light beige. She should have a professional painter remove the black wallpaper or invest in high-quality paint.  She chose neither because both options were costly.  She purchased the cheap paint and decided that I should paint many layers to compensate for the poor quality.  And yet such was my loyalty to her that I did not oppose.  I wished to help her economize, just like I did all the printing jobs she needed for nearly two years. 

I had to carry all the heavy cans of paint back to her apartment because of Mme. Landlord who would not spend 50 euros for delivery.  Mme. Landlord thought I deserved some reward and served me a pumpkin soup.  It was the weakest soup that I had ever tasted that even water would have had more flavor, but ‘it is the thought that counts’ I told myself.  Then one of her gentleman friends knocked on the door.  She had asked him to come give her some advice on the best way to paint her apartment.  I was amazed by her transformation.  She behaved coy and flirtish, her voice was a pitch higher than the one she would use with me.  Well, that’s French woman for you, I was amused…until she started telling lies. 

The gentleman said the painting of the entire apartment was a bit much for an amateur woman like me.  He advised Mme. Landlord to use a good quality paint to compensate for my want of stamina and experience.  I was relieved that he had spoken some sense into her, however, Mrs Landlord replied ‘oh, I have bought the best that the shop recommended to me.’  My French had improved enough to understand her lies, but my speaking ability was never to be on par with a native speaker.  As soon as I opened my mouth and uttered a few words of French, Mme. Landlord spoke over me to shut me up.  She went on to say to the gentleman that it was me who insisted on doing this favor for Mme. Landlord because I wished to repay her for her kind services.  It was true, but the minute she boasted it publicly, it lost its class.  I felt used by Mme. Landlord to impress her gentleman friend. She went on to plead him to tie two chairs on a small lorry.  The gentleman obliged and asked if she wanted him to deliver the chairs to her other apartment.  Mme. Landlord declined saying that she could not be so impolite to her good friend.  And yet, as soon as the gentleman left, she turned around, back in her normal tone, and told me to deliver her chairs across the old town of Paris at 23:30 at night.  On her lips there was a sheepish smile, but her eyes were malicious.

To be continued.
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ
にほんブログ村

Sunday, 15 July 2018

The true horror stories in modern Paris part 58

I have deleted my last update which deviated from the updates of my true struggles in Paris.  I wish to make up by responding to the suggestion made by my loyal follower.  Christopher Meade (a writer, funny and compassionate) was so indignant about the calculating Mme. Landlord, that he suggested that I should take revenge in the comment section of episode 78.  Appeasing thought and I am only human. 

However, I must first analyze the process that I got taken in by this experienced hyena so that I will not repeat the same mistake.  Hard as it is, I must take my responsibility for having fallen…a victim.  I hesitate there because I dislike this word, more precisely, the people who refer to themselves as ‘victims’ as if it is a license.  Apart from children and the physically weak, there is no such a thing as blameless victims.  Greed makes people fall for scams.  Lack of preparation makes you lose.  In my case underestimating the weak was my undoing.  

Mme. Landlord was ill when I first met her.  Foolishly I believed she was too sick to harbour any evil thoughts.   I should have remembered that some women have dedicated a good many years of their life caring their sick lovers, only to be dumped after their lovers have regained their health, walking away with a new, often younger, girlfriend.  In the case of Mme. Landlord, as soon as her illness was contained, she reverted back to a money monger who would extort even from her allies.  It was not just me, but there was other landlords whom she would extort compensation for her cooked up stories.  

I am more a fool than a victim to have missed seeing her true colour in the early days.  I succumbed to the temptation of the role of a virtuous woman befriending a sick lady and fighting evils with her.  It is extremely hard to admit but it was my vanity that I lost my future as a graphic novelist.  I cannot with this wrist now.  I may be able to write some pages slowly, but that is not going to cut it in the professional world.  Not that I ever had any chance, but now I have none for sure.

Another reason for my misjudgment was the existence of the even bigger devil, the restaurant from hell.  I was blown away by their audacity to present themselves as decent lots while breaking many regulations regarding the restaurant business.  The collective evil overshadowed the individual evil of Mme. Landlord.   But there is one thing they have in common: they both refer to themselves as ‘victims.’  The restaurant folks lament that they are being unfairly persecuted by the heartless neighbours and Mme. Landlord referred to herself as ‘a good person betrayed.’  This convenient shift between ‘predator’ and ‘victim’ is a lot worse than a solid predator.  However, after being exposed to them for many months I realized that it was easier than I thought to slip into this pattern.  I shall share what happened to me in my next update because...

...tonight is the final of Coupe du Monde.  I wish to end this post with my respect to the two nations.   The French who remain sympathetic to migrants even though they suffer reverse-discrimination in their own land.  Cudos for the Croatians who remained modest despite their success during the world cup, keeping to themselves any negative views about other teams.  But what I had not expected was that one individual would rise above all the national flags and shine as the epitome of World Cup 2018: Mr Luka Modric.  His pleasant but calm existence is so reassuring.  It does not matter which flag wins tonight.  His existence and the memory will define the world cup 2018 in years to come.  It is the triumph of an individual which is so gratifying to me who got crushed by the collective power aka corruption.  To be continued.
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ
にほんブログ村