‘I am born in Paris.’ Of course, he should have said ‘I WAS born in Paris’, but he was a visibly non-French immigrant, but nonetheless pretending to be a Parisian in front of me, an Asian. I already had this sense of doom when the two immigrants showed up to open my door with a broken lock.
It was unfortunate that I had left my portable phone in my unit. Instead of ringing up my insurance emergency number, I had to rely on the kindness of my neighbor who rang a locksmith advertised in a leaflet. I was later advised by the police that those leaflets were breeding grounds of crooked tradesmen. And I was duly scammed. The two men charged me four times the usual bill and threatened to walk me to the bank to get money. One of them stood between the fixed phone and me so I would not call the police. If I went out of the room with one crook to get cash, the other one staying in my room would be robbing my computers. So I paid by credit card．I am angry at myself for not handling the situation better, but I also feel I used money to avoid an even dire consequence.
My survival instinct compelled me to maintain some normality of the circumstance by engaging into a casual conversation with the younger brother who spilled their parents’ origin. It was of the region known for illegal drags, kidnapping and crimes of all kinds. Such a reputation does not get built overnight and the mentality has found its way, even into France. When the Police heard the country’s name, they shook their head murmuring, ‘that was it…again’. My French had improved to comprehend thus much. And yet, those crooks will pass themselves as French because they were born here and France cannot do anything to prevent them getting into an important trade like locksmith. Oh, fair-minded French people, what have you done to yourself?
Then it reminded me of a burden that the Japanese carry. We behaved far from ideally during the war, but in the peacetime we got our acts together. We are still not popular lots, but are deemed to be dull, but harmless law-abiding citizens. However, we are not hated enough according to some anti-Japanese race that they will find a way to blame us for everything. You may have come across a You Tube video of a guy going mental disrupting the order of the aircraft, screaming ‘I am a Japanese!’ over and over. In another video an Asian man introduced himself as a Japanese and verbally abused other races. The colossal mistake made by the producers of these video is that NO Japanese man would ever have the stomach to speak English in front of the camera. Japanese are known for being pathetically inept at foreign languages and most are painfully conscious of it.
The police advised me to report the crooked locksmith to the consumer affairs, but I did not want to interact with those impersonators of French again. One of them was carrying a Louis Vuitton bag. It would have looked classy on any French people, but on the crook, the bag looked fake, or at the best, a stolen good. Ill-gotten money may buy him expensive brands, but he will never make the seemly owner.