Maison de Transition – Relief ( A True Story in Daily Life )

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I rented an apartment in May to a Quebecois guy called Mathieu Dufort (name changed)-a 32 years old young man with a boy of age 6 (not living with him). He told me that his credit was not good because of something he did back in 2007.

It is hard to have someone very clean for a little one person apartment. The key turns around within the group of people of great uncertainty – no stable job, no good credit, usually single with not much education.

Mathieu sounded responsible on the phone and appeared with his son on time when the appointment came. He seemed correct and told me directly about his bad credit, but with no debt. He was honest, I thought. He wanted to move in 1st of June, but the old lease would terminate till after June 30th. He insisted in waiting for a month, crashing in with one of his friends.

The lease was signed from 1st of July 2013 to 30th of June 2014.
June 30th came, there was no call for the keys. I left a message on 1st of July inquiring about his absence. No answer. Another message, no answer.

“Fuck, another asshole!”

I had to rent it again besides the loss of at least one month’s rent.

A few days ago, I missed a call from an unknown number. This person also left a message. Guess what, it was Mathieu. I followed the instruction and called him back. I was very curious.  The number belonged to an institution that I didn’t even know what it was: Maison de Transition. No one answered, so I left a message to the name Mathieu Dufort, telling him that I would wait till 21st of July to cancel the lease at the Rental Board  and to claim a year’s rent from him.

In the afternoon of the same day, when I was driving on René-Levésque, a call came in. I recognized the number and knew who was calling, of course.

To my surprise, now I know what Maison de Transition is. He was arrested on June 2nd and put in prison ever since for something he did in 2007, he told me.
I had been angry and disappointed because of his total disappearance. Now, I felt I was relieved and even a bit happy to have heard from him at all. It was a bad thing for him to have been to jail, yet it released me of my anger.  Of course, I was still annoyed, but I found my hope again at least, not that we could continue the signed lease, but the hope for trust and care – the base for smooth business and life, even though many times, the base could not be built solid easily.

I thanked him for calling me and consented at his request that I will still keep the door open for him when he is ready in september, if the apartment is still available. Of course, that will be done with different and more measures to guarantee the business.

I wish that he could have trust from other people when he will be looking for a job. But before all, he himself has to give out his hand. I have seen his effort in him telling me the truth about credit, persistence and punctuality, and lastly, in calling me to let me know what had happened, apologizing, I have seen hope and the hand he reached out…

The Hidden Seduction – Part VIII-1 – Counting and Accountable (1)

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Chinese are famous for knowing how to count the money hidden under their mattresses. It is a cheap mentality which teaches our children and ourselves that we are the only ones who should benefit from business and everyone else should work for free, a mentality passed down from kingdoms of sovereignty in which people worked not for their own benefit but for the benefit of kings and their imperial families. The difference between then and now is that each one has set himself up as a king, keeping everything for himself and expecting everyone else to serve him as well.

Living outside China, Ou Yang got to know about other nations: Greeks too are cheap. They are so cheap that they almost corrupted and collapsed their own country because people refused to pay taxes on the little work they are willing to do. Must it be the fault of joining the Euro Zone?! No matter where they go, Jews bind their community tightly together through marriage and business; Arabs like to bargain just as much as Chinese do; Germans are hardworking, serious and highly organized, but dry and stern as tree barks; Japanese respect rules to such an extent that they themselves become the definition of rules; Italians can talk with their hands around their heads for most of a day caring too much about what they love and little about what really makes sense; Swiss are famous for their non judgmental banks and ambiguous attitude towards world affaires with high mountains protecting them, and Canadians impresses the world nicely with American way of life, yet a better social and medical systems…

It is difficult and dangerous to generalize, yet for Ou Yang, or for any one who judges, the judgement is rather an expression of who they are than who the judged ones are.  When we go about any business, our judgment is needed. The ways we generalize or judge lead to different directions. In the end, deep down, we are all some“-ISTS” – either nationalists, internationalists, racists, socialists,  capitalists, and humorists etc. The day we remove all our “-ISTS,” we become impossibly perfect or impeccably  ignorant.

As young people, we know nothing about counting, nothing about the value or worth of anything. Love is sweet, free, and exciting. Life is simple and happiness is as easy as an idea, a song, or a tune stuck in our mind. Life is measured less, we are fearless because life is timeless, and we can truly smile, laugh and live.

By the time we reach our 40’s, we find that we have lost our ability to keep things simple. We have measures, requirements and criteria.
For Ou Yang, who once married beneath her, and Elizabeth, whose marriage went off track, meeting their  goals was not as easy as they thought it would be. What should they do next? Should they continue searching for the “right one,” letting time pass and getting old along the way? Or should they simply settle for less?

 

To Be Continued…

 

The Hidden Seduction – Part VII-3 – The Logic

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Part VII-3 – The Logic

Ou Yang stayed in Simone’s house a very long time that Sunday. She made very clear her wronged feelings and righteous logic. She cried a few times as she talked about the sacrifice she had made for her little family, as though she had stooped to marrying Ge Wen. Simone didn’t understand how Ou Yang could act so shocked, like she had been the innocent party to which the harm was done.

Ou Yang somewhat changed this time. Her voice, though still coarse, became thinner, fragile with gusts of wailing. Her face was puffy from obvious weeping and her eyeliner had become pale black smears down her cheeks. She did have the look of a victim seeking for compensation.

“I told Ge Wen that we are staying. We are not going to Vancouver,” she said decidedly. “I told him that we need to continue the education of our son, my only son. I told him to send us $1,500 a month plus his $700 share of the payment for the house!”

Ge Wen’s new job in Vancouver paid him about $60,000 a year. After taxes, Ge Wen had only about $4,500 per month. But if he agreed to Ou Yang’s demands, then he would only have $2,300 left to cover his $1,200 monthly rent, plus car and food expenses.

They all knew that living in Vancouver was much more expensive than in Montreal. Ou Yang’s demands for “compensation” sounded weirdly like passive robbery to Simone.

Simone tried to wake Ou Yang out of her sense of righteousness, of being the victim making her claims now that the bandit was caught. She could not or maybe just would not see that she was the bandit, yet she needed one.  Ou Yang uttered those words full of logic and her demands sounded God granted.

But Ou Yang wouldn’t listen. She bargained, ha! She bargained with Simone, as though Simone were her husband’s accomplice.

“No, I don’t care. We need this much money! We have to keep our standard of living!” Ou Yang was almost yelling to Simone.

Then Ou Yang began calculating all of the expenses for Sunny’s studies, and the after school activities that she would have to pay for.

She wasn’t even bargaining anymore. Ou Yang had made her decision and that was it.

“Fine, fine, don’t tell me then,” Simone finally said, “tell it to your husband!”

“I already told him clearly!” Ou Yang confirmed to herself that she was alright about her demands.

But if Ge Wen had agreed,  Ou Yang wouldn’t have been going on and on to Simone. Here, a man had been abandoned, and nearly half his income demanded of him in order to maintain the standard of living for his queen-like wife and only son, while he squeezed by in a 50 square meter apartment in Vancouver.

Ge Wen was facing, for the first time in his already miserable life, a challenge to which he was scared to respond. If he refused, his wife and her family in China would consider him a dishonorable and cruel husband. And they would use his refusal as proof that Ou Yang had indeed married beneath her when she married such a cheap man.

 

To be continued…

 

Problems Abroad Indicate Problems At Home!

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“Chinese gold miners abused and raped Ghanaians, says online report”

South  China Morning Post

Read this report on Alberto’s FB . It reminds me of these two photos posted above. They are taken in China, somewhere unknown with anonymous photographers,  posting or publishing agencies.

No matter how afraid the photographers are to disclose the ugliness of Chinese miners at home, the inhumane, or better say abnormal cruelty of all creatures and exploitation of the same species,  what is shown in these photos indicates the roots of problems abroad.

When someone behaves bad in the society, there must be something wrong at home. Usually if he is abused or distorted at home during the time he is bought up, he gets used to these ill treatment and has taken it normal, then he most likely has learned it by intuition and most probably, he will use the same ways to treat others. Learning by intuition provided and enhanced by certain environment marks the learners with deep-rooted strongest effect which would take him forever to remove or quit, or even to realize.

For a nation, it is the same. When its people behave bad in their own country, treat themselves and each other in bad ways, it is almost impossible for them to behave differently. They are equipped with THESE WAYS and these are THE WAYS. They are unconscious of the wrongs that are born to their bones and melted into their blood generations after generations.

When the ill treatment or behaviour has always been accepted, or ignored of its wrong for long, especially for a nation who has been shut away from the trends of the world, its people have lost the sense of justice until they meet with oppositions. Chinese bad behaviour will not likely to encounter the violent oppositions because their balls are held by their stomaches. If a weak Chinese dares to say anything or even show a little bit colour of discontent, he will be fired.

China had been strong over the world in certain periods of history: Tang and Yuan Dynasties, or we can say that the history of China or any great civilization has been one of expansion all along the time line. China used to be very small, only places of now Centre,  East and south of China. She had expanded to Northeast, further South, Southwest and North West. Where ever Chinese went, they brought its agricultural technologies,  its language and other cultural aspects. Of course, any habit needs to be broken, and it is fine if the habit we break belongs to an inferior category.

The world has greatly changed, not only in ways of working, but most importantly, in ways of how people treat themselves at home, each other  in the society and how to treat people of different cultures. In a word, humanity has become the most important element of our modern world, a world which has become smaller because of internet, a world closer in understanding the essence of life, a world much less tolerant to ill behaviours.

Twenty-First Century is China’s century! This will not come true until Chinese genuinely realize who they have been, how they have treated themselves and each other, how they have been ignoring and tolerating injustice at home! China needs an anchor at home to hold its own boat in storms. She needs capable sails that will guide the boat breaking through the evil wind from its own land and that of the world.

The Hidden Seduction-Part VII-2 – Scared and Desperate

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Part VII-2 – Scared and Desperate

 

At about 10 am one Sunday morning, Simone’s cellular rang as she was preparing some documents for her clients in her home office.

“Hi, Simone. It’s Ge Wen!”  Simone didn’t know Ge Wen was back.

“Oh, oh, Ge Wen na! How are you?” She was happy to hear Ge Wen’s voice.

Ge Wen did not respond to her greeting; many overseas Chinese were not used to greeting each other or making small talk as North American people often do before starting a conversation on a subject. Instead, he asked abruptly:

“Was Ou Yang there with you last night?”

Being Chinese herself, Simone was used to this kind of bluntness-getting right into the point. So she answered directly:

“No, she was not here!” Obviously, Simone had no idea why he would ask such a question.

Naively Simone added: “ why do you ask?”, her mind was still focused on her laptop, searching for the French version of her client’s contract that wasn’t  showing up under “Documents”.

“She said that she was with you last night!”

Then, from the other end of the line came no more sound. A moment of silence.

This moment of silence was long, so incredibly long that Simone immediately regretted her words. She felt stupid. Why had she not held her tongue? Why was she still working instead of paying full attention? She couldn’t blame Ge Wen for being blunt and rushing her into this stupidity, could she?!

“Oh, oh, shit!”

It was the first time she had ever done something so unbelievable, so stupid. By leaking information she hadn’t intended to, rather than to fear that she would lose her loyalty to Ou Yang, she started to worry that she might have gotten herself involved in something unpleasant and troublesome-something she wanted nothing to do with.

Without surprise, Ou Yang arrived crying in the afternoon.

“Ge Wen knows now that I am dating this guy!”

Ou Yang sounded like she was crying, but there were no tears in her eyes. Only the puffiness of her face showed that she had shed some serious tears earlier that day

“Well, shouldn’t you be prepared for this kind of thing when you started dating without getting divorced, or at least you might have made clear your intention?  I thought Ge Wen knew,” Simone said coldly.

Simone was tough but true, yet maybe too tough and true for nothing. Should she just hold Ou Yang in her arms and let her cry more?

“He wanted me to give him François’s name and phone number!” Ou Yang was reluctant to say François’s name.

Ge Wen was very angry for the fact that she started dating and sleeping with “this guy” whom he had no idea about.

“Who is this guy? Why was he spending time with MY son?” Ge Wen asked, attacking with his questions. “Is he really better than me? Is he so good and considerate? Am I that disgusting to you?”

These questions stunned Ou Yang. Ge Wen’s temper – a temper Ou Yang had never seen before – scared her. Such fury, coming from this meek, sheep-like husband, began to shatter Ou Yang’s nerves in a strange way she had never felt before. She became desperate, so desperate that she wished she could hide herself somewhere, anywhere where she wouldn’t have to answer those questions.”

Ge Wen was scared too. He began to realize that he was losing his wife to “this guy” whose name he actually did not want to know ever, to some unknown, green-eyed ghost. His worst nightmare might become reality in no time: his hope for life, his only son might not live with him forever, instead, he might spend time with this gxx who had done nothing for him, but soon might enjoy the harvest for which Ge Wen had worked so hard all his life.  Further more, he couldn’t even imagine the reaction of his parents when they found out they were losing their only grandson – the last sole male of three generations of their family…

Surprisingly even to himself, Ge Wen was also scared in another sense. He was scared at his own rare display of anger…

 

To Be Continued…