Scooter biking in the rain
The Millefleur cosmetics store was four kilometers from my home. I had to make it somehow until the first paycheck. The eighty euro monthly Navigo card for public transports was absolutely out of reach. As a RSA benefits claimer I fulfilled the criteria to get 75 percent off Navigo card. The problem was, that 75 percent off Navigos are given to universal health care claimers only and my demand had been boomeranged back several times. This is a very typical situation with French authorities. The benefits are linked together like in a cumulative nursery tale and if the first demand is blocked all the others are also on hold.
Despite of the wind and the rain I made my way to the workplace with my daughter’s Disney Princess scooter bike. Far too small for an adult, no doubt it made me look ridiculous but I am not very tall and I managed to use it. To avoid the morning traffic jam I took the bridge behind Notre Dame where a fake street artist held mechanically a dry paintbrush on a finished Paris landscape. In fact, the majority of street paintings sold close to monuments and along the Seine are actually Chinese made Paris views. The Shenzhen city’s suburb, Dafen lives on these reproductions. Thousands of Chinese artists of which many are art school graduates manufacture sixty percent of the word’s knock-off canvases. They work off of photos or copies and have never seen the places in person, which explains the funny perspectives you can notice sometimes.
Please crook me
The morning was cold and it was freezing in the office. I could feel the wind blowing in through the boutique's glass walls. My Korean boss's Sri Lankan driver parked the Jaguar right outside the front door. He started unpacking magnificent flowers from the car. I am not good at naming plants but the visitor’s card told me that Jee Eun Kim had been dealing with one of Paris's most famous and expensive florist shops. The lady had certainly spent on flowers the amount equivalent to my monthly earnings. My boss was in a happy mood. She explained that she wanted to see some flowers in the office. She said it is like that back in South Korea. There was also a two meters tall orange tree. She asked the driver to place the tree at the doorway.
The next day the leaves of the orange tree turned yellow. Jee Eun Kim was furious and felt herself badly betrayed. She didn’t want to face the fact that the plant had possibly gotten cold in the chilly office. I could have also told her that driving a Jaguar in Paris dressed like on old time movie queen can attract scoundrels and liars. Her entire look is crying out "please crook me".
I spent the whole week solving the dead orange tree problem. The florist didn't give any money back but we got more flowers for free. As the store was full of flowers, something unusual happened. A client dropped in. The very old lady – in her eighties I supposed - was not interested in cosmetics but wanted to purchase one of the porcelain flower pots in the window. I explained that this was supposed to be a cosmetics store.