Enough Is Enough
When we moved to Brussels fourteen years ago, we did think that we’d be back to Paris very, very soon and forever. Wrong. Totally wrong.
Fourteen years have gone down the drain, bad years mostly and we’re still stuck there.
And it is getting worse, which was something that we never thought would happen because what’s worse than worse?
Two years ago, we were sort of “kicked” out of our house which had more or less been a very unhealthy place to live and we had not yet heard about asbestos in our bathrooms. Why did we put up with such a “posh slum” for so long and why did we moved back right in when it was supposedly fixed up (only half of it)?
Well, the answer is very simple and very complicated. I have not been feeling good for quite a long time and it is quite hard to find new lodgings in-between or after long and hard chemos... in-between hospital appointments, etc.
We had been “kicked out” but we had not moved out. All our stuff had been moved around by the building contractor in charge of renovating the part that had been destroyed by a very bad flood caused by our landlady’s carelessness.
The second reason is that Popeye is forever away on business. When he comes back home, he simply does not feel like finding a new house and above all, he hates the idea of moving.
So we got back into our “home”, only to discover that the renovation job had been very poorly done. Hence problems with our “slumlady”... who just did not understand why we were complaining.
Her answer was: “I have spent a lot of money on the house and I just don’t care any longer.” (Well, care, she never did anyway.)
We are peaceful and law-abiding people. We kept on paying our rent but after a little while, we decided that we had to do something! (Besides trying to find a new place to live which proved to be quite difficult if not impossible at the time.)
We hired a lawyer and we instigated legal proceedings against our landlady, while hoping that she would come to her senses.
Well, she does not and our life has become kind of hellish lately... We are back to trying to find a new place which is a little bit trying since we have quite a few criteria we can’t pass over.
I no longer drive in town and I need to be close to one tramway line, at least because it is hard to get a cab in Brussels. I need to live within walking distance from food stores to be independent whenever Popeye is away.
Popeye can’t afford to live far away from his office or from the Thalys station because in Brussels, traffic jams are a nuisance from dawn to dusk...
So there we are. We know she wants to kick us out. And it’s turning into a game of poker. She wants us out because we are fighting hard (which we should have done a long time ago).
She does not want to get things fixed properly but if we move, she won’t be able to find new tenants until she has really got things fixed. (Because the problems are serious - electricity and plumbing and even worse, new leaks from the roof! Defects due to bad workmanship.) Which means loosing money and she loves easy-to-get money.
So there we are... looking at possible new houses and/or apartments and not finding anything!
And there she is, making our life as miserable as she can, hoping that we’ll go back to being so nice and quiet!
Enough is enough.
Enough is enough because...
Early this year, our mailman was “told” that we had moved away. We don’t know who lied nor why but the guy acted very unlawfully.
He knew we had not moved away. (Swee’ Pea’s and Popeye’s cars were still parked right in front of the house...). Besides, according to Belgian law, as long as a mailman does not get any official mention of people moving away, he’s suppposed to still deliver the mail to the same old address, in care of the “new” tenant.
Our mail disappeared for quite a few months. We had to fight and fight. Who has ever tried to fight against civil services, especially in a foreign country? Well, we did and we finally won. Of course, we never got our mail back because the mailman never wanted to say what he’d done with it! And we had no proof that we had got mail anyway! No mail. No proof. As simple as that... even when I started getting phone calls from some people asking me where I was since I was not answering their mail nor paying bills!
We now have a new mailman and every time there is a relapse (yes, someone still pretends from time to time that we have moved away), we fight again but at least, we now know what to do. At least our mail does not disappear. It’s just sent back to sender. That’s how we know someone is still fooling around.
Enough is enough because...
This week, we got a letter from the phone company. They were letting us know that they would be disconnecting our phone lines in a few days since we had asked them to do so. (Probably because we were moving away, I imagine.)
When I called the helpdesk, I was told that Popeye had called them to have our lines disconnected. They even gave me his phone number. Which is not his phone number at all, of course. I really was outraged. Well, the clerk was very nice so I tried to stay calm. Everything was called off. Promise, promise!
Until next time!
Enough is enough, really...
*Good Luck, and Good Night*