If I understand correctly, this happened after you had already moved in. Your landlord seems to just want to avoid any trouble and is givng you the easiest solution for him/her.
We also had a restaurant move in to the first floor of a neighboring building. I’ve often wondered if there were zoning laws or any seperation between living and commercial spaces (I guess they weren’t followed in this case.)
The smell isn’t as bad as the seasame chicken smell the original poster has to put up with (my sympathy goes out to you). Actually, it is more the heat rising up from the kitchen below–it makes one room of our apartment considerably warmer (I know, that’s not a problem now with the cold temps, but in the summer…).
I’ve been meaning to look into this, but is there a board of health in Taipei? A group of restaurant inspectors who enforce sanitation laws? Or someone (or some organization) where we can lodge a formal complaint about the lack of fans or proper ventilation by the restaurant below?
I’d just like to get the ball rolling on this. Up to now, I’ve just let it go, this is Taiwan, learn to live with it, and so on. But now I’d like to try to do something about it.
Finally, do you think it is better to go in and talk to the cafe owner about the problem (I am not a regular at the cafe–in fact, I think that the cafe serves faux-"Western"style food at horribly inflated prices and I have made it a point not to go there)?
Or is better to try to take action (quietly and indirectly) through a government organization (if one exists)?
There must be a way to deal with this. Or are the options really grin and bear it or move?