Why did I win the green card, but two months later I returned home
Go live in America - at the beginning of 90's, this dream literally embraced many. Nobody argues with the statement “living in America well”. It sounded like an axiom: the Volga flows into the Caspian Sea, in America there is a high standard of living. It is myths and stereotypes that underlie all the disappointments of immigrants. The history of the inhabitant of Nizhny Novgorod is a vivid example: the family moved away from a good and fully provided life to a country, knowledge of which was limited only to myths. Judge for yourself…
Landscape architect Alexander Sukharev was also convinced that in America it was good. Therefore, accidentally winning a green card for living in the United States, he left his business in Nizhny Novgorod, took his wife and children, and left for the United States forever. And after a month of 2 he returned and told the publication "Nizhegorodskaya Pravda" his version of the "American Dream".
Documents for the lottery (it is held every year), we filed three times - says Alexander. - At first, I really wanted to go to the United States, then this desire became weaker and weaker, but we still filled out the documents - especially since several of our friends in the United States wrote that life was beautiful. But I already had my own circle of clients here, a real estate, I didn’t really want to change anything ... In general, we decided: we are submitting for the last time. And they found that they won.
There was a very complicated feeling. It seems to be - this is our chance. But the closer was the day of departure, the more I understood: something was not right ... I walked along Nizhny and thought: after all, the city is not bad here!
I scolded him, but scolded exactly until I realized that I might never see him again. I drove late in the evening along the embankment - people walk, get-togethers, the city lives ... I, as a landscape architect, see that the embankment is excellent, all I need is to complete its improvement. But still decided to go to the United States. And before that, neither I, nor my wife, and even less children in America were not. A plane to Moscow, a day in the capital (they also walked along it and thought: how beautiful she is!), Flight to New York ... Then transfer to the city of Charlotte in North Carolina - and when we left the airport, I looked at our A new place of residence and in my head literally caught fire: "What the hell ?!". It was not at all what I saw in the films. It was not cool! In the Lower there are places much better!
I'm still a landscape painter. In the summer we flew to Istanbul, I saw this city - and immediately realized that it was cool. And I thought that America should be ahead of the rest. Not! This is not Europe.
Let's start with the fact that Americans are uncommunicative. True. It is clear that we did not take our car to the USA, especially since everyone said: “In America, cars are very cheap”. Well, they are not cheap. More precisely, for three kopecks you can buy a rattle car, which is unclear whether it will last two days or two months. Therefore, I had to travel a lot on foot or by public transport. So, walking is wildly inconvenient, because the sidewalks are only fragmentary. Here it is - but suddenly it ended. Public transport is underdeveloped and expensive. 2 dollars 20 cents for a ride ... So we mostly traveled on foot, and I realized that I had practically no place to communicate with people. They woke up in the morning - got into the car, drove to the office. In the evening we left the office, got into the car, and drove home. All. There is no reason to communicate.
The USA is a land of unhealthy food. When they tell me: “There is no quality food in Russia,” I laugh out loud. There is no quality food in America. In supermarkets, whole alleys are given over to chips, semi-finished products, corn flakes ... And there is a small food separator, as they call it, "organic" - the cost of such food is 3-4 times more expensive. Moreover, we lived in a state where prices are far from the highest. In general, I soon ceased to be surprised at the abundance of fat people ...
And in the USA people are not just “slightly overweight”, they are really very fat. They don't care about weight at all. Clothing size XXXXL? Well, okay! You know, for a long time I could not understand how they spend their free time. Finally, I decided: probably on weekends everyone goes to the city (we lived in the suburbs) for a walk. Let's go too - the city is empty. Maybe in the park? Also empty ... The park itself, by the way, is large, beautiful, well-groomed. Nobody - only three bums on the bench.
Only after I got into a conversation with an eighteen-year-old guy (he was three years old when his family emigrated from Ukraine to the USA), did I understand where all the people were. “Tell me, please, what do Americans do when they have free time?” I asked him. “I don’t understand your question,” the guy replied. “Well, for example, when we’re not working, we can go cycling, in winter we can snowboard or ski ... And you?” - “By bike? - again the guy did not understand me. - What for? We eat in our free time. "
In America, everything is big: big cars, big dishwashers (we almost didn’t turn on ours, because water consumption is huge, and water is expensive), products are sold in large packages ... Juice is gallons, milk is gallons ... Everything is sharpened to people bought as much as possible, spent as much as possible.
I managed to work a little, I did not work in my specialty, of course, as a restorer of wooden structures, mostly floors. And I understood that I could hardly be a landscape architect in the USA.
In Russia, there are no problems with the Internet - now I can say for sure. The first time we had a problem with the Internet, when we flew to New York. We somehow found the access point, we were given free Wi-Fi for 30 minutes, and then pay. Minimum - 15 dollars. The minimum fare is 30 dollars per month. This is an 2 gigabyte of internet and not the largest number of minutes. Home Internet - about 40 dollars per month, and there is no trace at all: they tried to squeeze the most out of the copper cable. America - the country that spawned the Internet, can not provide themselves with fiber-optic communication!
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It was good too - these are schools. We came to the one closest to the house where we rented an apartment - the children were recorded and said: “Bring them to class tomorrow. They don't speak English? Nothing wrong!". Then, of course, we ran to get vaccinated and faced medical and school bureaucracy, but these were the problems of adults. The children studied quietly. In general, the school there is a cultural center. If it is good, there is a block of expensive houses around it. The school is a little worse - and the houses around it are slightly lower in status ... In general, the prestige of the quarter is easiest to understand by evaluating the school located in it.
Have I felt Russophobia myself? Of course I did. Only not on the part of the Americans, but on the part of Russian emigrants. They have lived in the United States for years and decades - and speak of Russia with disgust. And it comes to the ridiculous: “Today we have 20 degrees of heat ... How much is there in Raschke? Minus one? Phew, dog cold! How do they even survive there? " I say, “Guys, minus one! Put on your jacket and everything is fine. "
And the Americans ... as much as their own weight does not soar them, so much they do not soar from which country you are from. Do you work well? Well, great, nothing more from you.
Americans have only food and work. And their life is too structured. For example, we can suddenly break loose in winter - and jerk for a week in a warm country. Because I wanted and turned up a burning tour. There is no such thing. Any trip is always carefully planned and calculated. Yes, and they travel a little: mostly either to Mexico (it is near and inexpensive), or to the Dominican Republic on the 2-3 of the day, but more often - inside the country. In general, I got the impression that Americans do not save on food, but they save on the joys of life.
Maybe America did not like so much because I was initially opposed to this move. Of course, I thought about it. But I did go there, realizing that if I don’t like it, we can always return (in winter, in my field it’s not a season anyway, so I could afford such an adventure). But in the USA I had a feeling that I was going crazy. They say that there is cheap housing ... No, there is a cheap mortgage. And the house - 200 thousand dollars. Normal carcasses, nothing special. And a mortgage for life.
What do you think is the American dream? Even if you are nobody, work a lot and get to the top? Ha! I thought so too. But, for example, I could not buy a house in an expensive quarter (even if I had money). I simply would not have sold it, because I am not a man of their level. The real American dream: to buy a house in the mortgage, to work from morning to night for many years in a row - and pay the mortgage by the time of retirement. Yes, and periodically knock on the neighbors. So, for prevention. Because whoever called first is right.
I returned 4 a month ago and do not regret that I did not stay in America. In general, after America, I became much easier to deal with minor problems and inconveniences. Standing in traffic? Well, okay. Why be angry? The main thing - we are at home.
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