The American Dream: Expectation and Reality
Life in the US for an expat is usually associated with a whole range of difficulties. This is a cultural shock, and the design of the relevant documents, and a job search, the work itself with its own nuances, someone lurks and the language barrier. 26-year-old Regina from Chelyabinsk does not confuse these difficulties. Already, 4, she is trying to legalize in the US, works in Manhattan, spends everything on housing and a lawyer, but does not want to return. Russian monologue recorded Victor Baidakov, the founder of the project Ruopen.
... My first thoughts about leaving Russia were in the winter of 2011. I immediately began to learn all the options for obtaining a visa. For how long you can get and how this process takes place. I always wanted to go to America. I reviewed a bunch of American films, and dreamed of how my life would be in the United States. And then my young man did not let go, and the forbidden fruit is always sweet. After the break in relations, which I was very emotionally worried about, I decided to go overseas to, so to speak, alleviate the pain and fulfill my long-held dream.
At that time I was a student, I turned to an international student exchange center. I was offered a J1 visa. I immediately agreed. But since the collection of all documents is a rather long process, I did not succeed in leaving this year. In September, 2011, I began to collect all the documents I needed under the direction of the center, which took almost six months.
The program cost me 2500 dollars, plus visa fees. As a result, the visa was obtained.
What are they - Americans
When I arrived in New Hampshire, in a small town, I was very surprised. Americans, I imagined otherwise. They all dressed in wide pants, wide T-shirts, and my Russian wardrobe looked at me as if I was an alien.
They could absolutely calmly come up and say: "I like your bag!". Or "I like your shoes" or "your ring." They may immediately ask: “Where did you get them?” Can you tell me? ” Posoy Russia, where all sullen, dull, I liked this contrast.
At home, no one will approach you in the subway, will not say: “You know, I like your coat!”.
The first days in the US
According to my Job offer (working proposal) I flew to New Hampshire, in a small town forty minutes from Boston. The job was given to me by a maid at the hotel. After working there for only 2 of the week, I realized that the dust-free work of the maid and the town itself, more like a village, do not suit me. I decided at my own risk and risk, absolutely alone, not knowing anyone in this big city, to come to New York.
But Job offer lasted for six months, which meant that after this period I had to leave the country immediately and return to Russia. Or try to legalize in the United States. I chose the second path, which is very difficult and costly.
The difference between states in Hollywood films and real ones
I immediately realized that cinema and life are different America. Firstly, when you watch films about the United States, especially comedies, one gets the impression that everyone here is constantly gathering at home for parties, parties, where there are many people and friends. Or the series "Friends": everyone there is so close-knit, stand up for each other, and so on. This is all a lie. There are a lot of people in America who throw you away. A smile means absolutely nothing. You have to get used to the fact that you are constantly alone, and that you should not trust anyone. Especially borrowing money. In the movies, everyone is friendly, in fact, the hope is in immigration, and America is not a fairy tale.
For example, there can not be sick. If you do not have health insurance here, then just going to the doctor will cost you at least 120 dollars. Just get an appointment. It is almost impossible for a visitor to come and immediately receive this insurance, therefore at first you should only rely on yourself and your savings or salary.
Sick not only expensive, but also no time. For example, if I am ill, I still work, because I know that if I don’t earn it, then I will have nothing to pay for the rent and I will continue to save money for a lawyer. I need a lawyer for legalization in the USA. After I came here, I decided to stay after three months. I went to a lawyer. We began to fill out the documents. I waited two and a half years until I was called for an interview. And I did not pass it. Now I am waiting for the trial.
When I worked as a maid, my salary was $ 8.25 per hour. This is very small, and it was only the fact that I lived in a small town that saved me, I was charged only three hundred dollars a month for living. So enough. Then I came to New York, worked as a nanny. I was paid $ 16 dollars per hour. I sat with two children, worked in a good family.
Then I got a job as an assistant in the furniture shop, they paid me $ 12. And now I work as a bartender (bartender) in Manhattan. I get $ 30 for the shift plus a tip. By June, I need to save a large amount for a lawyer, so I didn’t have enough nanny salaries, but here you can earn a good tip.
I now worked 4 in a row at night.
Yesterday only at 6 am I went to bed, because I worked until 4 am. And from Manhattan to Brooklyn, where I live, it is very long and difficult to get. But I can't afford to live closer to work - it's too expensive.
Money here is not easy. Here you are always on your feet, you work, so life flies by very quickly. Summer last year flew like in two days. I was on the beach once and once on the river. But earned flies away at the moment, because life in the USA is very expensive.
The biggest expense item is housing, but besides that, money is constantly flowing away: work permits - $ 400, each time it needs to be renewed, medical insurance - $ 250 - each time it needs to be updated. And you pay everything, pay. And with zero in the end, although you work hard.
Go or stay?
Despite the fact that I didn’t love American food, I don’t understand American humor and don’t want to meet American men, I live better here than in Chelyabinsk. I no longer imagine myself in Russia and really hope to stay.
I know people who have lived in the US for 6 for years, were tired of waiting for documents, and were returning to their homeland because they could not be adapted. I do not want to experience these difficulties, so I will, despite all the difficulties, try to turn my American dream into reality.
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