'I felt like a garbage in New York': Azerbaijani immigrant about the reverse side of the American dream
America has always attracted, like a magnet, people from all over the world, who left their native lands and went to the “land of infinite possibilities,” being sure that here a cloudless future awaited them.
However, there are pitfalls everywhere, and nothing in life comes easily, no matter where in the world you are located. In this edition 1news.az admitted Azerbaijani Ali Kazimov, who moved to New York three years ago.
The guy has a dream - to become a famous video blogger and unleash your Youtube channelwhere he exhibits various pranks, social experiments, funny videos with friends and reports from the visited states.
He told what ways you can stay in America legally, and also shared his frank story about the life of an emigrant in the United States and the difficulties he had to face.
From the “Yahshi Oglan” from the eighth kilometer to the free-thinking New Yorker
I first came to America when I was 14 years old. We came to visit my uncle who lived in Texas. Of course, at this age you are still a child and you cannot put together a full-fledged impression of a particular country, but I remember that I first of all paid attention to the atmosphere of freedom prevailing there. People lived their lives without digging into the lives of others, as befits a way of life of any civilized society. And this freedom attracted me.
The second reason I wanted to move to this country was in my ambitions. In Azerbaijan, it can be said, every person has his own ceiling, which he cannot break through due to certain circumstances, while America, which has received the status of “the country of infinite possibilities”, does not drive you into the frame.
And finally, since my childhood I dreamed of becoming a successful blogger, and this dream could well be realized in America, where the level of development of the blogosphere is quite high. Frankly speaking, without trying to appear better, at first I was moving the goal of becoming rich and famous, and blogging seemed to be the very door that could lead a person into the world of big money and fame. Later, when I grew up, I also had other, more global reasons to start my blog.
In my teenage years I lived on the “eighth kilometer”, was a religious person, performed namaz and spent time in the circle of the “yakshi oglanov” because I did not see other people. Perhaps, to this day, I would continue to walk with the hands in my hands and click on the seeds, sitting in the courtyard, if one day there was no person in my life who completely changed my outlook.
This person gave me the appropriate literature and helped me realize a lot of things. I came to the conclusion that the value of religion is exaggerated - it was invented to control the masses, and that many moments in our Azerbaijani mentality, which I used to adhere to, make people unhappy. Then I thought that with the help of the blog I would be able to reach people with whom I did not have direct physical contact and, perhaps, change their life for the better.
All these thoughts accumulated in my head for a long time and, ultimately, I decided to go to meet my dream and try to move to America forever.
The downside of the American dream
Of course, it is not easy to move to the most desirable continent of the world - people have been trying to win a green card for years, and many have been denied even a tourist visa. I was lucky - I collected all the necessary documents and received a visa, and after arriving in New York, completely and irrevocably falling in love with this city, I began to go to lawyers and look for ways to stay here.
It turned out that quite a lot of options. People who do not think about communication with Azerbaijan at all can ask for political asylum, and those with financial means can buy a fake marriage for 25-30 thousand dollars. You can also stay in America after receiving a student or work visa, and I decided that the best option for me would be to go to university.
I don’t have rich parents who could pay for my studies in New York, so I had a question about where to find the money. Considering that it is possible to remain legally in America for six months, I decided to get a job and during that time save up the necessary amount.
So I began to work as a waiter in one of the restaurants, of course, for “cash”, without working out. I rented one room with three other immigrants and ate very unhealthy and cheap food to save money. But this option is not for everyone, because many would break from physical and emotional overstrain.
When you enter a foreign country, suffer from the uncertainty of the future and work overtime to pay you a tiny amount, every time you come home, you throw yourself apathetically on the bed and don’t want to do anything. There is a strong lack of a mother, who used to cook you dinner, and a free roof over your head - here, in order to survive, you need to pay for all the hard-earned money. Being in New York, I felt like a garbage, I even thought about returning to Azerbaijan, but then I reminded myself why I came here, and this kept me in a rut.
As a result, I gave almost all of the money accumulated to my studies and entered the IT technology department, re-registering a tourist visa for a student visa. Actually, this helped me to stay in America.
Three and a half years have passed since then, I will soon graduate from the university, find a job in my specialty and get a work visa. In general, my dream is to work in the Tesla company, because Ilon Musk is for me the standard of a man and an entrepreneur. Moreover, this company is based in Los Angeles - a city in which the blogosphere is highly developed. There I could combine my work with a hobby.
And I would really like to find like-minded people who would help me with a blog. But it so happened that until today, among my acquaintances, no one had anything to do with this area. They support me with words, but I work on content development, filming and editing alone.
Unfortunately, as a blogger, I haven’t been completely successful yet, because all these years I tried to improve my financial condition, and I practically had no time to shoot and process video. I realized that this pursuit of two hares would be pretty hard, so I decided first to get back on my feet and then revive my blog.
In addition, I realized one simple truth - no one will take seriously the person who at the moment is, roughly speaking, nobody. Especially if it's a young guy with hair repainted like mine. Motivate people to get out of the comfort zone and follow their dreams can only be the one who is able to show by example what this has led to. And I still do not live the life I dreamed of, in order to talk with people about the “high”, despite the fact that I already feel much more confident in the future.
Loneliness in the crowd
In addition to the financial difficulties faced by emigrants, it can be difficult for them to get along in a foreign society, because they are pressured by differences in mentality. I remember one friend who married an American told me: "The first key to understanding a person of another nation is that we should watch their news." She explained this by the fact that the thinking of the average person is formed on the basis of information obtained from news portals and television, and the truth was in her words.
Also, most visiting people usually speak British English, which is very different from American not only in pronunciation, but also in the meaning of words. Therefore, the first months had to get used to their language, which acted on my nerves.
And finally, the biggest problem for an expat is to find close friends. When you come to a foreign country, you have many new acquaintances, but they will not root for your soul. Therefore, returning home after work and telling your roommate that you had a bad day, you can hear the dry phrase: “I'm very sorry.”
You will not feel strong support, because he, by and large, doesn't care about you, because you are connected only by the circumstances of living together. After a couple of months, you will go to other rented apartments and don’t even remember about each other, as happens with former classmates with whom we stop communicating after school. So for me to find standing friends in New York was the biggest problem, and I regret to admit that I still haven’t found them.
The same in terms of romance. Shortly before my departure from Azerbaijan, I broke up with my girlfriend, with whom I had been together for about three years, and since then I have not met anyone seriously. If we talk about Americans, there is a very big gap between us, because America and Azerbaijan are two different worlds with their own way of life. We are not even able to understand each other, not to build relationships.
For example, it is alien to me when a girl at her conscious age - more than 20 years old does not yet know what she wants from life, studies at the university for the sake of a tick, is constantly drunk at parties, burns out her youth, and by the age of 30 she begins to think about the future and build a career. I’m not saying that it’s wrong just because I live differently, and I don’t presume to say that this type applies to all American women, it’s just that I’ve met.
This country will show you what you really stand
Despite the difficulties that I had to face, I never regretted my move. I came to New York in 19 years, all this time I was hardworking and after three years I see a significant return. I still work in the service sector, but my financial situation has become much more stable. I do not save, I do not deny myself anything, and even send money to my parents.
In America, when you have a normal salary, there is no shortage of finances. Even working as a dishwasher, you can go to the gym, massage parlors and spa centers. Because in America, the ratio of wages and prices is balanced. Most of the money here is spent on living, due to the fact that in New York a very expensive apartment rental - in other American cities it is much lower. And food, of course, if you want to eat not junk food, but high-quality organic products.
And in New York, if you think rationally, you can earn extra money. Suppose when I worked as a food delivery company in Manhattan, I purchased an electric bicycle for myself, which cost the 2 thousands of dollars. Many guys did not have such an opportunity, and they rode ordinary bicycles. Then I started buying more bikes and renting them for 100 dollars a week. It was beneficial to both parties, because the person did his job three times faster and, accordingly, earned three times more.
I have a lot of acquaintances from the sphere of cinema, and all of them are from Central Asia. In one of the films, which told about a Kyrgyz citizen who moved to New York, I remember how one rich man defined the American dream: “Many people think that by moving to America, they will earn millions.
In fact, America will give you exactly as much as you are worth - no more, no less. ” And I agree with that.
If you, for example, are a singer and in your country underestimate your voice, you can safely fly to America. But if you are overestimated in your country, America will bring you down from heaven to earth and show you how much you really stand. That is, having arrived in the “land of infinite possibilities”, you will absolutely achieve what you deserve.
I know that the forces that I put in all these years will definitely return to me - good work and social status, because in America your future is not under the question mark if you really work on yourself. And this light at the end of the tunnel makes me go forward without giving up.
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