Boris very early discovered his love for Glian. Glian is a medium size country with a fascinating history and wise people that are not only culturally rich but also materially. Boris was, however, a simple Siantian. He realized this at the first lesson of the Gliandish language when he was 10 years old. Since then, his dream was to move to Glian. As Boris was a responsible and a hardworking boy, he approached the implementation of his goal very seriously.

He began with the basics — learning the language. Most of the time in school he was learning Gliandish and the more he delved into it the more fascinated with the language he became. Just image — a language spoken by the Gliandians themselves!  He didn’t even compare it with his native Siantian — that idea seemed ridiculous and absurd to him. Gliandish sounded business-like and elegantly, while his native Siantian he associated with the rural shepherds and drunkards with swollen faces and kind, but troubled blue eyes.

As soon as Boris mastered Gliandish at a sufficient level, and it happened somewhere in high school, he began to watch Gliandian movies, listen to the Gliandian music, to use Gliandian books and sites.

Gliandians and their culture fascinated him more and more, and he decided on some changes. He began with the simple — his appearance. He went to the hairdresser and made a typical Gliandian haircut. He also bought clothes which the Glian people were wearing (later, he very keenly followed the fashion trends in Glian). His room was filled with Gliandian books, music CDs, and movies. The flag and the coat of arms of Glian were hung on the wall. There were also phrases and quotes of Gliandian writers and philosophers. In general, Boris room was a perfect example of a room of a passionate teenager, but unlike most, his fascination was not temporary.

Most of the time he was improving his language skills, studying the history, literature, and politics of Glian. Fortunately, he successfully joined the faculty of the Gliandian language, where he had years to delve into his favorite subject and everybody was happy about it — his family and, of course, Boris.

We should add a few words to compare Glian with his native country. It’s hard to say that Siantus differed much from Glian. Both societies were organized in the same way — people studied, worked, supported themselves and their family, paid rent, bought groceries, fixed broken things, acquired something when needed. We can’t say that the Siantian culture was much poorer than the Gliandian — in many aspects the first outperformed the latter. Except that Glian was richer, but Siantus was not the worst country on Earth. It was something in the middle.

That, however, did not comfort Boris. Something drew him to Glian and its people. Siantus and Siantians (himself including) he perceived as a poorly developed country and an undeveloped nation, which cannot be compared with Glian and its inhabitants.

After graduating from the university with a large number of recommendation letters, commendations, and excellent grades, he became a professional Gliandish translator and started to think about the realization of his dream — migration to Glian.

By his thirtieth anniversary, he learned all the immigration laws and memorized all the requirements that he had to satisfy. He had also prepared all the necessary papers, translated them into the Gliandish language, had them notarized, attached a bank statement that confirmed that he had enough money to fund himself — Boris was a professional in his field, he had a decent salary and did not waste money on trifles — every penny went to the realization of his dream.

After several months of visiting the Gliandian embassy, paying a variety of fees and proving that he is not a terrorist and has no plans to parasitize on the Gliandian society, he was given a visa. Finally!

Though, after a couple of happy days, he had second thoughts whether he should leave for Glian. Even though it was his deepest desire, he still doubted. He knew that he will forever remain an ordinary Siantian and will never be a great Gliandian. Is he worthy to live in Glian? Is he good enough to talk with the locals and to speak their truly magnificent language?

After a month of thinking, he decided that, even though he will never be Gliandian, he, however, can serve Glian and to the Glian people, and live for the benefit of his new country and its inhabitants. Such approach did satisfy him: he comes to Glian not to make his miserable Siantian dream come true, but for a selfless and sincere service to Glian and Gliandians.

He packed his bags, booked a hotel and bought a ticket to Donlon — the capital of Glian. Of course, it was a direct flight by the Gliandian Airways. His service to the Gliandians began from that moment — he was genuinely happy that his money was going to the real Gliandians on their salaries and happiness.

***

On the way to the airport, Boris remembered his path from high school to the present moment. During this time he studied the entire history of the Gliandian Kingdom, to the extent that was possible by his memory: all the kings, presidents, all the wars that Glian took part in. Unfortunately, he sometimes confused some historical dates, but he promised himself to fix it in Donlon. He knew all the national recipes and has been eating only Gliandian cuisine, even though it was largely inferior to other countries, but Boris didn’t think so. He also knew the constitution of Glian, the symbolism of the flag and the coat of arms. He knew the names of all major cities, communes, regions, features of the local dialects, Gliandian brands, cars and other things. He knew most Gliandian architects, artists, philosophers, scientists, sculptors, musicians, and dancers. Knew all the Gliandian scientific discoveries and did not stop worshipping them.

And though the Gliandian people had their dark moments in their history: invented slavery, unleashed a large war, repressed a lot of people, Boris still turned a blind eye on this — “the times were different”, “there were circumstances”, “other nations have done worse” and so on.

Boris, not the most athletic person in the world, even for some time tried to engage in the Gliandian national sport, but quickly gave up, accepting his absolute failure on this front. To compensate for this failure, he thoroughly memorized all the rules of football, hockey, and cricket, the names of all the great players, coaches and clubs. He remembered all the fan clubs, their colors and even favorite bars and beer brands.

And though his native culture was rich in philosophers, poets, writers, thinkers and many other great men, he never compared it to the Gliandian — this is how unattainable it was in his eyes. Even those great Siantian works and authors that were admired by the Gliandian — even these works Boris did not read in the original Siantian but in the Gliandish translation. It was important for him to see the world through the eyes of a Gliandian.

***

After going through all the security procedures at the airport, Boris went to his gate. While entering the plane, the flight attendant took him for a Gliandian because of his appearance and excellent Gliandish and greeted him in Gliandish. However, when he took his ticket from his pocket along with the Siantian passport, she immediately switched to the international language and politely showed to Boris his seat on the plane.

Upon arrival, Boris watched with sad eyes at the Gliandians, who passed the passport control just by scanning their passport at a special counter without wasting time in the queue. They were at home. At the same time, Boris stood with the other foreigners waiting to get a permit into the country.

After the passport control, he waited for his luggage which he was asked to show at the customs. Not finding anything dangerous — meat or cigarettes, the customs officers let him go. He was now standing in the middle of a huge hall and looked at an information board which stated that due to a strike, many trains and other modes of transport are canceled or delayed. Boris needed to go to the hotel to drop off his bags and then he was planning to rent an apartment — back in Siantus he set up a meeting by email with the landlord for today at 17:00.

He figured out that it will be faster to take a cab to get to his part of the city and so he got out of the airport and a few minutes later he was already on the move. The Gliandian taxi driver was very surprised when he learned that Boris was a foreigner. He complimented his language skills and said that road will take longer than usual because the protesters have blocked some streets. The taxi driver also told Boris that the demonstration was somehow related to migration.

The receptionist at the hotel who registered Boris was very surprised to see a Siantian passport — she would never think that he was a foreigner. As the taxi driver, she complimented his Gliandish and gave him the room keys. He took a quick shower, changed his clothes, put the necessary papers in his backpack and went (again by taxi) in the direction of his future home.

Unfortunately, due to the traffic jams Boris was late for 10–15 minutes and was very worried about it and immediately apologized several times for being late to his future landlord.

Before proceeding, let’s explain his situation. Through his Siantian work, he found himself here a similar occupation. Now he had to rent an apartment, register in it and bring the application to the municipality with all the relevant documents (work contract, lease agreement, registration and so on). Not all, however, Gliandians wanted to rent their apartment to foreigners without a permanent residence permit and a permanent job. Even fewer were willing to give an alien a registration. That is why Boris had to work hard to find the right apartment. In the end, he agreed on a relatively expensive one, compared to its quality and location, but the owner has accepted aliens, however, the deposit was three times the monthly rent and a six months prepayment was required with a contract for two years at least. The conditions were not that great, but it was the best what he found.

Despite his apologies, the Gliandian dryly said “you’re late” and opened the door. He quickly showed the small apartment, which he inherited from his parents, took the documents and suggested not to “waste time” and start with the formalities. Apparently, he was in a hurry. After asking a few short questions, Boris read the contract and signed it. He took out the money that he had already changed into the local currency in Siantus. Seeing the money, the owner got a little kinder. He counted them, stacked with his copy of the contract in his bag and added: “You have a good Gliandish. Just don’t be late in the future, it is not common. You will adapt.” The Gliandian said goodbye and departed, leaving Boris alone in his new apartment.

For some time, still worrying about his tardiness, Boris wandered around his home, and then went to the hotel to get his things. He had a lot to do in the following months: register in the apartment, buy a SIM card, sign a contract for internet and electricity, fill in a lot of forms and apply for a residence permit, get the residence permit, open a bank account and start working under the contract signed in Siantus.

If the reader has the impression that domestic problems should upset Boris — that is completely not the case. After all, he was in Glian! His main dream came true! He was pleased or even happy to fill in a lot of papers, pay a variety of bills and to deal with different problems faced by foreigners — after all, he was just a foreigner. And in the name of security of Glian and the Gliandians, he filled a variety of forms, provided information about his family and so on. After all, it was he who had to serve Glian, and it was him who was created for Glian and not the other way around. He fully supported all the migration procedures, as they were due to the safety of the Gliandians.

When he was done with all the procedures, he started integrating into the society. We, of course, obscure his desire for “integration”, since he had long known and understood everything, however, Boris was not satisfied. In Glian he discovered those things that were not seen in his home country — trendy words that have not yet been added to the dictionary, some of the finest cultural features and so on. Everything was interesting to Boris.

He has traveled all over the country and visited all the major cities, as well as a significant number of smaller towns and villages. Saw all the wonders of nature of his second homeland. Boris explored every part of Donlon and visited every historical place which was mentioned by the historians and poets. In sum, it was one of the happiest periods of his life.

Though, not everything always went so smoothly. According to the law of Glian, all aliens must pass an integration test (not free, of course), which includes the knowledge of the language, history, culture, life, politics and law of the country. A few years after his arrival Boris started preparing for this test, determined that he would receive a one hundred percent score.

Unfortunately, though he was preparing for a year, ordered a large amount of literature and studied hard after work and already knew almost everything about Glian, he, however, was so nervous during the exam that he made a couple of mistakes and got a 94 % mark. What can I say? It happens — you get nervous and make a mistake somewhere, miss a comma in a sentence and here’s the result — some miserable 94 percent.

How upset did Boris get with this result! After falling in despair at first, he put himself together and called the immigration committee and asked, whether it is possible to retake the exam. It was, of course, possible to retake the exam if one did not pass it. The employee added that the passing grade is 60 %, but Boris already knew that. If the score was higher, the exam was passed and a retake is not possible.

Boris was very depressed after this story, but it then went away. After all, he’s not a Gliandian and it would be extremely arrogant to expect a perfect result — to put himself on a par with a native Gliandian. This thought reassured him.

***

A few years later, he was walking home from his work, and a demonstration blocked the street. The activists were holding different banners like “Migrants take our jobs!”, “Make the immigration laws stricter!”, “Protect our children!”, “We speak Gliandish!” and they chanted similar slogans. Boris was horrified and had chills. “But indeed,” thought Boris, “I do not create jobs, I take them!”

Already at home, he started thinking about his life. Theoretically, his current position can employ a Gliandian and Boris, it turns out, stole it from him. That idea did not make him any happier. Boris, however, thought that he could become an entrepreneur and in the future, when his business will grow, he will hire Gliandians and will create jobs. So he did.

Boris had to work some more time under his contract agreement and that time allowed him to fully prepare for his entrepreneurial activity. He studied a lot of laws, learned about the different types of businesses that can be registered. After spending a significant amount of time and his savings he created a legal entity, opened a bank account, paid all the necessary insurance, pension, and other charges. Of course, it was risky — he earned nothing and already owed a lot to the state, but that’s what he was looking for — serving to Glian and to the Gliandians.

Despite all the bureaucratic procedures, his business went up the hill — his diligence, zeal, and perseverance helped him. After some time he started expanding and hired a few Gliandian assistants. On the one hand, he was happy that he creates jobs, but on the other, it turned out that he, a simple Siantian, holds Gliandians in subjection! Unthinkable!

He didn’t want to hire immigrants and he couldn’t — in that case, it would be necessary to prove to the state that Gliandians are not capable of coping with the tasks, but it wasn’t the case. The law protected the jobs of Gliandians because dishonest businessmen often preferred to hire unpretentious migrants and pay them less, thus saving a lot of money.

Because of this, Boris was a very soft employer — turned a blind eye to tardiness, absenteeism, the incompetence of some of his employees. His business began to shrink and, after calculating his costs and revenues, he came to the conclusion that by the end of the year he will not have enough money to pay his employees a Christmas bonus. He asked for help from his colleague from his last job, who gladly helped him to bring discipline and later became the head of his company (Boris suggested that after some time).

***

The reader probably wants to know whether Boris got married and has a family. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Even as a student Boris realized that he will not marry a Siantian to breed second-rate Siantians in Glian. At the same time, he just could not marry a Gliandian. He was just a Siantian while she — a great Gliandian. He refused to spoil Glian with his blood and decided that all his life he will be alone and all his belongings will go to the state so that it could reallocate his savings among Gliandians.

By the way, I forgot to mention that all his life Boris was trying to buy only what was produced by Gliandians and in Glian. And I mean everything: food, clothes, books, phones, computers. If he needed a plumber, he had to be a Gliandian, the same applied to taxi drivers and everyone with whom he dealt.

Though, sometimes he approached some moral dead ends. One such case occurred when Boris needed to update his company website. Since the requirements for the new version of the website were quite high, his Gliandian friend (he was supporting the current website) openly told him that he will not be able to pull it off. And a dilemma for Boris appeared: either to hire Gliandians and pay them 100 % or to hire foreigners and save 60 % of the amount.

The choice was that if he ordered from the Gliandians, then these additionally spent 60 % will be included in the costs of the services of his firm and his clients (the Gliandians) will overpay. If he will work with the foreigners, his customers will save money but the Gliandian firm will not receive his money for the website.

Boris thought for a long time but decided to order from the Gliandians and offset the overpayment from his pocket. In fact, he often did that — ordered something expensive from some Gliandians and cheaply sold that to other Gliandians, while covering the loss with his savings and salary (luckily, he lived alone and modestly).

***

When he lived in the country for ten years, he had the opportunity to apply for a Gliandian passport. Boris resisted this for years, but after he learned that it will be much easier for the lawyer and the accountant to fill in the documents of his company, if he had a passport instead of a residence permit, only then he agreed.

He prepared all the necessary documents, filled out the application form and paid the fee (equal to one month’s rent) and took all this to the city hall and started to wait. I don’t remember exactly, but after 6–9 months he got a reply. A positive reply — from now on he is a real Gliandian! However, Boris was skeptical about it. “A Siantian with a Gliandian passport and nothing more,” he thought.

He gave up his native Siantian passport shortly after. This was not required by law, but “it is easier to understand what country is he a citizen of”, quoted he the Migration Service. He was absolutely loyal to Glian and wanted to prove it.

***

While we’re talking about Siantus, let’s say a few words about the relatives of Boris, that he left there. Though, there’s not much to say. At first, Boris was keeping a contact with his parents, but then he completely lost it, occasionally calling them for the holidays and birthdays. Boris wasn’t selfish, it was just his parents were Siantians. In Glian, at first, he was spending time on integration and then he was busy with his work. He didn’t want to bring his elderly parents to Glian — the country already accepted him and that was enough.

Boris visited his home country for some time, but as soon as he got a Gliandian passport and gave up the Siantian, he stopped going home — he had no desire to waste money and time on a visa to Siantus. This is how he almost completely broke his ties with his homeland.

In the future, he will visit Siantus only twice — there will the funeral of his father, and then of his mother. During the second visit, he will sell all his inheritance and will return Glian forever.

***

The rest of his life he will dedicate to work and to the service to Glian and the well-being of the Gliandians. When Boris will retire, he will live on his savings and will save his pension — a simple Siantian does not deserve the money of the Gliandians.

In his will, he ordered to give all his belongings to the state, which will wisely handle his property and will help the Gliandians. As for himself, Boris forbade to bury him in Glian and wished to be buried in Siantus.

However, when Boris left our world, one bureaucratic scrawl prevented his relocation to his homeland. His colleagues have long thought, but then decided to cremate him — after all, Boris forbade to bury him in Glian but did not say anything about cremation.

***

A lot of people were at the ceremony — Boris was indeed a really good person. Almost all recalled, how well did he integrate into the society, how he served Glian and to the Gliandians and how great did he speak Gliandish. Many noted how he set the goals of Glian and the Gliandians above his own, what caused approving nods from the guests.

An old colleague of Boris volunteered to make a toast: “Too bad,” he started, “that not all Siantians are like Boris. Too bad, that not all immigrants are like Boris. Boris is the perfect immigrant!” All the guests stood up and applauded vigorously.

EN-Stefan-Vanli-S70

Stefan Vanli

Editor

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Biała Podlaska

Poland