Book: Double immigrant
(Former and to prospective immigrants must read!)
Once again footage of disturbances in the occupied territories played on the television.
Young masked Palestinians waved their arms angrily, burning Israeli flags and yelling
-Oh, some people...these...Palestinians and our left-wing journalists, - sighed Misha Lander,
lazily scratching his bel y and with a philosophical smile, looked at his wife.
- In a week when we prevent them from working in Israel they will cry in front of the
cameras, screaming that they have small children to feed and begging for some work.
-Yeah it's a problem. - replied Klava evasively.
- Yes! It is a problem. Let's just pack our bags and immigrate to Canada. - He said
ironical y. - By the way, recently, there was a guy from our structural department, packed up
-Toronto, it seems. He said that he was going to the center of the country, close to Tel-Aviv,
and then called Arkadi Palchik from overseas and asked him to convey his greetings to all.
Hmm... Beautiful... Ha! What a fucking perfect conspirator. I real y don't understand what his
problem is. Why can't he just be honest with everybody and tel us the truth before quitting?
What do you have to lose?! Some people just love cheap effects! Klava, I'm sure you
remember him. He has gray hair and a mustache.
-No, no...I real y don't remember him.
-Wel , do you remember the office party last year? He spoke of his special diet. Then he
told you that when he arrived in Israel, he started off as a construction worker. And once the
foreman, without looking at the construction drawings, began telling him what to do, but our
friend looked at the drawings and started arguing with the foreman, telling him that it was all
wrong and that he had designed things a hundred times more complex than this. And the
foreman, a Moroccan, replied: "Wel , if you're an engineer, then what the hell are you doing
working as a construction worker? Kid, you should be working in an office." Our friend then
thought: indeed, what am I doing here? So he turned around and came to work with us as a
structural engineer. How do you like this legend? If it weren't the foreman, our dear friend
would have never even thought of looking for an engineering job.
-Oh, Mikhailovski Leva. Of course I remember him. So what?
-So nothing. What?
-Wel , find out how they're doing over there.
-I think they're doing well. Not too hot, green al around, rich country, and there's work to be
had unlike in Israel... Not to mention, I don't have his e-mail or phone number, so there.
-So, ask your friend Palchik.
-Klava, did I not understand something? I thought I just told you ...
-You thought wrong! - said Misha's wife with a look of determination in her eyes, - time is
running out, not to mention that soon our children will be drafted into the army.
- Klava, what are you talking about?! You want to immigrate again! We only just started to
have a quiet, good life. We finally learned the language and just bought our own condo ...
And now what, ten years down the drain just to start it all over again? How many lives do you
think you have?! I can't waste an entire lifetime on immigrations!
-My children are much more important than this quiet life. - It was clear that Klava was not
joking. It was now obvious that she had been preparing for this conversation for a quite a
-Oh really? Do you think I can approach Arkadi just like that?! Everyone will realize that we
are considering Canada. You know people... They already suspect that he is moonlighting for
the Canadian consulate. Use your head! What do you think will happen if the management at
work suddenly discovers that I have taken an interest in Canada? If a round of lay offs rolls
around, I am their first candidate!
-Hmm, aren't you funny? You just laughed at Mikhalovski, called him a "conspirator", but
look at yourself! You're even afraid to ask.
It all started from this conversation. There was no end to the abuse Misha inflicted on
himself in the aftermath. But Klava pressed him in earnest. All of his arguments about the
difficulties of immigration, finding at least some kind of work, the problems of learning
English, and the stress on the children, -all broke on the dead wall of Klava's silence.
-I'm 39 years old, and when we arrive to Canada, I will be over forty. Two immigrations in a
single life ... I already have high blood pressure and I am overweight ...,- Lander hoped to
-So slim down! Your blood pressure will drop with your weight, - Klava answered curtly.
Lander was a typical Moldavian Jew, who have received an education in the province and
accidental y found a job in Saint-Petersburg. In his youth, he was lean and strong, loved
sport, but with age became lazy and fat. Springs of curly hair, once stubbornly sticking out in
different directions, at the age of forty partially turned gray, and fell out. The main features of
his character were sociability and simplicity. However, despite al his good humor and
openness, he was a big skeptic. In addition to his skepticism -which he vaguely called
analytical thinking- Misha was also a very indecisive person. After university, when he got to
Saint-Petersburg, he was quickly promoted, for being a cheerful guy but more importantly, for
being a person without pretensions.
He married at once, without even having time to understand what actually happened. On
one of his visits back to his provincial home town, while at his mother's shop -she was the
best dressmaker in the city- he met a client's daughter, who as you might have guessed, was
Klava. While the client was being fitted for the dress, Misha was asked to take care of the
guest who was ten years younger and had just graduated from medical college. He chatted
with her for about twenty minutes, hoping that the fitting would end soon so that he could
leave to hang out with his buddies. But his father had different intentions. He led him into the
kitchen and asked him directly:
-Well, what do you think about Klava?
-She's a good girl, - Misha's blurted out without thinking.
-Good girl?! Hmm ... No, son, you do not understand ... She is a beautiful girl! Clever and
nice! From a very good family ... Misha, ask her to go out with you tonight. Make your father
The fact that he already had a girlfriend in Saint Petersburg, and didn't know Klava, was not
taken into consideration. So, at the age of 30, fol owing his visit to his parents, Lander the
bachelor returned to Saint Petersburg as a married man. A month later Klava came and they
were given a room in the plant dormitory. Then the children were born, they got an apartment
and almost became Saint Petersburgians. After that a new era started in the former Soviet
Union. The iron curtain was lifted and thousands Jews decided to leave for Israel. A lot of his
relatives, friends and colleagues left and the air was filled with talk of freight, visas, and how
to transport valuables to the "historical" homeland. Yielding to the general panic, peer
pressure, and some kind of mass hysteria or fear of being the last remaining Jews in the
Soviet Union, they also decided to try their luck. From the beginning, like everyone else, it
was too hard. Oppressive feelings of uncertainty and lack of money, but as it happens with al
immigrants, eventual y they slowly settle down and life became easy and calm. Ah, how all
was well and stable before this stupid talk about Mikhalovski! But the genie was already out
of the lamp, and it was impossible to put it back in. You can not plug it with a cork and throw
into the raging sea with a warning note... The wheels of time had already begun their slow
motion, their motion barely noticeable; they were confidently accelerating at an irreversible
Lander honestly tried to fight, but after a week surrendered, cowardly saying to himself: no
one is going nowhere, I will just talk to Palchik. But something vague and heavy had already
begun to rise within him. The stability of his life was threatened by upcoming changes that
were making their way insistently into his quiet existence. And he realized it himself: the
never-ending war, the persistent heat which caused sweat to pour forth from his pores,
coating him in sticky layers, and the annoying noise of Be'er-Sheva's (capital of Negev)
streets. All this dirt and dust around, and the smell of Bedouin sweat and bonfires mixing,
and the obnoxious arrogance of the natives which he could never get used to. But it is
probably better in Canada. The quality of life is better, not to mention the snow, and the
green forests... And it would be better for the children. Otherwise they will grow up like al the
other Israelis -unable to tel the difference between being an adult and a child, forever
chewing falafel in pita bread and oblivious looks on their smug faces. Free nation! Ha! They
will be delighted to scratch their privates in public, they won't greet you, they won't take off
their shoes when they come into the house, and will generously provide their unasked for
advice. They are already starting to make fun of his accent, especially the youngest one who
was born here. And then there's this military issue...
The next day, in the morning, Lander trying not to betray his emotion went into the structural
department to Arkadi Palchik, carrying as a blind some drawing and furtively looking from
side to side. He was very nervous, but hardly tried not to show it. He afraid that if he will
come to Arkadi, the entire floor had stopped working and will looked at him. But return was
-Arkadi, I heard what you have in Canada a lot of friends. May I ask you a few questions? -
potential immigrant tried to make an indifferent face and to hide the excitement, scratched his
-In what you exactly interested in? - Arkadi Palchik turn away from the computer and looked
at the Lander through the frame of the Italian fashion glasses.
-Wel ... However ... Just interested. You understand, ventilate the subject it's cost me no
money... Well, like, who knows what can happen... Well, you know what I mean ... Hm-m...
-Okay, come out in five minutes on the fire escape stairs on our floor, there's we can talk
-And what a problem to talk here? - Misha looked with interest, once again looking around
at the split with no high walls "cubes" of their design office.
-Hmm, - Palchik expressive squinted in the direction and touched himself on graying hair at
his ear. Directors of the spy movies would die of envy, if they would see this gesture on the
-Aaa ... I understand, - Lander respectfully nodded, getting up from his chair, - check that
there was no "tail"? - He tried to joke.
But Arkadi, ostentatiously turned away, continuing to work.
Palchik was standing in the stairwell with not burned cigarette in his hand and gazed
thoughtfully out the window. In the bright light of the Israeli sun his thin figure in tight jeans,
white shirt with short sleeves and Adidas shoes, looked very intelligently. Gray hair, so
unusual for his age, candid look, behind the glasses, the soft tone of voice, polite
interjections of his speech - all of that immediately disposed to frankness.
-Sorry, I'm late for a couple of minutes, - Lander was breathing heavily, as a result of hiking
from one floor to another, - my boss detained me...
Palchik did not react and did not even turn his head in his direction.
-You know, Misha, yesterday I was talking to Canada, - Arcadi continued to gaze
thoughtfully out the window, turning not burned cigarette in hand, - it is +23 C in there. Do
you even know what that means? Or we will breathe this desert dust all our life and get used
to +40 C in the shade?
-Yes, +23 C is a dream, - Lander wiped sweat from his brow and scratched his impressive
belly. He looked at the same point where staring Palchik, but again saw the same Negev
desert, mountains, mud and stones. Wind is raised, then lowered the pieces of old
newspapers and tattered plastic bags. Disgusting dust swirled a passing car in the distance,
rising up and torn by strong gusts of Negev's wind. Israeli sun was shining bright, with the
blue sky, without a single cloud. The sky was not just a blue, but it was bright blue. Clouds in
the Negev desert, appeared in late November, and disappeared in early March. And not a
single cloud nine months! Not like in his homeland, not to mention the Leningrad, where he
had spent so many happy years. And this blue, like the image, sky, as a decoration of the
cartoon and this scorching Be'er-Sheva sun ... All of this drove him insane. Wel , he
understand, there is no rain, war, dust, foreign language ..., but the clouds ... Clouds ... Why
it was no clouds? He dreamed about them all nine months, until winter comes ... As a child,
he lie down in the grass and watched at these floating in the sky white-gray waves or
mountain, behind which hid bizarre animals and other fantastic characters.
-Yes, +23 C it just fantastic, - with envy repeated Lander, again wiping the sweat from
forehead, and looked at Palchik, waiting to continue.
-The people there are walking in the green parks around flowing streams and singing birds,
green trees and green grass, as we have in Moscow. There on the streets is clean, because
people have a culture! They do not throw garbage on the ground, but for some reason use
the garbage bins. Hmm. Hmm, yes, - Arkadi continued to look at the same point beyond the
window, - these people celebrate a New Year, but not Hanukkah. By the way, in winter it
snows, if you still remember what it is. And when you have a lot of snow and tree branches
become heavy, they sink so low that you can touch their by hands ... Are we and our children
will look at this desert al my life?
-Arkadi, why are you keeping cigarette? If I not mistaken, you do not smoke, - Lander finally
waked up, and interrupted the flight of Palchik thought.
-Wel , you never know, suddenly, someone will walk up the stairs, and I am here alone...
And with cigarette it will looks like I came out for smoke.
-Kind of constipation?
-Caution - mother of luck! - Arkadi suddenly openly smiled, as a child, but then he pulled
himself back and went seriously, - there is stunning nature. Just wow! Lakes, berries,
mushrooms, ducks, squirrels, geese, deer ... And it's not somewhere in the woods, it is in a
park near the house! The forest, by the way, is almost the same as we had near Moscow ...
-And how there about the job? - Lander timidly tried to turn the conversation from the
emotional surface to the specific tracks.
-Job? What job? - Palchik reluctantly turned away from the window and looked with an
annoyance at his companion. Making a particular effort, he bitterly returned from snowing
Moscow to the solar capital of the Negev.
-What so complicated? Job! Where people working. I mean earning the money.
-A-a-a. H-m-m... You talking about this... Misha, you must remember not where you're
going, but from where! It's like a difference between strategy and tactic. Understand?
-No. I mean, yes. Wel , here, for example, your friends in Canada, they are settled?
-Ha! What are you talking about!? They even had a choice where to go. Not like here ... in
this shit! If you're found the job here, in this chaos, then find the job in Canada - not a
-Yeah, but..., yes ... But you do understand that without the work isn't fun ... And al these
parks in the snow or squirrels with the ducks do not make you happy until there you have
nothing to devour.
-Wel , so live here quietly, as you lived before, - condescendingly, as a father, smiled
Palchik, - I have many friends who moved from Israel to Canada. Everyone says that after
"an Israeli school of survival", Canada looks as a resort.
-No, I would just like to collect maximum information. At least some guarantees.
-Guarantees? I can give you only one guarantee, - Arkadi philosophical jabbed his
forefinger into the floor, - in 40 years, six feet underground. It is the only one guarantee
-Ha, nice, - Lander with respect smiled, - well, and if anyway you can not find the job as an
engineer? Get welfare?
-What so difficult to understand?! All in fact depends on you! It's a free country there! For
example, some of my friends, who used to live in Israel, now in Vancouver, pay for some
woman 400 bucks a month, just because she picked up their son after school to her home for
three hours, excluding weekends and holidays. According to Canadian law, children under
12 years are not eligible to stay at home alone. If someone snitched and you will be catch -
you in a deep shit! The government takes child away and opens criminal case against you.
And very often you could be deported.
-H-m-m... I think you went too far, - Misha nervously tugged at his neck, - listen to you, so if
I'm on the street try to pass on red, they will sent to the prison for ten years with confiscation.
-I do not know about that, but I tell you what I was told. So, this woman takes 10 children
and it is easy to calculate, even without computer, 10 multiplied by $ 400 - here you go four
thousand a month, with no taxes! Not so bad money for 3 hours. Misha, how much you earn
-Wel , about two and a half thousand dollars...
-Deduct taxes, we are coming to 1500! And it is for 8 hours of engineering work! But she is
getting 4000 just for three hours and without a headache! And note, cars and gasoline in
Canada is twice cheaper, but appliances even in three times!
-Nice... M-m-m ... Why they didn't open the similar business in Israel?
-Wel , at ... This ... N-y... They are both programmers and had enough money.
-So why are they not working as programmers there?
-Wel , at ... She has a little baby. Why should she pay to someone?
-But in Israel she paid...
-You know, in Israel it was awkward to ask her mother in-law... They had some family
frictions. If honestly, I do not really remember. But how it connected to the Canada?
-Wel , OK, I understand. But how is she collecting all ten children after school? Are they all
in the same school?
-I guess yes... I didn't check all details...
-Probably she has a bus?
-No, I guess... Where did you get it?
-How she could be able to drive ten children in one load? Regular car will take five people...
-Wel , maybe she is ... two times ... - hesitantly replied Palchik.
-So, while she will make a second raid, the previous five left unattended?
-What are you clinging to the words? I'm not interested in all procedure! You are always
peddling in smal things! Anyway, meanwhile you are sitting here, you never would know
what going on in the reality. As people say: if you sitting on the bank you never learn to swim.
There is not only a different climate, there you have different people. On the streets, for
example, nobody horns!
-How it could be?
-Very simple! Let say, it seems to you that somebody drives slowly. You horned. Dude
cal ing to police. There will be witnesses to confirm that you horned. Policeman is writes the
report. Dude takes a lawyer, who proves that because tone of your sound signal his client
was frightened, not sleeping at night, urinating under himself, can not work well, and so on.
Shortly, you will pay him until his death. But on the streets you can ride normally. Not like in
-Are you serious?! And all of this happens just because somebody horned?
-Wel , yes. What a problem?
-So I can on purpose drive slowly. And according your version half of Toronto will pay me
-Wel , at ... I just gave you an example. I understand that if you sitting here, it is hard to
believe, but this is what people tel me. And with the employment everything al right there,
especial y for immigrants. Local generally not want to work. In Toronto, for example,
according to statistics, live 3 mil ions people. If you subtract 700 thousands gays and
lesbians, after that 1 million blacks and Indians (on welfare), 600 thousands pensioners, who
already senile and does not understand anything, add 150 thousands registered in mental
houses and drug clinics, which also grasps with difficulties. Plus Toronto has 300 thousands
firefighters and police officers, 50 thousand government workers and members of various
parliaments, which ponder not much more than those in mental houses. Remains exactly
300 thousands people - this is, those immigrants who on their backs pulling this obese
Canada forward. All Russian businesses there are most successful, except those who
already bankrupt, which in reality, turns out, most profitable.
-How come? Something too complicated, - Misha looked at a part-time representative of the
Canadian immigration services.
-Very simple, - Palchik paternal condescendingly smiled, - I'm telling you, there everything
works differently. Not like here! Except of a couple of Russian supermarkets all the others
engaged in insurance, car maintenance and real estate. You bought a house with me, and I'll
insure you. And we'll sell him a condo, and then insure, and for this he will fix our car.
Therefore, in Toronto, these, who lives in expensive houses, usually riding on reliable cars.
Everything is easy and logical.
-Beautiful ... But somehow not quite clear ...
-And do you know how people resting in Canada? Twice a year, traveling to the Caribbean,
eat and drink even without leaving the pool.
-Wow! What about a toilet? - decided to joke potential immigrants, but immediately wipe out
his smile after severe stern look of a consultant.
-If here you can afford to go to a restaurant once a year, and there, for example, you dine in
the restaurant every day. Do not go to a restaurant just or a very lazy or very rich. People no
longer thinking what to eat, all only think how to lose the weight. Fancy diets ...
-Aha. Then I understand why they are going to the restaurants. Anyway, they do not eat. At
home really difficult to control yourself. You know how my wife deliciously cooking. And folk
coming to the restaurant, see the prices and immediately recall that they are on a diet. Ha-
ha. I have nothing to say. Beautiful!
-Wel , Lander, if you know everything, so why are you asking me? I have to work, we
-I'm sorry. Sorry ... I was only joking. Don't take it personal y. Okay, what going on with
housing. I mean not first-class accommodation, just regular houses.
-You mean for investment?
-Wel , I mean buy.
-Aaa ... In Canada now, just the real estate market on the rise. One my acquaintance was
there a realtor ...
-Wel , general y speaking, this is an agent for the sale and purchase of real estate, but in
reality are serious financial issues and coordination involved ...
-Do you mean middleman?
-No. It's not like in Israel! Middleman simply sells apartments. It is in English they cal ed it
broker. Feel the difference? And he is realtor! This is absolutely different level. He helps with
loans and lawyers, and... How you even can compare with middleman, hmm!
-Aha. So what?
-So, this guy started with a simple business. Bought any house not in the best condition,
and employs a team of builders for a week or two. They are painted, touched up, greased
and aired properly. In a couple of weeks it is up for sale again. Minimum profit is 20 thousand
per house. Then him with his wife begun this business together, because he alone was
overloaded to manage al these arrangements: meetings, sales, lowers etc. Roughly they are
buy-sell ten houses per month. They came home tired, not even had time to watch TV. And
al this hard work they did without weekends and holidays. And so almost two years! Shortly,
they developed this business tremendously! And now they practically do not work. They hired
project manager, and today only once a month sign a checks. Recently, they bought under-
construction condo. As wholesalers have a decent discount and now they sell it to retailers.
They just wrote the price list, put the girl with 10 dol ar per hour salary, to show the apartment
and answer customer's questions. The project manager follows up the process and money
goes directly to their account.
-Arkadi, something doesn't work out. If it's so easy, why his project manager can not open
similar business by himself?
-You know, Canadians not used to work hard.
-And how they build so strong and rich country? Maybe I'm wrong, but the mass
immigration to Canada started just 30 years ago.
-Well, at ... Maybe he has no money to start ...
-And your friends, where they got the money? Not so bad...In Toronto buy multi-storey
-I already explained to you. From the beginning they bought a house, and then sold. Got
some profit and again invested in real estate. By the way, they still rent an apartment,
because al the money invested in the business.
-What?! According your recap I understood that they are not just the mil ionaires, but
these... Well, how to say ... O! Wildly rich and can afford to buy at least a temporary house.
-Honestly, me either not quite understood why they didn't buy. Maybe they are builds a villa
with a swimming pool? One thing I can tell you for sure: while we are sitting here and count
other people's money - these people earning them there.
-Yes, that's for sure ... Arkadi, and what you yourself do not immigrate to Canada?
-Yes, you. I think you are sent there so many people that if each of those guys give you only
10 dollars, you may not work until the retirement. And I heard that if in the Canadian
Embassy saying that you from Palchik, they even do not call you at the interview. Is it true? -
Misha smiled and friendly touched Arcadi's shoulder, letting him know that he understands
who's real y cool.
-No, you will get a citizenship right away. Ha-ha-ha. Good joke. Sharp and funny! Yeah ...
Frankly speaking, al my documents are ready for Canada, only the date should be stamped.
Unfortunately my wife does not want to go. Says that in Israel her parents, and then again to
learn the language. But I still continue to work in this direction.
-Where I will take money for immigration? After al , it is not cheap procedure...
-Wel what I can tell, Mr. Lander... You can sell your red "Ferrari" and refuse eating oysters, macerated in French cognac, you probably doing it each evening.
-No, well, I'm serious.
-You are serious? And what do you want? Or maybe you expect that in the one evening
Consul of Canada will knocked to your door, and said: "Dear Mr. Lander, here are all visas
and required documents. Only correctly enter your name and sign it." You are really funny!
Wel , I would understand if you will be a big manager with a personal car or, say, co-owner of
our company. You even have nothing to lose! You are here for ten years. Wake up, Michael,
ten! You even have no car! And what did you see? And what are you earned? If you even
have no money for relocation. How many times are you visited restaurant? I will help you!
You are visiting restaurant once a year when our company going to celebrate New Year.
Okay, I have to go... Wel , if you will have some specific questions, do not be shy, come over.
In the evening, after putting the kids to bed, Lander in detail retell to his wife the
conversation in the stairwell, providing his spicy comments, mixed with sharp jokes. Eating
fresh pita with garlic hummus, which he finally liked, Misha professionally played one-man
show, in turns, putting masks on different characters.
-If shortly, all his stories - nice wraped shit on the stick, - good-naturedly finished his story
potential immigrant, and put in the mouth next piece of pita with great pleasure, - pure kinder
garden, even nothing to discuss. This shmuck Arkadi, wide known immigration specialist,
pensively looking out the window and philosophizing. For example: you must remember not
where you're going, but from where! Or this fraise: Guarantees are only six feet under the
ground! Local Socrates. Diogenes just rest aside. Cicero nervously crying! And in his honest
eyes you can read the responsibility for al Soviet Jews, who suffering in the historical
homeland! And this clown, still have no license as a professional engineer and license to
drive a car. He is working as a draftsman! And al in his stories so beautiful and nice...
Bul shit for children! You know in Canada, dollars are growing on the trees, only stretch your
hand. Ha-ha. And Canadian so lazy and just waiting when a new immigrants will come and
pick up those money for them. Wel , Palchik, Palchik... Well, empty talker. But if you dig a
little bit deeper - all the bullshit. He does not know the details... If you ask the additional
questions no common sense, no logic ... So, the theoretical talk and fantasy. But on the top
of his stories huge motto: You must go! And go now! O-ho-ho. Clown-amateur, - eventually
finished his story Zionist Lander.
-What about Mikhalovski? - asked Klava impatiently, very sluggishly response to his jokes.
-Oh, you are right! Now the story about Leva Mikhaloski. He had just arrived to Canada,
while they waited for the luggage, he went to the washroom. Peeing quietly... And then some
guy standing next to him, and doing the same. And then suddenly he is asking Leva: Excuse
me, do you accidentally not a structutral engineer? I immediately realized with whom I was
dealing with, just saw how you exactly put the jet. I'm looking for guy like you! What do you
think about 100 thousand for start? And Leva...
-Misha, what a rubbish! - the first time in the past two weeks Klava smiled.
-A-ah! Do you not believe me? Wow! And to Arkadi ravings you somehow believe.
-Okay. Did you take Leva's phone number?
-No... Palchik refused... Became so stubborn... All contacts have to go only through him. I'm
seriously asking: Is Leva work? He told me that supposedly offered him two positions. First
place - it is higher salary, but al the Russian-speaking and no prospects. And in another
company, the salary is not a fountain, but you can pick up English and eventually much more
prospects. Honestly, I'm not so believe to Arkady ...
-Ok. I got it, - Klava got up and began clearing away the dishes from the table, - I'm not
really care believe you to him or not believe ... And al Palchik's stories could be for children
or for handicaps, and he may be shmuck, or a clown... I'm absolutely not interested to
analyze it. But you, my dear, you're going on the next weekend in Tel Aviv, taking necessary
immigration forms and begin to fill.
-What forms? Are you insane?! I'm barely know English!
-Fine. We will start from tomorrow. I already bought some books and CDs. So check what a
documents are needed, what kind of medical exams or whatever. And this conversation is
over, - with these words Klava firmly closed the fridge and not even glancing at her husband
went to bed.
And after this conversation all rolled standard route. Fill out the immigration forms was not
so terrible, Lander found some friends who shared real information and gave wise advices.
Somebody gave them the instructions how to pass an interview, advised regarding training
courses in English, showed where translate all necessary documents etc. It was relatively
easy and did not bother to his life. At some point, Palchik, apparently convinced of the
seriousness of Misha's intentions, graciously gave him Leva's E-mail. Lander wrote a great
letter, which asked a lot of specific questions, told about his status and asked as soon as
possible to give detailed answers. The answer came only a week later. Lander eagerly
opened the letter: "Hi Misha. Bravo! I'm happy that you decided to leave. Here everything
fine. Roads in Toronto exactly like in Moscow, broken-down with holes and smoke. Don't
worry, just come here and on the spot you will see. Nature is beautiful. Here, see what a nice
sight I have out of my window. Bye." To the letter was attached a photo of a beautiful view of
the industrial city with looming on the horizon CN Tower, a symbol of Toronto. Speechless
Lander leaned back in his chair. And is it all? On his three-page letter, Mikhailovski sent to
him back three lines of some nonsense, and this stupid image... Maybe he did not
understand? Yes! Of course! He simply did not understand. "New" immigrant copied the
previous letter, and added another half-page, on which he again begged to answer the
previous questions, and at the same time on a couple of new ones. A week passed, then the
second, but the answer did not come. At work, Lander, incidental y, asked Palchik:
-Did you receive some E-mails from Leva last time?
-This morning. He sent me some jokes. Why?
-Nothing, everything is fine. In general, it is not important.
Misha never got any answer. Also Leva's telephone number didn't answer as well. Misha
get offended. Rather, the definition "offended", this is wasn't quite the right word. He was literally insulted and extremely rare, in spite of his peaceful and very good-natured character.
-Wel , yes... Of course, who am I to him? - he bitterly complained to his wife, - he already
settled down, probably bought the house ... He is from Moscow. Aristocrat! From the capital!
Not like us! He probably afraid that these Moldavian Jews would fall down on his head, and
even could ask to sleep over... If I will meet him in Toronto, I even do not shake his hand!
-Why do you boiling?- a conciliatory smile Klava, - you're not check e-mails for weeks.
Recall how you answered to your own relatives. Mikhalovski did not deceive you, do not owe
you anything, did not disappoint...
-Yes! Sure! This is because of him we are started al this immigration process! You just
heard that he left to Canada...
-Oh, I was going to talk with you about this subject, but Leva was an excuse. I stil don't
understand why are you so upset?
-Because! I should learn English, - Lander opened the English course to whichever page
and pretended that absorbed in reading.
The immigration process was accelerated. That's already an interview, a reference from the
police about a criminal past and medical exam became traversed path. Then one evening,
returning home ahead of time, Misha has found a large envelope, which distinctly did stick
out from the mailbox. The envelope was from the Canadian Embassy. What is it? Is it visas?
Perhaps it is an official denial? His heart started beat too often, it became difficult to breathe.
On shaking legs, he barely got on the third floor, with trembling hands opened the front door
and put the envelope on the coffee table in the hal way. Then he wildly felt dizziness,
became dry in the mouth and suddenly started intolerable paint in temples. The dark grey
cloud slowly started to cover his eyes. It was a last thing what he remembered...
When he opened his eyes, he saw a man in a white robe, then Klava and children. His
head still was hurt ...
-Wel , you see, he already better, - the doctor casually glanced at a cardiogram, and took
the stethoscope turned to Klava, - it looks to me that it is not a stroke or heart attack and
seizure has passed, but I very strongly recommend to visit your family doctor for check-up.
As you understand, healthy people do not lose their consciousness. Your husband was lucky
because children were home. Otherwise...
After the doctor left Klava heavy sighed and rubbed Misha on pale cheek.
-Sorry Misha... It was my fault... I pushed you too hard... Maybe we have to leave this
immigration shit behind us? Maybe this is a sign? Let return to normal life without looking an
adventure on our ass. Health is more important.
-Envelope, - with weak voice said Lander.
-Did you open the envelope?
-Misha, are you okay?
-From the Embassy, it lies on the table...
-Hell with this envelope! Tomorrow you will go to the doctor!
-Yes, I'l go, I'l go, - Misha nervously waved his hand, almost completely coming to normal,
- let's open. Let's see what in there.
The envelope was opened. These were the long-awaited visas to Canada. And flywheels
revolved more rapidly, like a crescendo, quickly increasing volume and tempo. They have to
sale their condo, furniture, look for some friends of the friends overseas, to help rent an
apartment in Toronto, book air flight tickets, take a pile of certificates from school and so on.
The sale of apartments Lander explained as a desire to improve their living conditions,
which in general, did not arouse any particular staff suspicions. Subsequent dismissal, he
explained as a sincere desire to move to the center of the country, close to Tel Aviv and
Mediterranean Sea, because doctor recommended more swim activities to the children. On
the easiest question why his children can't swim in the pool, he always did sad face and
hardly sighed: They are allergic to bleach. Of course, his legend had a lot of discrepancies
and inconsistencies, but because all usually listen in a half ear, burdened with their own
concerns and not specifically analyze the information received, then all went quite smoothly.
Even if he will say that he was going to the Moon, his former colleagues probably would react
the same way.
Airplane monotone buzzed, slowly gaining the height, like a bee, which overeat nectar and
lazily flying back to their hive. Lander again checked whether properly fasten the children and
wearily leaned back in his chair.
-Klava, do you know to whom I first call from Canada?
-No. I'll cal to Palchik and ask him to convey greetings to al my col eges from overseas.
-Oh. You like a child. Well, why do you need it?
-Just want to do it. On principle, - with these words he satisfied closed his eyes and almost
immediately fell asleep with a happy smile on his face.
Canada met Lander's family very friendly. It was June. The air temperature was actually
+23 C, it was bright sun and on the sky floated white clouds. Everywhere grew green grass
and some trees were in bloom. Passing through the endless corridors of Pearson airport,
Misha was amazed - quantity of garbage cans and almost sterile clean floors without a single
piece of paper. Walking in the crowd of arrivals, Lander suddenly felt himself not comfortable.
Something was bothering him ... First of al , for such big crowd it was amazingly quiet. In
Israel, in ten times smaller number of people makes a hundred times more noise, and here
just kind of ominous silence. Even all children, including his own, behaved surprisingly calm.
Secondly, all were smiling to each other, robotically repeat: "Excuse me, let me please, etc."
Clashing in a tight spots, al again with a polite smile let to each other right to go first.
Immigration and other formalities susceptibly were done very quickly. Despite their poor
English, all people around relatively good understood them and constantly smiling again!
-Did you see it, Klava, maybe they mixed me with someone else? - Misha winked his wife,
with a good mood, - just like in the movies. Welcome to Canada, sir. Sir, these brochures will
help you for the first time. By the way, maybe I look like a Canadian president? Ah?
-No, they just see that you're came with me, - defiantly replied Klava with difficulty
restraining a smile of happiness on her face, - and in Canada, by the way, no president, just
-Never mind. People too polite...
-Maybe Palchik already called. Remember you told me that who comes from him has a
-Ha. Perfect. It remains that Michalovski will met us at the exit with a flowers and I could
The taxi driver, a Pakistanian, with a turban on his head, gravely smiling, helped load the
luggage into the car and looked at the handed address and nodded understandingly. Some
friends of friends, with whom Misha exchanged letters in advance, helped them to rent an
apartment in the same building where they rented by themselves.
The apartment was located on the 25-th floor, that after Beer-Sheva four-store houses
seemed gigantic. They didn't have enough time to examine the view from the window,
because was dark already, but the burning sea of lights and view at the night city, was spel
and amazing. It al started not so bad. New friends even went with them to the nearest
supermarket and gave some practical advices. During the shopping they also provided some
info regarding English courses, opening a bank account, registering children in school, etc.
Landers first night slept on the floor, but they are were not discouraged. Even it brought a
further element of romance and adventure in their first impression on Canadian soil.
-Wel , why in Beer-Sheva could not build the same size skyscrapers? - a new immigrant
with pleasure took a sip from the colorful bottle of Canadian beer and leaned on a dry wall.
-Maybe because of seismic hazardous or "God forbid" bombing...
-In Tel-Aviv, for some reason such high-rise building, and in Haifa, by the way too ...
-Come on. We have already gone, - Klava tiredly yawned, - listen, it was so long day
today... We did so many...
-And much more stuff to be done! - with these words Misha rose with difficulty from the floor
and took another bottle of beer, went to the balcony to breathe.
It was a warm summer night. Stars in the sky glowed so brightly and promising. City lights
went off into infinity, and somewhere on the horizon, merging with the starry sky. Highways
as rivers of moving lights, ripped up a bizarre quilt of lights, twinkling and shimmering like a
crystals of Swarovski. This rhythm of a huge city, this vibe, this pulse, power and energy,
which Lander could feel all his body, this was al before him! He smugly grinned, patting his
sticking out stomach. Yes, and he is part of this city... He is not just a tourist, who is coming
for a week! He lives here! He felt like a winner, like a one of the twelve Greek Gods, sitting on
Olympus. He was as a Roman commander, with delight look at the not conquered city,
before his fighting legions move there. Boxes of skyscrapers, shining from inside, suddenly
turned into a shining ships, quietly floating through the dark streets. They are friendly wink at
him changing kaleidoscope of light in the windows, like inviting to the ride in the Toronto's
night. Yes, life has just begun! What is forty-one? Is it really age? So, just a number... If he
would lose the weight and... Oh, could he even dream... Even to think about, that him, Misha
Lander, from the God forgotten small Moldavian town will be here, standing in Toronto, on
the 25th floor, with a bottle of beer and enjoy this view. "Everything is still ahead, the life has just begun!" - repeated Lander with a happy smile and winked to the night.
They woke up late, obviously because of the time difference. While the whole family
crowded in the washroom, Misha again went to the balcony to admire the daylight view. In
the rays of sun the city view seemed to be very familiar. Lander saw far away a famous CN
Tower, then his gaze slid down and rested on the old, not well maintained cemetery. He
angrily looked up and looked around. Strange, he remembered this place ... Of course,
there's, far away, red two-story hospital building with ugly looking rectangular flue pipe,
sticking out over the private sector. The circular arena, probably was a rink or fitness club.
Sight was strikingly familiar, only he could not remember the cemetery ... Stop! It is the same
picture, what Michailovski sent him, only without the cemetery! Strange...
Almost all new immigrants believe in omens, well, and Lander was no exception. Balcony
visit in the morning left in his soul some unpleasant aftertaste. First of al , the daily panorama
wasn't so admired, as in the evening. And secondly, who really likes to live near the
cemetery? The signs were not very good. M-mm yeah ... A day has not yet begun. What
other surprises will prepare him live today? The mood yesterday seemed martial, beginning
quietly to dissipate. With gloomy thoughts and misgivings, sighing heavily, Lander went to
wash his face.
Having done quite a lot of stuff, Lander family tired and exhausted visited a nearby
supermarket to buy some food for dinner. The purchasing process took a lot of time, because
they have to stop and examine every package. Everything was unfamiliar, and also in
English. Most of customers around spoke Russian, but sometimes somebody talked Hebrew.
-How do you like it? I thought we came to Canada, and now here we are... Look at this, like
we never left, - Misha was pleasantly surprised.
-I'm so happy, it will be easier to adapt - Klava wearily looked around, searching for sugar,
and suddenly pushed her husband in the shoulder, - look, is it Mikhalovski?
-Oh really, looks like him! - Lander has carefully examined the man, who looked similar to
Mikhalovski. It was certainly not him. Leva was on ten years younger, tal er and always with a
dashing smile on his face, - perhaps a brother? - eventual y assumed Lander.
Man, similar to Mikhalovski, routinely put in the cart next box and slipping on Lander
fleeting anxious glance went ahead.
-Leva. Mikhalovski? - Misha nevertheless decided to take the chance.
-Are you talking to me? - Man stopped and looked with interest at the source of the sound,
tired brown eyes, - Aha, Lander, has already arrived? - Leva casually reached on his former
col eague, as if they had parted only yesterday.
-I expected much more enthusiastic greetings, - Misha grinned, - well, tell me how you are,
something or nothing... We stayed in the high-rise building near the supermarket. On the
-Yes, there is most al the Russian from Israel. I rented there on the 22nd floor as well.
Suffered one year, and now finally settled in the same building, but on the fifth floor.
Apartment 512. So, dear neighbor, come in, not be shy. My wife and I always happy to see
-Okay, I have to run, - Mikhalovski smiled to Klava and quickly drove his carriage forward.
Landers looked at him and discomposedly exchanging glances. Leva had aged and
haggard. He became stoop and more grayer. But most of al Lander was astounded by his
look. Always ironic and good-natured, he almost went out and became colorless. This look
recalled a look of seriously ill man, who daily struggle with his illness. It was not a look of
fatigue; it was a look of the man who lost his hope.
After shopping, pretty tired from the running, the new immigrants, with heavy bags of food,
finally, went into their building. A large sign hanging on the elevator's doors, briefly reported
that the administration regrets, but alas, for technical reasons, etc. They had no choice and
go up on foot. Somewhere on the eighth floor, the children, who since coming behaved
ideally, began moan. On the fifteenth floor the head of the family, with heavy sweat on his
face, proposed a break. All family silently remembered their third floor in Beer-Sheva, afraid
to say about it loudly.
After dinner and short rest, Misha looked anxiously at Klava.
-Do you think that Mikhalovski has depression?
-I don't know, but he doesn't look too happy. Maybe something happened?
-I'll go down, visit him ... At the same time I'l check how they settle down.
To the apartment 512 Lander came fairly quickly, because he stepped down, and didn't
carry the bags. Leva was sincerely delighted and immediately offered to take a walk into the
The weather was just wonderful. Not loudly murmured small streams, nimble squirrel with
confidence crossed the road and springy climbed on the tall trunks, quietly disappearing into
the green crowns. Sometimes there were also rabbits, and once in front of them slowly
passed raccoon. Mikhalovski, no longer playing the fool, told in details his not funny story.
With English unexpectedly not everything so easy, how he planned before. To be more
precise, write, read and speak - it is fluent, but to understand what people told him, alas, a
big problem. And this despite the fact that he was attended on English courses about ten
months. Find the engineering job almost impossible, if you do not have a Canadian work
experience. And without Canadian experience nobody even calls him to an interview. In
general, nothing exciting and what to do next, he has no clue.
- Leva, and I thought that you didn't write to me, because you rated yourself as a first
class... - Lander smiled sarcastical y.
-Now you understand, the mood was like on funeral.
-And I thought you will help me... But now I see that for you help wouldn't hurt. By the way,
Arkadi told me about you funny fables... Told me that you have different job offers...
-Ha-ha-ha. What, are you not familiar with Palchik?
-No, well, I certainly understand ... But... I divided what he told me at ten, but still it turned
out that you've been relatively OK.
-Yes ... What I can tell you. Everything went wrong from the start. And all these
immigrations endless ... I'm tired ... People over forty already come to the finish line of their
career, but we only went out at the start, - Leva sadly looked into the Lander's eyes, thinking
about something else.
-It's clear... Just say me, this photo, which you sent me to Israel, did you cut cemetery off?
-Hmm ... Well, I'm a man that... I do not like to cry or moan. It was stupid, of course. Sorry.
-OK. Forgive you.
-You know, Misha, just honestly, why did you leave Israel? I thought you were OK there.
-Ha! Klava pressed me. She says that is permanent war there, and we have boys ... And so,
in general. I've been read statistics recently... Interesting stuff is coming up. 70% of
Parliament members have a dual citizenship, and their children have been living abroad.
Fresh water is about to end, and quantity of religious population escalated so high, that
almost reached critical mass. Israel doesn't have natural resources. The people not only
want to work, even not want to fight. Everybody now look for a job in high-tech, under the air
conditioner with a cup of coffee. Very foggy prospective looming on the country's horizon.
Wel , and plus there's hot ... The dust flies at Negev... And locals scream so loudly, as
somebody want to kill them. And here nobody nags you, political correction and tolerance.
-Ha, you saying political correction. Sure! It's all just a show for rednecks. And their smiles
glued to the muzzle and tranquility... Last month I went to downtown by subway. Suddenly
the train stopped and the lights went out. Dark, scary... And the train full of people, just like
we have in Moscow. Well, we were motionless for a minute... And you know me, sometimes I
can get crazy. Something happens to me and I can't control it. I suddenly screamed: "Good-
bye my friends, this is the common grave!". My God, it is started! Shouts, screams... And
where their tolerance disappeared? Women screaming, saying: do we have a real man or
not? Anyone could open these "fucking Doors!". Listen, I was completely happy. They are
normal people with real emotions and without political correction. It was really nice to see. M-
m-m. But when the lights came on, everybody again became prim with artificial smiles.
-And how it say in English "common grave"?
-I'll tell you later.
-And why not now?
-Wel , I just told you, I got crazy. Okay, Misha, do not get cyclic. See wider! Just not so trust
to their smiles. I was also confused at first. Here we go, one more example. Hmm ... I would
say classic example. When we only came to Canada, we went through different government
institutions to comply all paperwork. In one place, we took a number as al around, sitting
quietly and waiting when the next available office worker will call us. Finally, the number
"124", turn on the screen above some clerk, and our line number is "125". Naturally, we were in tense, and even stood up. We waited for a one minute, but nobody came. Wel , maybe
these people just took the number, and then something changed and they left. I was so
happy, immediately jumped to the window, hand out my tag and saying: "124" isn't here, and
my number is "125". A clerk suddenly stopped smile and with a tone as in concentration
camp, said to me: "Stand up beyond yellow line!" Yellow line - this is somewhere two meters behind, where you waiting when you will be called. Well, I didn't understand what the point,
perhaps, because of my "perfect" English... I repeat her again, with al additional
explanations, that the number "124" didn't show up, and I have the 125 th... And again, she barked sternly: "Stay behind yellow line, otherwise I'l call to security!" Wel , I get scared. We are in the strange country, less than a week. We spent so much money and efforts come to
Canada, and now because of this clerk the whole family could be real y deported. I returned
back behind the yellow line with depressed mood. Feel myself as piece of shit, in front of my
wife and children. Yeah... After twenty seconds, on the screen, above this clerk, the number
"125" turn on. We all four cautiously approaching and this time my wife handed the tag with number "125". And suddenly, like in Hollywood, this clerk looks at me, as to her closest
relative, shines from inside with honest happiness and says with a smile:" WELCOME! How
can I help you?" And it is just 20 seconds passed ...
-Ha-ha. Beautifully. Now, of course, it is sounds funny, but I can imagine... I'm not envy to
-That's for sure. Hmm ... But I envy to you.
-Envy me? Interesting... Why?
-You at least know why you came here, but I stil didn't understand why I left Moscow and
went to Israel, why then moved here from Israel. Probably I liked get al and immediately, and
finally got nothing and gradual y.
-Hmm. Beautiful y describing. And al these endless terrorist attacks? Just because of this
it's already makes perfect sense.
-Oh, Misha, Misha ... It's al emotions. The theoretical probability of ever die in a terrorist
attack is nothing compared to the daily reality of tomorrow die of hunger.
-Wel , in general, is there no work? Or maybe it is no work like a designer?
-Oh yeah. And Finance Minister position also not available. Wel , to be honest, except from
structural and concrete design, I've no profession. I hope you know that I was designed
Kazansky train station in Moscow?
-You?! - Lander looked at Mikhailovski, trying not to smile, - if I remember correctly, it has
been built in the last century and even was retrofit 15 years before you were born.
-This bullshit for visitors, but a real Muscovites know who designed it. But it is generally not
too important. Just if you have time, come to the House-Museum at the station. There my
picture in the second room.
-Be sure I will. You just buy me a ticket to Moscow.
-Wel , I mean, if by chance you'll be there. Now regarding a job. For the strip club I bit old,
but for the construction site we can try. In Israel I began from the construction site too. Maybe
lets try tomorrow. Perhaps we will find something? At the same time we could improve the
language and earn extra bucks. We just have to come in old T-shirt and jeans with holes,
otherwise they will understand that we are engineers.
-Stop, stop, stop. I only arrived. Give me a week or two to look around.
-Hmm. Mm. Everything repeats. I sad the same stuff when we came year ago. Probably this
guy wasn't lucky, but I will. You even wouldn't feel as one year will passed... It is not like in
Israel. They smile to the face and getting you hot, but with zero result. Once, I came to some
office for an interview. After interview the manager took me to the design department,
showed me my future workspace. After that I met another designers, had quick chat with an
accountant. Then he brought me again to the future workplace and asked: "Mr. Mikhailovski,
is it a big problem if the sun light from the window behind you will be a little reflect from your
computer after lunch?" I answering with wide smile from ear to ear: 'It is no problem at all'.
Maybe it's even better, because I used to sun in Israel. And you understood, all this
conversations in English... I was exhausted! A week after this interview I carried a phone
everywhere, even to the washroom, kept waiting for their call. Ugh!
-Nothing. Just disappeared ... Somebody already suggested to change the name, not to be
so Russian. For example McLovsky, but I didn't like the idea ... Even Mikhailovski it is not my
family name as well...
-What?! How? I do not understand.
-Mikhailovski is the name of my parents ... But this is only between us.
Lander warily looked at Leva with a surprised look, but didn't figure out is he was joking or
-And what your family name?
-It is not important. I'll tell you later.
-Okay, Leva, It's already too late. Let's go home.
Lander returned to his apartment with a heavy heart. The conversation with a former
col eague left an unpleasant aftertaste and soul sediment.
Told briefly about Mikhailovski's life journey from the moment of arrival until today, Misha
anxiously looked at his wife and sadly added:
-He probably has some problems with his head. Sometime he sounds inadequate. What do
you think? Maybe he really depressed?
-Wel , at hmm... I don't know. It is clear that without the work it is not fun. But go off the
-I'll cal him everyday, try to monitor, because I afraid that he may, God forbid, do something
The fol owing morning, Lander woke up early and called Palchik to Israel. Arkadi was
happy, because received from Misha exclusive rights for the coverage of Canadian life of
Lander family in their office. After that Lander graciously gave his home phone, in case if
somebody, suddenly, from former employees would like to contact him. Then he cal ed back
almost to all his close friends and left a message, where he sent his heartfelt greetings from
the white-red Canada and apologized for not being able to devote them to his departure
plans in advance for fear of information leakage. Anticipating like this bomb going blow up
and contentedly rubbing his hands, in good spirits, he went to shave.
Life in Canada began to gradual y build and get into a routine. Started courses in English,
made new friends, the children went to school. Only with job was really tight, or rather not at
al . Almost every evening, Lander and Mikhalovski walked to a nearby park, sharing meager
news and fondly remembering their former design office, which they, being in Israel,
completely didn't appreciate. It is more than a month gone after the Lander's arrival to
Canada, but from Israel since no one called. Misha was struck to the depths of the soul. He
didn't die, he just moved to Canada ... Wel , why anyone is not interested? After months, he
lost his patience and called to his former col eague, Simon, with whom they maintained
friendly relations outside of work. A friend wasn't really surprised, because Arkadi almost
every day was telling to the whole office about his life in Canada. In spite of Lander spoke
with Palchik only twice, during a first week of arrival, a friend knew about his immigrant life a
lot more than Lander himself. It was strange, but his friend more trusted to Arkadi, then to
Misha, sincerely assuming that Lander hiding something. For example, Misha learned with
huge interest, that he already had been working for a long time, but it is really low salary,
comparison with Canadian standards. But according to Israeli salaries it is twice higher. In
addition it turned out that Lander has a fantastic offer, connected to government job with all
fat benefits, about which even uncomfortable to speak loudly. Misha gingerly asked why he
has to hide all this prominent events and lie, but Simon seriously explained that it's because
he afraid put the evil eye. Realizing, that it was useless to argue, Lander quickly wrapped the
conversation and hung up.
With work, despite the brave Arkadi's press release and colleagues legends, was
completely dry. On the sent dozens of resumes a day he never had a single reply, despite of
sometime companies looked for specialists with identical background.
-Maybe I write my resume wrong? - once asked Lander at Mikhalovski.
-You probably simply translated your resume from Israel into English?
-Yes. And what else I can do? Write that I designed train station in Moscow hundred years
-Malicious joke, my friend. You may much better. This is, Misha, a whole science. I've been
even one-week course - how to find the job. You can't write that you're super specialist,
because nobody likes competition, but play a fool it is also not advisable. Here you should to
run on the blade of the knife, especially without local experience.
-Wow. Thanks for advise, just say me - why you still didn't find the job?
-Wel , at, hmm... In general... I'll say you later.
Time passed quickly, but English practically wasn't moved. Rather, when he sat on the
courses and their teacher talked to them, he has a strong feeling that he just wasting his
time, because understood almost everything. But if he visited a regular store and asked
someone simplest question, he even couldn't extract one single word from a brief answer.
Once, during the courses, the teacher began to tell that Aborigines have 27 titles for all
different types of snow and began a detailed list of their differences. The fresh snow, that has
just dropped. Wet or dry snow, with a thawed patch, with the blue tint, sparkling, large or
smal , sticky, blizzards, and so on. This is was a last straw! Lander burst. He started shouting
that why he has to know all these thousands of species of snow, if he doesn't understand
what saying to him a cashier in a supermarket. And that he is not going to write a doctorate
on the derivation of the word "snow". And he has a solid suspicion that the teacher are
teaching them all this bullshit on purpose, so they all learned this fucking English until
retirement and she would have a guaranteed income. And English courses it is government
money, or rather the taxpayer's money, and she obliged to teach new immigrants "real"
English, but her lessons are complete nonsense, and that he has no intend to participate in
this farce! Klava initially tried somehow to calm him down, final y kept silence, shyly lowering
her eyes. Teacher, who hardly understood his English, just embarrassingly smiled and trying
to reduce his anger just quietly repeated - any language hard to learn.
On the way home Klava was ominously silent, that usually doesn't betokened nothing well,
but Lander didn't care. He was waiting for an occasion to discuss all this immigration issue
and openly express what he thinks. About her immigration obsession, about lost peace of
mind, about this idiotic vague language, which is so differ between TV and on the street. To
top of all this, coming home, Landers found that the elevator doesn't work again. Bathed in
sweat and suffocate from the hiking new immigrants went home on foot.
-How taught us Palchik, we will call a lawyer, he will call the house owner to the court and
he will pay us thousands of bucks as a moral compensation, - sarcastically joked Lander
during the next halt.
-No, better let start to sell the houses, - Klava smiled weakly.
-Aha! No my dear. I will sel the houses, and you will begin to pick up children after school.
And to get to the market we will give a discount and will charge not a 400$, but 300 bucks!
Pick up 100 children multiplied by 300 dol ars, totaling in 30 thousand per month.
-And if you will pick up a thousand? Ho-Ho-Ho! And what do you think about five
-Okay, I don't know what Palchik tel ing about you there. But seriously, we have money only
for two months. It is what left on our account, and it's just in case if nothing happens. I don't
know about you, but I begin to look for job. Any job ...
-Klava! And what am I doing?
-I do not know. Wel ... Well, perhaps from the beginning not as an engineer? Two women
from our course invited me go to the bakery. They are looking for a night shift workers.
-What?! Work at night? Are you out of your mind?!
-Two women from our courses dropped this useless English lessons and working there. 10
dollars per hour, plus after the shift brings fresh bread at home.
-Stop! Just stop! That's it. Forget about it. I promise, during the month will be some work.
In the evening, strolling through the park, Lander with a heavy heart, told to Mikhailovski
about his promise of the future employment and looming financial problems. Leva only
ironical y smirked, but said nothing.
-And you, for how many months you have money left? - unable to withstand a prolonged
pause, asked Misha.
-The question is not tactful, but because of your reality perception, I mean not adequate,
and the difficulties of immigration, I'm not offended.
-Listen Leva, let's to construction site? By the way, it was your suggestion.
-Hmm. Already mid of October. It's Indian summer. Don't be confused. This is not Israel. In
two weeks it may be low temperature or wind with rain. You didn't used to the local weather. I
proposed it three months ago. Now it's too late... As a local proverb says: "Lovely weather for
ducks not so good for me", - Mikhalovski proudly looked at his companion, waiting for his
admiration and the youthfully kicked lying rock on a road.
But Misha didn't react, apathy looking into the horizon, deeply immersed in his own
thoughts. The weather was just beautiful. It was no wind and it was surprisingly warm. The
leaves have turned from green to red-orange-yellow and gaily decorated park, delighting the
eyes. Crown of old pines rest on the sky, like a columns in the famous Gaudi's "Sagrada
Familia". Sunset, as usual, was deep red, oddly illuminating the thick clouds and a soft shade
fell on everything around. In the distance, the skyscrapers from glass and nickel, for a short
time turned red and seemed to glow from inside, like a giant rubies from a fairy tale. All this,
almost Martian painting, was completed with wedges of geese flying south, loudly call in the
evening Toronto sky, like an immigrants, who leave their nests to meet inevitably coming
winter. But Lander didn't see it. Actually he saw, but didn't notice. It was necessary to start do
something, because all these conversations with Mikhailovski were endless. In Israel, these
discussions took place during working hours and at the end of the month regular salary came
to his account, but unfortunately he didn't appreciated it! Hmm, yes ... and now all these
philosophical discussions were on his expenses. During the evening walks, they more often
recalled warm Israel and their former place of work. Misha has lost much weight and looked
younger, like ten years ago. On his 25-th floor, he already running up with bunch of bags as
a true athlete, almost breathless and no longer making any breaks.
-OK, let's talk seriously, - Lander nervously looked at his companion, - you finished some
courses how to search for work. Whole week you spent... Wel , maybe you heard something
-About the courses. I had a year ago an acquaintance, Gena. I studied with his wife in the
English courses. He is a simple provincial fellow, in spite of he has an engineering degree. A
week after arrival, one of his friends from Israel helped him with a job as a lathe operator
(turner). So, gathered we together for some party, eat, drink, and like all the immigrants
began to discuss where to go, what courses are better, how to write resume and so on. And
for Gena this topic absolutely not interesting, but he had drunk already and want to talk too.
He suffered, poor man, suffered, but finally made a comment. "All your resumes, courses, etc
- it's a bullshit on the stick! This way you will search for the job until a retirement! Most
important if someone will recommends you, after that will take your hand and bring to the
manager." After he told it, he so proudly looked at us (fools) that I even didn't get offended.
Wel , the folks around, obviously, after such intel ectual revelations slightly staggered. There
was a long pause before I asked: What if I do not have someone who will take my hand?
What I should do? Gena was surprised - How do not have? Very simple, as I said - it is
nobody. Because if I would have somebody, to whom I could call, I will cal him long time
ago. Then Gena's computer began to slip, because handling of two steps operation for his
microprocessor wasn't stipulated. Everybody look at him and he tries to conceive, but, as you
understand, it's a difficult if you didn't think for a yars. Ah ... Wel ... hm... This... Then I don't know. OK, at least honest answer. And it became so sad on the soul... so sad that I didn't
even bother to explain that even his advices such as "hand lead" is also not a perfect. Much better if your uncle give you 20-30 mil ions. But he wouldn't understand my sarcasm... So,
where we are? Aha, if you ask me about the courses, what they taught me there, then I'll say
simply. All what studied there for a week, Gena explained to me in a three words. Protection,
protection and one more time protection!
-Wel , but anyway... This is Canadian courses... Really is nothing real there?
-Oh, Misha... Come on! Arkadi Palchik, with his funny stories, just an academic. Nothing to
compare with these homegrown clowns. For example, they say, that we shouldn't sit idly at
home, that work doesn't knock to your door. Looks like everything correctly, but any child
already knows it. Then start examples. And a teacher, she is a pure Canadian, with PhD
degree in psychology or whatever, with a smart face says: One new immigrant, Chinese, was
electronic engineer, but had a hobby - antennas and general communication. He can't find
the job, in spite of he usually sent 50 resumes in a day. Once he was hanging in a big shop,
which sel ing all sorts of devices to the antenna. Just looked around, because he had no
money to buy those gadgets anyway. And then, good luck!, to the shop came the president
of the Canadian Branch of the Microsoft. He had some problem with the house antenna and
he wanted to check what devices are available. The seller was busy and then he notes that
this unemployed man is looking on a similar device. Well, word after word ... They talked ...
Chinese guy advised what and how to do it, such as easier and cheaper. Then this president
gives him his business card and says: you're so smart and it will be my deep pleasure to take
you ... Wel ... and similar bullshit in the same spirit. And now this Chinese man head of
department... Mm. Ha! This is a government courses, brother... Complete drivel...
-And why it is drivel? The guy just got lucky.
-What?! Lucky?! Are you OK?! Wel , Palchik in Israel with his kinder garden's stories... but
he even not really understood what he says, but you're already here four months! Are you a
complete idiot?! Why Microsoft's president will go out to the store to buy some garbage? First
of all, he has a cable, same as you are, because antennas used by those who get welfare.
Secondly, his wife will call to the service and somebody will come to fix it in an hour. Third,
these people from morning till night or at work, or on the golf, or in Miami, warm their ass!
The better option to make it up that they met on the bus, because president's car broke
down. Well, at this course we had between us one man, really active. He began arguing with
her, saying: what a crap you try to sale. All guys in our group pretty inertly reacted, but then
joined and also started to support him. This Canadian woman feels herself not convenient,
because she is not Gena-turner and understands the fact that whole this story sucked-up
from the finger, or even from another place... She started to make excuses, that it was written
in our standard textbook and I am obliged to bring out this example. At this moment I already
exploded and asked: What if there is will be written that they met on the Moon? You will
teach us this as well?
-Ha-ha. And what is she?
-A-a, as usual. Stands and smiles like a dummy. In Israel, they talk to you straight. You
remember, they friendly look to your eyes and saying that you don't know language and
bought your diploma, and except cleaning and construction work we can't offer to you
something real. And if you do not like it - go back to your Russia! And in Canada you will be
gently pushed to some simple job, but openly nobody says it. Otherwise this is politically
incorrect... M-m-m, yeah. By the way, did you hear as Chinese talk? Do you ever understand
what says a Chinese immigrant? And the Microsoft's President will listen to his poor attempts
to say something in English? If even you, new immigrant, with open minds, can't understand
one word when they talk English, what do you expect from Canadians? Ha! He talked with a
President!! Oh, even not funny! I understand that without work is hard, but you at least
sometimes turn your head on! Otherwise pretty soon you will become same as that Gena-
-Hmm ... Yes, they have a strange accent, ha-ha ... Okay, I understood everything. Sorry,
the last time my head real y doesn't work properly. But perhaps, maybe, let's try something ...
-You say try. To attempt, of course, we can. H-mm... I didn't want to talk about this before,
but once you have already matured, in this case, I have some ideas. Last couple months, I
closely looked Russian newspapers and Canadian press. Particularly I was focused on the
advertisings of the vacant positions. You know, who is the most popular?
-Wel , at ... Prostitutes probably.
-You became much slimmer, but still far away from to be a transsexual, - Michael sourly
smiled, - at this moment in Canada huge demand of nurses and truck drivers. To be a nurse
- very long and expensive study, but to be a truck driver - only pass one special driver's
license exam. I have already learned this issue. Course takes a month and it is not
expensive. After you got this special license you can work with your own truck, or just like
employee. Because we don't have money to buy a truck, we could start like an employees.
Standard rate is half-dol ar per kilometer. Went to America, and loaded the goods and
returned back. In one day you can drive without any problems roughly 1000km, i.e.
500$/day. Meals and sleep - it is your problem. Do you want to stop on special parking for
trucks, where you have a shower, for 20$/day, or you want to sleep in a motel for 70$/day.
Same principle about food. You may spend on food 50$/day, but you can take with you
concentrates and pour boiling water over them, that will cost you 10$/day. The men without a
profession and without even one thought in a head, like the Gena-turner, easy may earn a
hundred thousand a year. Wel , what do you say?
-It is smel s as stories from Arkadi Palchik...
-Wel , sorry. It is what it is. Maybe suddenly, driving on the road, you will pick up hitch-hiking
president of Microsoft, chat with him and he will invite you...
-Ha! It would be not a bad idea...
-Anyway, think about it. I have already paid a deposit. Course starts on Monday.
Courses for truck drivers were held three times a week in the evenings. The teacher spoke
Russian and vast majority of the "students" were people after university and through Israel.
People are enthusiastically discussed with the teacher future earnings and specific character
of the new job. It turned out that in addition to the formal wage it was entirely legal side
money. For example, in Vancouver, alcohol was more expensive than in Toronto, but the red
caviar there was much cheaper. So on the way to Vancouver you grab ten boxes of brandy
(it is no custom), and on the way back you buy a couple of boxes of red caviar. Where to re-
sale caviar as a wholesale and how to buy good, but cheap caviar, the teacher promised to
tell at the end of the course. It turned out that 100 thousand dollars a year, getting most lazy
and lack of initiative drivers. But those who are not lazy to search for new products and new
opportunities where you can earn, always will find new wholesale suppliers and vendors! The
people, who constantly increasing "side profit" traffic, already bought huge houses with
swimming pools and invest money to the stock market. On simple Misha's question: if this is
such a profitable business, then why did the teacher himself do not work as truck driver,
followed a long and fogy response about a jealous wife, a sick mother and another
commitments. All this again smelled as Arkadi's stories of easy money and how simple you
can earn it.
On the sixth day, for some reason, Mikhalovski didn't come. Lander phoned him after
driving school, but the children said that the father is sleeping. Leva didn't appear and in the
next day, and actually completely disappeared, as from Israel. If Misha rang, the children
always responded suspiciously standard phrase: Dad is sleeping.
Mikhalovski himself called after two weeks. After solid apologizing for enforced silence,
Leva has finally admitted that he had found work as a structural engineer, in a small Russian
company. But nothing to brag about, because they pay 30 thousand a year and that he still
not sure, if it was a right decision to leave driving course. Sluggishly wishing to former
col eague all the best, Misha angrily hung up.
Suddenly the phone rang again.
-Yes. What else? - answered Lander without any enthusiasm.
-Hello, my name is Alex, - a voice at the other end was tired, but the businesslike, - you
send us your resume last month. Unfortunately, one of our designers suddenly left us and we
would like to talk to you. Tomorrow at eight will suit for you?
-Yes, - a parched tongue Misha answered after a rather long pause.
Until late night Misha was preparing for the first in his life "Canadian" interview, going over old drawings and recalling old projects. Klava made over his pants, because he lost much
weight, and ironed shirt.
The company was located quite far away, but despite of financial difficulties, it was decided
to take a taxi.
The next morning, five to eight, Misha hesitantly opened the door of some unpretentious
building with a bright sign "AK Equipment for Bakeries". When he just came in, he was
immediately greeted with unfriendly eyes of an elderly woman.
-You are looking for someone? - instead of "hel o" asked him the woman with a strong
-Yes, I have an interview with Alex at eight o'clock.
-At eight?! - Woman genuinely surprised and started to call somewhere, - it just impossible,
because in half an hour he should go ...
-Wel , I do not lying. He phoned me last night and invited for the interview.
-Alex, you have somebody for an interview. Have you forgotten the fact that we were going
to the doctor? - not listening to Misha, the woman said sternly by phone, then looked
displeased at Lander added, - wait there, he will come.
A few minutes later, came Alex. He was really surprised:
-Are you looking for me?
-Yes ... You called me yesterday and told to come at eight.
-Aha, so you Misha Lander?
-But I asked you to arrive at eight ...
-So, now two minutes after eight...
-No, you do not understand. I meant at 8p.m.
-But you didn't say that it is in the evening ...- Misha with difficulties checked his tears. Not
only that he did not sleep al night, but he already spent 50 dollars on a damn taxi.
-Yes ... but I have to go ..., - began Alex, but looked at Lander, who almost died of grief,
heavily sighed and took him to the board room.
The interview was not long, but successful. Lander was adopted with a salary of 35
thousands a year and a probation period of three months. He wasn't sorry for even one
penny, which he spent on truck driving course, because in an interview he felt much more
confident, relying on this backup plan.
Returning home, he told in detail to Klava how he was fighting to death, but didn't mention
that an interview was in Russian. Then he solemnly asked whole family for the next two
weeks: If somebody will cal , you should answer that "Dad is sleeping."
Mikhailovski called a couple of times, but probably realizing that Misha get offended, didn't
cal anymore. Lander was very nervous the first few days, trying as best as he could and
stayed after work, in spite of the company didn't pay overtime. It was very helpful that
company was Russian-speaking and at least the problem of English wasn't pressed on him.
Alex, the owner of the company, was a good guy, who also combined the position of General
Manager, Head of Design Department, the Sales Manager and Commission Manager. A
month later, at the end of the day, Alex came to Misha's desk and briefly dropped:
-I increased your salary on five thousand.
-Thanks... - wonder began Lander, but stopped, because Alex already was entering to the
door of his office.
Misha contentedly leaned on the back of his chair. This meant that the three-month
probation period successfully over after only a month, even with the salary increase!
In the evening, after the "festive" dinner, he went out to the balcony and tiredly looked at the sprawling city before him. Over the past half year, he used to the skyscrapers, which no
longer seemed to be so big, and the cars flow is no longer cal ed admiring associations. He
became another resident of this city, he eventually found his niche as Leva, and like
thousands of another people who coming here for a better life from al over the world. The
mood was elated and Lander decided to go for a walk in the park, as once he did with
Mikhailovski. It's been over a month since he had not talked to Leva, because he was badly
offended. Misha, making an effort, finally decided to call him, but Mikhailovski unfortunately
Lander walked through the park, enjoying breathing in the frosty air and looking at the
gently fal ing flakes of snow in the cones of lamp-light. Snow-covered trees smartly sparkled,
reflecting the light of street lamps, affably holding his heavy branches, as if they wanted to
shake his hand. The snow was dry and pleasant, crunched under his feet without sticking to
the sole of a shoe. Misha stopped, took a deep breath, closed his eyes and raised his face to
the sky, like a child catching snowflakes by tongue.
-O, Misha? What, are you out of your mind? - A familiar voice returned Lander from distant
childhood back in the park.
-Something like that, - Misha barely recognized semi-familiar man with whom he studied in
the truck driving course, - and where your car? It was promised in a month drive "Jaguar", or at least "Mercedes".
-Ha-ha! Why not Bentley?! Wel said.
-Wel , how it works? Already traveled to Florida or California? Making side money?
-Yeah, just in my dreams. Florida! Aha! Profit, shit. Ha! Deception, equivocation and
-Why so harsh? And by the way, what about a side money?
-Wel , first of all, this is not like it was in Soviet Union and it is so difficult to find some deficit, like a disparity in prices too. Because if it was, then someone already would send the truck
with cheap goods into those places where it expansive and made some money. Red caviar
in Vancouver really cheaper only one month in a year, when there is spawning. And for some
reason, accidentally for this month, shit, you will be sent to the opposite side. Alcoholic
drinks, if you drive to US, according a law, you can carry only a one bottle. You can certainly
try smuggling even five boxes, but if you get caught, then in addition to fine police will open
the file and block the entry to the U.S. And if you work just in Canada, don't expect fat
paycheck. Yes, and then sell it not so easy and how much you could earn on one bottle?
Wel , maximum ten bucks. What a business! And the downtime! Once I arrived in Ohio, but it
was a strike at the plant, oh shit! Three days, like a last fool, lived in the car, because in a
radius of 60km you wouldn't find hotel less than 100 bucks a day. Add for the truck parking
another 20 bucks. When I returned, immediately run to the owner and this slippery nit, saying
me with a spitefully smile: take this plant to the court, but I pay 50 cents per kilometer and
that it! And food at all these roadside eatery road - financial bomb... Minimum 15 bucks for
the very modest lunch. I switched to concentrated soup, shit, you know, that you pour boiling
water. It is cheaper, of course, but I already gained 5 kg for the first month. And what will
happen next? Shit! And breakdowns...
-Hold on. Wel , 100 thousand definitely not real, but at least you can earn 60 thousand a
-Wel if I would work as a dog, six days a week for 10-12 hours, and even without a holiday,
and even if you are lucky, no accident, but will live, like a dog, in the truck, then maybe ...
Sorry ...,- courses acquaintance took his cell-phone from the pocket, - Yes. So what? So?
Nikolai, it is not fair! I only came back four hours ago! Whenever I slept? Nikolai, what are
you talking about? At this time, at night, to Montreal! Did you see how much snow fells! -
truck driver spat with rage and walked away without even saying goodbye.
Lander sighed heavily. He suddenly felt not comfortable in front of the Michalovski, who
obviously thinks that he work hard. Everything suddenly seemed to him small and silly. Misha
quickly wiped melted snowflakes from the face and went to call Leva.
After few more months the life slowly began to improve. Klava successful y passed the
nurse exam and went to work. Mikhailovski became a good friend with one of the local
engineers and they are opened their own structural design company.
Once, Saturday morning, called Palchik and solemnly announced that he had received
visas for immigration, but he is coming alone, because his wife wasn't ready yet. Leva and
Misha wanted to help him to rent the apartment, but Arkadi flatly refused, saying that he will
stop at some other friend. Only what he asked for, it is to meet him at the airport.
Were warm days of early May. Trees already dressed green leaves and the grass was
awakened from hibernation. Palchik came with two huge suitcases and leather briefcase.
Lander and Mikhalovski, after a heartfelt embrace, took over his suitcases and went to
-Why did you come alone, Arkadi?
-The eldest daughter in the army, and when she will finish, the youngest has go. Therefore,
a spouse really can't leave them. This is you are, guys, here, enjoy your life, but somebody
has to defend the Motherland! - Palchik looked sternly at his friends. Leva and Misha didn't
feel quite comfortable, but said nothing.
-Wel , give me an address of your friend, - said Mikhailovski after they put things in the
-M-mm ... Of course, I'm sorry ... I just didn't have time to warn you in advance... He cal ed
me yesterday and said that urgently have to leave, so ... Well, you know ... I would stay for a
week in someone of you... while I'm will.... Wel , until I rent some apartment. I'm alone. You
can put me even in the kitchen on the folding bed...
-In my place impossible, - firmly said Leva, - to my daughter came fiance from Israel, and in
addition we have only one washroom.
Arkadi, with an eyes of beaten dog, looked at Lander.
-Wel , I do not know..., - not confidently began to mumble Lander, - I must first ask Klava.
-Oh, I am coming on few days only, well, let say, maximum of a week, - began to whine
Palchik, feeling weakness, - Misha, you just throw me a mattress at the kitchen and that it!
I'm only for a night time. I actually, well, this... slept and went. And for a daytime I'll go. I have so much stuff to do... So many places to register, then have to look after the apartment ...
You even not will see me. Well, it happened... Sorry! Wel , and now, I'l sleep on the street?
-Okay ... But only for a week, because I live not in palace, - Lander sourly smiled. From
inside he was upset and wanted to say: Go you, Arkadi, to ... hotel!
On the road from the airport Palchik told the latest gossips about former col eagues,
mentioned the economic downturn and also touched situation with safety of Israel.
Mikhalovski helped bring the suitcases to the elevator and referring to a very important
meeting, left their former colleagues.
Palchik got worm welcome and was invited to dinner. Unsuspecting Klava smiles and puts
to starved Arkadi different food.
-Misha told me that you will stay in your friend house. When he is coming to pick you up? -
without any bed intentions asked Klava.
-Wel , in a month. It is something happened there, - Palchik smiled apologetical y and
looked at Lander.
-Klava, Arkady will stay with us for a week, until he will rent apartment.
-What it means ... So, but he has a friend ...
-The friend just unpredictable slip and ...
-Wait, wait ... I probably do not understand something. Such things usually planned in
advance, and no one falls down to the little known people like a snow to the head!
-Excuse me ... I'm sure you understand ... I'm really sorry... But I have absolutely nowhere
-And this is your friend, is he psycho? At the last second, two hours before take-off, to cal
and notify.... By the way, if he can't, he probably has a wife, an apartment, where he lives,
hopefully stil there. He could leave you a key...
-Klava, enough! - Misha firmly stood, - Arcadi in the next few days will rent an apartment
and leave. That it!
-Of course. Tomorrow I will start looking for... Well, it happened at the last moment...
Klava stood up and said nothing, went out of the kitchen. There was an unpleasant pause.
-Maybe I will send E-mail to my parents? Because you know, they probably nervous, -
Palchik looked inquiringly at standing in the corner computer.
-Sure, just quickly, because my old son will return soon. He has a homework.
It was already the middle of the night. Lander three times repeat to Klava Palchik's story,
trying to remain calm.
-And why Mikhailovski didn't invite him?
-Wel , his daughter's groom came from Israel. Klava, he'll find in few days for some shelter
and leave ...
-And why he couldn't go to hotel?
-Wel , he probably wants to save some money.
-And his friend, who set him up...
-Oh, Lord! There is no friend there. And never been...
-What is this mean never been?
-Very simple! Did you really not understand?! He just lied to everybody, same way as he
lied about Canada, as well as about his wife, that she staying in Israel, because his
daughters remained. Leva and me immediately understood it. Just ... Just I thought
because... because he came alone ... Wel , I just thought that it is not human ... Maybe I'm
wrong. Most likely...But it is no tragedy. Wel , he will live with us for a week. We will not die.
And Palchik remained. The first few days he told in detail what apartments he looked, and
why they did not suit him. Either it was damp or expensive, or very small. By the end of the
first week, he solemnly declared that already agreed on renting and made a deposit, only the
owner can vacate the apartment only in four days, i.e. Thursday. Without much enthusiasm
Lander agreed. Misha even phoned to Mikhailovsky and asked for a help. On Thursday
night, arrived Leva, but Palchik's stuff were stil scattered around the apartment. Arkadi with a
sorrowfully face reported that he had been deceived. Landlord returned him deposit and had
already let in another tenant. At the request of Mikhalovski and Lander give them a phone of
that person to try to find out what real y happened, because in Canada nobody doing like
that, Palchik said only that he was so upset that threw the phone in the garbage, when he got
back the deposit.
Leva looked at compressed, as a spring, Klava and firmly took Palchik elbow.
-Dear Arkadi, can I talk to you for a moment? - shortly said Michalivski, and took a
freeloader- beginner in the corridor.
Five minutes later, red and dejected Palchik returned to the apartment and began to pack
his stuff. Leva took one of the suitcases, which fortunately has not been unpacked and
saying goodbye to Lander went into the corridor. With face of the man, which has to go to the
execution Palchik finished to collect his stuff.
-Okay, thank you for everything. Everything was wonderful, especially sprats, - nervously
mumbled Arkadi, passing by discouraged hosts, trying do not look in their direction.
When the door after uninvited guest final y closed, Misha guiltily looked at the Klava and a
heavy sighed went to supper.
It took another three years. Life of Lander family became completely normal. They bought
the big light house in the suburbs and have received citizenship. They bought two cars, a
huge plasma TV and even organized a smal gym in the basement. Klava became a head
nurse, and Misha's company over the past years is grown and the owner, which already
wasn't able to lead the design department, promoted Lander to Engineering Manager.
Together with financial stability to Lander came peace of mind. Misha again gain the weight
and became lazy. His favorite pastime was sitting on the porch, overlooking the backyard,
slowly sipping cold English ale, and with emotion look at the surrounding nature, especial y in
the floating clouds in the sky. Life in Israel, so recently interested him, moved to second
place. Only in the cold winter months, he recalled with pleasure Be'er-Sheva's heat and did
not understand why the dust and garbage so irritated him once.
In one of these Saturday nights called one of his former Israeli col eagues with whom they
had friendly relations.
-Hello Misha, - voice in the tube was wary and watchful, - this is Simon... Wel , I hope you
-Oh, Simon. My pleasure! Glad to hear that you, too, final y decided go to Canada, - good-
naturedly replied Lander, making another sip.
-How do you know? Who has snitched you?
-Nobody. I thought we were friends, and you're, over the years, even didn't send me e-mail,
and didn't ring. And then, suddenly, so great honor... Ha-ha. So, do not worry, just ask.
-M-mm ... Eh... Sorry, somehow ...
-I'll help you. Probably you didn't have time? And only now, final y, found! Okay, we are not
at a diplomatic reception, do not pull the rubber. What do you want?
-Wel how do you do in Canada?
-Why are you asking me? Cal to Palchik. You trust him more...
-Sorry... You know... Arkadi shmuck... I'm seriously. Do you like in Canada?
-Sure I'm. Super! I sit on the deck of my own home, drink English ale, as a Lord! Ha-ha.
Nature is just beautiful, and I would say fantastic. All green. Out there, on my backyard,
squirrels running around. On weekends usually go nearby lake. Swim, gather berries-
mushrooms, at evening barbecues...
-In general, you're not sorry that you left?
-From where? I immigrated so many times.
-Um ... Wel , from Israel.
-Oh, I thought you mean from St.Peterburg. Oh well, at ... I always remembered not where I
go, but from where.
-Aha ... Wel , yes. And...
-Aha. Here is what is very important, in case you really decided to immigrate! Roads in
Toronto exactly like in Moscow, broken-down with holes and smoke.
-So, how it helps me, I'm from Kiev.
-Then I can't help you. What are the roads conditions in Kiev, I do not know.
-OK, hell with these roads. What about the work?
-In what sense?
-Wel it is enough jobs around? If I would come, I will find something? How people there? Is
it high unemployment? All work?
-Sure, I come every morning at work, look at my department - all work. Go out, into the
workshop - there also all working. I went to the store - there saleswoman and cashiers also
like all ...
-Hmm...I realized and understood. Good joke. Funny... Well, I like ... But you understand...
You know, until I arrive, the situation may change. Well, perhaps any guarantees to find job?
- Guarantees? I can give you only one guarantee. In 40 years, two meters underground.
And no one else can't guarantee to you more. Ha! Relax. Come here, look around, will be
OK. The country is so large, a lot of opportunities, all eventual y find their niche.
Misha hung up the phone and making another sip of ale, reached for dry roach.
-Are not you ashamed?! - Klava looked disapprovingly at her husband, - well, why do you
fool around? Recal yourself four years ago!
-And what am I? What am I?! He is asking me about the guaranty; you think I do not
understand what he is waiting for. He expects that I will say: Dear Simon, only come here!
I'm not just will find you a job, but you can stay in my house for couple of months...
-At least you would explain normally...
-Did I deceived him? Here you go - squirrels running around, geese flew away ... Or are we
not going on the lake? So, to whom I lied?!
-Oh you! You remember like in Israel ridiculed the psychology of the previous immigrants.
Remember how you indignant when they told you: We guzzled shit - and you also eat! Now
what? You became the same? - Klava sighed and returned to the house.
Lander finished his beer and tried again to focus on nature, but benevolent mood was
irretrievably spoiled. Not because he felt ashamed, but the conversation really went out very
stupid. Of course, to Palchik stories he had not fallen yet, but ... Unpleasant aftertaste of
conversation led him out of mental balance. Trying somehow to calm down, he drank three
additional bottles of ale and ate the whole dry fish. At the semi-bent legs, slightly swaying, he
went into the bedroom and barely unclothed went to bed.
On Sunday, he woke up late. A little headache pushed him from inside. Rummaging in a
phone notebook, Misha dialed an Israeli number.
-Simon, it's me. Sorry, you just caught me yesterday not in the right time... Shoot your