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East-to-West Migration Remaking Europe
Neulans needs 100 copies. But at 30 cents each, he buys only 10.
He had a cheese sandwich and tea for breakfast. He will have instant mashed potatoes and bread for dinner. Lunch is out of the question.
He walks into a government employment agency with a row of touch-screen computers listing hundreds of jobs, from farm laborer to an opening for a Santa Claus at a local mall. Neulans taps and tries to work out the English, slowly and phonetically. He locates a notice for a warehouse worker's job, which says to call a man named Jason. He picks up the office's free phone and dials.
"Can I talk Jason?" he says. "I call you about job . . . Sorry? CV? I you now to send, yes? Yes? . . . Thank you."
A cheery clerk takes his rsum and faxes it to the number in the ad. She says she's sure he'll get a job.
"Your words in God's ear," he tells her in Russian, quoting an old proverb.
Neulans and Novikov walk to the Station Road Business Park, a collection of new-looking warehouses with forklifts buzzing about. They start knocking on doors. Three Polish men are doing the same thing just ahead of them.
"Sorry, no jobs," says a man in a food warehouse stacked high with drums of olive oil.
"We've nothing at the moment," says a sympathetic woman in a rope factory.
Over and over. It's getting dark.
A Long Day Milking Cows
On Neulans's 11th day in Ireland, a job broker shows up at the Lucan house. Neulans later recounts that the broker says he has a farm laborer's job for him. Nice 8-to-5 deal out in Kinnegad in County West Meath, 40 miles west of Dublin. Neulans packs his bag and gets in the broker's car, and hours later he realizes he's been stung by a darker aspect of Europe's new immigration: an underworld that knows there's good money to be made preying on immigrants.
The middleman demands $500 for finding the job. Neulans is down to his last $8, so he agrees to pay the fee out of his future wages.