Good life doesn’t come easy in the US

New York, October 18:

The United States may have turned out to be the land of milk and honey for hundreds of Nepalis, but there are thousands, who, after spending years here, are still struggling to lead decent lives.

Only through consistent hard work, accompanied by a bit of luck and a lot of patience have the Nepalis been able to lead lives of pleasure and plenty here.

“Accompanied by my wife, a DV lottery winner, I arrived here four years ago. Sad to say, I owe $10,000 to my house-owner and others,” says Ramesh Phuyal (name changed), who lives in Baltimore with his family.

He wished to migrate to the US, thinking he would live a rather comfortable life here, but things were not as easy as he had thought. He has been working in a gas station. His wage per hour stands at $8.5. He works for about 14 hours a day.

Managing expenses became an uphill task for Rameshwor as his wife delivered a baby last year and thus could not work. He has yet to repay the loan he had taken for travelling all the way to the US from Kathmandu. The loan only added up after he bought a car, a must for those living in US cities.

“I forget all my pains when I look at my baby. I have backache, probably due to the nature of my work,” says Phuyal, hoping that things will get better.

Back home in Nepal, his parents are happy that their son sent money for their daughter’s marriage. Meeting family expenses is no problem as his wife now works three days a week. “It is difficult to survive in the US, forget about saving when you have a baby,” adds Kiran (name changed), his wife.

On the other side of the divide are those Nepalis who have been living comfortably in various US cities. Somesh Aryal (name changed), who arrived in Washington DC a decade ago, is one such example. After graduating from a US university, he got the job in the World Bank headquarters.

Those who work hard patiently do have a future in the US. Recalling his difficult days, he says: “I was lucky that I had an American sister, who helped me in many ways in the beginning. Aryal also helped his brother migrate here.”

Somesh’s brother now lives with his parents in Minnesota. He has his own house and a job in a research company. “I am happy that I am settled here. I brought my parents here recently. I want them to lead a comfortable life here,” says Somesh’s brother.

Hundreds of Nepalis work in Indian restaurants as waiters, in gas stations, in stores and as cabbies in Quinns, Washington, Baltimore, North Carolina, Colorado, Texas and California. Those working in restaurants are considered lucky because they get hefty tips.

“People staying here illegally work in Indian restaurants, which do not seek any official documents. I earn $700 a week, which is a good sum,” says a Nepali working in a Nepali restaurant in Queens.