The Sixteen-Step Immigrant Survival Manual (Steps 5-8)

8 months ago Ricardo Hylton 0

Steps 5-8

This is a series of sixteen survival steps that all immigrants must know and embrace. They will be released in four articles over four weeks. Welcome to week two.

You can read part one here.



Step Five                                                    English, Oh Glorious English 


Whilst it preceded Elizabethan times, it accelerated throughout her reign. Francis Drake and his comrades navigated the globe and by the end of it all, this system of conquest took hold. Today we call it slavery. I’m sure Mr. Drake, a knight of the realm, called it multiculturalism. Give and take, I guess.

It just so happened that Drake and his robber barons took a lot. A LOT. One thing they did give, out of the beauty of their clean, altruistic, pure white hearts, was the English language. From the West Indies to North America, From India to Australia and back to Africa, English was the ultimate pea of soft power. So it goes without saying that if you want to survive in the UK, you better learn English. And quick!

Learn English quick (but don’t expect the British to learn anything about your culture). Remember now assimilation is one way.

And just because they like your curry masala, your jerked chicken or your chorizo tapas doesn’t mean they like you. Don’t be silly now! You’re in their country now (look at the English speaking, one-language-forevermore British expats in Marbella, Costa Blanca and Poitou-Charentes. They are queen loving, fish and chips chomping patriots you see.

Psychologists often speak of psychopathic manipulation whereby through mental distortion or emotional exploitation one person is used for the benefit of another. The manipulator deliberately creates an imbalance of power, and exploits the victim to serve his or her agenda. That’s what Britain does with English.

But you are an immigrant, there’s nothing you can do about it. Learn to use fallacies, cognitive biases and dissonance in your favor. Actually, forget that. Get down to your local community college and learn English.

Step Six                                                             No God Allowed


You’re religious, you say. Four hundred years since Martin Luther, John Calvin and Zwingli tackled The Great Schism and drove The Reformation forward; you want to enter the UK with this ferment of religiosity burning in your gut. You attended the church, monastery, mosque or cathedral back home you plead. Well, just forget it. No religion is the new religion in Britain. Whisper religious in the UK and you get dumfounded stares that think extremist, bigot or even homophobe. So no quoting of St Francis of Assisi, ok?

The only people who still attend church in the UK are the intensely lonely sods seeking Sunday companionship from likeminded social outcasts. So if you’re a Catholic or Anglican, practice in your basement, with closed blinds and a hard hat. And don’t tell your kids. Shouting about the beneficence of Pope Francis will convince no one.

It’s a post truth world. Or is it just simply a world of lies? I’m looking at you Nigel Farage and Donald Trump. But what is also past is any respect or veneration for authority figures. Don’t believe me? Just ask the aforementioned or any parent of teenagers in Britain, where you will be shocked to know that the little buggers have rights too. Yes, the same rights adults have worked so hard to purchase.

In any case, walking around London or Wiltshire with your religious badge will earn you a one-way ticket to catastrophe, scrutiny and possibly jail again. Stay far from it. Don’t even wear a cross or a hijab you fashionistas out there. If you’re feeling chic or hip, wear a sandal, dark glasses with a Greek toga. Don’t even grow your hair too long, especially if you’re of Negroid extraction. I’m looking at you Rastafari.

Step Seven                                                      Get Married


You’ve arrived in paradise. Great. Now you need to stay in paradise. Meet and marry. Quick! I know, I know. I read the fairy tales too. The wholesome prince sweeping up the damsel in distress; the heroism and the slow, beautiful descent into a deep sleep (sorry, I meant love) followed by the nuptials in a fantastic castle. Well forget that for now. Marriage for you will be in cold damp room in a registry with cold cucumber sausages serenaded with mustard and stale mayonnaise. But get it done. Unless you want to fake being a member in the Church of England (you need Denzel level skills to pull that off) then marriage is the only way to get the Queen to accept you in her country in the long run.


Step Eight                                                       Short, Nasty, Brutish


Disregard number 7 and know that you will want to head home. The collection is bleak, satirical and host to Self’s famously extensive vocabulary. As the New York Times once said, “to be alive and British, it seems, is as unattractive and dull as being dead.” This is true. I have proof. Be prepared to be wishing you could crawl back on that canoe and head home 86.7%* of the time.

*Real formula used to arrive at that figure

Being an immigrant is an utterly miserable existence. You will gather in the barbershop with your fellow travellers and moan and moan and moan. The weather. The food. The lifestyle. The loneliness. Heck, you’ll end up hating the place you ran to for economic or political refuge and hope England loses each and every time they play football and cricket so you can turn on the radio and laugh every time an Englishman or woman calls up Talksport or BBC 606 crying about it. So cathartic, that is.

Believe me, it will take a few years off your already diminished life every time they score a lucky goal or when one of their South African immigrant cricketers win a game for them. The patriotism for your homeland you never knew you had is suddenly everywhere. You’ll be wearing Jamaican flags, pins and jeans. You’ll look ridiculous but you won’t care. Because all you want is to go back home to that ghetto or favela; back to the sunshine; back to the tiny thatch that raised you; back to knowing your neighbors and eating well seasoned food.