Immigrant in Fubaria

A few weeks ago, I moved to Fubaria. Which, as you all know, is a small country off the coast of Madagascar, known for its high educational standards, high tech culture and generous social security. The Fubarinese are rightly proud of their culture, language and society, which is why I decided this was the best place to be.

I began my job search the day after arrival, and by some miracle happened to find one ideally suited to my particular skills: running simulations of hamster populations. The Fubarinese just started hamster farming with high hopes for the export market, and few know how to use the standard simulation software. Here’s how my interview went:

“Hello, I’ve heard you are in dire need of a hamster population simulation operator. I have a degree in exactly this and am available right away!”

“Excellent! Where is your degree from?”

“The University of Bingen, Germany, world-renowned for hamster simulation research.”

“Oh. Maybe you can apply for university here in Fubaria.”

“What? Why?”

“To get a Fubarinese degree. Your degree means nothing here. But you can start as a trainee with our company, for no pay.”

“Uh, ok. Is that really necessary? I have excellent references. I studied under Professor Schnug, the great international hamster expert!”

“We Fubarinese know that all foreign educational institutions are vastly inferior to our own. Have you seen our PISA scores? You can maybe be a trainee, at the very most. Do you speak Fubari?”

“I just signed up for my first Fubari course!”

“Unfortunately we can’t offer you the trainee job then. You have to be fluent in Fubari.”

“Don’t most Fubarinese speak English?”

“Our company language is Fubari.”

“But your company mostly exports hamsters outside Fubaria?”

“Of course. Our leaders expect exports to save our national economy.”

“Is Fubari spoken anywhere else?”


“How many people speak Fubari?”

“Five million.”

“That’s the less than the population of the city I just moved from. Have you considered having English as a second language?”

“That’s not necessary. We already have a second language.”

“What’s that?”

“Swablish. Everyone has to also speak Swablish. You could learn Swablish instead, if you like. Although we really prefer Fubari.”

“How many people speak that?”

“About twice as many as Fubari.”

“Where is it spoken?”

“Fubaria and Swablia. The Swablians always steal our business too, damn them!”

“Do they speak other languages in Swablia?”

“Mostly Swablian and English.”

“Maybe I could find a job translating from English to German for your company then? For German exports?”

“Do you have a translation degree from a Fubarinese institution?”


“I’m telling you, you must first get a real education at a Fubari institution and also learn Fubari. It’ll take a few years. We’ll keep your resume on file till then. But I have to be honest, the company isn’t doing too well — exports are flagging and the Swablians keep stealing our customers, so we may have to fire people. Can’t do much about it, sadly.”

“I heard there’s an indigenous population, with their own language?”

“The Siim. We don’t bother much with them.”

“Do you have to speak Siim to get a job?”

“Haha! No no, that would be ridiculous. So few people speak it, what would that be good for?”

“Ok. Thank you for your time.”

“I suggest you hurry with your job search. The mood in Fubari is such now that people will think you’re a lazy moocher if you don’t get a job, and you don’t want to be one of those people.”

I hear Swablia, a medium-sized country just beside Fubaria, is known for its high educational standards, high tech culture, and generous social security…