Obinze tries to avoid reading British newspapers because there are constant articles about needing to crack down on immigration. He keeps trying to find someone to arrange a green card marriage, and even loses money to scams. He sits on the train and notices the woman across from him reading a fear mongering article about asylum seekers. He wonders if the authors of these articles realize that the immigrants come from the countries that Britain created. The woman closes the paper and looks at Obinze. Obinze wonders if she is thinking he is one of the illegal immigrants the paper warned about. Later, as he rides to Essex, which has more immigrants, he feels lonely as he compares the life he’d planned to live to its reality.
One morning, Obinze notices the men at the office avoiding his eyes, and panics that he’s been discovered as an illegal immigrant. Instead, they are throwing him a birthday party, or, rather, a birthday party for Vincent, whose birthday it is. The camaraderie makes Obinze feel safe.
That night, Vincent calls Obinze and demands a raise. Obinze ignores him, believing that Vincent would not be willing to risk losing all the money he gets through Obinze. However, the next day, Roy tells him someone called to report him as an illegal immigrant and asks Obinze to bring in his passport the next day.
Years later, when Chief asks Obinze to find a white man to present as his general manager, he offers Nigel the job.
The Angolans extort more money out of Obinze. Obinze is running out of money, so he goes to Emenike. Emenike tells endless stories about besting the white coworkers who underestimate them and flaunts his expensive clothes. He claims that he cannot visit Nigeria because Georgina would not survive a visit. Finally, Emenike gives Obinze the money he needs, but insists Obinze count it. Georgina calls and invites them both to dinner. Emenike warns Obinze not to tell her about the green card marriage. To Obinze’s surprise, Georgina is competent and worldly, not the fragile woman Emenike portrayed her as, and much older than he is. Emenike insists on taking Obinze to a fine dining restaurant.
At Georgina’s insistence, Obinze attends a party at her and Emenike’s house. The party guests discuss Emenike and Georgina’s trip to America. Emenike claims that Americans are friendly but do not try to pronounce foreign names correctly, while the British are suspicious of friendliness but careful with foreign names. Georgina adds that American nationalism is garish. This leads to a discussion on race in America, and how Britain is not as bad. Obinze suggests that this is because the British care more about class, and Emenike gets annoyed at Obinze for stealing his point. Georgina encourages Emenike to tell his story of being snubbed by a cab driver. He tells it with humor, but Obinze remembers that when Emenike told him about the incident, he was furious. A guest comments that it’s important that Britain remains a sanctuary for people fleeing war-torn countries. Obinze realizes that they would not understand someone like him, who immigrated because he believed leaving Nigeria was the key to having more choices.