Q: How old are you?
A: Haha, what a bad question! I am 49 years old.
Q: How many years have you been away from your country?
A: 15 years.
Q: Do you have kids?
A: Yes, I have one.
Q: How old is him?
A: He is 15.
Q: How was your life before leaving your country? Did you have a job? How was your economical situation? How was your family life?
A: My life in Romania wasn’t bad, but I had no job. My last job was in a candy company where I worked like 12 hours a day and I earned 50€ per month. It was really hard. My husband had a good job, but we couldn’t live just with his salary.
Q: Who dealt more with the kid? Your husband, you or both?
A: Both of us, always.
Q: How was your relationship with your neighbours?
A: We lived with my mother in law and our neighbours were family, so we didn’t have any problem.
Q: Have you ever had a problem with the authorities?
Q: Was it common to see policemen in your area?
A: No, it was a really calm area.
Q: The main question: why did you decided to leave your country?
A: We wanted to become independent, live better, buy a house … and it was impossible. Then, we decided that I had to leave Romania to look for a job for a few months and earn money to buy an apartment.
Q: So, you were the first who left the country, weren’t you?
Q: Did you come directly to Spain?
A: My first option was Italy, but I couldn’t go there for many reasons. I finally went to Cordoba because of a friend.
Q: How long were you there alone?
A: I was alone 1 year. I came in December of 2003, in august of 2004 my family came on holidays because I couldn’t get back to Romania. We decided to move here and in November of 2004 my husband came. Finally, in may of 2005 my child came too.
Q: How did you feel when you were alone/ with your husband/ with your husband and your son?
A: I had a bad time for the family, if my son was sick… I felt bad because I was so far from the family. When my husband came, my son was really really bad in Romania. He stayed with my mother, but he was bad without his parents.
Q: Do you have other relatives who have also had to leave the country?
A: I have two sisters. One of them is still in Romania and the other one came a month before my husband did.
Q: When you arrived in Córdoba, did you already have a job?
A: They told me I didn’t need to speak Spanish, not even cook… What I found when I came was difficult. I made a friend and we couldn’t ask for a bus ticket because we didn’t speak Spanish, so we started crying. Finally, we solved it. We realized that the situation was so different than people had told us. Luckily, we were fast and after 2 weeks we started speaking Spanish and then we got a job.
Q: When you arrived, did you have an idea of how long you were going to be here?
A: Yes, one year. When my husband came, we realized that we had very little money saved. Finally, My husband and I decided to move here definitely.
Q: What do you remember about your first day in Spain?
A: I remember we lived in the house of a friend of my friend. He was spanish so I tried to learn some words with him. I also remember the bus station because it was really beautiful.
Q: Did you live there the first days?
A: Yes, we lived there until we found a room and we moved there.
Q: Was it hard to find a job here?
A: No, the main difficulty was that we didn’t speak Spanish, but I started working after two weeks.
Q: Did you have some experiences when something was worse than you had expected?
A: Yes, we thought we saved some money after a year and we realized we didn’t.
Q: Where do you spend your holidays?
A: Here in Spain.
Q: Have you travelled a lot these years?
A: We have travelled around Spain.
Q: What do you like most about Spain? And least?
A: The people of Spain are the best. I’ll tell you something, the first year I lived here, the first week, I met a Spanish volunteer and she took care to teach me Spanish every Sunday for a year. For me that was very important. There is nothing that I do not like about Spain.
Q: When you were in Spain, did your husband worry for your child?
A: Yes, he and my mother in law. When my husband came, my mother took care of my child.
Q: What did you feel when you were alone? And together?
A: When I was alone it was really bad. We talked a lot, but my child was nervous.
Q: How did he adapt when you brought him here?
A: He had started to learn Spanish from Romania. I brought him in May to go to the “Feria de Mayo”, so he started really well. The only obstacle was the language, everything else was fine.
Q: Are you currently living together?
Q: What does your son think after these years?
A: He wants to have the Spanish nationality.
Q: And your husband?
A: I guess he likes this, but he doesn’t want to have the nationality.
Q: So, he wants to get back?
A: No, we really know we won’t return. My husband has a workshop. We are fine.
Q: Have you thought about changing country?
A: We are talking about it. We know my son isn’t going to stay in Córdoba. He is studying informatics.
Q: Wouldn’t you mind moving to another country?
A: If my son is better in another country, we wouldn’t. But we are fine like this, we like it.
Q: Have you sent or received money from Spain to Romania?
A: Yes, when I was alone and when my husband came We sent money each month.
Q: Have you sent packages from Spain to Romania?
A: Yes, we sent six or seven per year. Oil, chocolate, tuna…
Q: Have you received packages from there?
A: Yes, especially food.
Q: When you need to communicate with someone in Romania, how do you do that?
A: I have an special app to call to Romania. We use Whatsapp and Skype too.
Q: That app is to make voice or video call?
A: Voice call.
Q: Who do you talk with, normally?
A: With my mother, my sister… with family or some friends.
Q: Do you call a lot?
A: We use to call 2-3 times per week.
Q: What do you usually talk about when you call?
A: They told us what is going on there and vice versa.
Q: Are you aware of the situation of Romania?
Q: Do you like to know about the situation there?
A: Yes, we know about it everyday.
Q: How do you see the situation there?
A: I was there after 10 years and I realised it had changed. But there are a lot of things bad.
Q: Has there been any situation in which you had to travel urgently to Romania?
A: Yes, but we didn’t know. My child got sick. But we knew two days after.
Q: Has there been any situation where you miss something to communicate with the people there?
A: Yes, sometimes. For example, now there is a heavy snow and some people have been left incommunicado.
Q: Would you like to talk more often with the people there?
Q: Why don’t you do it?
A: It is difficult to combine schedules.
Q: Has there been a moment when you wanted to talk about something important with the family without your child in front?
A: No. I talk about everything with my son.
Q: Do you think that your family life in Spain is better than what you had in Romania?
A: The truth is that I do not know what to tell you because we have always been very close.
Q: Do you think that your relationship with other people has improved since you are here?
A: No, we lost a lot of friends in Romania. But we have also make friends here.
Q: Most of your friends here are Spanish or foreigners?
A: There is everything. We are an intercultural family.
Q: How have you met your friends here?
A: We have met most of our friends here. I was the president of association in Córdoba. Many people from Romania came to Córdoba and came to see me. This is how I have met most of them.
Q: Do you know if your friends in Romania have evolved more or less than you?
A: I believe that we have evolved more but not from the material point of view, only in the way of thinking.
Q: Do you feel that your friends from Romania treat you differently now?
A: Of course.
Q: How has your evolution been learning Spanish?
A: I learnt very fast.
Q: How much time do you think happened since you started learning Spanish until you realized you were already speaking perfectly?
A: Well I still do not understand something. As I said, I started working as a translator, so I already knew something.
Q: What language do you speak among yourselves?
A: Half Romanian and half Spanish.
Q: Do you have a large community of Romanian people there in Cordoba?
A: Yes, we are many.
Q: Do you do joint activities?
A: Yes, with associations.
Q: Do you as a president of the association still receive situations of needy people who come now?
A: Yes, of course.
Q: Have you stayed much longer in Spain than you thought before coming?
A: Yes, of course. I never thought that I would stay to live in Spain.
Q: Do you think you have still a lot of time here?
A: I believe and I hope yes. But I am also aware that if my son leaves, we will leave.
Q: If you could go back in time, would you do the same?
Q: Do you dream in Spanish?
A: The truth is that I do not know. I think it’s half and half.
Q: Do you think that at some point you will have to return to your country not because you want but by obligation?
A: No, we do not consider that even when we retire.
Q: Okay, thank you very much.
A: Thank you.