Q: Good evening. Age?
A: 15 years old.
Q: Do you have any brothers or sisters?
A: I’ve got an elder brother.
Q: How old is he?
Q: Who do you live with?
A: I live with my mother and my father.
Q: Your father is living with you at the moment, but was also an emigrant, right?
A: Yes, he was.
Q: For how long has he returned home?
A: More or less 3 years.
Q: Where did he emigrate?
A: To France.
Q: For how long?
A: I think more than a year.
Q: Do you know why your father emigrated?
A: At the time I think it was because he was angry with his boss and decided to emigrate to breathe a little and get away from here.
Q: What was his job back then and what is his job at the moment?
A: He works in construction.
Q: Do you remember the time he was an emigrant?
A: Yeah, I remember. It was kind of weird, because I was used to coming home from school and he was coming in shortly after. As my brother was studying, I spent all my time alone with my mother and it was weird to be home just the two of us.
Q: How often did your father come home?
A: Every two weeks, I think.
Q: How did he come home?
A: In a van, with other employees of the same company. It was his boss who made the van available for them to come.
Q: For how long did he stay?
A: Just for the weekend.
Q: Do you think your relationship with your father changed a lot during the time he was living abroad, or not?
A: I think not. I think that year passed very quickly and did not have much effect on me.
Q: How did you communicate back then?
A: We spoke via webcam.
Q: Did you speak every day?
A: Yes, every day.
Q: What did you talk about?
A: We talked about what our day had been like, he would ask me about my day at school, like all the parents usually do. These were short conversations.
Q: When you talked to your father were you alone or with someone else?
A: My mother was always with me.
Q: What about your brother?
A: He was away studying, in Bragança.
Q: What does your brother do?
A: He is still studying. Sports.
Q: While your father was in Spain, did you ever visit him?
A: No, that did not happen. Maybe if he had been there for a while longer we might have gone and paid him a visit, but he chose to return.
Q: Tell me something: do you think there were any advantages in the fact that your father was away?
A: I think so. At that time my mother wanted to buy a car and my father’s emigration to France helped pay for this car.
Q: So, your father also emigrated for economic reasons, right?
A: Of this I am not sure. Maybe they’d put the two things together. I don’t know.
Q: How would you describe your relationship with your father?
A: Our relationship has ups and downs. I’m 15 and I’m getting more and more mature and repetitive and I want everything at the same time. Sometimes, our parents don’t give us what we want and we get upset. But this is normal. But I think we have a good relationship.
Q: Are you closer to your mother or to your father?
A: To my mother.
A: Because she talks to me about more private things and I’m more comfortable with her.
Q: Really? But you are a boy. Shouldn’t boys get along better with their father?
A: That depends. It depends on the father and on the mother. When the mother talks to her children and understands them better, we gain more confidence in our mother.
Q: While your father was away, did she ever talk about emigrating, too?
A: I don’t think so. We just came up with the idea of going there for a vacation. To emigrate there, no.
Q: What about now? Does your father talk about emigrating again?
A: Yes, sometimes he mentions it.
Q: Why? In what situations?
A: Well, he’s having some family problems right now and he says he wants to clear his head, you know? He’s very nervous and takes little things seriously, you know. So he says he wants to go around the world, work somewhere else, for at least another year, to see if when he’s back those problems are already solved.
Q: When he says he wants to go abroad, does he say he wants to go alone or with you?
A: He says he’s going alone. He wants to go abroad again, but not for long.
Q: Your father never looked upon emigration as something forever. It’s a temporary thing, to get back as soon as possible.
A: Yes, yes, he has a lot of love for this country.
Q: And for you?
A: Yes, for us, too.
Q: While he was away, did you have any serious health problems, were you in any delicate situation?
A: I don’t think so. I think everything went well back then.
Q: What about him?
A: He hated the trips, because they took many hours, it was very tiring, and he was afraid that a serious accident would happen to him. Also because he was there alone, he missed us very much, our whole family, socializing. Those were very complicated times for him. He told us that not long ago.
Q: Does your mother work?
A: Yes, she does.
Q: What is her job?
A: She works in a textile company.
Q: What about you, what do you want to be in the future?
A: Honestly, I still don’t know. Right now I’m studying sports. But sports has many variants and I can choose several things. At this moment it is not yet defined.
Q: Have you ever thought about emigrating?
A: Yes, I have. I have thought about that a lot.
A: I want to emigrate to earn as much money as possible and then come here to Portugal to start a family and have money for everything I want.
Q: So, you also want to emigrate alone?
A: Alone or with friends. With family, I don’t know. I want to emigrate to earn money to have a stable life here in Portugal.
Q: Would you be capable of leaving your family, your children here, while emigrating alone?
A: No, because that would make me feel sorry, see them alone, grow up without a father. So I would rather emigrate for a few years, then come back to Portugal, get a job and spend the rest of my life here.
Q: Do you think that if you stayed in Portugal, you wouldn’t be making as much money as abroad?
A: I think not.
Q: If you happened to emigrate, where would you go?
A: Maybe to Switzerland. I don’t think it’s the most welcoming country, but it’s a country where the salary is higher and there are more opportunities to work. I still don’t know. I have to inform myself better about it.
Q: Is this idea you have about emigration related to the fact that your father was also an emigrant?
A: No, it has nothing to do with it. It has to do with the fact that if I stayed here in Portugal I wouldn’t be able to have a stable and comfortable life, you know? I think I have to go out for a few years to be able to have a more relaxed life.
Q: You said you’re a teenager, and you want to have everything too fast. Are there things you would like to have and you can’t have?
A: Right now, I don’t need anything, but I want to find a way to give something back, do you understand?
Q: What do you want to give back?
A: Maybe everything my parents give me now, I can give them later, you know. Maybe I could give them a very big present.
Q: Do you think that what your father did for you was a great sacrifice?
A: Yes. When he starts talking about how he lived there, he feels very sad, and that’s why he chose to come home.
Q: How did he live there?
A: He lived in a house with other men. Sometimes there were 15 men, other times they could be only 5 and not everyone had the same hygiene, you see? The household chores were not very well divided, there was a lack of hygiene and he did not like it at all!
Q: Did he live with other workers of the same company?
A: Yes, he did.
Q: Did he work long hours?
A: About 10 hours a day.
Q: If he emigrates again, will he go to France again or elsewhere?
A: He wants to go to another country. He says he doesn’t like France, he finds it a very strange country.
A: He saw only fields around and he says that French people are strange, too.
Q: When your father talks about emigrating again, does he speak of any specific country?
A: He never told me anything about it. He has relatives in Switzerland and he might be thinking about going there, but he never told me anything.
Q: Does this idea of your father emigrating again frighten you? What do you think about it?
A: I think he could wait a little longer, a couple of years, maybe, so I could go with him. Work with him and then get back together. That was the idea. My mother could also go with us.
Q: Very well. If, for example, you were with your father, do you think it would be easier for both of you?
A: Yes. We would be together, we wouldn’t be so surprised in front of the unknown and it would be easier to adapt.
Q: Do you have any strong desire for your future?
A: Having a family and giving my children a good life.
Q: So you already think…
A: High, I think high.
Q: So you already think about getting married, about having children?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: Look, if you had to ask your father for something right now, what would you ask for?
A: Right now? Maybe a motorcycle. Yes, a motorcycle.
Q: So you want to get the permit and your father to give you a motorcycle.
A: Yes, but he thinks driving a motorbike is very dangerous and he doesn’t want me to take the driving license. I already have a motorbike, but getting the driving license will be more complicated. I have to convince him.
Q: What does your elder brother think about it?
A: He also wanted to get the permit for the motorcycle, but my dad didn’t let him. Now he doesn’t think about it anymore because he already has a car and driving license.
Q: Another thing. Do you have friends whose fathers have also emigrated?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: Close friends?
A: No, not really.
Q: Do you usually talk about it?
A: Sometimes they tell me that they do not have the father with them and that they can’t do anything about it. They have more than us, they have more money, but they don’t have the love and affection of their father.
Q: So you think that having money is important, but being all together is even more important?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: You said you had a good relationship with your father. Is this relationship the one you would like to have, or do you want it to be different?
A: I wish I had another relationship. I wish I could talk to my dad and tell him what’s on my mind, tell him what I want and that he would understand me. Sometimes, I talk to him and he takes it badly and I feel less at ease than with my mother.
Q: You think your father doesn’t understand you, is that it?
A: I think he understands me but reacts as if he didn’t understand to make feel I’m wrong. Do you know what I mean?
Q: Do your personalities collide?
A: Yes, that’s it.
Q: What about your mother? What is her role in the middle of it all?
A: My mother is on the side of who is right. Most of the time she thinks I’m right, maybe because I’m her son and she doesn’t want me to be sad.
Q: Are your parents close to each other?
A: Yes, they are.
Q: Do you want to add something to this conversation? If you could say something to your friends, what would you say?
A: I think it’s important to tell them if they didn’t have a job in Portugal, they shouldn’t stay unemployed for a long time, they should emigrate to earn money and then they can come back to Portugal.
Q: What if you emigrated and knew your wife there? What would you do?
A: She would have to be Portuguese!
Q: Is it out of the question to have a foreign wife?
A: I don’t think about emigrating for good, so it would never happen.
Q: So, you would never choose a foreign woman?
A: I don´t think so.
Q: Thank you for your testimony, I wish all the best for your future and I hope that your wishes come true.
A: Thank you.