Q- Before coming to Spain, did you have a job?
Q- What did you do?
A- I was a sculptor.
Q- Were you doing well economically?
Q- Did you have children back then?
Q- How was the relationship with your neighbors in your country?
A- All right.
Q- And with the town authorities, the police, the mayor …
A- Perfect, very good.
Q- Why did you decide to leave your country?
A- Well, a little bit of everything. The year I got married I got a revelation award for sculpture in Portugal. In Porto I was waiting for some things that were going to be done but nothing happened. We also had a friend who had a salmon factory in Torre Pacheco where my wife could work. We got tired of waiting in Oporto and so we came to Spain. I tried to work in sculpture and my wife tried to find a job after leaving the salmon factory. In Torre Pacheco I made an exhibition of culture, very good, with stone of the Cabezo Gordo. But there came a time when we did not have money because the sculpture does not produce money at the beginning, it takes a little time for people to get to know you. My wife worked in the salmon factory, but they did not pay her. So we started working in restaurants because we were running out of savings. We also thought about going back to Portugal, since we had been better there than here! But then we thought – how can it go worse for us than when we first arrived in Spain? We thought a lot and in the end we decided to stay here.
Q- When you came to Spain, did you think that it would be only temporary?
A- Maybe, yes. We wanted to live an experience and perhaps return afterwards, since we were fine in Portugal. We lived in one of the towns with the most employment in Portugal.
Q- Will you come back?
A- No, now we have a daughter and we’re fine here.
Q- Who came to Spain?
A- I and my wife, when we got married.
Q- Did you know something about Spain?
A- Yes, our town is at the border with Spain and we knew that we were not going to change much, but it was a time when Spain and Portugal were not inside Europe, we had to do several paper work but it was not very hard.
Q- Do you remember your first day in Spain?
A- Yes, we came with some suitcases, some sculptures, stones, machines … very difficult. When we arrived at the station we thought someone would be waiting for us and there was nobody. Step by step, we were asking where the Portuguese were and we became integrated.
Q- Where did you live the first days when you arrived?
A- In Torre Pacheco, in the house of my friends.
Q- Was it hard to find a job?
A- No, because my wife knew that she was going to work in the factory. The work was not difficult but the rest was because we did not have money.
Q- There were some things that were worse than expected?
A- Well yes, some things, but it was normal. Spain helps a lot and there were not many complications.
Q- Where do you spend your holidays?
A- At Christmas with my family in Portugal. Sometimes, my family also come here.
Q- What do you like most about Spain and what less?
A- I believe I like everything. I love Spain. If I had money I would live in Lisbon, but I would come to Murcia a lot. I am very happy, I just wish the Mar Menor was better.
Q- Do you have your parents in Portugal?
A- Yes, my parents, brothers … they come to visit me.
Q- Do you send money to your country?
A- No, they are very good in Portugal.
Q- And packages?
A- No, when I go to Portugal I bring them packages.
Q- How do you prefer to communicate with your family?
A- Today, by Skype, Whatsaap …
Q- Do you have access to the Internet at home and work?
Q- Do you enjoy talking to them often?
Q- Do you have a special card to call?
A- No, we have a good phone offer and we do not need a card.
Q- When did you start using the technology?
A- From the beginning, in the learning centers, to learn a little, because we were a bit worried that all young people were learning so fast.
Q- What programs do you usually use to communicate with the family?
A- Skype, Whatsapp.
Q- Was there any time you needed to contact your family and could not?
A- No. Many years ago when my grandfather died and they gave me the news quite late, but that was a long time ago, when all we had was the phone.
Q- What do you think would happen if you could not communicate with the family?
A- It would be very difficult because before everything was done by letter and you had to wait a long time to receive news. I remember when my father was an emigrant in France we had to wait one month for his letter and he had to wait another month for ours. Now everything is very simple. It has been a total change for the better.
Q- How often do you usually talk to your family?
A- Every day we are in contact.
Q- What do you talk about with your family?
A- From day to day.
Q- Are there times when you want to say something to the adults in your family without children in the family finding out?
Q- Is life better now than when you were in Portugal?
A- I have always had a good life. Let’s see. I’ve worked, I’ve got along well with people. Both there and here, I have been very well integrated. It has not changed much. What I do now is also art, as this is gastronomy, but I do it in front of others, while before it was more myself with myself, in my own world. This has changed.
Q- Right now, is it your own restaurant?
Q- Do you continue making sculpture?
A- No, sometimes I do something, but I do not practice sculpture anymore. Painting, for instance, takes a lot of time, but sculpture takes even more time, since you need to draw first and then start sculpting.
Q- Are your parents still living?
Q- Do you communicate with them?
Q- Do your parents come to visit?
A- They have come several times, five or six times.
Q- Do you remember what their parents did the last time they came?
A- Well, my mother didn’t have much to do, as it wasn’t during the bathing season. But actually my father did some balneotherapy here. He came almost stiff and after the treatment he was much better.
Q- Is there anything that interests them in particular in Spain?
A- They love Murcia, the landscape, the weather … they love it.
Q- When did you first return to Portugal?
A- A year after coming to Spain.
Q- And what was the first day like?
A- Well, I visited my friends, I had such a great desire to see everyone, one year is such a long time. Now, it’s not the same. I spend 5 or 10 days in Portugal and then I wish to go back to Murcia, as I am so integrated here.
Q- How do your parents live in Portugal.
A – Very well, my father used to work as an emigrant in Spain and France, but only a little in Spain. In France he spent 14 or 15 years or so. Their house is quite big, they also raise a few animals, they live well.
Q- What do you think are the negative things of being away or away from your family?
A- No, I’m fine, I’ve always had this idea that I need to know more. My brothers are more homebound. We are four brothers, I am the eldest. My youngest brother goes out a lot, but the rest no, they have their very comfortable lives in Portugal. My family is very well there.
Q- Do they visit?
A- They love Spain and want to come here every year.
Q- How old is your daughter?
A- She’s 24. My daughter is delighted here, she has studied here and now is studying hotel business in Cartagena. The course has almost finished. We are very happy.
Q- Where are you from in Portugal?
A- I’m from Miranda do Douro.