Cristian, Ripon

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 31 years old and I am from Romania. I have been selling Big Issue North for two or three years.

‘I am a very positive person. I am always smiling.’

Why do you sell the magazine?
It was difficult for me to get a job here because of my English. I didn’t go to school very much in Romania. My dad had no money. There were a lot of problems there. I do not understand computers and internet. I don’t have skills to do other things. This job is my job.

Do you like selling the magazine?
I do like it, yes. I sell the magazine to make money to buy food, pay rent. This job is for my children to give them everything.

How many children do you have?
I have five children. The biggest is 16 years old. The youngest is five. I live with my wife and children in Leeds. Life is good here because my children can go to school, which is very important. My children speak English at home. I ask them questions about what things are called in English. They help me learn.

What’s Ripon like?
It’s a good place. It’s small. There are lots of nice customers there. They are very polite.

What do you do in your spare time?
I don’t have a lot of free time. I work very hard, – maybe 10 or 11 hours a day at least five days a week. But I have Sunday off. Then I watch the news. I watch what is happening in the UK and in Romania. This helps me to learn English.

Are you worried about Brexit?
Yes, I am a little worried about it. Some of my children are born in the UK. It is important for us to stay here in the future.

Are you a happy person?
Oh yes. I am a very positive person. I am always smiling. I do not get angry. Being angry and sad is not good for you. I am very polite to my customers on my pitch in Ripon. Being angry and sad would not be a good way to sell magazines.

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