You’re a new vendor. Why did you start selling the magazine?
I think it’s better for me because I can start when I want. If I’m busy or if my baby is sick and if I need to stay with my baby then I can. I prefer to sell magazines. I was working cleaning, but that was not paying very well. I was working four or five hours a day and only earning £20 or £25, and I think it’s better to find other things. We’ll see how it goes.
And how is it going so far?
It’s my first week. It’s been difficult. In the city centre. You can stand there all day and only sell five magazines. People walk past very quickly. Hopefully I can find a better pitch soon where people know me and get used to me. Then I can get some regular customers.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
I am 22 years old and I have a six-year-old boy. I live with my aunty – the sister of my mum. My mum lives in Romania.
How long have you lived in the UK for?
I lived in Spain before I came to the UK. I went to school there and I speak Spanish. My mum and dad lived in Spain and then we came here as a family when I was about 15 years old or so. They spent four or five years here and then went back to Romania.
Do you miss Spain?
I liked Spain. I would like to go back there for a holiday sometime. But I like it here in England and in Leeds. I know it well here now.
You speak good English. How did you learn it?
I leant English from the people around me. You just learn it, though it’s not an easy language to learn. And sometimes people speak quickly or with different accents. If they speak very “quick quick” then I really don’t understand.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I would like to find a good job and to have a good life for my kid. I try to make a good life. But it is hard. I am a young mum. I am on my own. But that’s life, I guess. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s sad. I would like to have a different job, maybe in a restaurant or something.
What’s stopping you finding a different job?
I do not have evidence about the qualifications that I got at school. I can write and read but I am not that confident on computers. I would like to learn that too.
Do you have a message for your customers?
I would like to say thank you. And please come and find me and buy the magazine every week. Some people are nice. Some people are not nice. They say “stop begging” and yet I am not begging! They say “£3 is too much” but I say: “What is £3? I give that to my son in a shop.” Some people walk past me and say “you should go to work” and I think, I am working. And my job is probably harder than your job!