Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 37 years old now and originally from Romania. I have sold the magazine for a long time. I am famous for dancing on my pitch.
How is life at the moment?
I am okay. I have problems with money and I have problems in my house because my boiler is broken and I don’t have any hot water or heating. I have told my landlord, but I don’t know what will happen. I am struggling to pay my rent, so they aren’t fixing the problem. But I am keeping smiling everyday for people.
Tell us about your pitch.
I am still selling in York. I am dancing for the people. There are lots of tourists in York. Many people come from all over to York and my dancing makes them smile. There are videos of me on TikTok and on Instagram. Lots of people love my dancing and share my videos. I dance to all kinds of music: English, Romanian, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese music. Sometimes I dance all day.
Do you have any family?
I have two children who live in Romania and I miss them very much. They are 11 and 12. I have one boy and one girl. My sister is looking after them. I try to send money back to Romania for them and sometimes I get to go back to Romania and see them, but I do not have the money to look after them here in the UK. I cry when I miss them. I also have a wife here in the UK. She is in Sheffield right now, but she is coming back soon. She was very poorly and she had to have an operation recently. I hope she will be back in time for Christmas.
So you’re looking forward to Christmas then?
Oh yes. I am glad the Christmas markets are back in York because it is good and very busy here now so I hope to sell a lot of magazines.
What makes you happy?
I like the sun. But now it is colder and wetter. And I like making food in the kitchen. I make a very good chicken soup.
Do you like selling Big Issue North?
Yes. I am proud that I am working. I like selling the magazine. Working gives me respect.
Are you finding the cost of living difficult?
Prices are rising all the time and it is very hard. Very hard. Christmas is coming and I am thinking about how I can buy the things my children would like. I have nothing and cannot always afford to buy food and prices are rising all the time. And I go from Leeds to York every day and it costs me £10 to get to my pitch. But people look after me on my pitch. The manager of Marks and Spencer is very nice to me. They all look after me here. They give me food and buy the magazine and they say to me: “Vasile, you have to keep dancing!”
Do you have a message for your customers?
Thank you very much for looking after me. God bless you.