Iustinian Pintea interview


– What’s your name?

– Iustinian Pintea.

– How old are you?

– I’m 20.

– What grade are you in?

– 12th grade.

– I understand you’ve also been abroad with your family. Where exactly?

– Grova. That’s about 20 kms from Rome. My parents have left since 1998 and I went there starting 2002.

– But before that, who did you live with?

– My grandparents.

– Here in Iasi?

– No, in Targu Neamt. Lived with my grandparents for 5 years, then went to Italy.

– So how old were you when you left?

– I was five and a half.

– Meaning you went to school there. Did you adapt well?

– Yeah, well at first you’re little and you don’t exactly realize..I did well with the language cause I was little and I learned it very quickly, but I felt like an outsider. They look at you with different eyes – you’re Romanian..you’re a Romanian. That was one of the reasons why I came back home.

– So you felt it’s time to return home. What do your parents do?

– My dad’s a carpenter, he works with wood.

– And your mother?

– She’s a nurse.

– So they both work. Do they rent?

– They bought an apartment. Better to pay the bank than the landlord.

– So they took a mortgage. How long have you been back?

– Since this summer.

– Any siblings?

– Got a younger sister. She was born in Italy.

– Does she feel like an outsider too?

– No, she’s too young.

– How young?

– She’s 9.

– Is it hard being here by yourself? Where do you live?

– I live in my dad’s apartment.

– I see – you have your own place and manage on your own. Did you integrate well in school?

– Yes.

– How’s the curriculum?

– I don’t know, everyone says it’s going to be hard…gonna be hard.

– What about history for example? I’m assuming they didn’t teach Romanian history in Italy.

– No, there they teach European history, not necessarily Italian.

– How do you stay in touch with your folks?

– The internet – WhatsApp, Facebook.

– How often?

– Daily. My mom calls me.

– What about food? How do you manage that?

– I’ve got an uncle here in Iasi. Sometimes I’ll get some potatoes, cook something myself..

– So are you considering staying here after you graduate?

– Yes, here. I don’t see me any future in another country, I don’t want to move abroad, it’s very ugly.

– You think that, even if you do, you’ll just be an outsider.

– Yes, yes, yes.

– And you’d like to feel at home.

– Yes, yes.

– Do your parents want to come back home?

– My parents want to come back home too.

– Do they feel like they’ve integrated in there?

– No, they integrated somewhat but they don’t wanna be apart from the family, from my grandmother. They wanna come home. They’ve had enough.

– How do they talk to grandma?

– On the phone. She also went to Italy after I left and worked there.

– When did she return?

– She returned last week, by plane.

– For good or is she going back?

– She doesn’t know herself.

– Did she live with your parents or?

– She works as a caretaker for the elderly so she’s there, but when she has time off, she comes back to us.

– Thank you very much. Also, if you could provide a picture of your family, that would be very helpful.