Ok my friend, what is your name?
A Portuguese typical name: João …
How do you spell that?
João, it is also the name of a Portuguese wine, so it is quite typical…
ok, so when did you come to Cologne?
Germany, first time to Germany 10 years, more than 10 years ago. Never thought about working in Germany. I had my first job, ah, well they invited me to work here in 2009 and I was just… ah… no. Second time they invited me in 2014 to work for the company in Germany. I thought it was really time to move. In 2014 I visited Bonn, also Cologne and then I went to work in Sweden because this was a project abroad, it was for construction. And I worked 10 hours per day and you focus on a project for 2 years and then…puff…oh… you have to go back and to work in Germany you have to go to Germany. So I went to Bonn, I looked for flats with furniture already because I was travelling all the time with 24 KGs not more not less, just everything there and… after a while I met my girlfriend, she was here in Cologne.
So you met her here in Cologne?
In Cologne yeah, in the “Körnerstraße” … in a Café, we met there, I knew that the place had “Pastéis de nata …” it is a very typical sweet in Portugal and then we had a nice talk. After our talk the Café closed, and we went to have dinner and since than we were together.
Great, so you just moved from Bonn to Cologne?
Yeah, now I moved, we are living together in a nice flat in the Rothehaus Str. where we met in the festival
For one year now?
Yeah, one year.
Can you say in that one year, I mean you know people from around the world I guess, do you have a face, can you see something, can you feel Cologne? What is your connection with Cologne?
Cologne is a young city. Young people. Bicycles everywhere, it’s a nice city. It is very complete, a big mixture of old city with neighborhoods with the green parks. Its complete.
The green parks. You said something about the green parks.
Yeah the green parks connect people to go there to bbq in the park … in Portugal we don’t meet in the park, it’s too hot, here it’s the perfect weather. So it is just great.
Could you say something about the people you met here?
The people here they try to be part of the society and also being active and what I am noticing is that they are living more and more the presence. They are just trying to live the present. They a curious to meet more people and this is good. That is really positive. It makes people smile more in the streets. It is really nice. … it just helps everybody. If everybody Is happy, we are happy also. This is good.
So I wanted to ask: “what do you give to Cologne, to the people over here?
Well, we have this project in the streets that is Rothehaus-Straßenfest it is to meet the neighbors and also to show what we are doing. So I was thinking “hey, I have this as a hobby, I have this, I make this… so why not? And try to get my ideas outside and see the feedback of the people and to get in contact. It is important to get in contact. It is another experience. We are all the time in one position, we see the world with this perspective, why this, if I can make the things that I like, maybe the other person also likes what I do… just see the feedback, why not, the other side, see the other side. Just, I am good with my hands, I like manual work. I need this focus moment, just to get my piece done…
Just talk a little bit about this product! What do you do there?
As I just show you, this is work in progress. It started to be just for me, and people liked it, so I just say ok I am going to improve it…. And the creativity appears and appears. And as we just say the next project will be the cliff. Not the typical once we see in plastic but something that you know was handmade. Somebody was there, with the time, not the machine… and I got my return also. My moments. My Zen moments.
Ok I just take this with me, I thank you again and I’ll take some pictures.