Vendor moments 2017: “I am looking forward to pursuing my dreams”

Hristo Tanev, 38, sells Swedish street paper Faktum outside a local grocery store in Bulltofta, Malmö.

I haven’t had a particularly memorable moment so far this year. I have been so focused on looking for a job, I have not much time left over for other things.

One experience I had was when I was out of town, outside of Malmö. It was a nice day and I took pictures on my phone. It was a kind of nature experience, a moment for myself. A moment for just enjoying that you are part of something bigger and to realize how small you are.

My proudest achievement is probably getting closer to getting a job, because it’s an important thing. I’ve been working on my CV, it’s a representation of who I am.

I’ve felt challenged when dealing with the employment office. It is a heavy bureaucratic machine here in Sweden.

Most challenging is when you come from another country as an immigrant. The Swedish system for finding a job is overwhelmed with a lot a people at the moment. So they are looking for specific people with a high level of education.

I don’t meet their standards, I’m just an ordinary guy from Bulgaria. You get that feeling of being useless. I came here to try to work.

I’ve been told I cannot just wake up one day and decide to come here and work. Why not? That’s the idea of the European Union.

I feel discriminated against. I just feel useless. I don’t want to talk about strategies, I want to work.

So, I try to motivate myself, believe in myself, believe in my capabilities. Where I came from it is very important to succeed, just to be able to live. Otherwise the poverty will kill you, literally. Poverty kills people. Most don’t understand that. You have to be self-motivated, think fast, adapt fast.

Next year, I am looking forward to pursuing my dreams.

I visualise myself working and making enough money to be able to go travelling, to see other European countries. And I hope I’ll be accompanied by someone else, someone special. It sucks to be alone. All you need is love. A simple dream.