Patrick Lopes with his wife Germaine Lopes and their son Jahden, aged 3.
London brought Patrick and Germaine Lopes together. Even though they both grew up very close to each other in Paris, just two miles apart, they had never met.
Patrick’s parents are from Cape Verde, but he was born in Portugal and grew up in Paris. He came to London to improve his English initially, but liked it so much he decided to stay back. He has now been here for seven years and is a bus driver.
Germaine’s parents are from Cameroon but they moved to Paris, which is where she was born and grew up. She came to London in 2008 to do an internship and then returned to Paris to do her Masters. She came back to London once again when she was offered a job here and is now an accounts manager.
Germaine thinks London is different and what she likes most about the city are the economic opportunities and that people are open-minded. The fact that she is an immigrant has also never been the cause of any inconvenience for her.
Germaine: It was easier for me to find a job here. And the life and people here are open minded. It is different, it is different. Even when I have been travelling around I have never had problems with my ‘difference’.
Difference is something that people in London have become accustomed to, believes Patrick. “In London there are so many different communities that the people are used to having different people from other places. I think that it would be different with people who are not used to seeing foreigners.”
Patrick: I don’t think I would go back to Paris because I have been there already and if I went back I would be regressing. So if I had to move to another place I would go to another country, maybe Canada. I like change.