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The big question...

The big question...

Old Aug 31st 2021, 4:00 am
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Default The big question...

Hello folks, I need someone to knock some sense into me… or maybe not?



I’m a 52 year old professional man who has lost faith over the last few years in the UK and my eyes look abroad. Hungary seems like a very appealing country, not just because I can buy a cheaper house but because a more culturally conservative country appeals to my values. I’ve no kids and a Romanian girlfriend. I’m pretty well travelled, especially eastern Europe and open minded and realistic about the very real differences between a British way of life and the more eastern European one (fair to say Hungary isn’t exactly eastern European but you know what I mean)

Is packing up and starting again in Hungary a realistic proposition?



So many questions but I though on here I’d get some harsh realities sent my way. Maybe start the conversation that goes someone and turns into something concrete, or closes it off completely, never to be thought or spoken of again lol
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 4:08 am
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Default Re: The big question...

Come to Hungary! Much to offer!

HOWEVER, before you go further, check out the situation post brexit!
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 4:45 am
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Default Re: The big question...

Just the same as a move to any (foreign) country, there are Pro's and Con's. I guess what you are asking is which list is bigger.
There are hundreds of threads here covering almost every topic regarding life in Hungary, but in the end it is still down to you and what you want or require. All of us already here have very different views about the country and it good and bad points.
On the plus side it is certainly cheaper in almost every respect than living in the UK.
On the downside for most people is the difficulty of the language. and I would add to that the Hungarian Governments love of bureaucracy, they may love it, you will not!
A large number of those who move here either immediately or in the future decide on upgrades, I would advise checking some of the relevant threads because the construction industry here differs significantly from the UK, and can lead to frustration and stress if you are un-prepared.
Summer's were hot and winter was cold but climate change seems to be messing with that now, so no longer a given.
On a plus you will have g/f relatives close at hand on one side, and Croatia (which seems to be the 'in' place to holiday at the moment) on the other, with Balaton in the middle. Balaton is very much a Marmite place and I am not going to comment further.
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 5:30 am
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Default Re: The big question...

Originally Posted by Expatrick
Come to Hungary! Much to offer!

HOWEVER, before you go further, check out the situation post brexit!
Very good point, I need to do some more research
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 5:36 am
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Default Re: The big question...

I must admit the language barrier would be a concern but then I'd have to dig deep, adapt and learn as much I as I could. You also raise some very good posatives that I'd not thought about. Location seems fantastic for exploring other neighboring countries. I've experianced the bureaucracy of Romania and Poland first hand so can relate to that, painful !
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: The big question...

Originally Posted by Ragingrover
I’m a 52 year old professional man
Is packing up and starting again in Hungary a realistic proposition?
You don't say what profession and whether you would need to find a job here or do you intend to do 'home office' from here. Whilst it is possible to get a job without any Hungarian they are few and far between.
The need and the ability to get employment would be a key part of any decision to move. You will also need to show your ability to support yourself in order to get residency.
Otherwise as was said above Hungary has much to offer
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: The big question...

One thing you really need to also consider is the reality of pulling up from home and relocating to another country with a much different culture and heritage. I do not at all want to discourage you from moving here. I just want to point out a few things you may not have considered.

1). You will not be back home and much of what Hungarians do and for that matter many other cultures and nations will not be done like we did it back home. At times it can be frustrating beyond belief. For example, seldom do Hungarians return emails or telephone calls even if they happen to speak some English. If they return your call or email it may be a couple weeks. If you have an urgent request you should expect to go to the business or government office. When dealing with merchants their ideal of customer service harkens back to the Communist era way of conducting business. Many vendors will offer a lot of products online but if you go into their showroom a good portion of what their website shows has to be ordered. Many of these merchants are seldom forthcoming with pertinent information. I call it the lie of omission. I purchased a refurbished desktop computer from a large computer shop in Kaposvar about 4 years ago. (it is not any of the large chains that sell computers). They neglected to inform that they had installed a bootleg copy of Windows 7 because I did not and do not like W10. I started getting messages from the computer to activate my copy of W7 with a product key from Microsoft. I called them about it at the shop and they told me because I wanted W7 they had no authorised copies because W7 is no longer available from Microsoft. I did not know that at that time and had they told me that I would have not purchased the desktop from them. I wound up having to find another merchant with W7 software and using the product key to active my installed copy. Other than that the computer is still working as my daily use desktop. The bottom line ask questions, ask a lot of questions because unless you do you may wind up getting less than you thought you were getting. In my case the shop refused to refund my money and because I paid them cash I could not get my bank to charge back their merchant account at that shop.

2). Be very warry of expats in general, many of them have a lot of personal baggage and drama. This goes for any country in the world and for expats from everywhere. Avoid living around a bunch of expats. You will never learn Hungarian if you only circulate among Brits. You can have expat friends but keep your distance from them until you have settled in to life here and then only associate with people after you feel them out for their character.

3). It is a fact worldwide more than 50% of expats fail and return back home in less than 12 months because they cannot adapt to their new environment due to being homesick and missing being able to see their families and friends anytime they like. They miss the food from back home and they miss their familiar way of life and being able to navigate their way on auto pilot. Life in a foreign country can be very frustrating at times.

4). Avoid discussions about the politics of your new country with the locals. If the politics of Hungary are not to your liking you may not be a good fit because Hungarians lived under communism and they have now developed a sense of independence and do not like outsiders telling them how to run their country. A good number of Hungarians are anti globalism and against open borders.

Hungary is a great place to live and I have no regrets. I hope you get a chance to live your dream.

Last edited by Jack_Russells4ever; Aug 31st 2021 at 7:43 pm. Reason: spelling errors
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 8:17 pm
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Default Re: The big question...

Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
You don't say what profession and whether you would need to find a job here or do you intend to do 'home office' from here. Whilst it is possible to get a job without any Hungarian they are few and far between.
The need and the ability to get employment would be a key part of any decision to move. You will also need to show your ability to support yourself in order to get residency.
Otherwise as was said above Hungary has much to offer
I did'nt say what I do as I thought that might be a bit much on an initial thread. I'm a Project Engineer / Manager in process engineering (mechanical & electrical), usually freelancing to the major civil engineering companies, I'd say most of what I do is related to water & waste water, although I've done Food, FMG, Petro, even a bit of aircraft manufacturing. So income generation from home is as now, ongoing. Would be nice to do something with the utility companies in Hungary though, feel like part of the structure if that make sense ? But again I had thought that language could present a major barier to working locally. If I were to do this then it wopuld mean a total commitment, I'd have to sell up here in UK, that said I would be cash posative after buying a house, how much is highly location dependant of course. Thats a whole other conversation ...
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: The big question...

Originally Posted by Jack_Russells4ever

2). Be very warry of expats in general, many of them have a lot of personal baggage and drama. This goes for any country in the world and for expats from everywhere. Avoid living around a bunch of expats. You will never learn Hungarian if you only circulate among Brits. You can have expat friends but keep your distance from them until you have settled in to life here and then only associate with people after you feel them out for their character.
What!! No! I am mortally wounded Jack! My character has been totally assassinated. I thought everybody on this forum loved me.

But you are right about Hungarians being particularly bad at returning anything, simple but annoying things. Like my large kitchen scissors being taken from the rack but not returned so I have to go hunting around the house to find them. Tools/garden items will be taken from the shed, and left where ever they were used, so frustrating. and lending to a neighbour or friend is basically giving, don't expect them to bring it back any time soon.

Last edited by Rosemary; Aug 31st 2021 at 10:39 pm. Reason: Corrected quote
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: The big question...

. Avoid discussions about the politics of your new country with the locals. If the politics of Hungary are not to your liking you may not be a good fit because Hungarians lived under communism and they have now developed a sense of independence and do not like outsiders telling them how to run their country. A good number of Hungarians are anti globalism and against open borders.
Funnily enough our Hungarian teacher bends our ear about Hungarian politics at the start of every lesson - we just nod and smile politely!
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 11:39 pm
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Default Re: The big question...

2). Be very warry of expats in general, many of them have a lot of personal baggage and drama. This goes for any country in the world and for expats from everywhere. Avoid living around a bunch of expats. You will never learn Hungarian if you only circulate among Brits. You can have expat friends but keep your distance from them until you have settled in to life here and then only associate with people after you feel them out for their character.

Very wise words, not saying that they are all the same BUT beware.. There is no debate as to the knowledge & experience many people from other countries have here & it is great that they are willing to share it. Equally there are those that are condescending, rude & arrogant. If you are not "in the clique" then well, less said. If anything almost derailed my move to Hungary was making bad choices when it came to UK so called friends when we arrived. Life is very very good here and we have immersed ourselves into it & would never see a move back to the UK. The language is a tough one & still struggling but that is in part laziness on my part.
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: The big question...

A few thoughts:

Re the language:

Unless you're an absolute linguistic wiz, the difficulty of learning Hungarian - which doesn't stem from Hungarian itself, but from the scale of its differences from English - combined with your age means that you may never become sufficiently fluent to have a proper conversation (or, for example, watch Hungarian TV), as opposed to just being able to make yourself understood. This is even more the case if your circumstances (e.g. work) don't bring you into frequent contact with Hungarians.

I'm speaking from personal experience: seven years of evening classes, a total of a year spent in Hungary, and I had already learnt several languages to a high level, but I never got beyond being able to make myself understood in Hungarian.

The number of Hungarians who are sufficiently fluent in English to have a proper conversation is increasing, but is still small compared with many other European countries. One member of this forum actually moved from Hungary to Croatia for precisely that reason.

Hungarians are, from my experience, typically unused to foreigners speaking their language, which can make even making oneself understood harder than it needs to be.

But the real issue as I see it is not the (im)practicality of having little or no Hungarian, but the almost inevitable resulting social isolation.

If you're expecting to become part of an expat community, you'll probably be disappointed (unless perhaps you move to Budapest).

Re the conservative mentality:

I'm not entirely convinced that the Hungarians are as conservative as they're made out to be. (Or for that matter that Orban is as right-wing as he's made out to be. Personally I think he's just opportunistic and corrupt.) It's their country, and the cultural norms are not that much different to what they were in the UK thirty years ago - when I left the UK. Although I'm no doubt more liberal than the average Hungarian, I have some sympathy with Hungarians' annoyance at being lectured at by western Europeans whose own countries only adopted liberal policies (e.g. on LGBT rights) relatively recently. The corruption and autocratic government are another matter; I don't consider that a question of culture or mentality, but a product of Hungary's history.

Re the bureaucracy:

I don't think it's as bad as it's made out to be. It's probably comparable to that in many other European countries; the UK is the outlier here, not Hungary. The language barrier, unfamiliarity with the customs and way of life and lack of a personal network often make it seem worse than it is.

Property prices:

Property in some parts of Germany is not that much more expensive than in Hungary. I'm not trying to persuade you to move to Germany, but if you're looking for cheap property, Hungary isn't your only option. In your case, Romania would make a lot more sense.

Packing up and leaving:

Don't. Before you take such a life-changing step, rent somewhere in Hungary (or wherever) and live there for at least three months (ideally in winter) and try to do normal, "non-tourist" stuff.
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 11:58 pm
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Default Re: The big question...

Funny thing about the language - when I speak my (very limited) Hungarian to a Hungarian who speaks English they do not understand a word, when I try it with those who don't speak English, they (seem) to understand me (after a fashion!)!
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Old Aug 31st 2021, 11:58 pm
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Default Re: The big question...

Originally Posted by duztee
What!! No! I am mortally wounded Jack! My character has been totally assassinated. I thought everybody on this forum loved me.

But you are right about Hungarians being particularly bad at returning anything, simple but annoying things. Like my large kitchen scissors being taken from the rack but not returned so I have to go hunting around the house to find them. Tools/garden items will be taken from the shed, and left where ever they were used, so frustrating. and lending to a neighbour or friend is basically giving, don't expect them to bring it back any time soon.

Duztee, nothing personal at all. I am sure your a fine fellow, Anyone that rides or has ever ridden motorcycles I find to be very worthy of my trust. I was an active biker until my auto accident in 2007 and I remember you having an avatar with a MC in the photo. I was not referring to returning items necessarily but telephone calls and emails. But since you mentioned it I have a neighbor who has forgotten to return my strimmer more than once.

Last edited by Jack_Russells4ever; Sep 1st 2021 at 12:03 am.
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Old Sep 1st 2021, 12:07 am
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Default Re: The big question...

Originally Posted by Jack_Russells4ever
Duztee, nothing personal at all. I am sure your a fine fellow, Anyone that rides or has ever ridden motorcycles I find to be very worthy of my trust. I was an active biker until my auto accident in 2007 and I remember you having an avatar with a MC in the photo. I was not referring to returning items necessarily but telephone calls and emails. But since you mentioned it I have a neighbor who has forgotten to return my strimmer more than once.
I think this is another hangover from the communist days, a need to acquire & hoard anything & everything, nothing dishonest just an inbuilt insecurity. I was always amused, looking at apartments, to see the cupboards absolutely rammed with stuff, and the pride with which owners would show these off (and the rooms were often rammed as well).
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