replied to the thread Immigration laws for "purebread" Hungarian-American
on the Hungary forum on November 24, 2014:
I was the first generation born in America within my family. Both parents born in Hungary. Father fled in '56, my Mom moved here after marrying him in '70, both earned their US citizenship status. Mom never formally renounced her Hungarian citizenship. Both grandparents are Hungarian and pretty much a straight lineage of family born within the borders of modern day Hungary. My understanding is that I'm a good candidate for the updated immigration laws from 2011.
I was wondering what the language requirements were exactly? I've been taking Hungarian lessons very seriously as of late. I've accumulated quite a few vocabulary words over my childhood/adulthood. The proverbial minefield of conjugation/attachments within the grammar is my wear point, but that is changing with these lessons and I'm definitely improving on my reading and writing, but spontaneous speaking using longer sentences is still difficult. I plan on visiting my other family in Hungary next year, practicing very hard with them, then formally applying at the Hungarian embassy in DC upon my return, where I assume I'll undergo the formal interview process. Has anyone gone through the process at the embassy here?
I wish we could live in country for a year to get truly fluent but that isn't really possible based on my work here in the US.
Thank you "bor" for that sobering account. Many of US that are American "by choice" are still hopeful and patriotic. Sure the system is not perfect and I have a thing or two to say to the IRS, INS, ICE and even UPS but we can't give up on the system as is. As they say when the counter reaches 99999 it will "re set". Some laws of "inevitability" we can't escape. When I'm back in Hungary let's have that cup of coffee! Be well and be safe!
We moved here from the US 6 years ago and don't speak more than 50 words of Hungarian and really don't need to. Why did we do it? It is a cheap place to live with very good work ethics, wonderful environment, excellent and healthy food and other than the Roma who I only see one day a year, no trouble whatsoever from ethnic peoples. You can read into that what you want but Hungarians have no clue what real life is like in the US. However, we are privileged to be living in Balatonfured and are very lucky to be here and ecstatic at how things worked out for us. We go to Budapest several times a year but generally don't go there unless we need to take care of some personal business or if visitors want to go there. I like Budapest but I like it here even better. Because I continued to commute for 2 years to DC for 1 week a month we went to the airport a lot but other than that we tend to stay home a lot. Life is good here and as a foreigner I don't sense any resentment of discrimination at all. We originally had planned to retire to France but the attitude of Hungarians is much better and far more accepting of foreigners. We have quite a few Hungarian friends here and it has been a good experience overall. We are staying no matter if Hungary is in or out of the EU. I actually can't see that happening ever so it is not really a concern of ours. I am more worried about the US blowing itself up and I lose my pensions (yes plural). Another large and looming issue would be a recall to active duty should the US decide that Russia needs to be attacked which would be amazingly stupid but our government seems to be managed by idiots so anything is possible if not likely. Most foreigners do not realize that US military retirees are not actually retired but are being paid for future service and we are on the hook to report back on a 96 hour notice if recalled no matter what our age is. As I am one of 6 people in the world with my expertise this is a huge threat to my existence. Luckily, I am relatively vocal about my dislike of American foreign policy (I think rationally as I have 40 years of enforcing it) so I would likely be the one of the last of the military recalled. In fact I was told as much the last time I worked in the US in 2010 by my branch manager. I can be vocal as a retiree because I am only bound by the rules applicable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice which apply to retirees (military lose their rights under the constitution). I can be critical as long as it isn't explicitly anti-American and/or treasonous or calling the Commander in Chief any rude names. I still hold all of my clearances and I am most assuredly watched and monitored very closely. Frankly, that is the case with everyone in the US now and I only complicate this as a matter of my expertise and knowledge. This is probably a huge dilemma for them as to how to handle me. I am always wondering when I fly back to the US (which I try to never do if possible) if I will be detained forever. This should tell you a lot about the US and freedoms which we no longer enjoy. See, that is evidence of credible criticism as it is a verifiable fact from secondary sources thus permissible which probably irritates them to no end. I feel much safer here in Hungary than in the US and I believe Hungary is one of the safest countries on Earth. But the US has no qualms about abusing its citizens. How many of you get held at the gate in Budapest and then amazingly the Defense Attache (DAT) and his assistant just happen to be seated next to me when I am finally released from custody and allowed to board the plane? I've got a half a dozen of these amazing coincidences but still I am walking around here in Hungary. I don't bother to hide nor do I try and falsify my name or location. They know who I am and how I think ad obviously read everything I write wherever I write it. And unless the US Constitution is finally eliminated entirely this is my right both here in Hungary and in the US to be critical. So, am I a malcontent? Probably, but I believe I have the experience to justify it. I am living in hopes that someday the US population will elect leaders who actually have the people in mind and not their rich benefactors. IMHO the US is the most corrupt country on earth and whatever petty corruption that occurs in Hungary pales in comparison. This is way off topic but I felt a response was necessary.
replied to the thread Water and Sewage
on the Hungary forum on November 24, 2014:
Just got my first bill for water and sewage. Is it normal for the sewage bill to be almost double the water bill?
Looks strange to me...just wanted to know if it's ok.
replied on November 24, 2014 with:
I thank you for your input.
I only have one meter for electricity and one meter for water (thank god for that).
Regarding the sewage I have no idea how it works...rain runoff?! never heard of it! everyone pays it?
When I went to the sewage company to sign the contract, they said that my sewage is based on the water consumption. I do have a garden but I only have one water meter for the entire prperty (same with electricity).
What I would like to know is if it is normal to get a sewage bill that is almost double the water bill?
By the way, how can they measure the rain runoff?
I think you had a bad lawyer when you bought the house. He should have told you to go with the sellers to all the utility companies and take all the readings with you.
New country...new rules...
We also switched from a once a year reading and payment of average bills to monthly readings. To simplify this I wanted to reduce our meters. One house has 5 electricity meters which is bizarre. But, to make life easier for E-On as they would only have to send 1 bill instead of 5 bills it was going to cost us 120,000 HUF to have the extra meters removed and consolidate them. So I said screw them it is their postage costs. Even weirder from an American perspective, the excess paid (back when we were doing the averaging thing) wasn't applied to the account but instead paid by the postman in cash. I feel for those guys as the first year we got back something like 150,000 HUF of over- payments. There are a lot of nuances here which will seem very strange to an American and this shows up quickly with utility bills. We also ended up being shafted by the previous owners for outstanding bills when we bought the house which I would know about now but didn't back then. Those incredibly nasty people also were running their meters backwards or circumventing them as they were in the construction business. Same for gas and water and because our consumption is so vastly different from the previous owners we are subject to frequent inspections of the meters etc. as if it were our fault for the cheating that happened before we bought the houses. Anyway, it is all straightened out now and more or less we have less encounters with these companies than before. But, E-On changed their billing system this year and we couldn't enter our meter readings for 4 months because of that so there are periodic occasions of weirdness. and confrontations. We are supposed to get free access to Kisfaludy beach as we are homeowners here in Balatonfured but because I only have a flimsy paper residence permit they are refusing to acknowledge we actually live here. That one really pisses me off but despite many tries I can't get it resolved. So, we haven't been 100% successful.
replied to the thread English speaking Doctors
on the Hungary forum on November 22, 2014:
Does anyone have contact information for English speaking Doctors in and around Nyiregyhaza
u in the wrong neighborhood!
We are (family of 5) moving back from Hungary to California in December.
We have tons of stuff and no idea which moving company to use.
Moving from Ca to Budapest was relatively easy but the company we used do not transport container back to the States from here.
Any advice could help!
Running out of time!
May I ask, "Why would one move back to Calif.unless you have family there?" My wife would like to move to Napa, but Calif. is ALWAYS RANKED as one of the WORST states to live in, unless one has money like Hollywood people! With a family of 5, "How can you afford that?" We're sick of the Chicago weather.
If you are bringing a car then try if at all possible to get it into the same 40 ft container as your household goods. It will save you in the long run. We didn't do that and it cost us for the mistake. Also, pay very close attention to the car registration fee. It is based on engine/fuel/KW etc. We brought a Prius as gas here is about $8 a gallon. But, as it was a hybrid we paid in 2009 a registration fee of 150,000 HUF. I think any diesel that meets EURO6 specs is also at the same rate. BUt, I can see the prices have come down some since we registered our car. Anyway pay attention as it can be really high for large American engined gasoline fueled cars.Good info here: http://budapest.angloinfo.com/information/money/general-taxes/vehicle-taxes/
replied to the thread cheaper flights
on the Hungary forum on November 20, 2014:
I remember someone posting about cheaper flights. just wanted to talk about flying. what airlines. how much time is adequate to allow for layovers. I have seen as little as 1 hour for a layover at a very busy airport ex: Frankfurt or Heathrow. I got lost the last time I was in Frankfurt. can't imagine that being enough time. I hear Munich is a better airport. I have never been to Heathrow, but I imagine it's as bad as Frankfurt. also, the thought crossed my mind... courier sorts of jobs? how could I find a job that could make us of my flying back and forth between Bud and US? ideas?
replied on November 20, 2014 with:
Hi, we fly once a twice a year back and forth and the airline tickets are going up. Our best routes were with Lufthansa when we would go through Dusseldorf. It's a Luf. dedicated hub so if you book through them, any mix-ups are on their plate. But since the airport is less crowded than Frankfurt and Munich. Far worse are the commuter flights out of Dulles or Newark.
replied on November 16, 2014 with:
awesome, thanks for the links. I am not security specialist material. I don't even like guns. I'm thinking mundane diploatic materials? does that exist? non dangerous things to courier... I signed up for emails. I saw the article stated that 5,ooo applicants tried for 15 courier jobs. very competitive...
We are looking for confident and ambitious sales people who are ready to go the extra mile for success!
replied to the thread Customs and VAT
on the Hungary forum:
If I buy an item on Ebay or from china (DX, Alibaba...) and it is shipped to Hungary... what taxes apply?
Are there tax exemptions under certain value?
Any help will be appreciated.
I think you are correct. In my case it always comes out to 35% and always requires emailing copies of the original invoice with description. Often the customs delays deliveries by several weeks and all packages are opened for inspection and usually closed poorly. Still, if the price is good enough then it is worth the hassle. If not then buy it in Germany and avoid the hassle. I never buy from the US if I can avoid it. The same for the UK as shipping for some bizarre reason is exorbitant from the UK.
Stuff coming if for you outside of the EU via mail has a two-tier duty-free status.
If it is coming from another individual, your exemption is 45 euros. If it's coming from a company (like from China) it is only 22 euros (if I remember correctly). Beyond these numbers, a duty plus VAT (27%) applies, up to 700 euros. Over 700 euros value, a "commercial" duty applies + again the 27% VAT.
Sorry,but I don't know the duty percentage figures at the top of my head.
My father and I plan on moving to Hungary in Spring of 2015. He is a 57year old veteran and on social security disability for life. I am 34 year old female and i live with him and i am his legal and sole caregiver and family. He and I will live together in Hungary as we do here in Florida USA. His disability is enough monthly income for both of us, there for he is permanently disabled and can not work and i will not be working either, he takes care of me.
Our net take home income is 2000 USA dollars a month. Is that going to be enough for us to live normal? What are the costs for a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment?
The sites i have looked at in English were beyond expensive. I mean we live on the beach in Florida in one of the busiest and tourist heavy places on earth and the prices i saw would be expensive for here! But then i hear that Hungary is a very affordable place to live so i am a bit confused.
I know Budapest is the biggest city in Hungary, but should we look at some of the smaller towns for better affordability?
We will not be working so being close to jobs or universities is not important to us at all. And we are moving from the USA so being close to lots of other USA people is not something we would need nor desire.
Right now my father has a malpractice lawsuit against the hospital pending also. If that goes in our favor then our net(take home)income will increase from 2000 a month usa dollars to 5000 net(take home) a month. But we will know by Jan if that is going in our favor. We will not apply for our residence permit until then when we know what our monthly income will be.
So i am wanting to know if what we have now would be enough to live, and if we are able to get more then just live better.
Please look at my post on the thread "Moving back to California from Hungary" (by Lanchid).
For your move, you may want to look at this company; they're located in your neck of the woods, in FL. They weren't the cheapest, but were in the lower half.
They can provide from full service to barebones.
Some of the "cheapest" ones were deceptive, providing only port-to-port like say, in your case, from Miami to Bremenhaven.
Figure, that whatever the quote is, you will have to pay out another 50% of that in incidentals, like fees, inspections and whatnots which are independent from the shipping co.
Make sure you have these b/c it's required:
All your items are listed (per box - of course - number the boxes, suitcases) but not like "1 lot of shirts", but like: "14 men's shirts".
All electronics must be separately listed w/ S/N and precise description.
All must be in Hungarian.
Your duty-free status can only be established, if you already have a 'permanent resident' status at time of customs, so you have to get cracking on that as soon as you arrive.
Figure 40 to 90 days before you get your stuff into your place of residence.
Theft is rampant, so smaller valuables should be brought with you.
Disable electronics to the extent you can (cables separately, remotes packed separately, power supply separately, remove memory and hard drive - if applicable. Hard drive (of desktop, or of laptop - if it's in the shipment) should be with you, due to the sensitivity of the info on it, plus they don't have an o/s.
I did meet a young woman (late 20s - I think) at Fat Mo's in Budapest, who moved to HU/BUD, and had no Hungarian roots. None. She was from Boston.
Her story was, that she was traveling on vacation through Europe with a friend, and when they got to HU, she got thoroughly smitten with BUD/HU, and decided she just gotta move b/c this is where she had to live - period.
She spoke no Hungarian, but still, gave up her apt in Boston and moved to BUD.
At the time when I met her, she got a job with a US company in BUD - no immediate need for Hungarian language skills, but I did not inquire in what capacity.
She seemed to be very happy with her move/decision.
She did not have a boyfriend in tow there, plus based on her story, it did not appear that her move was due to a Hungarian heartthrob she met at the first visit.
This was a one time casual meet, essentially an introduction through a casual acquaintance (also an expat American originally from the West Coast), so I do not know what happened to her afterwards.
400sqm house for sale
next to National Park
45' from Budapest, next to Slovakian border
in a small village, secluded
5 bedroom, office, 4 bathrooms
garden with a fish pond
Just curious, I see you posted here and about retiring in Portugal, but when I went to your Google+ page, you are credited with a number of articles from various countries, but live in my former home state of New Jersey.
How do you do multi-locate? I would love to be able to do it.
Dr. Ryan James