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THREE THINKS YOU WISH YOU WOULD OF KNOWN!

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peddington
11/24/2013 01:08 EST

I saw an old post by the above title so I figured I give you the TREE THINGS I WISH I WOULD OF KNOWN ABOUT HUNGARY!

1. The burocracy is unbelievable. Hungary was way ahead of Romania during the Cold War. It is unbelievebla that things can be handeled more expediently there than in Hungary. You will be pulling your hair out!

2. The VAT/Sales Tax is highest in the World 27%. Customs on electronics is 30% if you crazy enough to bring it in the country.

3. The Police Force for the most part is INCOMPETENT. While there is a International Lae Enforcement School in Budapest headed by two FBI agents, there is no sign that anything much changed in the last 25 years. They won't do much if you are a victim of a crime and there are traffic cameras and laser cameras to punish unruly drivers. Don't expect too many patrols because gas is expensive and they don't even have money to buy the policeman holsters. Training largely non existent.

Figured you should know!

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karener46
11/24/2013 06:52 EST

I knew about the some of the things you wrote but the police was not something I knew about. They are rude and totally not willing to help you if you ask any of them. And I think the thing I was the most surprised is the rudeness of clerks and business owners. They act like you're bothering them when you enter their business or ask a question. I laugh but it's still a surprise. I have met some wonderful people. But far and few between.

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peddington
11/24/2013 16:23 EST

The part about businesses is changing. They starting to figure out that if you don't go back they loose business. So it is changing slowly. I am incouragable but I always ask for a manager and I discuss with them their shortcomings. Usually it is received well what they do about it is another story!

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karener4655
11/24/2013 16:46 EST

I was thinking that tomorrow I would go back to the gym and ask for the manager the only problem is I don't speak the language and if they don't speak English it won't go well. But I am still going to try.

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borschelrh
11/26/2013 04:32 EST

Yes, the beurocracy is amazingly bad and everything takes time and effort (plus considerable fees). Nothing seems ot be computerized and there is still a lot of stamping of papers etc. In many ways it is comical if you step back and enjoy it for the experience. Try getting a car imported or a driver's license or even license plates. Even getting a visa for relatives is a huge hassle requiring a recent copy of ownership title to our house (less than 90 days and of course expensive from cuty hall), written and notorized permission from your spouse etc. Nothing is easy, simple, or cheap and nearly everything requires multiple visits to various different offices with different requirments all subject to the whims of whatever petty bureaucrat is in charge. It really is amazing how messed up it is. It even extends to the stores. Buying something which comes with a warranty is also going to take a while for stamping etc. and always at a differnt counter and usually requires the manager to do it.

As for the police I don't actually agree. I have met quite a few and most are nice , friendly, and competent. Some are your typical sociopathic a-holes but the majority are not. One thing they did was to retire all police over the age of 45 so the entire force is young and relatively inexperienced. They have moved to only using credit cards or those stupid yellow bills you pay at the post office for fines so the corruption has dropped a lot. They also put cameras in the vehicles to cut down on corruption. As for their effectiveness well that is something else and I agree they aren't going to do much to help you if you get robbed unless you experience violence. So, you are more or less on your own if that happens. As for traffic cameras that is a whole other thing. Some, people, like Fidez members or the wealthy, don't get fines no matter what they do. It is very common to see expensive cars driving 250 km/h with impunity or parking illegally in Budapest. So, rich people in Hungary seem to live by different rules and standards. I was in Budapest trying to get my driver's license process started (a whole epic story in of itself) and noticed several VIP's being taken care of far faster than us ordinary people. One other thing Fidez did was to double all fines and there is an obvious effort to increase the amount of tickets being written as this is very profitable for governments. Last year I got a fine for sailing on Lake Balaton without an approved life vest (I was wearing a floatation wet suit but that wasn't sufficient) and the fine was 20,000 forints. Ouch!

The 4th thing people need to understand is the fierce nationalism that Hungarians have which is somewhat bizarre given their history. It is hard to imagine a country that commerates 2 different failed revolutions and a failed invasion (Stalingrad). You still run into quite a few people who yearn for the Trianon Treaty to be reversed now almost 100 years later. In fact, you can actually separate the Hungarian polulation into 2 basic groups just on this issue alone. The Nationalists even go so far as to wear "old" style suits (Austro-Hungarian style) to work or to formal functions. Really, it is interesting. These same people have large wall murals, tapestries, etc. showing Hungary as it was before WWI before they lost 70% of their territory. If you engage them you will get an earful of the glory days of Hungary. I don't disagree that they were unfairly abused after WWI although this was in a large part their fault for refusing to negotiate which again is an example of that fierce, and suicidal, national pride. Losers in a war need to be somewhat contrite and not demanding otherwise you get punished. It was this strong desire to get back the lost territory which led to Hungary voluntarily joinig with Nazi Germany. Once again they paid the price for losing a wara and this time the Soviets took over, still pissed about Hungary's involvement on the Eastern Front. Then the Hungarians had the audacity to try and revolt merely 11 years after the war which once again landed them in a pile of caca. What were they thinking? They actually had it pretty good before that happened. If Germany had tried that the US/UK/ and France would have done a lot worse. Anyway, it is something that is pervasive here in Hungary and foreigners need to try and understand the Hungarians feelings about their national pride. This nationalism is once again causing turmoil as Hungary has decided to grant citizenship and passports (and more importantly voting rights) to citizens of former Hungary (Slovakia, Croatia, Boznia, Romania, Ukraine etc.) which naturally doesn't sit too well with the governments of these neighboring countries. Anyway you can see what I am getting at here.

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peddington
11/28/2013 11:09 EST

OK so you are physically in Hunbgary! Since it is a Gym there are lots of peole going there. You bound to find one or two that speaks a little English. Hungarians come a long way and many worked in other countries like England and picked up on the english language. If they speak some english they will be happy to help---usually!

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peddington
11/28/2013 11:30 EST

Yes, thank you! You have a pretty good grasp on what is going on with a few caviat; trust me I know the "police". Been a cop for 24 years in the US and it was a time when Hunbgarian cops respected that. Not so much anymore. They usually don't show any professional courtesy they just seem to be annoyed. The International Police Academy I think is a joke. TThere is no permanent staff and all instructors are "guest" instructors. While I'm not 100% I believe it is usually management type coursed they run which does nothing for the patrolman and low level managers. Rank means very little. I dealt with a female LtColonel that behaved worse than a janitor in the Harlem. She did not care about my issue and refused to gime me her name. They get promoted by tenure and not by performance. Up to the rank of Colonel they don't even have to be a college graduate. Here in the States there are deparments that won't hire you (as a patrolman) unless you have a 4 year degree. The Hungarians love the Address Card (lak cim kartya) it is very important to them and they ask for it all the time. It is the old Communist years where everyone had to have an official address (I guess so the Secret Police AVO can find you at 2 AM). Hungarians are also stuck on Notary and Notary seals. Of course not just anyone can be a notary. You have to be an Attorney but not all Attorneys can do it! Only those that "Specialize" in Notary then of course they charge you an arm and a leg. Hungarians won't say but they usually don't accept Notirized Statements from the US (don't meet their standards). While for example Romania (the formerly backward country) issues Birth, Marriage etc. certificates in Romanian/English/France the Hungarians stuck with Hungarian and everything as you probably found out has to be translated at great expense. Many times they will ONLY accept the National Translating Office's translation and I personally feel someone is making a forint or two on that little scheme. Incidentally the Land Document of Ownership usually accepted for 30 days so if an office wants it and yours is 45 days old "Sorry Charlie" you have to spring another 6000 or so forints to get another one! While I speak the language and bought property (for which you have to ask permission at the cost of 50,000 forints) I elected not to ask for Citizenship or Residency I siply pay my 18,000 forints and get a 1 year residency every year. That way I don't have to leave every 90 days. Hungarians have a long way to go! The "Nationalists" you mention blame the Jews and the United States for their problems. I guess it makes them feel better although it is true that the US and the EU has been critical of their "Nationalist behaviour". So much for now...

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karener4655
11/28/2013 14:34 EST

The police will not be there for you!!! Don't bothering to ask for help. I am fortunate to have made a friend in budapest amd she has been a God send. I think the city is verily safe and I don't feel scared to walk almost any where in the center city.

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borschelrh
11/29/2013 04:44 EST

I don't disagree about the police. It is hit and miss. But, in the US they are now far worse and actually a threat. Here if I encounter a policeman I am not worried about being incarcerated or even being klilled if I am unruly. In the US that is not the case. A routine traffic stop now in the US can be the equivalent of a death sentence. Suicide by cop is now common place and murdering someone by cop is equally easy just by calling 911 and announcing shots were fired. Hungary has one of the least amount of violent crime in the world. That is not true for property crime where they are the exact opposite being among the worst. Leaving your home vacant for even a few days runs the risk of losing everything unless you are in tight with your neighbors and have somone closely watching the house. The same is true in parts of the US as well and violent crime in the US is one of the worst in the world. But, I feel far safer in Hungary as long as you understand the risks of theft and don't expect any assistance from the police. I actually got in a fist fight with an off duty cop who was going 60 kph ins a 20 kph construction zone and I flipped him the bird and he drove in reverse to come kick my ass. I kicked his instead and when I threatened to call the cops on him as he attacked me first he then told me he was a cop. Of course he didn't speak English. I think he was embarassed a 60 year old man kicked his ass so easily and he was a fit and beefy 30 year old. I guess giving the middle finger is more serious here than in the US which is also pretty common there. Another cultural difference.

One thing I have noticed is that the Hungarians have this interesting view of themselves as being exceptional. I run into it all the time and it is baffling. Coming from the US where that is ridiculously common (and also not earned) it is weird that a somewhat backward country (not meant as offensive but in many ways it is true) can have such a high opinion of themselves. A country that has been invaded and occupied by so many different invaders, who have never even won a battle much less a war, steadfastly maintians a firm grip on a language that is only spoken by Hungarians despite being part of the Austro-Hungarian empire (the minor part of that to boot as they were conqured and dominated by the Austrians) and are surrounded by slavic and romance languages. Perhaps it is really the most wonderful language in the world as they think but no one cares and it is useless in commerce or pretty much anything else. I am noticing with the younger Hungarians a dawning realization that Hungary is not all that it should be. I find this encouraging and am optimistic they will finally begin to assimilate into the EU fully and not just sucking from the EU teat. It is somewhat shocking how much money the EU has been pouring into Hungary with little thanks in return. In fact thee is a marked level of resentment.

The 5th thing people should understand is Hungarians are one of the most racist peoples on Earth. In some ways this is a good thing as it keeps a lot of the garbage out of Hungary. You don't find many blacks or muslims here. There are a lot of Jews (relative to the rest of Europe) but as you mentioned they are hated and blamed for many of the miseries extent here in Hungary. Homosexuals are even lower on the list and the absolute bottom are the gypsies. Other "foreign" peoples sucha s Asians are barely tolerated. Even finidng food that isn't Hungarian is almost impossible. Most resteraunts that start up selling things like Chinese or even Italian fail miserably. Hungarians basically won't eat anything not Hungarian and they are very narrow minded about it. Yes, In Budapest you can find some other kinds of foods (usually not good though) but outside of that your chances are slim to none. Luckily, Vienna is only 2 hours away as is Graz where we can go get a fix for Chinese or Japanese or even Thai. There are other things for example trying to find beef or lamb which is nearly impossible. Try and find fresh cilantro anywhere in Hungary. If you don't grow your own you will have to travel a long ways. Recently, Spar has been selling oriental stuff so we can now make our own.

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karener4655
11/29/2013 05:05 EST

Another thing you should know if you plan on staying any length of time. Don't expect to find an assortment of OTC medicine. I am so used to going to Walgreens CVS or even the grocery store and find aisles of cold, stomach, headache meds but that doesn't happen here. It coast me around $7.00 for 20 ibuprofen that I could get in the states for a few dollars for 60. So if you take allergy pills or stomach meds bring them with you. My family is going to mail me a few OTC.

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peddington
11/29/2013 23:46 EST

Well I was a cop in the US for 24 years and don't agree. Of course you comparing a swimming pool to Balaton Lake. It is not the same. Hungary is roughly the size of Florida. If a Hungarian cop won't arrest you there is two main reason for it. 1. You are a foreigner and don't want to deal with you and 2. Most hungarian cops don't know the law as well as they should. They afraid to act. There are "rougue" people in any profession even in law enforcement. You are right about the food because even Chinese food is "Hungarianizized" made too tomatoee, etc. Incidentally when you eat Chinese and want chopstick you have to pay extra for it. In the US they just laught!

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borschelrh
11/30/2013 02:44 EST

Yes, otc stuff and vitamins are tough to find. I have access to the military shopping in Italy so can buy American stuff there. We miss having steaks such as ribeye's for the BBQ and I stock up there at least once a year. I was shocked here at the beef prices. Hungarian beef is tough and unedible except for stews. You can get Bolivian and Argentinian beef at Metro BUT the cost is shocking at something like 24,000 Ft/kg. At the commissary it is $8 a pound for Argentinian rib eye steaks. I know what you ean. We had a pizza made locally and highly recommended and it was something bizare and nothing llike an Italian pizza. Too much tomatoe and now spices and the cheese was trapista not mozerella. I get it that Hungarians don't want or enjoy foreign foods. But, there are plenty of foreign visitors to Balaton so you would think there would be a tiny bit of accomodation.

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karener4655
11/30/2013 05:53 EST

OK I got it you were in law enforcement. But as a 67 yr. old woman stayng here for a few months and I am just saying that I would not turn to the police here for help. And I do see that they are all very young. But I would turn to a stranger before I would as for their help.

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peddington
12/19/2013 15:15 EST

Naturally if you in trouble turn to the local police. Especially if you don't speak the language. The will come up with an interpreter just give them some time! LOL! Ultimately though don't expect them to solve your issues as their resources are very limited and "thinking outside of the box" is a foreign and a NOT ALLOWED concept!

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blueber
7/29/2014 15:34 EST

Peddington,
I am new to this forum, and I've read carefully all the posts including yours since my husband and I are planning to move to Hungary. It seems you are doing everything to create a negative image of Hungary and divert people's minds from moving to Hungary. Maybe it is true what are you describing in your posts, but the overall negative tone is there. I wonder why do you even bother participate in these forums if you have nothing positive to say. Just wondering.

Respectfully,
Blueber

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Grazka
7/30/2014 01:45 EST

In every country is something good and something bad.If somebody thinks that somewhere else all his problems will be gone and everything will be the way how he wants....he can dream and better stay where he is.No country make anybody happy. The happiness you need to find in yourself.
Hungry has some weird things like bureaucracy... Old days was just 5 copy of some papers plus 10 stamps on each. Now is the computer yet.But not being negative think this way- because of those bureaucracy many people have a jobs.On the end maybe it is frustrate to fix up something and takes time but is not end of the world.
Emigrants often expecting that in their new country they will have everything good what they have in their old country and something extra. Unfortunately reality is that we all must accept culture and rules the new country if we like them or not.
We are over 2 years here. It was hard on the beginning because not only different rules and culture but also language barrier. But when we get everything fix ...our life is good.We like here a lot.We live our life the way how we like to live.
I read many times about finding the flat/apartment or house.....if you want what you want look on the real estate web sides. Find what you like. Make the list .Call real estate and ask them to make app for a specific day. Don't expect somebody will look for you.
Hungary is not a nanny state...

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Hotjazzman
7/30/2014 12:30 EST

Aha,,,
24 yrs as a cop (pig) in the US.
Now I understand.
Never met a cop in the US who I could not hate, who wasn't an arrogant pr*ck bully and would I have considered a decent person.

I can tell you outrageous stories of US police of what happened - including my child - which was so out of line, that a Secret Service member neighbor (Presidential protection) urged to start a lawsuit against the (local) police.

A high school classmate (girl) was so beaten up that settlement was (must have been) in excess of $100K b/cshe said: "It will nicely cover my college education" - she was prohibited as the terms of the court/financial settlement to divulge the actual amount.

I consider US cops murderous, disgusting scum of the earth.

Paddington, go back to the US - that's where you BELONG.

All my interaction with Hungarian police have been humane, civilized and very often friendly and helpful. They don't have a chip on their shoulder and oozing of arrogance just b/c they've got a gun on their waist with a license to kill - like in the US.

Did you know Paddington, that HU police is prohibited of torso and head shot unless the perp has a firearm - with a threat to use?
Even a sword, machete and knife or baseball bat must be in at an injury distance, to shoot someone in the torso or head.
Which means, that if a HU policeman shoots a perp dead with a baseball bat further than 10-15 feet away, the policeman goes to jail.

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Hotjazzman
7/30/2014 12:49 EST

The general advice comes to mind I read a long time ago:
"Always remember: They did not make the Country comfortable for you (the visitor), but for THEMSELVES.
Whatever you disagree with while there, is YOUR problem, NOT theirs."

Wise words.
Heed it, or leave, you have not been invited or dragged here.

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Hotjazzman
7/30/2014 13:09 EST

Paddington's mission on this forum is to sow discord and negativism. I should add, anti-Hungarianism. It is so constant and predictable, that I'm convinced of an unstated/hidden AGENDA.
I have ferreted out shills, trolls in other forums with success to the point of their immediate disappearence from the Forum in question and cancellation of their membership in same.
Should my suspicions turn out to be true, there may be a time when (it always comes) when they inadvertently show their hand and can be successfully exposed without leaving any doubt of their aim and mission.

There IS an anti-Hungarian (organized) group operating both in Hungary (in Hungarian) and on all Forums of different languages that is connected with Hungarian affairs. This of course would be one of them.

We have one here, that fits the bill. However, this individual's English is sub-par. (syntax, spelling, composition, culture-related mistakes). I, at this point, would hazard to guess, that it's not his mother-tongue, and in reality posting from god-knows-where. His US content is riddled with small - but telling - errors, just as his Hungary content.

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capttamas
7/30/2014 18:44 EST

let's just write about issues and help other members with their questions and leave out personal attacks, but that's just my take.

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peddington
7/31/2014 05:10 EST

Greetings! I have been criticized many times for what some called "negative" or perhaps distorted view of Hungary. I want to thank you for a balanced and objective view of things and I totally agree with your take as far as your comments. Be safe and be happy!

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peddington
7/31/2014 05:26 EST

Greetings!
Sorry about your and your friends "bad" experience with American police officers. Don't know how many places you lived but in most places what you describe is NOT typical. American cops are the best trained cops in the World. Period. When I offered to talk with local police they informed me that there is no such thing as "training". They just shoot four times a year and that is it. You don't have to be an intelligent person or a "cop lover" to see that is not adequate as laws, methods and threats are constantly changing. But of course there is a reason or two for that "no money" and "unwillingness to change". You got to love how ares tees are escorted though on a leash and by hooded cops like some "secret" executioners. Sorry---get me off my "soap box" this is a different World and if you OK with it than great! God bless and be safe and happy!

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peddington
7/31/2014 05:29 EST

Greetings,
Very true! I'm here for personal reasons some of which beyond my control. It does pain me however that the country is so unwilling to change and lives in the past. It is a Hungarian tragedy! Just as their dependence and renewed ties with the former "occupiers"! But these are the realities of life I suppose!

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peddington
7/31/2014 05:32 EST

Of course we both know that this comment is a bunch of B.S! I'm as objective as the next person but why are people like yourself so intolerant of others expressed opinion and experience? Hum.. Everything I said on this forum I experienced or have first hand knowledge! Nothing has been distorted just like your experience of cops in the USA!

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peddington
7/31/2014 05:33 EST

THANK YOU!

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peddington
7/31/2014 05:47 EST

Dear Blueber,
Thank you for reading my comment and your civil question. I'm ethnically Hungarian although not and never been a Hungarian citizen. By circumstances an partially by choice moved to Hungary a few years ago. My comments I believe are "objective" and factual although some on this site see it differently. When ALL considered it is NOT just Hungary but in many respect most countries in Europe are so different than the US for example. While I lived in five countries to me Hungary seems most restrictive. Of course it could be that I understand the language and can communicate so I see the "absurdity" in many regulations others just shrug their shoulders and say "oh well that is just how it is here". Of course they have explanation here for many things albeit not very good ones. As to the "Forum". Since folks like yourself want to move here I think it is beneficial that you know some of the things and practices in this country. Some can accept it and some (like me) have some problems with it. Like; foreigners without address card (lakcim kartya) pay more building tax (not in Budapest) than locals, your car has to be re-certified if you put a hitch on it, police can pull you over without reason just to check your driver's license, registration and insurance, if you arrested you are paraded around on a "leash" and by hooded cops/guards etc. etc. etc. The list is long but like someone said this is not the USA. True! If you come here you won't be in "Kansas anymore!" Harsh? No just factual! If you have a question I would be happy to research it for you before your move if you decide! God bless and be safe!

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peddington
7/31/2014 06:11 EST

RE: I was neglectful to finish my comment on a positive note. Hungary is a beautiful country with much historical contributions. Hungarian people are kind and helpful by enlarge and will treat you with kindness and dignity. Hungary is home to Balaton Lake the largest freshwater (natural lake) in Europe. Someone with a decent Western pension/income will do well here!

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Hotjazzman
7/31/2014 08:27 EST

This is the height of arrogance. The comment "the country is unwilling to change". What hubris!
It IS what it is.
You change and accept it, or get the hell out.
Countries, cultures(!) do not change or if change, it takes centuries. This "change" is an American created myth. It's utter nonsense.
Change can be imposed from outside - temporarily. Every occupier of HU after 1526 tried to do it. It didn't work, It didn't work (and is not working) with the latest occupiers - Soviets and the EU. Hungarians are volatile people, as the Soviets found out in 1956. HU had three uprisings against the Austrians (1678-1685 Thokoly; 1703-1711 Rakoczi; 1848-49 Kossuth) and a fourth was averted with the "Settlement" in 1867.
Austrian occupancy occurred at the end of 300 years of war with the Ottoman Empire; in 1526 (battle of Mohacs) this war of DEFENSE was already 134 years old. (from 1392 - the first major attack on HU by the Ottoman Empire). With a 150 more years, it's almost 300. During the Ottoman occupation the country's population went from 4 millon down to two (2) million, while England's same 4 million increased in the same time period to 8 million. So comparatively the Turks slaughtered 3/4 of the population in a country which had better agricultural (food) conditions than England did - therefore a population increase would have been likely higher than England's, should they have had (relative) peace instead of Turkish savagery.

When the Turks have been pushed out of HU, the Austrians stayed, in a ravaged, robbed country.

Yes, Hungarians are pissed losing 2/3rds of their country to incoming immigrants settled over the centuries; it accelerated under the Austrian rule. (It will happen in the US btw.).
You know-nothings dismiss it as HU took part in WWI. What you don't know is, that iwas HU that lost most of its territory and Hungarian population (as a percentage) of all Axis countries. What's worse, that HU wanted no part of WWI, the prime minister (Istvan Tisza) wrote to this effect to the Emperor, Franz Jozef (the letter is on file) that HU wanted no part of this, HU has or had no territorial claim on anyone. However, the Treaty of 1867 AUTOMATICALLY involved HU in WWI just as Canada, Australia were automatically included in WW2 when Britain declared war on Germany, whether they wanted to be part of it or not. BTW: The Canadians at the time were not particularly thrilled by this (I lived in Canada/Montreal for a while), got some first hand feedback from old co-workers.

Here are a people who got involved in a war through no fault of their own, a war they did not want - including its government/leadership - and they get punished the WORST of all participants. And you ignoramuses cannot figure out why are they pissed. They took away Transylvania, which is considered by the Seklers (Szekely) older and longer Hungarian than today's HU. (The Seklers through legend and folklore pre-date themselves in Transylvania to Arpad's arrival in the Carpathian basin, albeit the Avars were (proto) Hungarians/Magyars also, by archeological digging/research, chronicles and legend.

Clueless Americans with no history of having to defend their homeland from invaders for centuries(!) can't grasp this - or rather, don't want to.
The American War of Independence is a comparative joke, the Brits had a ridiculous supply line across the Atlantic in the time of sailing ships; it's surprising they bothered with it as long as they did.

You have NO cultural background to have an opinion on this. A French, a Pole, with a history of a 1000yr+ (on-off) cohesive country/kingdom/culture/history would likely understand. You DO NOT - and never will - unless you become a perceptive(!) historian.

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Hotjazzman
7/31/2014 10:14 EST

You can get good pizza in BUD, but you have to experiment and ask. American students (Corvinus, SOTE, St.Istvan) have found the good ones; you have to inquire from them, and usually they are the delivered kind.
Although, there is a fantastic authentic(!) Sicilian pizza in Coppola Etterem in BUD (near Ferenciek tere in Károlyi Mihály utca 19). It's owned by a Sicilian.

There is a saying:
"Those who change countries, have to change their stomachs (tastebuds)".

The truth is, for example, that in HU - or even in Austria - Linz in particular - is impossible to get good Chinese food.

In HU good steak will not be found. The reasons are many. There is no corn-fed beef - period - to begin with. There is no "aging" of beef. Specific cuts for grilling are not available; they carve up the carcass differently than in the US. That's why the butcher-cut names of beef parts are not readily interchangeable or even translatable from HU to English or vice-versa.
The Hungarian food culture/cuisine has no long standing tradition of grilling anything(!); foods are cooked, fried or baked. On the other hand, Anglosaxon food has few cooked dishes and very short on actual soups. American soups are more like "fozelek" in consistency than broth-like. In the US, authentic traditional Southern cooking (including Louisiana) have similarities with Hungarian cooking techniques.

Hungarians eat soup - consistently. There is a huge variety, albeit it's hard to see that in restaurants. It is a very-very healthy habit to acquire; with soup the total calorie intake of the meal is reduced. In the US I GAIN weight (and am constantly hungry) in HU I lose weight and NOT hungry between meals. Having the biggest meal in the middle of the day is also a very healthy way of eating; the evening's big (or biggest) meal is decidedly unhealthy and fattening.

Hungarians do eat vegetables, but not in the form apparent to Americans, so for us it's a bit strange the lack of veggies, as they appear to be "missing". However, the weekly veggie intake is in the daily "de rigeur" soups, and "fozelek". If you do not yet know what that is, familiarize yourself with it.

Pork dominates mightily.
It has a history behind it, having to do with the Ottoman occupation.
See, when the Turks went to the countryside to rob, pillage (and kill) from their redoubts, but being Muslims, they left the pigs alone. They would not even touch them or "soil" their swords with the "unclean" pigs' blood. So when the (surviving/hiding) villagers returned to their houses/abodes after the Turkish raiders were gone, the pigs were left alive; every other livestock was gone; chickens, geese, ducks, cows, everything. That in turn created the push to invent dishes, meals using pork, and also by default, became the main meat staple of the cuisine.
This is kind of an unintended "side effect" of the 150 years of Turkish occupation.

Other pluses: HU has no significant corn syrup (HFCS) usage. Corn syrup is currently implicated in: obesity, hypertension, diabetes, arterial plaque, pancreatic cancer and cognitive ability (memory). The first three has been proven(!) in numerous(!) university studies - including Harvard; implication in pancreatic cancer in a couple, and the memory was in one animal (rat) study at one of the universities in CA. FYI:
In the US, HFCS is in EVERYTHING.

If you are well informed enough to deliberately avoid HFCS (we do) do not buy SIO drinks, juices. They, unfortunately have it (look for the name in the ingredients: "glukoz-fruktoz szirup / edesito". Any that says "fruktoz" - avoid it - like the plague.

No GMOs. It's outlawed (thankfully).
Much less usage of pesticides, herbicides and even of chemical fertilizers b/c of cost. (Being poorer has its benefits). Therefore, local food in HU is more "natural/organic" than US supermarket food.

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Hotjazzman
7/31/2014 10:14 EST

You can get good pizza in BUD, but you have to experiment and ask. American students (Corvinus, SOTE, St.Istvan) have found the good ones; you have to inquire from them, and usually they are the delivered kind.
Although, there is a fantastic authentic(!) Sicilian pizza in Coppola Etterem in BUD (near Ferenciek tere in Károlyi Mihály utca 19). It's owned by a Sicilian.

There is a saying:
"Those who change countries, have to change their stomachs (tastebuds)".

The truth is, for example, that in HU - or even in Austria - Linz in particular - is impossible to get good Chinese food.

In HU good steak will not be found. The reasons are many. There is no corn-fed beef - period - to begin with. There is no "aging" of beef. Specific cuts for grilling are not available; they carve up the carcass differently than in the US. That's why the butcher-cut names of beef parts are not readily interchangeable or even translatable from HU to English or vice-versa.
The Hungarian food culture/cuisine has no long standing tradition of grilling anything(!); foods are cooked, fried or baked. On the other hand, Anglosaxon food has few cooked dishes and very short on actual soups. American soups are more like "fozelek" in consistency than broth-like. In the US, authentic traditional Southern cooking (including Louisiana) have similarities with Hungarian cooking techniques.

Hungarians eat soup - consistently. There is a huge variety, albeit it's hard to see that in restaurants. It is a very-very healthy habit to acquire; with soup the total calorie intake of the meal is reduced. In the US I GAIN weight (and am constantly hungry) in HU I lose weight and NOT hungry between meals. Having the biggest meal in the middle of the day is also a very healthy way of eating; the evening's big (or biggest) meal is decidedly unhealthy and fattening.

Hungarians do eat vegetables, but not in the form apparent to Americans, so for us it's a bit strange the lack of veggies, as they appear to be "missing". However, the weekly veggie intake is in the daily "de rigeur" soups, and "fozelek". If you do not yet know what that is, familiarize yourself with it.

Pork dominates mightily.
It has a history behind it, having to do with the Ottoman occupation.
See, when the Turks went to the countryside to rob, pillage (and kill) from their redoubts, but being Muslims, they left the pigs alone. They would not even touch them or "soil" their swords with the "unclean" pigs' blood. So when the (surviving/hiding) villagers returned to their houses/abodes after the Turkish raiders were gone, the pigs were left alive; every other livestock was gone; chickens, geese, ducks, cows, everything. That in turn created the push to invent dishes, meals using pork, and also by default, became the main meat staple of the cuisine.
This is kind of an unintended "side effect" of the 150 years of Turkish occupation.

Other pluses: HU has no significant corn syrup (HFCS) usage. Corn syrup is currently implicated in: obesity, hypertension, diabetes, arterial plaque, pancreatic cancer and cognitive ability (memory). The first three has been proven(!) in numerous(!) university studies - including Harvard; implication in pancreatic cancer in a couple, and the memory was in one animal (rat) study at one of the universities in CA. FYI:
In the US, HFCS is in EVERYTHING.

If you are well informed enough to deliberately avoid HFCS (we do) do not buy SIO drinks, juices. They, unfortunately have it (look for the name in the ingredients: "glukoz-fruktoz szirup / edesito". Any that says "fruktoz" - avoid it - like the plague.

No GMOs. It's outlawed (thankfully).
Much less usage of pesticides, herbicides and even of chemical fertilizers b/c of cost. (Being poorer has its benefits). Therefore, local food in HU is more "natural/organic" than US supermarket food.

Post a Reply

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peddington
7/31/2014 12:31 EST

Greetings! "Arrogant"? Don't think so, not an academic well that is probably so since a degree does not make anyone an "academic" but hey anyone can quote history and data. But let me get to the point. "Change" as I refer to it has to do about NOT living in the past and adopt things that work and are more appropriate for a country in this century. The so called "communist" have done thir damage over 40 years but after 25 years little has changed in Hungary. They create tax laws then ignore blatant violations of the same. It is a game they play and bureaucrats are willing participants. It is like the proverbial "sticking your hand in the sand" it doesn't solve anything just make you not see the approaching doom. Hungarians seem unwilling to update laws or the way of doing things. This may be political unwillingness or incompetence but the end result is the same. You get three different answers at the same office when you talk with three different bureaucrats. No one could defend that and be objective. Perhaps that is your issue! Be safe!

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Hotjazzman
7/31/2014 12:32 EST

Sorry about the double posting, it was a computer glitch.

Anyway, Balaton food is geared for Hungarians and as far as foreigners, Germans/Austrians. For them, Hungarian food is just fine; their opinions range from "good" to "heavenly". So the restaurant proprietors don't care about your American sensibilities - why should they? There is still nostalgia tourism to Balaton from DE - mainly by Ossies.

As for the pizza; consider this: In the US, DiGiorno (the most popular frozen) just changed their pizza recipe - since about the winter.
The sauce is now cloyingly, sickeningly sweet, and you can clearly taste cinnamon and cloves! Yeah, you got that right, cinnamon and cloves. Tastes like dessert with cheese.
Unbelievable.
So American pizza (at least DiGiorno) is not on the ascent of heavenly goodness either.

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Hotjazzman
7/31/2014 15:41 EST

You are using YOUR cultural norms to evaluate another country/culture. Seriously stupid and ignorant.

Obviously, you have never heard: "When in Rome, do as the Romans".
Heed it. HU will not change to accommodate YOU.
You may believe in American exceptionalism; that you are special in some way(s). In HU you're not. Got it? You're just another (loud? arrogant? pushy?) American, who thinks he is "special" when he is only a tolerated(!) guest.

Being kind, polite will get you a lot further. Americans in HU are not particularly liked, nor are they looked upon as the paragons of intellect, honesty and of sophisticated behavior. You should be the exception to that stereotype, it WILL pay dividends - guaranteed - I know.

Let me tell you a story I witnessed in BUD about two mos ago:
Around midnight, pub/bar. Some Anglos come in. An English speaking group (mainly females) has been sittng there drinking beer, talking, but all with non-Brit, non US accents; probably English language university students. The Anglos try to interject themselves into the group, but the girls tell them to get lost (politely). One of the girls gets up, goes to the bathroom. One of the newly arrived guys (I think British) follows her and waits for her to come out. When she is out, he talks to her at length and then pins her and grabs her arm.
Another (pretty) blonde sees it, jumps up and screams at him in fluent (American accented) English:
Paraphrasing: "Listen you pr*ck, you do not touch and grab anybody here! You are in Hungary, in MY COUNTRY, my HOME, you're an effing uninvited, unwanted VISITOR, an arrogant bully, a nobody!
I'm Hungarian, I speak Hungarian, and will call the police and charge you with assault and guess who will they believe, and you can spend the next day or two in jail!"

At that point a security guy intervened, pushed the Anglo guy to the wall, the girl spoke to him in Hungarian (guess, who he believed) the guard said to him somethings I couldn't hear, and he went back to his buddies, but they became quite subdued after.
The Anglo guys group left soon after, the guy stared at the blonde girl on his way out, she in turn she stuck her tongue out and flipped a bird at him.
I WAS impressed by her spunk, English language skill and her strong sense of identity ("its MY COUNTRY").

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peddington
8/1/2014 14:58 EST

Greetings! For the life of me I don't understand why the "personal" attack! You truly don't see the extreme stupidity in some of the rules here? It is like being in "never never land". Let me give you some example; I bought a house after obtaining the $250.00 signature from the major of the city. OK fine. Then my life partner and her children could get address card (lak cim kartya) at my residence with my approval. OK fine. Since I was on a one year resident permit I had a paper card (subsitute for lakcim kartya). I got a notice from the local authority to pay building tax (epitmeny ado). OK fine. When I contacted the office I was told that I was NOT considered a resident, even though I own the house and have resident permit and a paper card because that really wasn't an address card (lakcim kartya) issued by the National Document Bureau and I would have to pay a higher tax. As you know the resident permit requires one to be in Country at least 6 months or more and coupled with ownership this still does not qualify one for residency. This is the stupidest bureaucracy you will ever see so I hope you are taking notes. I will backtrack for a moment; when I applied for the "permit" to purchase a home I was already owner of an apartment at the capital city my poor dad left me who as a great Hungarian moved back from NYC 18 years earlier. When I submitted the paperwork the "bureaucrat" asked me for my address card. I had the "paper" kind but also had the inheritance paperwork. She said that she would mail it to me. I said do not do that because the apartment is empty and I live somewhere else. So said "no can do". I said with no doubt with my American ignorance---Why? You take a piece of paper out , I write down my address and you also sign it and--Voila! You send it there! She said that the rules did not allow that? I said what is the problem? She said in horror--What if the letter comes back? So my question is why do you defend stupidity, rigidity, incompetence and the rules of the lazy bureaucrats!? It is a system that holds back Hungary which pains me greatly! Incidentally you account of the story in the bar has nothing to do with nothing! Stupid people exist in every culture and Americans or Hungarians are no exception! As side note about Hungarians in general overseas is this; I seen them cheat and take advantage of the newcomers. I seen other nationalities help each other but not Hungarians! A national trait? Maybe not but it sure pained me as an "ethnic" Hungarian! So get off your high horse and please stick to the facts! Hungary has a long way to go and I pray that they will have the leadership and the wisdom to do so! God bless and be safe!

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peddington
8/1/2014 14:58 EST

Greetings! For the life of me I don't understand why the "personal" attack! You truly don't see the extreme stupidity in some of the rules here? It is like being in "never never land". Let me give you some example; I bought a house after obtaining the $250.00 signature from the major of the city. OK fine. Then my life partner and her children could get address card (lak cim kartya) at my residence with my approval. OK fine. Since I was on a one year resident permit I had a paper card (subsitute for lakcim kartya). I got a notice from the local authority to pay building tax (epitmeny ado). OK fine. When I contacted the office I was told that I was NOT considered a resident, even though I own the house and have resident permit and a paper card because that really wasn't an address card (lakcim kartya) issued by the National Document Bureau and I would have to pay a higher tax. As you know the resident permit requires one to be in Country at least 6 months or more and coupled with ownership this still does not qualify one for residency. This is the stupidest bureaucracy you will ever see so I hope you are taking notes. I will backtrack for a moment; when I applied for the "permit" to purchase a home I was already owner of an apartment at the capital city my poor dad left me who as a great Hungarian moved back from NYC 18 years earlier. When I submitted the paperwork the "bureaucrat" asked me for my address card. I had the "paper" kind but also had the inheritance paperwork. She said that she would mail it to me. I said do not do that because the apartment is empty and I live somewhere else. So said "no can do". I said with no doubt with my American ignorance---Why? You take a piece of paper out , I write down my address and you also sign it and--Voila! You send it there! She said that the rules did not allow that? I said what is the problem? She said in horror--What if the letter comes back? So my question is why do you defend stupidity, rigidity, incompetence and the rules of the lazy bureaucrats!? It is a system that holds back Hungary which pains me greatly! Incidentally you account of the story in the bar has nothing to do with nothing! Stupid people exist in every culture and Americans or Hungarians are no exception! As side note about Hungarians in general overseas is this; I seen them cheat and take advantage of the newcomers. I seen other nationalities help each other but not Hungarians! A national trait? Maybe not but it sure pained me as an "ethnic" Hungarian! So get off your high horse and please stick to the facts! Hungary has a long way to go and I pray that they will have the leadership and the wisdom to do so! God bless and be safe!

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Hotjazzman
8/2/2014 10:12 EST

Why are you moaning and groaning?

Didn't you know, that Florida has a two-tier real estate tax? There might be other state, I purchased real estate in FL, (got rid of it since) so this one I know of in person.

There is a "resident" real estate tax and "non-resident"real estate tax. The non-reident is in effect, if FL residency is under 180days/year. It's close to DOUBLE of the "resident" rate. It's very steep - by the way. A $120K condo (age 50+ only) on Boynton Beach had almost a $4K 'non-resident" real estate tax on it. (Resident was under $2K).

Get it through your head: You're a GUEST, a resident. They play the music you do the dance. The music will not stop. However, you are free to leave the party.

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peddington
8/3/2014 06:23 EST

First of all you mixing "apples and oranges". Yes there is a two tier tax for those who live in the house (and have a homestead exception) and those who don't and are part time or "snow birds". I don't think there is a differentiation between foreigners or for someone in Virginia who has a vacation house in Florida. This is of course totally different from what I was talking about since I'm a 180 day plus resident in Hungary and I own my home I still don't qualify for residency because of the "address" (lakcime kartya) is what I was talking about! This is not a "status" or "residency" issue but rather what documents the Government decides to give you or not!

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Hotjazzman
8/3/2014 10:42 EST

Gather your things, sell your abode and just leave.
You do not belong here.
Central and S. America is inexpensive also. The weather is warmer as well, no or only a small VAT, so those are all pluses. And the bureaucracy and red tape can be just as bad (or worse) as in HU, so you'll have lots to bitch and moan about there too.

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Hotjazzman
8/3/2014 11:09 EST

It's really hard to wade through your unstructured gibberish about your apartment in BUD.

However, here's advice: Don't be cheap, retain a lawyer. They are not that terribly expensive and they'll take care of everything - including advising of what kind of paperwork you'd need.

I've done it more than once. I could even recommend a one in BUD; they speak fluent English, most of their clients are non-Hungarians.

Here's their blurb:

"Mécs/Csákay expertise covers most aspects of commercial activity and clients are regularly advised in Franchising, Banking, Business and Commercial Law, Bankruptcy, Finance, Debtor and Creditor Matters, Real Estate, Commercial Litigation, Alternate Dispute Resolution. Service is provided in Hungarian, English and French. The partners and associates of Csákay are authorised to appear before the courts in Hungary." Tel: 36-1-214-3221

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