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Can 2 Adults live on 2000 USD net take home a month?

True, the good thing is the older people usually get the good meds, that will put a smile on anyone's face!
The 27% Vat tax is really high and is a turn off to buy items at times here in HU.
We shipped over a few things but of course many useful things we just didn't bring and don't care to replace here in HU.
I personally feel I am living in the  rough here in HU, no reason for it really other then I do not care to invest here any longer, don't wish to buy any more expensive household items because I may find myself reselling or giving them away sooner then later.
Thank goodness my MIL left me allot of housewares, furniture and all, down side is almost everything has that old "commie" feel to it, everything is from the 1970's.
In fact we saw a very similar cabinet in the National Museum, one I use daily here in our flat.
Maybe it's time to buy something more 2016 and not 1972.
I can tell my heart is not into buying new things here in HU so it's time to think it over, easy to get comfy and not go forward with big issues like moving away and staying away.
I know almost every Hungarian we know from my next door neighbor to the local grocery clerk ask us why in the world we came to HU from the US. Grass is always greener...

Marilyn Tassy :

In fact we saw a very similar cabinet in the National Museum, one I use daily here in our flat.

See:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/1 … 30582.html

Basically, someone bought a $700 chair that turned out to be an antique toilet, worth at least $250,000. Maybe investigate what that cabinet is really worth, and you might be able to leave Hungary in style.

We often never know the real value of all the crap we have around our homes (pun intended).

Well i think Ann has the right idea about things which we share also in our own way.

Hungary is a pain this is true but there are many nice things here and really so far most of the reasons why we moved are actually correct. Healthcare is affordable, housing is cheaper for rentals, i do feel we will be able to find an affordable house to purchase, food is cleaner here, even with the jerks here there are still more nice people than we knew in USA etc.

And honestly we never thought Hungary would solve everything. As i said in my first post, as an USA person that is retired and not married to a EU person there are only certain countries we were able to legally move too. Even with work visas the restrictions on that are getting harder for many EU countries. {A friend of mine she had a job in Ireland and another and in UK. Now this year they have changed the type of jobs the government  allows companies to issue work visas for. So now unless you have like a white collar job even working is not a way to live there. The list of jobs is pretty narrow and even then they can always find a more qualified local or EU person}

So if we do want to live in a different country in a few years it will be easier to do so after being legally living in Hungary. It will be much easier to drive or take a train to look at flats in Austria or Italy from Hungary than from St Pete Beach, Florida! he hee.

We want to get some stability here and have a home base. I feel Hungary offers that. I do not want were  my father gets old and has to worry about paying rent or what some owner is doing, or me face no where to live if i broke up with a bf or something. From here who knows! We might just travel a lot and still live in Hungary. Or keep a house here and live somewhere else. Dad loves Italy he has been there many many times. Or if i end up marrying someone then living in his country. Or i may move to Lithuania or Latvia that is questions to be answered down the road. We have some distant family that we have to visit in the Netherlands so who knows might end up there. Although i really doubt either of us together or separate would want to live there or Norway.

Or who knows if UK leaves the EU maybe we will be able to move there! he hee :heart:

FeliciaOni :

:heart:

To be succinct: Life is an adventure. Live it.

:cheers:

FeliciaOni :

......
And laptops are very very expensive and much older technology than i am used too. I have an 8g of Ram with 2 T of storage i brought new last year and i want a new one with 8 or 12 g and guys at the computer stores or media mart look at me like i am crazy! ....

Media Markt has to be one of the worst places to buy anything technical.  They are totally useless and extremely expensive.  Now I just do not bother with them.   Their selling model involves using very expensive storefronts which is an anachronism these days.

You can get just about OK (for here, depending on item) prices on technical goods by going to Argep Sometimes there are special offers there.  But they also have crazy (high) prices if the sellers are chancers.  Usually items are sold out of small places, like single offices or small shops. I've never found anyone not to be a legit seller - you get an invoice etc.

I have been known to buy IT stuff here in HU but quite a lot of the time, I simply have to import it from places like the UK or Germany.  A lot of more unusual (for domestic use) are considered very specialist items and are just not available or have no local support.  Usually inferior versions are offered.     

A recent change in the VAT rules has caused a lot of hassle - buying from say, Amazon.de means that VAT is payable at the destination country rate, not the rate of the country of dispatch.  It's pushed up prices and is utterly anti-competitive.   

The only way to avoid stuff is to go there personally and collect the items which is not very practical or you get someone there to act as "an agent", receive the goods locally, then repackage to ship as personal "2nd hand goods".  Shipping costs make this unworkable a lot of the time but it is possible.

It's just about possible to go to Austria or Slovakia and get a small price advantage (if one goes to say, Ikea, but even then it's not so great). The EU has a minimum tax level of 15% all over so there's not much in it (i.e. 27%-15%= 12%) unless it's a very high value item or something rated at 0% or exempt in the source country.  Austria is not particularly cheap either.

fluffy2560 :

The EU has a minimum tax level of 15% all over so there's not much in it (i.e. 27%-15%= 12%) unless it's a very high value item or something rated at 0% or exempt in the source country.

Sure.

But to an American, where some states have a zero (0%) consumer retail tax (i.e. sales tax in the USA, VAT elsewhere), a minimum tax of 15% might be quite a shock. And a 27% tax is simply jaw dropping.

Sometimes I think what we save in everyday living costs just balances out with unexpected expenses here in HU.
Everything is cheap, fine and dandy then something breaks down or needs to be replaced and you find yourself paying more then double of what you would expect to pay in the US.
I am not even talking about the deals found second hand in the US.
I swear when we were in Vegas last month, my husband was spending a good $400. a month in the Goodwill store, he just couldn't believe how cheap new to barely used items were there, pressure cookers, 3 bicycles, brand new high quality pots and pans, dishes,clothing, designer items, furniture, I had to stop him from bringing home bags and bags of things that we couldn't bring back to HU in a suitcase or two.
My storage unit in Vegas is full to the top.
We almost never buy items here in HU that we don't really need.
I refuse to pay that VAT tax on items I can live without having.
New items in the US like tv sets etc. can be bought for nearly nothing with great return policies.
To me HU has the best food and drink but much else still reminds me of how things went 30 years ago, the rich always have what they need and the rest are still struggling to just get by.
For me it is a good lesson to live knowing I don't need every little thing that catches my eye.
Making life simple is refreshing.
Gone from a huge house with 4 cars, dog and swimming pool and store cards to just several suitcases worth of clothing and items that I can take or leave.
While I was in the US visiting I almost decided to just stay there and forget about everything in Hungary, had to return for my family photos so here i am.
Basically it is nice to be free from material items we tend to really have to many things in the west, think everyone should live awhile with less to see what is really important.
Seems I am returning to my old Hippie ways by living in HU.

Marilyn Tassy :

Seems I am returning to my old Hippie ways by living in HU.

To return to one's hippie days, Hungary is a bit far to travel. Consider Just moving to Arcata, Humboldt county, in California.  ;)

"And laptops are very very expensive and much older technology than i am used too. I have an 8g of Ram with 2 T of storage i brought new last year and i want a new one with 8 or 12 g and guys at the computer stores or media mart look at me like i am crazy! I do not have the money to buy one right now but i am used to being able to see things i can not afford at least! he hee. "

You can find all the latest technology in stores, but it's indeed expensive, about 30-40% more expensive than in US. Sometimes you can find sweet deals, though, I bought my laptop for ~750USD, on amazon.com the cheapest price for the same model was about 1300USD in USA.

May I ask what do you need 8-12gb for? Ram is easy to upgrade, and usually it's cheaper to upgrade a laptop with third-party modules.

atomheart :

"And laptops are very very expensive.....

NOT trying to be too critical, but using the stylistic "quote" option does make ones own comments far, far easier to differentiate from the comment one is referring to.  :)

I know, and possibly as the strongest support I can give in your defense, if you are using a tablet the quote option is unfortunately now buried in sub menus and difficult to get to and find. That is indeed kind of unfortunate, and annoying indeed.  :(

But.... if you can find the quote option....  it does help others who read your comments.  ;)

Yes that would help when others say things referring to what is said. Like i know what i said and he is committing on it but to others it is not so clear.

I guess in theory upgrading a computer that you were already using would work but honestly that has not worked well(maybe just had bad experiences with tech geeks in usa) and also as i stated getting a new laptop/notebook is better. Maybe it is just me in my situation we are used to 2 different laptops to use separately.

Plus at least in Florida to upgrade RAM was like 300 dollars a brand new laptop is like 600. So i rather just have a 2nd unit then upgrading and still just having one.

Yes i have 8g of RAM now on the one i brought this past October. Which yes i need and use. So when i do buy a new one yes i will either continue with the RAM i have or yes get more. Before this one i had 4g and it was not fast enough so that is why brought the 8g so why would i downgrade? No one should downgrade on technology!

I do not have nor use tablets or use mobile internet devices ie smartphones etc, i guess i just am old fashioned! I just when i am not at home i do what i am out to do. Both from privacy sake and also just i do not know i do not text or anything.

FeliciaOni :

Plus at least in Florida to upgrade RAM was like 300 dollars a brand new laptop is like 600. So i rather just have a 2nd unit then upgrading and still just having one.

Yes i have 8g of RAM now on the one i brought this past October. Which yes i need and use. So when i do buy a new one yes i will either continue with the RAM i have or yes get more. Before this one i had 4g and it was not fast enough so that is why brought the 8g so why would i downgrade? No one should downgrade on technology!

8GB RAM is not unusual.  I have 8GB in most of my machines.  If I could stuff more in, I would.  You can never have enough RAM.

$300 for 8 GB is insanely expensive.  RAM costs have fallen considerably and there's no shortage. I got 16 GB for my fanless server (it uses laptop RAM) for about 20K HUF and that was low voltage RAM from a top manufacturer.  It's easy to put in RAM yourself.

If you want to make it faster  replace the HDD (Hard Disk Drive) by an SSD (Solid State Disk).  These are well under $100 for 500 GB now and will allow your laptop to boot up in less than 10s (mine boots in less than 5s).  SSD will make more difference than a 4GB to 8GB upgrade,

With an SSD it's possible also to disable the Paging File on the boot disk and this will improve speed as well.   I am systematically replacing all my boot HDDs with SSDs.

You can then replace the CD/DVD drive with your existing main drive using an adapter that allows you to use the HDD in the CD/DVD drive slot.  That assumes you don't use CDs/DVDs any more (who uses them?). Adapters are easily available on Ebay.

If you disable the Paging File on the main drive, then set a Paging File on the secondary disk, just in case. The usual size is 3 x memory installed.

klsallee: good point, I should have used Quote.

FeliciaOni: fluffy2560 has beat me to it, I wanted suggest pretty much the same. An SSD can make a much bigger difference, and 300 bucks for a ram upgrade is ridiculous.

Bigger numbers and newer hardware won't necessarily bring you better performance, you have to keep things balanced, make sure that there is no major bottleneck. I far too often see non-techie people (I'm not making any assumptions about your IT skills) buy brand new, cheap PCs (or more expensive ones with unbalanced components), and then they find that it's still slow... It's a waste of money.

One more thing: if you don't want to spend a lot of money, a used "business class" laptop might be a good choice. This one, for instance: link. They list a few possible upgrades at the bottom, +8gb of RAM is 14.000HUF. (You could do it yourself based on youtube videos for about 10.000HUF)

You can read about the Lenovo Thinkpad models on this site.

atomheart :

One more thing: if you don't want to spend a lot of money, a used "business class" laptop might be a good choice. This one, for instance: link. They list a few possible upgrades at the bottom, +8gb of RAM is 14.000HUF. (You could do it yourself based on youtube videos for about 10.000HUF)

You can read about the Lenovo Thinkpad models on this site.

Agree with the 2nd hand option totally.  New IT stuff is overrated.

I bought Mrs Fluffy a small 13" screen i7 HP second hand (OK, not wonderful as a brand and oddly laid out design with some pointless and unusable options) for £250 which is about $350 (maybe).   I upgraded the RAM 4GB to 8GB by swapping memory boards with another laptop the kids use and replaced the HDD with SSD and downgraded to Windows 7.  Now it's very usable and runs very nicely indeed.   The only difficulty was finding the drivers but this was hardly a show stopper.

I need all of you with me when i buy a laptop! he hee

The laptop i have that i use now i brought brand new about 8 months ago is an HP touchscreen with a  SDD hybrid drive, 8g ram and 2 T of storage and core i7. It is pretty fast i have had no issues with it other than figuring out how to keep the Windows 10 upgrade out!

I have looked at getting a "business" laptop for the next one. I just need to make sure it is usable for normal things also.

The next one i will get i think i will just get another HP with Linix OS, Ubuntu i think it is called and either 8g or have it upgraded when i buy it to 12g. The company i saw online is in Uk shipping did not look too much.  It is brand new about 700 usd.

I do not have the spare cash right now to get a 2nd laptop but when i do yes it will have to be ordered online.

I brought a "factory refurbished" laptop before an ASUS and a Acer and never ever again!

Thanks for all the info!

FeliciaOni :

i have had no issues with it other than figuring out how to keep the Windows 10 upgrade out!

Are you using any software that's not compatible with it? There is no other reason to refuse it, especially when it's free...

FeliciaOni :

I have looked at getting a "business" laptop for the next one. I just need to make sure it is usable for normal things also.

It's usable for normal things, sure! business grade laptops are built to be used 8 hours a day, they are more durable usually.

FeliciaOni :

The company i saw online is in Uk shipping did not look too much.  It is brand new about 700 usd.

Maybe yours won't break, but if it does, how will you deal with warranty? Before buying that model, I'd suggest to find a store in BP that has it on display and check out its keyboard, lid, etc. Also check out the one I linked earlier, you might feel the difference in quality as soon as you open the lid and feel how solid it is. New Lenovo Thinkpad Ts are priced 350kHUF+ for a good reason...

Well warranty wise those never do much for you! Like i said i brought this one brand new in USA and it came with a 6 month warranty, i could purchase longer from HP if i want but wow thanks. The store only gave like a 7 day warranty then refer to the HP one.  When they break or have issues i have never had a store or manufacture do much anyway and that was in USA i doubt EU would be much worse anyway.

As i said before most stores in Budapest do not have much on display let alone anything with the specs i am looking for. If so pm me directly and let me know where to go to find these stores with such items!

I looked at the links you mentioned but i will admit they did not make much since to me!

I have been very unhappy with Windows for awhile so no i do not want to use it anymore if i can avoid it.

Just read these posts from three (3) yrs ago and I'm amazed that the conditions are exactly the same here in Budapest right now in 2017!

Health insurance from companies like CIGNA are absolutely NOT WITHIN REASON!
Once they find out that you're an AMERICAN, the rates are out of sight.

Absolutely true that they're still living under the previous Communist way of doing things and are not advanced especially in their way of thinking!

People on the street don't make eye contact when approaching and don't smile or have a pleasant look on their faces.

I smile like crazy and do get smiles back from the younger generation.
To add to your other comments I do more of my shopping in the uk now than three years ago. For example I recently bought a new sewing machine a Toyota for 100£ less in the uk than Hungary.  Consequently I only buy day to day basics in Hungary.

Mailman1942 :

...Health insurance from companies like CIGNA are absolutely NOT WITHIN REASON! Once they find out that you're an AMERICAN, the rates are out of sight.

Obviously private insurance companies only want to insure people who do not want to claim.  So when one needs insurance - usually when getting older - the premiums will increase to discourage you from being in the scheme, claiming and  then costing them money.   So if you're under about say, 48, then they'll want you but over that, nope.  When does anyone become a liability to an insurer?  Yes, easy guess, about 48.

Hungary also has universal health care so why would anyone really want private health insurance? 

It's proven to be very difficult to sell if not impossible.  The private hospital in Telki closed and is now a retirement home. The clinic that supported it seems to be closed or much reduced. Every time I drive by it, it's got a new sign outside - they keep reinventing themselves.   

What might sell is "top up insurance" and I've seen it being promoted.  These are "add-ons". From what I could tell, it's not mainstream care - it's things like health checks and spa weekends - not the real stuff like open heart surgery or hip replacements etc.  What a "top up" might give you is some element of real medicine like consultations or supervision.  Somehow they haven't got it right in Hungary.

There's a special case for expats but more aimed at companies who are picking up their employees bills.

This is my post i started before we moved to Budapest yes about 3yrs ago. We have been in Budapest for almost 2yrs now and plan on staying several more years. So i guess i should of updated this post! he hee.

Mailman1942- what is exactly your question? If i can help let me know. Health insurance private i mean, is much cheaper than in usa. I have not used it too much so i can not commit too much. My father is going threw getting full coverage right now also, he is 60 so i will see how it goes.

If you are in USA you will not get quotes or even see companies in EU. Once you get here it is still not easy to buy health insurance either. We went threw 5 different agents just to get an agent to write a full normal policy! Several agents were ok with signing the basic emergency only policy that is legal but does nothing for you. When it came to buying normal policy and explaining we live here and will for several more years and really do not have a time or plan of moving out of Hungary that was an issue.

In general this is the case with many things in Hungary, educated professional people seem to have the silly short sighted view that being biased is better than being in business. But whatever i am not here to change anyone and the only people i have to please if the immigration office! he hee.

But we did find a good agent that speaks good english and is very good.   If you need help pm me and i will give you his info.

There are many jerks and jerkettes maybe more than should be, but that said there are many nice people and many professional people. Mainly do not accept being mistreated and think about what you need to get done and find someone to do it.

Being an person of color from the USA we are used to things being a bit harder than it should be so we are used to this. What is really bad is that in USA where we were born and everyone speaks the same people acted just like they do in Hungary! I mean here many times someone does not understand what we are saying or what we mean etc so ok i understand that. But that is not the case in our country of origin. But that said there is always a way to communicate if someone wants too. Many times it is not speaking the same tongue it is just people have attitudes.

On the flip side yes one thing that is more Hungary centric is they really socially act like USA people in many regards and that is a serious let down.

And like i tell other expats i have talked too, think about why did you move to Hungary?

If you really hate it, really are tortured every single day then leave! If you are an expat then you are from somewhere else so it is easier to leave than locals.

Yes 2 adults can live on 2k usd here. We do not have all the things we want and need, and there are many goals we are still working on but life here is much more affordable. Hungary is more expensive than it should be it really is.

We have lost money by being ripped off on stuff and not knowing somethings. But you learn. And we are not really frugal people either. My dad goes to the mall sees Nordsee has lobster and just has to have one. Me i have to order clothes, etc. Some of it is when you go threw serious life things where you do not know if you will live or die you do try to just enjoy life.  And also you do not get so wound up on the little stuff.

Like we moved to Hungary for our reasons and it serves a purpose. We have our goals and we are working toward them and being in Hungary does attribute to that. So we are glad and happy to be here.

Question:
How much are rentals in Budapest on average? How about smaller towns? I understand there is an expat versus Hungarian standard of living, is this true for rental apartments as well?
Thank you

FeliciaOni :

This is my post i started before we moved to Budapest yes about 3yrs ago. We have been in Budapest for almost 2yrs now and plan on staying several more years. So i guess i should of updated this post! he hee.

I think most of us here in these forums said it would be a very difficult move for you and your Dad  but I have to say, 2 years here already and you're an old hand and an expert it seems.  I am quite surprised you actually came here. All I can say is that you must be very tenacious and I hope it won't sound patronising if I say well done on making it to 2 years.

On your other subject, there's a bit of a difference (at least in British English) between whinging (complaining) and grumbling and actively hating Hungary.  Some of us are going to be lifers - we're married, got kids, work and own property etc. Sure we can also leave but you get used to it and in older years, why bother with the hassle when everything has become so familiar.  So perhaps there's a lot of complaining but not much real depth to it.   People like to complain - the British are experts at it and so are the Hungarians and many others.  On the other hand, my French colleague said he'd rather live only in France as it's the most beautiful country in the world.  Well, maybe it is to him. And we were discussing that over dinner in West Africa.  Only a bit irony there.   Everyone has their own perceived slice of nirvana somewhere - I don't think anyone would say it's in Hungary.

I think well honestly i know many expats that move to whatever country really and i am speaking of USA people expats, do tend to move and jump over to where all the other expats are. Since being here  we get many people both Hungarians and other expats tell us of the places where other usa people hang out at, or where they show NFL games, or "where you will NOT hear any Hungarian spoken just americans" all of which we totally find repulsive!

If you do not like a group of people why are you in their country? I think the locals should respect expats, like i told some Hungarian people if Hungary did not allow us to legally live here we would not be here so if they really hate americans being here then vote in different people to change the rules! Most times unfortunately the response from Hungarians that say this is bad in they reply that they "thought non whites could NOT leave usa" or that "Hungary did not intend for people of color from USA to move here" or "I did not realize rules, treaties with USA and Hungary would include non whites also".

Like i have said mostly this is the younger people, most people that express these prejudiced, bias, rude and bad views have been generally the under 40 crowd. I will just speak of us as black americans the older people like in their 40s, 50s and up are much more open minded tolerant and even if they can not speak english they make good attempt to communicate. But as i said i speak of our experiences.

Me and my father will never be Hungarians the European heritage we do have is not of this area at all(my mom is from Germany and my dad has some distant family in Netherlands, Denmark. I have good friends in Norway, Lithuania and England, my dad has traveled and lived immensely in England, Spain, Italy France, i lived in Germany and Norway) so this area is all new to us. So we can not live like a Hungarian. But by the same token we do not live like some expat in a bubble either. I mean we spend on stuff we would spend on wherever we lived.

And like i said or i think i said, we have had to spend more cause we came with just 2 suitcases for a permanent  one way move. All that we own(about 100 large boxes of personal items, our whole life. Not furniture or anything like that just our life stuff that is not replaceable) is in storage in Florida and we will ship it over down the road. So we have had to and still do buy everything. Every single fork or spoon, washcloth, clothes everything we have had to purchase. And now there is still stuff we still need to buy. But if you have family or friends here it is much cheaper. Or if you have people back in USA to help you or something then yes that saves money also. We have no family or friends in usa and knew no one in Hungary and had never set foot here before we moved here to stay 100%. But like i said with that it is still doable. Most people that move here have more support than what we have so it is something i most defiantly think someone should pursue.

But we respect Hungary and its people. I also expect them to respect us.

I dislike expats that go on and on about how they dislike Hungarians!

FeliciaOni :

...
If you do not like a group of people why are you in their country? I think the locals should respect expats, like i told some Hungarian people if Hungary did not allow us to legally live here we would not be here so if they really hate americans being here then vote in different people to change the rules! Most times unfortunately the response from Hungarians that say this is bad in they reply that they "thought non whites could NOT leave usa" or that "Hungary did not intend for people of color from USA to move here" or "I did not realize rules, treaties with USA and Hungary would include non whites also".
...

I am truly shocked about that and I am sorry to hear that you are being subject to that kind of prejudice here in Hungary.   

Hungarians are not normally like that.  They've had plenty of history of different peoples coming here during the Communist time.

At the moment, the HU government is tolerating that kind of behaviour as it seeks to demonise anyone it finds it can squeeze political capital out of.   It's like no-one here knows their history.

I have personally met Felicia and her dad, very nice, friendly and open minded people. Very easy going as well.
Hard to believe sometimes that so many nasty people have crossed their paths, a real shame.
I am also a bit shocked so many racist people have said so much dumb stuff to them. Good thing I wasn't around our there would of been some harsh words spoken in defence. One reason my husband really doesn't seem to want me to learn Hungarian, I will say stuff if I know what is going on around me.
I sometimes think allot of people only get their world views from the tv set, repeating things they really don't have a clue about. I sometimes am also guilty of doing that, should know better too.
I read some very old over 50 year old letters my cousin had translated from Rusyn ( slav) to English that my grandfather wrote to his aunt in the US in the 1940's through the late 1960's before he passed away.He was born in the US but spent years in Poland where he met my grandmother, they were all Rusyn people. He barely spoke much English as well, lived in a ll,Rusyn community in the US.
He had the old world view on race, when my grandmother died he wrote his aunt asking her to find him a "replacement" wife but he wanted first for her to find a Rusyn women, if needed he would "settle" for a Russian, Pole or Hungarian! Wow, he did think allot of himself!
A middle aged widower with 9 kids and a bad attitude!
In his letters he never used my mothers name , only called her "The German". Wonder if he knew she was only half German and the other was 1/4th native American, he probably would of lost his stuff! Also 1/4th English , no idea what he thought of the Brits, probably not much knowing him. Every family has it's black hearts.
Racist people really do get under my skin, ( no pun)
Not sure if they still have this event or not since I don't watch tv anymore but here in Hungary they had/have a Miss Black Hungary beauty pageant, the ladies have to have one parent that is Hungarian to be in the contest.
Too bad you have only run into idiots in Hungary because I am sure not everyone here has such narrow minded views.

If anyone is interested in knowing... My grandfather did find a taker! Hard to believe, she was a Rusyn, the first cousin of my deceased grandmother, guess my grandfather was a "ladies man" after all... Just crazy how people did things back in the day.

Chikagoan :

I understand there is an expat versus Hungarian standard of living

Standard of living is going to be mostly determined by income. Some Hungarians have a higher standard of living than most expats, because they have a lot of money.

The only issue is many Hungarians earn less than those expats that retire in Hungary or work here for short periods on assignment while still pulling in their normal salary. But I also know expats that earn a typical Hungarian income so have a typical Hungarian standard of living.

I think as many people say on here it is not just do to my father and i are people of color per say. Hell what has surprised me is the number of Hungarians i see that are so brown clearly a good shade or 2 darker than me. I do not know the history of Hungary so i guess many are part Roma or Turk or maybe Serbian. I have no idea. So anyway is not a skin color thing i think, It is more the non local thing. As i read all the time from white expats they may not get this direct stuff but i have read of people that are not black experiencing things we never had to deal with. So we take it in stride and i really do not feel Hungary is a very racist place in the true racial since. I do feel they use race or the fact someone is not a local etc to mask the fact they are economically upset at someone.

Like we found a good bank, been with them several months no issues, even had to go in a few times for things that we did not understand that were simple , got some english speaking people no issues. Ok so then recently my bank balance increased greatly. We went in to ask about something oh goodness it was like we turned into space aliens! Same workers at same branch were mean, stating things that just were not true, demanded to see our passport, we bring it and then they did not look at it, tried to change to the type of account into a non resident one, stated that our residence permit was canceled etc. We had to have the guy at a different branch that set up our account clear it up. We asked him what on earth was the issue? He stated that a few of the workers got jealous and tried to do things out of spite.

Those type of things those are not good and that bothers us. Was it due to us being black, being USA people, i doubt it. I honestly think if a Hungarian person had the same thing they might of gotten some issues also.

Like may times yes i feel Hungarians watch stuff on tv, mostly there is usa tv on that is so stereotypical. And one thing is many shows, movies depict racial insulting someone as a way to upset them and distract them. So honestly unless the person is keeping us doing something we want to do, we do not care what someone thinks too much.

Now i will say in regards to flat rentals. Like we have been here coming up on 2yrs and we do not plan on moving out of our flat for several more years we are under lease until 2019 but we do plan on signing beyond that. Mainly we do not want to deal with the drama and hassle of moving. But i will say i see flat prices are much expensive than even when i was looking in 2015!

We moved here in 2015 and looking at prices then compared to now things have really gone up! Crazy so! We live in 2 district and prices i see are crazy. I mean there are better flats that cost more but honestly i am not about spending tons of money on a rental. But it would be hard for me to find a place at our same price. I guess in other districts there are cheaper deals but we do have to be close to food stores, places to eat etc. And i do not feel we got a super deal or anything and god i wish we had a dishwasher! But i do not know what has happened to the prices!

Then i have heard that prices for real estate prices for rentals and sales are going to drop between 2020 and 2025. So maybe it will be better for someone if they can to wait a few years? I do not know.

Interesting observations:
I have traveled extensively in Hungary (and Europe as a whole) with my spouse who is Asian (Korean) and although people in smaller towns and cities such as Nagykanizsa stared at her, no one said anything unkind at any time. I am under the impression that Hungarians kind of are interested in Asians. There are many Chinese living in Hungary as I observed.

Chikagoan :

I have traveled extensively in Hungary (and Europe as a whole) with my spouse who is Asian (Korean) and although people in smaller towns and cities such as Nagykanizsa stared at her, no one said anything unkind at any time. I am under the impression that Hungarians kind of are interested in Asians.

Hard to say what others are thinking. My experience, and the experience of others (one was an American-Hungarian consultant who helped US businesses do business in Hungary) is Hungarians will not usually tell you what they are really thinking until they know you well. (Which, by the way, can make doing business rather difficult at times).

And add to that, Hungarians are often very socially polite. Even if something you offer them or is yours which they think is really bad and they do not like it, they may still tell you they like it, just so not to be unpolite to you personally. This makes Hungarians great hosts. Everybody feels like family around Hungarians.

Unlike Americans, who at times will brutally tell you exactly what they are thinking. Makes for some uncomfortable discussions at times. Ouch!  :(

I have mentioned this before, regarding the funny way Kalles commercials really highlight this cultural difference:

http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.ph … 76#2717261

Very true. Many of the conversations I have had are when speaking Hungarian. I am recognized as a Hungarian American in these conversations and treated to a degree as 'part of the family'. However, it is quite probable that people are not leveling with me abut their true feelings for my spouse. They say nice things about the Chinese to me, such as the fact that the Chinese people in Hungary don't make problems, but I think that underneath they may not  always approve.
In any case I have stayed in Asia many times and am used to being an oddity to a degree. I think my wife doesn't mind.

FeliciaOni :

...... Same workers at same branch were mean, stating things that just were not true, demanded to see our passport, we bring it and then they did not look at it, tried to change to the type of account into a non resident one, stated that our residence permit was canceled etc. We had to have the guy at a different branch that set up our account clear it up. We asked him what on earth was the issue? He stated that a few of the workers got jealous and tried to do things out of spite.

......

That kind of behaviour used to be common.  Surprised it's still going on.

There's an old apocryphal kind of story of a sort going around that two HU farmers each have a sets of sheep.  During a large storm, 10 sheep on one farmer Laszlo's farm are killed by lightning and only 5 of farmer Peti's farmer's sheep are killed by lightning.   Suddenly God appears and says to Laszlo, "I'm God, how can I help you?".   Laszlo says, "I see that my neighbour Peti has lost only 5 sheep",  "Yes Laszlo", says God,  "what should I do for you?"  And the Laszlo says, "Kill another 5 of Peti's sheep".

Stupid story, not well told (I heard it 20+ years ago so a bit fuzzy), but the point being that here in HU, if your neighbour (or anyone) is jealous, they will even blindly try and sabotage you to even things up and doing that is far more important than their own well-being or rationality.

I don't know what people think about race in Hungary except for my own experiences.
I used to frequent a ladies gym here almost everyday and everyone actually thought I was a Hungarian, smiles and hello's every morning.
people often start speaking to me in Hungarian before I realize I am deaf and dumb in Hungarian.
My MIL however was freaked out that I was not able to speak Hungarian on family visits, Like anyone living in Ca. would actually learn
Hungarian in school...Just on the off chance that someday they might visit communist Hungary. Logic is missing sometimes.
My 2 younger brothers are dark complected men, tall dark and handsome?
In both cases they have run into issues in the US.
One sort of asks for it with his tats, motorbike and long hair, they take him to be a Mexican and hassle him all the time on the roads, cops that is.
My other bro looks European in his face but has black hair and brown skin, takes after my mom's Native side, he works for a major US airline and he is stopped at work for ID checks while his pale skinned coworkers with less security clearance are never stopped for a ID check.
He actually moves the planes around the tarmac  so maybe it is a good thing they double check him but still he takes it personal.
They think he is from the middle east or something...
I once was dealing cards in Vegas to a group from SC, long story but these players actually knew my bro and worked along side him in SC.
They couldn't stop staring at me and asking over and over again if my bro was really my bro or not because of our coloring, I will burn in 5 mins in the sun.
It isn't fair but that's how the world is for now, not just in Hungary.
I think perhaps people are a bit more sensitive to how they perceive  being treated because they are in a foreign country and everything is new and done differently.
Hard though for me to know how a person of color feels though, only through my brothers and my friends of color do I get and sense of these issues.
I know when I lived in a remote part of Hawaii, being pale was a bad thing, was even called rude names by strangers because I was too white, very rude names, people looked ready to  beat me up for no reason other then I was too pale, scary so I can imagine how it could be for people of color in areas where they are a minority.
Our son works in the east side of Las Vegas, not the best area, he lives on the other side of Vegas so has a long drive everyday to work.
He was using a old Cadillac we bought super cheap( that's our thing, cheap cars because we move around allot and don;t want payments) Ok so he got off work late at night about 4 am, was driving this old Caddy in a  "mixed neighborhood" got pulled over by the police all because of the racial stereotypes of  a young white man wouldn't be driving a beat up old Caddy in that area of town at those late hours.
After he pulled over and they saw him in his suit and tie with his red hear etc. They just said sorry and let him go, that was racist because of the car he was driving.
Happens allot in the US so Hungary can't be all that different, I think actually Hungary tries hard to be progressive.

Marilyn Tassy :

....
My 2 younger brothers are dark complected men, tall dark and handsome?
In both cases they have run into issues in the US.
One sort of asks for it with his tats, motorbike and long hair, they take him to be a Mexican and hassle him all the time on the roads, cops that is.
My other bro looks European in his face but has black hair and brown skin, takes after my mom's Native side, he works for a major US airline and he is stopped at work for ID checks while his pale skinned coworkers with less security clearance are never stopped for a ID check.
He actually moves the planes around the tarmac  so maybe it is a good thing they double check him but still he takes it personal.
They think he is from the middle east or something...
I once was dealing cards in Vegas to a group from SC, long story but these players actually knew my bro and worked along side him in SC.
They couldn't stop staring at me and asking over and over again if my bro was really my bro or not because of our coloring, I will burn in 5 mins in the sun.
It isn't fair but that's how the world is for now, not just in Hungary.
I think perhaps people are a bit more sensitive to how they perceive  being treated because they are in a foreign country and everything is new and done differently.
Hard though for me to know how a person of color feels though, only through my brothers and my friends of color do I get and sense of these issues.
I know when I lived in a remote part of Hawaii, being pale was a bad thing, was even called rude names by strangers because I was too white, very rude names, people looked ready to  beat me up for no reason other then I was too pale, scary so I can imagine how it could be for people of color in areas where they are a minority..

Not just colour but even perceptions of colour and even a matter of life and death.

Mrs Fluffy and I were driving through Zambia (yes, I mean Zambia) and we saw this "white" guy walking along the road in the middle of nowhere.  Anyways, we asked him if he wanted a ride to the next town which he gratefully accepted.  This guy was an Albino and related to us how dangerous it was for him in parts of Africa.  People associate the condition with voodoo.  He said he could have been killed for his body parts  for us by the witch doctor.   To us, it was a very weird situation we were incapable of truly understanding - he seemed to be an alien even amongst his own people.  Unusual experience.

Getting back to the living costs topic:
Even though there has been fluctuations re currency the past three years. I still think it is possible for two adults to live on 2000$ a month. Two years ago the rents in budapest were at least 30% cheaper. So I would think that the costs of a small apartment and all bills would come to just below half. And the rest would just about cover all the other essentials ; food  transport, basics, and low cost entertainments.
I live mainly on a small occupational pension when I am in hungary and my saving grace has been owning my own properties.
If you rent in the countryside or suburbs out of the capital city rents are very much lower.
I think the race issue is far too complicated for this forum. Granny said "sometimes they like you and sometimes people don't like you.  Don't waste your energy just move on".

Saw a documentary on Netflix about Albino's in Africa, didn't watch the whole thing because it was upsetting to me.
My mom was not all that dark being half German and all but she was raised by her full blooded Mohawk grandmother after her mother died.
The horrible stories she told me of growing up on the east coast of the US and being called racist names and being told not asked to leave shops because she was with her old granny, just sad stuff, during the 1930's, guess circumstances   due to the depression made people even more nasty then usual. They had money to go shopping while others didn't.Had to find some racist way to make them also feel badly.
My husband was in S. Africa during Apartheid, he has a few tales to tell. No problems for him at all but he sure felt strange over there, being put up higher then others just because he happened to be born white,felt very creepy about it all. We planned on moving there but after 6 weeks he returned, said it wasn't for us, said I would probably be in jail the first day for speaking up against it all.
I found Hawaii to be a very racist place, not even sure they know how racist they are really. When my son was born on Maui in the mid 70's he was laughed at the moment he took is first breath because he was a super white Howlie baby with red hair, everyone knows the local babies are so much cuter looking, so I was told.
Just wonderful to hear that as a new mom! Not.
The first day of a new job in HI, I was a bit late, got a speeding ticket on the way there.
A huge Hawaiian lady was waiting for a haircut when I walked in, first day and all. She had a look of horror on her face seeing me, knowing i would be doing her hair. My coworker explained to her that yes, I was a Howlie and part Injun..n o worries I wouldn't be scalping  her either!!
Turns out this coworker was super nice too, she was a Hapa Howlie married to a Papolo... Figure that out and you will understand what I mean by racist in HI without them really knowing they are being so.

USA is very very intolerant place! It is much more racist than Hungary! I do not mean to imply anything different.

Yes Hawaii is a very racist place towards white people! I have been there and found it horrible in this regard. I grew up in CA and my mom is from germany ie white hmm she really looks like Olive Oil you know Popeye's wife. Very pale white woman. And she got so many rude things said to her from locals. One thing that made my dad date here in high school was the fact that she was a german that spoke very little english no one would talk to her. The whites there in Nebraska did not talk to her cause she was not from usa, she lived in the all black neighborhood cause the people she lived with were german immigrates and all germans had to live there. And the black there acted the same also they did not like the germans cause they were not from usa!

There are many more kind and friendly people here in Hungary than i ever met in USA.

It is the fight to spend your money which is annoying. And this view that "non Hungarians should beg Hungarians to buy a house". No one should be expected to beg or kiss someones buttocks!

As i said and i think Fluffy pointed out i think racist things people state is more that people are jealous and just use the race card to try to upset people. Or they try to insult someone cause they have problems defending a point. And i think to try to piss someone off and get angry so they will leave and then the local person can sit on their ass and not do their job. he hee.

In these regards we have seen this same thing in usa and it is annoying to see this in Hungary also.

Like dad and i were at food store, and we heard the guy in line in front of us having a serious tiff with the in front of him. In english mind you, i have no idea what started it but the guy in front of us was a Canadian and the guy in front of him was a Hungarian guy. Something about produce and TTIP or something i do not know, but the Hungarian guy was saying to the Canadian guy "You people do not know about nature and disrespect trees. Look at what you Canadians did to the maple tree! You harvested them to death to make syrup!" We were laughing so hard! The Hungarian guy got out of line and back in behind us. The Canadian guy payed and left. We did not say anything to the Hungarian guy we thought he might be mean or something, no he was very nice and helped us when we did not have stickers on our produce. Point being this guy had no issues with people of color, just some thing with people from Canada for whatever reason.

In relation to economy i bring this up as it makes living a hassle many times. Can you live on 2k usd here? Yes you can. But you have to really watch every little thing. But in time you get things done and money wise it is ok.

Many things are very affordable here so i would suggest it!

FeliciaOni :

but the Hungarian guy was saying to the Canadian guy "You people do not know about nature and disrespect trees. Look at what you Canadians did to the maple tree! You harvested them to death to make syrup!"

An ironic statement given how many incorrectly pollarded trees in Hungary that are either dead or dieing from this ill-treatment.

fluffy2560 :

There's an old apocryphal kind of story of a sort going around that two HU farmers each have a sets of sheep

I have heard a similar, shorter, version. And just recently.

I guess this issue is pretty common here. And living in a small village, I have experienced such behavior in real time.

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