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In retrospect, would you move again to Hungary?

Hi all,

If you had to look back on your expat experience in Hungary, would you heartily say "let’s do it again"?

From the preparation stage to your actual everyday life in your new country, what did you enjoy the most?

Would you do certain things differently? Could you tell us why?

How would you describe the benefits of your expatriation in Hungary so far?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience. We look forward to hearing from you!

Christine

No, nice place to visit but wouldn't want to live there is how I feel on retrospect.
I am "home" ATM in the states but returning to Hungary next week.
I have very mixed feelings about the upcoming trip.
Time to perhaps move on, see if we can sell out and follow the sun.
Been in and out of Hungary since 1978, I adjust quickly to the life in Hungary but overall it is just not home to me.
When I was younger I enjoyed being in a "strange" place but these days it seems to wear on me.
I really enjoyed Hungary years ago when I knew it was only going to be for 6 months then we had a break of a year or more away.
Not as much fun to travel these days and it is just too far away from the west coast of the US as one ages. Not exactly a joy ride flying so far these days.
What we like the most about Hungary to be honest is the cheap prices, if that ever changes we will hit the highway and never return.
Life is not all about money so even the prices don't faze us as much as years ago.
There are many places on earth that are cheap to live and there are places that are warm all year long.
My husband was born and raised in HUngary but he no longer feels at home there either, been away for too long and one can never really go home again, people, places and things change and not always for the better.
I do LOVE the buildings, the food and the wine however.

I've been all over the world working and lived outside of my own country for more than half my life.  But there's no place like home.  And it's not here.  It's England.

But Mrs Fluffy and the Fluffyettes are locals so with that and being here on and off since 1994, I've had to adapt and I've got used to it.   

Probably past it now to  think of any major moves to another country on a permanent basis.  Not unless someone I know (or I) wins the lottery  and is utterly generous.  Might consider an assignment elsewhere for a couple of years when the Fluffyettes leave the nest - at least 11-12 years wait.

Christine :

If you had to look back on your expat experience in Hungary, would you [snip] say "lets do it again"?

Yes.

But note, I edited the quote and removed "heartily".

Our decision to live in Hungary was not "heartily" but was tactical and strategic.

If one comes to Hungary for economic reasons (i.e. cheap apartments or land) one is fundamentally fooling themselves. Local reality is far, far more complex.

And of course, I reserve the right to bail on this country if things turn even more sour than they currently are.

Christine :

From the preparation stage

Hm.... Even moving across the street is a PITA. So moving to a new country is even worse.  ;)

Christine :

to your actual everyday life in your new country, what did you enjoy the most?

The weather, climate and generic lifestyle (but only if you can either ignore, stay above, or be completely ignorant about the copious local gossip about you as an expat).

Christine :

Would you do certain things differently?

Absolutely.

Christine :

Could you tell us why?

I am no hot house orchard, but even I underestimated the degree of deceit, cronyism and corruption in Hungary. (see http://www.portfolio.hu/en/economy/two_ … 31198.html). And that has only gotten worse since 2010.

And forget about expecting the EU to protect your "rights".

The EU is only interested in big fish like "Google", while you are left to flop around like a fish out of water in the local legal system pretty much unprotected.

Christine :

How would you describe the benefits of your expatriation in Hungary so far?

Good weather and peaceful life, so far.

Christine :

If you had to look back on your expat experience in Hungary, would you [snip] say "lets do it again"?

Yes.

But note, I edited the quote and removed "heartily".

Our decision to live in Hungary was not "heartily" but was tactical and strategic.

If one comes to Hungary for economic reasons (i.e. cheap apartments or land) one is fundamentally fooling themselves. Local reality is far, far more complex.

In short, unless you have real business reason, or family connections in Hungary, I suggest to avoid the country.

And of course, I reserve the personal right to bail on this country if things turn even more sour than they currently are.

Christine :

From the preparation stage to your actual everyday life in your new country, what did you enjoy the most?

The weather, climate and generic lifestyle (but only if you can either ignore, stay above, or be completely ignorant about the copious local gossip about you as an expat).

Christine :

Would you do certain things differently?

Absolutely.

Christine :

Could you tell us why?

I am no hot house orchard, but even I underestimated the degree of deceit, cronyism and corruption in Hungary. (see http://www.portfolio.hu/en/economy/two_ … 31198.html). And that has only gotten worse since 2010.

And forget about expecting the EU to protect your "rights".

The EU is only interested in big fish like "Google", while you are left to flop around like a fish out of water in the local legal system pretty much unprotected.

Christine :

How would you describe the benefits of your expatriation in Hungary so far?

Good weather and peaceful life, so far.

We sort of got "roped in" to moving to Hungary.
Never really thought about living there full time.
Came for family reasons but circumstances have changed.
Events happened and we found ourselves living full time in Hungary since we had invested in a property which was bought only for a investment and vacation place.
Things grow on you like a mold.

I just fancied the opportunity to experience living in a different European country and Hungary was miles cheaper than Slovakia where my friends lived. I found a country cottage set in seven acres of land in a lovely friendly area. It cost the same as buying a holiday caravan in Lincolnshire. The yearly overheads were and still are a fraction in comparison to the caravan and I own it forever not just 20 years.

Then I discovered Budapest and totally loved it and purchased an inexpensive home there three years before I took early retirement. My apartment is three times bigger, cost a third as much to buy, and costs a fraction to run compared to my apartment on the South coast of the UK . And it is much nicer! Huge high ceilinged rooms, storage space and a storage room in the basement.

We have a large shared courtyard that I can sit in if I wish and I have a long walkway that I can use like a balcony and sit outside chatting to friends who smoke. I love it! On the south coast I had no outside space, no storage and no where to hang my washing.

Unlike my colleagues here I have no interest in following Hungarian politics and I don't understand Hungarian or the Hungarians. When they start talking a load of racist shit to me I move on. If they want to discuss the arts or opera I stay and listen.
As long as I wake up every day and enjoy life I will stay. I enjoy people watching and looking around interesting buildings and I think it will take me a few years to see what I want to see and do what I want to do. The weather is also very nice and I love being able to garden.
Especially since basing myself in Budapest I have made some lovely friends and don't regret coming to Hungary at all.

Since retiring at the end of last year I have learnt the value of skipping the winter and in future years I will save up to be somewhere hot every winter. However , having recently had an extended holiday in a tropical place I would not want to live there all the time because generally there was little intellectual stimulation.
Whereas in Budapest I have interesting groups of people,  art galleries and exhibitions to entertain me.

So purely selfishly I am here for myself, I can fly to see other family and friends in less than three hours and because Hungary is so central I can visit other European countries very easily. Public transport here is wonderful and cheap. Friends love to visit me.

There are always negative aspects wherever you choose to live eg I don't like Hungarian food. People , agents and builders, have stolen from me.  Some Hungarian friends expect you to pay for any little help that they give you. Hungarians moan like hell. Workmen are sloppy and unprofessional, cafes and restaurants don't come up with the goods and pocket your change. The drains in the city stink sometimes. Officials want to fine you .

When we arrived, we certainly had no intention of staying beyond our 90 day allotment, but back then (2001), it was easy and possible to cross borders and return for 90 more days.

We left the US for a year of travel, doing much of Europe, but as winter approached Cologne, Germany was too cold to play tourist living in a hotel room. We had visited Budapest in 1996 and l loved the thermal culture, so we decided to come here to thaw out in the hot spring waters, rent an apartment for 3 months and then plan our next jaunt come spring.

As things worked out, we decided to teach English to hold back on our savings. All of the language schools we applied to wanted working papers. That led into our getting our one year Visa. Somehow, this transformed into my getting a teaching position at Eötvös Loránd University, Department of American Studies and my partner at what was then St. Istvan University, now part of Corvinus. We thought we would do this for a year and then move on.

We are still here. Over the years, we started a small B & B in our home, bought a second apartment, and I did leave the university after 12 years of teaching there. We just obtained our 3rd Residency Permit.

That said, we do a great deal of home exchange when we close up the B & B, so we are able to travel extensively, keeping us sane. We also bought a condo in Cuenca, Ecuador so we have three months a year to retreat there and renting it out the rest of the year.

Would I do it all over again? No! However, back in 2001, any English speaking positions were offered to EU citizens before 'others' were considered. This was the logical choice at the time.

Christine :

If you had to look back on your expat experience in Hungary, would you heartily say "lets do it again"?

Looks like most expat replies so far are "no".

:(

Sad sort of I suppose, most have second doubts after spending time in HU.
I think in my case it is more of missing my family and friends in the US then disliking Hungary.
Hungary is cool in it's own way but it is not home and sadly never will be for me.
Just returned to Hungary after a nice long visit home to the states.
Still jet lagged and adjusting.
My husband has run out today to help some ex pats with some legal matters ( translate) and to pick up our car.
Not sure why but I am finding it hard to leave the house today on my own to buy a few odds and ends.
I have raided the cupboards and found some decent beans to cook, just don't have it in me yet to deal with the public on my own.
That's sort of bad considering in the US I usually know no fear of the public.
Went to a concert last night for May Day, was nice, peaceful and all but as soon as my husband walked away to use the WC and I was on my own , I felt very odd, need time to adjust to being an outsider again.
Culture shock? Maybe , perhaps I am just fresh from the farm and see things as they are not how my mind copes.
Hungary is exciting for a time but after a bit I sometimes feel I am in a time warp, back to 1994.
I must give it a few weeks before going totally mental though...
I know if I didn't have loved ones in the US Hungary would not be so hard to live in.

Marilyn Tassy :

My husband has run out today to help some ex pats with some legal matters ( translate)

My wife use to do that. For free (it is amazing how some people (and some expats) think some help should come free or at some ridiculously low rate). And she spent more and more time each day dealing with other people's problems.

Then when she ran up a 10,000 HUF phone bill on behalf of just one person's issue, and when that person did not want to compensate her for that expense, I said enough.

"Tell them up front you will be compensated for your time, or you can not handle their problem." I said.

Strangely.... all of the mundane, trivial and just plain silly requests just stopped. And now she does actually get compensated to handle real problems, because she is good at it (she is a great problem solver, including helping people cut through red tape and bureaucracies). I know the "evil" Joker said it, but it is true: "If you're good at something, never do it for free."

Marilyn Tassy :

Went to a concert last night for May Day, was nice, peaceful and all but as soon as my husband walked away to use the WC and I was on my own , I felt very odd, need time to adjust to being an outsider again.
Culture shock? Maybe , perhaps I am just fresh from the farm and see things as they are not how my mind copes.

There is a loss of independence and self assurance: i.e. don't know the language enough to be seen as anything but a foreigner, or not knowing all the rules (legal or social) which you can trip over at any time. All of which can be very depressing for an otherwise independent personality.

For myself, and as an example, I simply find things I can work on and be independent. Renovating our house has been great, for example. I can tinker to my hearts content, and create under my own guidelines. Same with our vineyards, where I can also act independently (most of the time -- still have to deal with local bureaucracy from time to time since wine making is a regulated industry). I think expats here who have such independent diversions do better while they integrate into the local social mesh.

Yes it is difficult to get help and support even if we are well willing to pay for it. I would love to find a reliable person just to go through my letters and bills for half a day every six weeks or so and fortunately sometimes no complicated letters arrive and I can breath for a while.
Working with simple and not so simple communications in a different language is daunting for most people.
Unfortunately even if we pay people to help they often lack the skills to just assist and not interfere putting their own spin on things. So yes translating and interpreting are proper skills worth paying for.

I also agree that it is our spirit of independence that got us here in the first place. I have no problem entertaining myself and keeping any sense of isolation at bay. But I also believe that it is better for any single person to aim to develop up to five good friends in any "home town" they  find themselves in. For couples and families we can do with less.
Otherwise I suppose there is a danger of becoming too isolated.

I am fortunate in the fact that I taught university here for 12 years, so I had and still have former students willing to come to my rescue with things that come in the mail. UN-fortunately, there are times they do not have the life experience to understand what is in the documents, though they are native speakers.

That said, there have been things that neither my attorney or accountant could make heads or tails of, so it could be a horse of a different color altogether.

Loss of independence is a biggie for me.
I was totally enjoying driving around Las Vegas all by myself like a "Big Girl".
I do feel a bit like a child here in Hungary which is hard on someone like myself who enjoys my freedom.
My husband really doesn't mind helping people who are friends,my friends and I usually do what we can for each other and I usually never "count coup. "I suppose the problem comes when people only take and never give back, that has happened to us in the past but we have let it go.
We all need help sometimes and sometimes it seems a one way street but in the long run I feel we are here to help each other if possible, with limits of course.
I come from a huge family and am used to giving.
It is weird to be back in Hungary though, I am missing a few creature comforts from home and of course unlimited access to a pool and spa, car,clothing dryer, boy, better stop listing things or I will have second doubts!

When I returned from my long trip recently it was strange and I was glad to get out to the countryside for a while because I was not used to being in a small but bustling city. I think we can have these odd moments wherever we live. I'm visiting the UK right now and sometimes I can feel disoriented here. Especially if I travel between the Midlands and the south coast. They are very different. As is Hungary city compared to countryside.
However, because I was so busy in my garden when I returned last time I soon got used to the change of scene. I am far happier in Hungary than I would be in a busy area in the UK. And I can afford to do much more in Hungary than in the UK or Mauritius but I do miss being near the sea sometimes.

I only just saw this thread as I could not access the forum for some months.
If I could turn back time I would not move to Hungary. I feel very isolated in my village as nobody speaks English and I have failed dismally in my attempts to learn Hungarian. I moved here as a means of taking early retirement. I was a self employed domestic appliance repairer in UK but was suffering a lot of back pain, mainly due to having to move heavy washing machines. I like the warm summers in Hungary and the quiet roads, lack of crime etc. but in terms of percentage of people who speak English, Hungary probably has the lowest figure in Europe.

I can understand that.  Everything in the countryside is more difficult due to my lack of language  skills.  Also apart from my beautiful garden and the peace and tranquility in my village there is little else to occupy me there.  This is why I moved my main home to Budapest when I took early semi retirement.  It's a lovely vibrant city and I have made more friends and am able to live a better lifestyle.
I've given myself four years then I will sell my holiday home and maybe follow the sun a bit more but I will always keep my main home in budapest.

I don't have experience of living in the Hungarian countryside as such but I do have experience of living in the Austrian countryside.  My only advice is DON'T.  Despite the idea of tranquility etc.,  and even though I can speak a reasonable level of German, there's just a different level of thinking out there.  I would always advise expats who do not speak the language to a native or near native level to always live in a large city. 

It's a bit obvious really - it's where all the people and services are.

Unlike my colleagues here I have no interest in following Hungarian politics and I don't understand Hungarian or the Hungarians. When they start talking a load of racist shit to me I move on. If they want to discuss the arts or opera I stay and listen.

I think that's the key to accepting being in Hungary. I've learned enough Hungarian to say what I want, but not enough to get into a meaningful dialogue, so I have a sort of immunity from hearing what I don't like. It is perhaps as well that I am linguistically hampered or I would have otherwise been in confrontations.

Personally I find the extent and expression of nationalism in Hungary obnoxious and the political inspiration behind it unforgiveable, but living in the West Midlands of UK so long, I should have had 45 years to get used to it. I have to say that it leads me to the conclusion that if I had my choice again, it would not be Hungary.

After coming and going to and from Hungary and the US for so many years I am not sorry at all for the experience of living in Hungary.
I am afraid if I stay much longer in Hungary I will never be mentally able to live in the US again.
People, places and things do change a person even if they try to live in their own bubbles.
I had a harder time relating to my old friends in the US on my last visit. They are all consumed by political events,ideas etc. that are very American, gun control, Obama health care etc. I found it harder to relate to their everyday life.
Like the song goes, "I am turning Japanese" but in my case," I am turning Hungarian".

I think there must be an optimum time to live away from your birth country. My dad had similar feelings when he returned to his place of birth after several years. He said he no longer recognised the place.
Currently I go to the uk about four times a year and have a home there,   so I  feel up to date with friends and family.   I have not been in Hungary long enough to get bored with it or get itchy feet.

Marilyn Tassy :

I am afraid if I stay much longer in Hungary I will never be mentally able to live in the US again.
People, places and things do change a person even if they try to live in their own bubbles.
I had a harder time relating to my old friends in the US on my last visit. They are all consumed by political events,ideas etc. that are very American, gun control, Obama health care etc. I found it harder to relate to their everyday life.
Like the song goes, "I am turning Japanese" but in my case," I am turning Hungarian".

It sounds like you are starting to feel like a foreigner in your own country. I know that for me, moving from UK to USA would have been a much bigger culture shock than the move from UK to Hungary.

This thread was started pre-Brexit  so some of the British forum members may now have regrets  because of their potential future non EU status. There won't be many countries left for Brits to legally emigrate once the EU doors are closed. My parents considered taking an assisted passage to New Zealand back in the '60s but that was in the days of the Commonwealth.

Yes I think that is very true.  Uk people are watching and waiting and even I am a bit concerned even though I am just a frequent visitor. There will be no point having a home here If residency is more restricted.  For example,  if we have to buy a visa every time we fly in.  However there are more UK citizens in Spain so its a case of watching and waiting as no one can predict the future outcome.

davidpearce :

Personally I find the extent and expression of nationalism in Hungary obnoxious and the political inspiration behind it unforgiveable

And then, when you think it can not get any worse, the news this week:

Hungary launches brazen assault against Transparency International, Helsinki Committee and Civil Liberties Union

fidobsa :

..... left for Brits to legally emigrate once the EU doors are closed. My parents considered taking an assisted passage to New Zealand back in the '60s but that was in the days of the Commonwealth.

I think it won't make any difference at all.  We have no special treatment for Canada, NZ, SA or Australia or anywhere else non-EU.    The EU option will still exist except we'll have to get residency paperwork like everyone else or a less intense form of paperwork since, on the other hand this would have to be reciprocal if any EU country sticks the boot in.  There are substantial numbers of EU citizens living in the UK - 10s of thousands of French people for example.  The largest group are Polish people - I believe almost 900,000.  Hungarians, Czechs, Bulgarians, Romanians and everyone else are in there as well.  Quite incredible.  It used to be  Indians and Pakistanis working in lower paid or service level jobs but now it's all Eastern Europeans.  You can easily find Dutch and Spanish doctors working in the UK National Health Service.

I believe the red passports will be phased out for blue passports but don't quote me on that.

The odd emigration example is the USA which has a much fairer in my opinion.  Any British person with a foreign spouse that is eligible can apply through their spouse for a diversity visa lottery and it's essentially free - unlike Canada, NZ or Australia.  British people (except Northern Ireland) are not entitled to enter the USA diversity visa lottery.

What we might see is the UK opting for a "Commonwealth" reciprocal system - basically more open borders for English speaking Commonwealth+USA citizens and fast track residency permits on a reciprocal basis.   This would be a highly desirable situation if the applicants are extensively qualified - engineers, doctors, software designers etc.

The Brexit thing hasn't seemed to have done a single thing to the economy except the obvious - the pound is down making exports cheaper but messing conversely with imports.  On the other hand, the stock market has been doing really well these past few months.


Latest news is that the UK is steaming ahead with US, Canadian and NZ trade agreements now it's free of the EU drag on it.  If Ms Le Pen gets into the French presidency, I think the EU will start to implode.

fluffy2560 :

The odd emigration example is the USA which has a much fairer in my opinion.  Any British person with a foreign spouse that is eligible can apply through their spouse for a diversity visa lottery and it's essentially free - unlike Canada, NZ or Australia.  British people (except Northern Ireland) are not entitled to enter the USA diversity visa lottery.

For what it is worth, the odds of winning the Diversity Visa Lottery is <1%.

One may enter just once and win the first time out, or may play their entire life and never get selected.

So the question is.... Do you feel lucky?

Side note: Every now and then congress tries to eliminate the Diversity Visa Lottery. So one never knows when some day there will be a "poof" and it will be gone.

My next door neighbor and her boyfriend in Vegas were Hungarians from Canada and the women had won the visa lottery and was able to work in Vegas and live in the states.Her man had to keep going back and forth to Canada since they were not legally married.
It happens but yes, it is a long shot.
I wouldn't worry too much about the Brit exit thing, we Americans have done our time at the Hungarian immigration offices so get in line.
It's not all that bad if you have a real legit reason to be in Hungary, family job or a business.
It doesn't even cost all that much in the long run.
Cost allot more, in the thousands for my son to have his 2 wives move to the US, first from Hungary and then from Japan.
Even applying for a travel visa is not a big deal. We got visa's to Hungary several times even though it was communist at the time, money talks and everyone knows what else walks...

klsallee :

...For what it is worth, the odds of winning the Diversity Visa Lottery is <1%.

One may enter just once and win the first time out, or may play their entire life and never get selected.

So the question is.... Do you feel lucky?

Side note: Every now and then congress tries to eliminate the Diversity Visa Lottery. So one never knows when some day there will be a "poof" and it will be gone.

It's not that bad.  It's about 3% depending on how the visas are distributed - it's not a flat rate chance between countries. If a husband and wife play together, then they double their chances with two applications - perfectly entitled to do that.   Google the chances - several web sites show the chances but they have limited data.  If one applies, there's a reasonable chance of getting through in about 3 years.

Mrs Fluffy and I applied and we won but that was in the Clinton change to George Bush Junior days and George Dubya was such an ***hole we decided we couldn't be bothered to go and also because of my oldest set of kids.  I've met several other people who also applied and won some of which did go and then were working overseas but were permanent residents.  I think it just depends on where you are from how it works out.

I suppose the DV process could be eliminated but then again, it might actually be increased.  With Trump in the driving seat who the hell knows what is going on.

fluffy2560 :

It's not that bad.  It's about 3% depending on how the visas are distributed - it's not a flat rate chance between countries.

I know. It is divided by regions. And the odds differ between regions. For Europe (where we are at this forum in Hungary) the chance is <1%.

Your odd are much higher, >8% if you are from Oceania.

fluffy2560 :

If a husband and wife play together, then they double their chances with two applications - perfectly entitled to do that.

Sure, but I was replying to your post for UK citizens, who as you suggested can only applied via their non-UK spouse. Since where you were born, not where you live, only matters. So then, two can not play.  :)

fluffy2560 :

If one applies, there's a reasonable chance of getting through in about 3 years.

Hm.... No. That is basically the gamblers fallacy. Each time one applies is a mutually exclusive event and chances of winning do not change the more you play. That is, assuming the same number of applicants this year, your odds of winning are no more or less than your odds of winning last year, if the selection process is truly random. Your chances of winning do not increase over time for each time you play, no matter how long you play.

For example, consider a roulette wheel. Based on your comment, one should have a "reasonable chance" of winning betting on any one number consistently in 3 plays. But, in fact, you might play 14 all night and never win. Meanwhile, then guy next to you always playing 27 and wins 10 times. His constant playing and winning is not related to how long he played any more than your constant loosing is related to how long you played. Because how often you play has nothing to do with your chance of winning on any spin of the wheel. He was just more lucky than you that night when, by chance, the wheel hit 27 ten times.

Another example, consider a deck of cards. Say you are the Ace of spades. Draw a card at random. After each draw, shuffle the deck. According to your statement, one needs only about 3 shuffles and draws to have a reasonable chance of it drawing the Ace of spades. Try it. See if it works that way for you. Then ask 10 people to do the same. Compare results.

What you may mean, is given infinite time, and an unbiased sample, eventually all options/players will be selected. True. But that still says absolutely nothing about when any one player will be selected nor how many plays must occur before any one repeat player is selected. So, yes, eventually you will draw the Ace of spades, and eventually the ball will fall into every numbered slot on a roulette wheel. And if you repeatedly play 13 you will eventually win. But when each event will occur is not so simple as declaring it as 3 (or N) successive tries. And you may go bankrupt gambling and thinking like that.

However, you can estimate the odds of winning in a sequence of N events. And, according to the fallacy your odds of winning will increase the more times you play... but that is actually part of the fallacy, as the opposite actually happens.

This was one of the more difficult concepts for my statistic students when I was a graduate student TA.

klsallee :

This was one of the more difficult concepts for my statistic students when I was a graduate student TA.

Yes, etcetera.

You would be right if the odds and randomness were the same each year but they are not.  The proportions are skewed on a yearly basis according to where you are from and so it must be to avoid proportional bias in the selection sample over time.  As far as I know, they fill the sample by country and when it's exhausted by quota, that's it, until next year (notwithstanding drop outs and eliminations etc). There are several web sites that report on the number of applications per area - no idea if those stats are true.  So indeed it should be random within a country but per country or region, it's clearly not across the entire visa availability. Some countries are excluded as in my case. Just to reiterate personally I am not eligible but for others  they have a higher chance with couples/spouses applying together.   

So with these factors, the chances of selection are not <1% over the entire population, it's higher.   It's a biased roulette wheel.

Anecdotally, if you ask people how they became permanent residents, the number of people saying it was the DV lottery seems to be much higher than one would expect from pure random chance encounters.  Just my experience.

fluffy2560 :
klsallee :

This was one of the more difficult concepts for my statistic students when I was a graduate student TA.

Yes, etcetera.

You would be right if the odds and randomness were the same each year but they are not.

Even if odds do change, to a minor extent (i.e. 1% to 2%), you can account for that in the mathematics. And the change is still small, between most years, so it will not matter much to any significant degree. So, it can usually be considered white noise. And the randomness is exactly the same each year for someone doing a multiple play.

fluffy2560 :

The proportions are skewed on a yearly basis according to where you are from

Minor events. One or two countries are deleted or added to each region on occasion. And in a way that is not statistically significant to what I said above, or validates your claim someone should "win" in 3 tries.

fluffy2560 :

So with these factors, the chances of selection are not <1% over the entire population, it's higher.   It's a biased roulette wheel.

Sighs.... (1) This is, again, the Hungarian Forum. And that is what I am refereing to. What happens in Timbuktu is not relevant here. (2) Even so, as I said, selection is by regions. And so you can not take a simple average across all regions. Because it is a stratified sample, not a simple random sample. And you can not apply a simple mean value on such a stratified sample to define the "population" world value. Thus, there is nothing specifically biased in the process (a stratified sample is a perfectly random type of sample method) to validate your earlier claim that someone will "win" in 3 tries. It only requires understanding probability and sampling theory.

fluffy2560 :

Anecdotally, if you ask people how they became permanent residents, the number of people saying it was the DV lottery seems to be much higher than one would expect from pure random chance encounters.  Just my experience.

Wrong thinking. Because of basic cohort mathematics. But even a non-statistician should be able to figure this one out, if you give it a little bit of a think:

Each year more people enter via the DV lotter. The first year, it was 50,000. The next year it was another 50,000. So after two years there are now 100,000 people in the country who entered via the DV lottery. Etc for each year after that. So the longer the lottery goes, the more "residents" are from the DV lottery, and you increase your chances of "bumping" into such a person who entered via the DV lottery until you reach an equilibrium between new entrants and deaths of prior entrants. Of course that percentage is higher than winning each year. Obviously. But that has nothing to do with odds of being selected. Completely different issues. Mixing apples and oranges.

in short, I can not remember if the black, blue, brown or what-the-heck-color-is-that wire is neutral. But I do know something about statistics.  :)

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :
klsallee :

This was one of the more difficult concepts for my statistic students when I was a graduate student TA.

Yes, etcetera.

You would be right if the odds and randomness were the same each year but they are not.

Even if odds do change, to a minor extent (i.e. 1% to 2%), you can account for that in the mathematics. And the change is still small, between most years, so it will not matter much to any significant degree. So, it can usually be considered white noise. And the randomness is exactly the same each year for someone doing a multiple play.

fluffy2560 :

The proportions are skewed on a yearly basis according to where you are from

Minor events. One or two countries are deleted or added to each region on occasion. And in a way that is not statistically significant to what I said above, or validates your claim someone should "win" in 3 tries.

fluffy2560 :

So with these factors, the chances of selection are not <1% over the entire population, it's higher.   It's a biased roulette wheel.

Sighs.... (1) This is, again, the Hungarian Forum. And that is what I am refereing to. What happens in Timbuktu is not relevant here. (2) Even so, as I said, selection is by regions. And so you can not take a simple average across all regions. Because it is a stratified sample, not a simple random sample. And you can not apply a simple mean value on such a stratified sample to define the "population" world value. Thus, there is nothing specifically biased in the process (a stratified sample is a perfectly random type of sample method) to validate your earlier claim that someone will "win" in 3 tries. It only requires understanding probability and sampling theory.

fluffy2560 :

Anecdotally, if you ask people how they became permanent residents, the number of people saying it was the DV lottery seems to be much higher than one would expect from pure random chance encounters.  Just my experience.

Sighs....  Basic cohort mathematics. Each year more people enter via the DV lotter. The first year, it was 50,000. The next year it was another 50,000. Now there are 100,000 people in the country who entered via the DV lottery. Etc. So the longer the lottery goes, the more "residents" are from the DV lottery, and you increase your chances of "bumping" into such a person who entered via the DV lottery until you reach an equilibrium between new entrants and deaths of prior entrants. Of course that percentage is higher than winning each year. Obviously. But that has nothing to do with odds of being selected. Completely different issues. Mixing apples and oranges.

No need for a ****ing contest over this.

Selection is not by region, it's by COUNTRY (you can add up the per year odds for regions).  There's built in bias in the DV system and they change the weighting each year.  Some countries drop out and others drop back in.  UK, Canada, China etc have not been in for years.  If you look at other countries, the eligible numbers go up and down. So if you average chances over years then you have a higher chance  than simple randomness across the whole world population due to eliminations and changes in weighting. 

Basically it depends where you are from and presumably, the population therein.  There are weird applicant numbers - Nigeria was particularly popular in 2012 so the odds were very much higher with about 3%.   On the other hand, the Hungarians were much lower.  Top countries in 2012, Nigeria and Ghana.

To throw a spanner in your model of random statistical works, try noting the 55K DV lottery "tickets" are reduced by a whopping 5K (~10%) because of Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACRA), so it's not the same odds for nationals of those particular countries.  They should have a higher chance in the final allocations.

Odds and numbers, way the heck over my head!
As a former games dealer, people would often ask me the odds,never really understood the odds of winning. I was by corp. owners, a perfect dealer, never really got into the odds, the ways to win etc. I always just dealt a perfect clean game and let the numbers people do what they do.
I dealt a clean game, easy for the camera, floor person and players to see. Just the right amount of moves and no funny business.
If I knew the actual odds, I might of quit my job and played all day long or ran away screaming.
All I really know is I never can win back a fraction of what I ever paid out in lottery tickets.
Only knew one person who hit the big time.
A daily player of baccarat at our casino in Vegas.
I thankfully was a new dealer at the time so didn't have to deal on that table during that insane 48 hours of play. Was on a table next to the action however, could feel the heat from the dealer, player and more importantly the management.
A guy, a daily player from an Arabic background bought in one day for
$850. on the game.
He over the 48 hours of play time went from his buy in funds to well over one million bucks!
He had 6 security guards around him to guard his winning checks when I arrived to work during his first 24 hours of play time.
Up and down till he finally walked away with around $750,000 on his $850. buy in.
He was tipping us dealers like crazy, we all were on his side, the more he won , the bigger our daily take home would be.
Wow, did the management sweat it. Even the general manager was on the floor watching the game in action.
I was so darn happy they didn't send me over to deal that game, the stress level for our casino was sky high.
Still not sure what his odds were to play out like that but he was super lucky, Even one of the local Vegas papers ran a story about that score.
Sad thing was that guy owed money all over Vegas, at least he could pay off his debts and not worry about a set of broken legs.

After a few years in Hungary, I was really tired of everything being so complicated and foreign, quid pro quo, and corrupt.  All I wanted was to go back to the US and get a job and drive a car and buy things easily in store or on the internet with no outrageous shipping.  So we are back in the US.  But I feel like a stranger here, I am an outsider to my family and friends and coworkers - my hometown is very homogeneous and people don't travel or think outside the American box much.  It's a little better closer to DC but insanely expensive.

Not a day goes by that I don't wish I was in Budapest for non-GMO food, public transportation, everything within walking distance, amazing architecture, living in a capital city without the homicide rate, being able to hop a train to all of Europe for really cheap and living on $500 a month.

But I have so much more opportunities in the US. I have a huge student loan to pay off. The idea now is to save like mad and retire cheap in Hungary.  If you're living on retirement comfortably, sure you can ignore the chaos around you, but when you actually have to function and interact with society, its a whole different struggle.

Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat.  Sometimes I ask myself if I would have moved back to the US knowing the isolation of repatriation, and the awful political climate here, and I question that I would.  I can only take comfort in moving forward, in being all the wiser for having lived in two different places and knowing that my entire world view is permanently changed.  There are disadvantages to every country, and I think no matter where you are, you are going to pine for the best of the other world.  My solution is to travel as much as I can afford, and figure out how to enjoy life no matter where I am.

I really enjoyed reading that. Thank you. I have realised that I don't tend to dwell too much or go down the road of retrospection too often . I moved to Hungary mainly for the experience of having a big garden and living in another European country.  Now that I'm not tied to work as much I would like to experience more travel and more places before I reach retirement age, or get doddery , or both. I worked full time for many years in a profession where you had to get special permission to take more than three weeks holiday at a time. Gone are those days.
Hungary for me is just early days and I imagine I would like to keep a country  home here for at least three years.  I can't see myself being able to tend a big garden for ever and ever.  I am grateful for having the experience but eventually it will be taken over by someone younger and fitter than myself. Then I hope to be fortunate enough to keep my place in Budapest as a holiday home while I experience living elsewhere. I do love Budapest, my apartment and it totally entertains me.
Our home countries do also change rapidly, people move on and /or become occupied with other concerns. So I know wherever I land up next it will be a totally new experience. And if I do return to the UK my UK friends will always be there for me as they are now, but I will probably settle in a different area than one I lived in previously.

octobop :

After a few years in Hungary, I was really tired of everything being so complicated and foreign, quid pro quo, and corrupt.  All I wanted was to go back to the US and get a job and drive a car and buy things easily in store or on the internet with no outrageous shipping.  So we are back in the US.  But I feel like a stranger here, I am an outsider to my family and friends and coworkers - my hometown is very homogeneous and people don't travel or think outside the American box much.

That is oddly like this scene from "In The Valley Of Elah"....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0KGloQOSE0

Thankfully we have nice TP here in Hungary these days...

I've lived on 4 continents, several countries, and I can say that what you are feeling is completely normal. After having experienced the wonders of a European capital city, to return to the humdrum of American life is difficult. None of your local friends understand what you went through, and apart from a momentary curiosity about your experiences, mostly probably having to do with sex, all they can talk about is the new Starbucks that opened up down the street, or the new traffic light being really annoying.

Every time I've returned to the States from another continent, it has played out similarly. Every time I convince myself that I'll approach it differently, appreciate things differently, explain things differently, understand and accept things differently....and every time I've deluded myself.  The pace of life, the interactions with people, the multitudes of cultures that can be found throughout Europe are lightyears ahead of typical American thoughts.  America simply isn't international unless it's business.  Even in sports, the World Series really isn't, and the best baseball players tend to be from Caribbean and Latin American countries, less and less from the States.

It does give me the chance to be retrospective about myself and particular countries in what I like and dislike, appreciate and tolerate, a new perspective or a traditional approach I feel is important enough to hold dear.  But I've never once regretted moving out of the US and to another country. I've only been depressed returning to the US.

Wow, all this stuff about USA in the Hungary forum! I never watched TV at all in Hungary but now I have the place in Croatia I do watch some of the English language subtitled shows. These are mainly from USA and most are either about crimefighting or buying and selling stuff. I suppose the key feature about Americans is that there are a lot of them, USA has roughly half the population of all the European countries combined. Having such a big domestic market and a vast amount of land/natural resources means they can be self sufficient for most things. 

Within Europe there has always been a lot of interaction between the various countries, even before the days of the Roman Empire. Individual countries would need to trade with their neighbours for minerals, food items etc that were not available locally.  I suppose in USA such trade occurs between states rather than countries but as there has been no war between states since 1865 and all states speak the same language and use the same currency it is quite a different setup.

I'm not at all interested in sports but that does seem to be another major field where USA is isolated from the rest of the world, as they play different games to everyone else. Even their car and motorcycle races seem different and have unique  vehicle designs that are not used elsewhere in the world. To be fair, it would be prohibitively expensive for USA racing teams to compete in a load of European events though and vice versa.

fidobsa :

...... sports but that does seem to be another major field where USA is isolated from the rest of the world, as they play different games to everyone else. Even their car and motorcycle races seem different and have unique  vehicle designs that are not used elsewhere in the world. To be fair, it would be prohibitively expensive for USA racing teams to compete in a load of European events though and vice versa.

I wouldn't say that's entirely true.  Many cars in Europe have the same basic designs as those in the USA.  There are some difference like emissions, number plate shape etc., but the cars are basically the same.   And most parts are the same.  I have had several American cars and found out years ago that there's mutual recognition on car parts.

The reason why US teams do not compete in car racing is that Europe is a lot better at high performance engineering as far as cars go but, of course, they do have Nascar and Indy etc over there.  USA always used larger, lower compression engines and they are pretty bad at small high performance diesels.  USA is good on safety innovations like airbags etc.

And to complete my "trolling", as for other "sports", I would hardly call American Football a sport and Baseball is just Rounders by another name.  Best thing about the Superbowl was Lady Gaga.  I might give some leeway on Basketball and Ice Hockey. 

Now where's that cat and those pigeons....

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