Starting a new life in Budapest

My name is Eva Hamori, and my family and I moved from Vancouver Canada to explore Europe in 2011. We started in Budapest Hungary where my husband and I bought a home in Elizabethtown back in 2007. Gorgeous 4 1/2 metre ceilings, late 10th century walk-up and the appeal most of us fall in love with Hungary for.

But alas, we continued travelling and searching for a place where we could start a life in the tourist industry. Through Austria and around her capital, along the Neckar River in Germany visiting beautiful damp villages, through Northern Italy and experienced delicious foods and history, Spain and the eclectic energies of Barcelona and along the white sand beaches of the coast, and lastly southern France and her vine covered countryside and her pastel painting perfection.

We discovered a small village on the UNESCO site, the Canal du Midi and here we bought a home, renovated it and started to learn French. We chucked the children into public school and started to experience French culture. Not in Paris, but in a real traditional village. Capestang France is near the Mediterranean Sea, close to the Spanish border and our experience has been nothing short of amazing. I run an English linguist sejour from our home and my husband Alfonz runs a wine tour company. Life is beautiful.

But something is still missing. We are trying to live between the two countries and have enjoyed our cross culture lives, and our travel lifestyle but Hungary keeps calling us home. When we are in Budapest we feel the most alive. Our connections. Our first love.

We are hoping to sell up in France or rent out our home here, to start a new in Budapest. We hope to place the kids in the French private school and start the same linguistic homestay program there.
The idea of starting again, even in our forties, is pretty exciting.

Very sweet family photo.
Wow, not sure I would chose Hungary over France if I had a choice though.
We also live in "Lizzytown" the 7th district.
It has it's nice areas and not so hot areas.
Our st. is ok I suppose, not too near the train station and on a wide side st. Don't have another flat across the st. with someone able to peer into the windows. Our neighbors who live on the other side of our house can see right into the windows of flats across from them.
Seems one man loves to exercise in the buff, funny, my neighbor is 83 years old, a thrill for her I supose!
One thing I am guessing is that Hungary is allot cheaper to live in the France would be, something to consider if raising a family but then again, I am not sure I would of liked having my son in Hungary at a young age. Not sure but think  in many ways Hungarians are still playing catch up and too material minded. Living with lack sometimes makes people more hungry for material goods and not as spiritual minded.  Not religious but spiritual and kind, hard when one is always looking out for no. one. No issue now, he just turned 40.
If your kids are ok with school in Hungary and your business is working out ok in Hungary it might be nice to live there for awhile but I think I would hang onto my house in France, rent it and see how things unfold in the future.
My husband and I moved to Budapest in our 50's so being in your 40's and having adventures is easy.
Now my husband who is from Hungary is getting in his later 60's, not digging it as much as he used to.
Things to consider as one ages, health care for one thing.
No experience with living in France, my husband did live there in the 1970's, loved it too. Only did the tourist thing in France, enjoyed it for the most part.

Hi Marilyn,
"Lizzytown", I will have to steal that nickname from you for my writing articles, it sounds very hip. <3
My concerns are the same as yours.

Going from Canada's Montessori program, in a land where they rank #1, #2, #3 in the world depending on the subject, to the very academic downward learning methods of the French; was very difficult on my kids. It nearly broke my boy who was used to no answer being wrong, divergent cross-curricular classes with discussions, hands-on projects and never a test. For a creative soul far above his curriculum, it was fabulous
While learning their new language, France was hard for both.
My daughter, on the other hand, loves the structure of the French system after 4 1/2 years she's French and having only one answer to every question gives her comfort. She would happily organize her book for hours, playing teacher, reading and filling in the blanks for the rest of her life. She is perfectly fine being controlled and formulated. And funny enough her grades are excellent. People pleaser! She's in good company.

If we moved to Hungary, they would be in Grades 7 & 9, not the best time to make new friends. They speak Hungarian, French and English, but not fluent in Hungarian, just the basics. Both started German as well. I worry that the public school would flunk them the first year because Hungary's school system is so strict, instead of supporting the new kid. We would solve the issue by placing them into the French private school. 1000€/month though, but only for three years for Daniel and then Angelina for another two years. It might be a solution. Your thoughts?

We thought about keeping the house here in Capestang and renting it out. Definitely a prime tourist area; it would also provide an income. Most likely our apartment is too small in LIzzytown and too far away from the school, so we would find a house just outside Buda and rent it out.

The hardest part is that my husband is homesick, not like my parents were when they left in 56, but a longing for familiarity. Although Hungary has changed, I don't want him to be disappointed. Hungarian culture is so distinct, we have loads of family there, and perhaps our mothers would move back after retirement too. Or maybe for just 1/2 the year.

Marilyn, are you from the states? Health care, doesn't your husband and you get free healthcare from the government.

Hello everyone,

A new thread has been created from your posts [at] thathamori and Marilyn Tassy so that you may better exchange on the Budapest forum.

Wish you all the very best

thathamori :

Marilyn, are you from the states? Health care, doesn't your husband and you get free healthcare from the government.

There is no such thing as "free" health care. There is only universal (everyone pays so any one of us who gets sick can be cared for) or subsidized health care (someone else is paying the bill).

If you mean in the States, there is Medicaid and Medicare which are based on age, disability or financial need (and these programs, as I understand them, only are available if you live in the States (but I may be wrong and if someone has facts to the contrary please post them and correct me)). One can also get government subsidies to pay for private health care insurance required under the Affordable Care Act, but those plans may still come with out of personal pocket co-payments and deductibles, so definitely not "free".

In Hungary, Americans (and pretty much all non EU foreigners, with recent law changes, who declare Hungarian residence) do not get free health care. They either have to buy into the state system, or get private insurance. Low cost - as the expense is spread out with everyone contributing - but still not "free".

Marilyn Tassy :

your business is working out ok in Hungary it might be nice to live there for awhile but I think I would hang onto my house in France, rent it and see how things unfold in the future.

Good advise. The future is always uncertain. Diversifying your risks, and future options, is smart.

Yes one must make monthly payments to be enrolled into the HU national health system.
My husband who has always been a HU citizen but left the country for years, had to wait a full year to be covered, had to pay into it for a full year before being able to use the coverage.
Was only good in case of emergency.
The surprising thing was after the full year of pre paying without using the coverage, they didn't charge him for one year the following year.
As a resident married to a HU citizen I had to have a private policy for my first year then I was able to enroll in HU system and make payments directly to the national health.
It is cheap compaired to health coverage in the US.
Having used both systems in the US and HU I think they are not too far apart as medicare or medicade goes.
If you want great medical coverage you need a private in HU and a good pricey policy in the US.
I am covered 100% in the US for free at the moment but there is usually a very long wait time to see a primary doctor and every procedure has to have a referal and it takes months to get in.
They do have walk-in clinics which basically are just handing out drugs.
They fog you off until you can see your primary doc. Some pills to make you just go away...
Our age etc. qualifies us for low income health coverage in the US, my husband has not bothered with medicare as we are returning to Hu very soon and the paperwork is a hassle to change, no time for catch up, he is healthy thankfully.
Lots of freebies for older people in the US if one qualifies for it.
IN HU the "freebies" for older citizens are not a good as those offered in the US.
Of course the US is a tougher place to live and much more expensive, sort of balances out in the long run.
After age 60 in the US the gov. helps with medical if you qualify, for people in the US between the ages of 18 and 60, it's hard, your sort of on your own unless you have small kids in the home or are handicapped.
My friend in the US is handicapped 100% and only gets $600. a month to live on, good thing she has a husband or she would be in dire straights.
In Hu the health system helps to pay for senior dental , some items that usually come out of pocket like the doc fees and some material costs for things like dentures.
The bad thing is some dentists that work for the health system follow the rules but they charge twice as much for material costs then some private dentists do, one way or the other they are making money off people under the table.
Husband had some root channels and a couple of crowns done before getting a partial denture, went to the dentist for our area who wanted to double charge him on top of his overpricing.
We now go only to a private dentist and know the exact costs before starting anything.
Better to pay out of pocket then to get scammed while they make you feel like they are doing you a favor for taking you.
I do think if someone has a serious health issue even if low income, the US takes it more seriously then my experiences in HU.
Had a bit of skin cancer on my arm, too many S. Cal and Hawaii sunburns in my youth.
Doc in the US removed some of it for testing, wanted to recut and go deeper but I ran out of time with all the referals I needed to be cleared by the gov. policy.
Went to a cancer clinic in Budapest after waiting months to get in. Hours of waiting even with my appointment. The young doctor just looked at m y arm, said she could not see anything with her eye and to come back if it ever got worst.
Two different attitudes in 2 different countries.
So far it hasn't changed by the looks of it but who knows, probably should see my US doc while I am here and let him decide how serious it is or not.
Don't trust any doctors really best to eat right, exercise and stay away if possible from all doctors.

Before I had any HU coverage I saw a dentist that was a private.
He was insane to even try to fix me up.
I had a broken crown on a back tooth. Wanted to replace the crown.
He said he couldn't save the tooth and it needed to be pulled out.
Ok, started to remove the tooth.
Holy cow, 1 1/2 hours of him pulling, tugging, blood everywhere he gave up having cracked the tooth under my jawline!
He had to call in another dentist, his partener at the clinic to finish with me. I waited in the waiting area , one lady just looked at me and burst into tears of fear!
After another hour the second dentist started working on my, he was not able to remove all the broken bits in my jaw.
To this day I have tried to have it removed, most dentists just say leave it until it becomes a problem, nice to now I may wake up one day in pain.
Need dental surgery now to take care of it.
What really got me was the dentist took me knowing he couldn't do the job, he had just had surgery on his arm and it was as weak as a kittens, no way he should of been pulling anyone"s teeth, just after the money,they had the nerve to charge me for their "services" on top of it all!
No worries lost their phone number!

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