To Ur, with Love from Budapest, Part2

To Ur, with Love from Budapest, Part2 | Expat Press Hungary Magazine

Estimated reading time: 7 minute(s)

The adventure of our favourite “internationally unknown author” continues. Missed Part1? Find it HERE

“For Budapest expats, it’s a common story: not satisfied with prospects at home, young (!) man pulls up stakes and moves to a foreign country to chase his dream. Now, 17 years later, let’s see how he’s fared.” The story continues…

Jack: Well! That’s quite a beginning. Would you say your time here has met your expectations?

Inter Relocation - To Ur, with Love from Budapest
“For me, Budapest has been the perfect city.”

Gary: Oh, yes, Jack, most assuredly. If someone is ready, willing and able to fit into a new community, especially in Budapest, s/he will find those already on hand to be friendly, welcoming, helpful, generous and eager to befriend a new arrival. Along with my expat friends, and many times even by myself (as I got braver and spoke a few more words of Hungarian), I’d go to the local pubs and restaurants and clubs and join the roistering and partying and singing and dancing with all sorts of different people, young and older, male and female, well-off and maybe not so much, just a really nice mixture of people, all out to have a good time with no regard for age, or nationality or skin color or height or weight or hair length or marital status.

Budapest has exceeded all of my expectations, and my expectations were, well, actually rather uncertain. I really didn’t know what to expect before I came here. I hoped I’d find work and some friendly folks and some cozy pubs and some interesting things to see and do. I wasn’t prepared for Budapest’s excitement, happiness, passion, LIFE! There was so much energy and I was caught up in it and as electrified (pun intended) as everyone else. For me, Budapest has been the perfect city.

Jack: OK, well, how about the present and future? How long do you intend to go on living this lifestyle? How long can your liver hold out? Are there new activities in which you’re involved?

Gary: I had my liver checked last year, Jack, and it’s pretty much pickled, so I figure I can go on for quite a while. As for new activities, some friends and I formed another, smaller expat group called the Friday Rovers. Each Friday after work we meet in a different pub or bar or terrace or club in Budapest. Our group is smaller than other expat groups, so we have more opportunity for, interesting conversations. These are locals and expats who enjoy socializing and enjoy each other’s company and show it by ensuring our tables are clear of Iphones. Our venues have included some of the oldest, funkiest spots in town, like Pót Kulcs and Bambi Presszó, places known to some of us and also places we read about or hear about through media, friends and other sources. Like Grandio Terrace, which I doubt if most people here, locals and expats alike, have ever visited.

Inter Relocation - To Ur, with Love from Budapest
“And it’s not over yet!”

I’m looking forward to many more years here and they’ll have to drag me, kicking and screaming, to get me out. Of course, a few shots of pálinka and I’ll probably stumble onto the train by myself. Whatever happens in the future, it’s been a great ride.

And it’s not over yet! I still have to see The Great Barrier Reef, Macchu Pichu, Angkor Wat, Shanghai, cherry blossom time in Japan, the Northern Lights and one or two other fantastic sights of our world.

Jack: What would you say is your personal motto?

Gary: Eat, drink and make Mary!

 

About the author:
Inter Relocation - To Ur, with Love from Budapest, Gary Lukatch
The Adventurous Author (photo by Tamás Rajna)
Gary Lukatch is the internationally-unknown 🙂 author of several books dealing with his life, travels and other incoherent thoughts. After an undistinguished university career, and a stint in the US Army, he moved to California. After 15 years in the financial business in and around Los Angeles, he finally escaped to Albuquerque, New Mexico. At long last, having slogged through another 14 years as an Internal Audit Manager for other financials, in 1999 he quit his job, sold his house, sold his car, and moved to Central Europe, where he taught English to the people of Budapest, Hungary.
He is the author of six published works: To Ur With Love (a romp through his second life as a teacher in Budapest); Bankers’ Hours (a romp through his first life in the financial industry); The Feline Mystique (a man’s guide to living with a cat as practice for living with a woman); Summers’ Time (a romp among the women of Central Europe); Travels with Myself (a collection of his newsletters and blogs throughout the years); and If You Can’t Take a Joke… (a collection of strange and wonderful humor sent to him by friends over the years).
He has written many C&W song lyrics, sadly unpublished and unsung (literally and figuratively), including such should-be classics as: If I’d Have Met You Sooner I’d Be Through With You By Now; I Can’t Get Over You Till You Get Out From Under Him; I’m So Miserable Without You It’s Almost Like You’re Here (Gary wrote this song long before any other usurpers); and his own personal favorite, The Ballad of Onan.
He has been inside an Egyptian pyramid in Giza, taunted the snake charmers in Marrakech and crewed an America’s Cup racing yacht. He has seen Lenin in his tomb in Red Square and Mao in his Mao-soleum in Beijing. He has been a weight-lifting champion, floated in the Dead Sea (on both east and west banks) and slugged down a Singapore Sling at the Long Bar of the Hotel Raffles in Singapore. He has climbed up the stone steps to the Parthenon and he once ran up a $200 bar bill at the Tribunal Bar in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has petted a live tiger in Thailand, a live crocodile in The Gambia and a koala in Australia. He has stood in awe of the Taj Mahal at sunrise and gazed down on Cape Town from atop Table Mountain. He has his name on an Olympic brick in Atlanta, Georgia. He has scuba-dived the Cozumel reefs, skied Mt. Etna and taught English in Oxford, England.
These days he can often be found at one of several local watering holes in Budapest, Hungary, quaffing beer and singing karaoke.