‘Saying goodbye with ‘puszi’ is totally confusing for me’ – foreign athletes about their life in Hungary
Szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu asked foreign players and coaches about how they are adjusting to Hungary. They wanted to know why these people chose Hungary to live in and what strange, exciting or interesting is for them here. They even asked them not to be polite. Here are the answers they received.
Hungarians drive like crazy
Firstly, they talked with Julie Fogg (28) who came from France to play in the handball team of Érd. She was the goalkeeper of the French national champion team at home and chose to come to Hungary because she knew a coach here and wanted to see the world. At first, she did not know anything about the country, and she was afraid of racism. However, she says that everybody is very kind to her. Moreover, Hungarians support their team very enthusiastically, which transforms every match into a party.
What she could not get used to are the traditional Hungarian dishes and how Hungarians drive their cars. She said that Hungarians are braver in this respect than the French. Furthermore, handball is also tougher than in France, because referees allow more, and even the players are harsher. A Hungarian wants to fight,
even if they experience physical pain.
“Of course, this is not allowed, neither here, nor abroad. Still, Hungarians do it.”
She said that the most special Hungarian word she has heard so far is “körülbelül” (= Eng. approximately), and she still does not know its meaning, but her coach uses it frequently and it sounds funny.
Hungary can be the first step towards NBA
Daniel Amigo (23) comes from El Paso (Texas) and has been the basketball player of Debrecen DEAC for one month. According to him, the club of the University of Debrecen is the first step in his professional career, and he is very happy that he could come to Hungary. He said that some rules in basketball are different here, so he had to learn them again.
He added that his
favourite Hungarian dish is lángos.
He found it strange that plastic bags are not for free, like in the USA. But he thinks that the most important difference is that Hungarians are funny and they understand jokes, so they always laugh with his teammates. He says that he likes Hungarian culture, and his favourite word is “tesó” (= Eng. ‘bro’) which sounds great and is easy to learn. He added that he would like to play in the NBA, but he still needs the experience to do so. This is why he is in Hungary.
Driving a car in Hungary is difficult
“I am happy to talk about it, but I am actually not a foreigner” – said Bronson Kovács, a Canadian defender playing ice hockey in the DEAC. He has lived in Hungary for the past 4 years and, in spite of his surname, he does not speak Hungarian. He has both Canadian and Hungarian tattoos referring to his double citizenship. His favourite Hungarian word is “Mi?” (Eng. What?) because it always helps everybody to learn new things.
For him, expressing feelings more openly was the strangest thing in Hungary. For example, it happens here that
even elder couples kiss on the streets,
which is unusual in Canada. Furthermore, ice hockey is harder in Canada than in Hungary. According to him, every car is with an automatic transmission in Canada; however, this is not true for Hungary. Thus, during his first months in the country, he tried to learn how to shift gears. He says that it is good in Hungary that eating out is cheaper, but people have to wait for the food longer than in Canada.
And since during the Canadian winter a minus 30 degree Celsius is not exceptional he can always wear shorts and slippers in Hungary, even in January. This is why
many people think that he is crazy.
Interestingly, he is learning Hungarian, and his best experience regarding this language was when he could answer the letter of one of his fans.
Saying puszi (Eng. kiss) is confusing for an American
Troy Baker (33, California) is an American football coach. He has been living here since January, but he can still hardly believe that food like pasta with jam exists. He says that Hungarian women are absolutely gorgeous and very nice, too. Furthermore, the average Hungarian is much more family-centric than most Americans.
He said that using ‘Hello’ as a farewell is very strange but adding puszi (Eng. kiss) after it is absolutely confusing for an American. Speaking about state funding, he declared that the government does not support American football, only soccer, and he cannot understand why.
He does not understand two things in Hungary:
why the government builds so many football stadiums while hospitals seem to be very old
and neither can he understand why there are so many homeless people.
Photos: facebook.com/julie.foggea, facebook.com/daniel.amigo.7, facebook.com/pg/deacjegkorong, facebook.com/gyor.sharks