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Sunday 21 Jan 2018
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Xpat Interview: Steven Greimann

Xpat Interview: Steven Greimann

Originally from a small town near Cincinnati, Ohio, I moved to Budapest from Seattle with my wife, Diane Kappa. We knew we wanted to live in Central Europe and after several years of travelling, we could no longer resist Hungary. I had earlier lived in rural Estonia as a Peace Corps volunteer and knew that I wanted to live in this part of the world. So we picked up and moved!

Diane, a textile artist, especially finds Hungary, its people, traditions and folk arts inspiring. Her happiness was an important consideration for me. Also, part of moving to Hungary meant we re-located Diane's home textile furnishings business. I worked as the business manager for her company but I mostly focused on development (fundraising) work at United Way Hungary before joining Move One Relocations.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
We arrived in September 2008. Adventure and wanting to learn both about ourselves and about another culture brought us here.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
I lived in rural Estonia as a Peace Corps volunteer for almost three years.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
How easy and reliable public transportation is.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Go to the baths and talk a walk around Margaret Island.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?

Any of the soups. Hungarians can really make good soup.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Cucumber, paprika, salami and trappista cheese.

7.What is your favourite Hungarian word?
Csemege. When we first arrived we called our local store "sheggy-meggy". I know. There is only "g",  but it just sounded good to say.

8. What do you miss most from home?
The sea and everything it offers.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
Farmer with my own bees and goats.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?

Teacher. I have deep, deep respect for teachers after (trying) to teach Junior Achievement economics to high school students in Estonia. Wow! Teachers really should be paid more and considered as top contributors in our society.

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?

Estonia. During Christmas. It was beautiful, dark, cold and delicious.

12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
Somewhere in the Hungarian countryside.

13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
Depeche Mode. Hobby? I was actually in a Depeche Mode want-to-be band.

14. What can't you resist?
Potato chips. I was so hoping that Hungary wouldn't have them so readily available.

15. Red wine or white?


16. Book or movie?

17. Morning person or night person?

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?

Right now. I am concerned what extremism may result out of these very difficult times. Unfortunately history repeats itself. I want to guard against what seems historically to be human nature.

19. Buda or Pest side?
Pest...but I would rather live in the countryside.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?

I like this Mark Twain quote rather well: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you don't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."