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Saturday 23 Sep 2017
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XpatLoop Interview: Robert Kabai, Managing Director, Hunscapes Tours

XpatLoop Interview: Robert Kabai, Managing Director, Hunscapes Tours

When I was a child, one of my favorite passtimes was to climb a tree and silently enjoy the peace of this protected setting. Later I became more social, managing student associations and a university club, organizing parties, trips and other events that bring people together.

Graduated as a landscape architect, I started to work as a university lecturer, researcher and planner in my profession. I spent almost 20 years in the academic field, except for a 2 years interval when I worked as a senior landscape architect at a small company in Scotland.

In 2015, I decided to make a change, and combine my knowledge on Hungarian landscapes with my interest in tourism. I established Hunscapes, where I am the managing director and also the leading tour guide for the special programmes offered.

As a former expat in the UK, I find it important to assist foreigners in gaining close experiences of our country and culture and getting involved in our social activities like the famous folk dance movement. It is always a pleasure to show hidden places and special events that would otherwise be hard to find.

1. Where did you grow up?
I spent my early childhood in Budakeszi, a peaceful village of the Budapest metropolitan area that has become a busy town since then. Later I lived at various locations in and near Budapest, with the current one being the 14th. After all, I have close personal experience of several places in the city.

2. If you could be an expat anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
The ideal location would be at a rural Mediterranean seaside with a nearby airport within 2 hours flight from Budapest.

3. What would you miss most if you moved away from Hungary?
That few decades spent for establishing a local social network.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Good friends come several times. So no hurry, let's see what the weather and season offers. If they are not first time visitors, I would definitely take them to see something of the rural countryside. Visiting some wine cellars combined with active recreation is always a success.

5. What is your favourite food?
Let's see what is fresh and seasonable at the market place, and prepare something tasty. A thick pumpkin soup in the winter, a cold beetroot soup for the hot summer days, fish and grilled meat with salad anytime.

6. What is your favourite sport / form of exercise?
I love hiking. Not for sport and not for exercise, but for good spirit.

7. What is your favourite place in Hungary?
Lake Balaton and the Balaton Uplands.

8. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
I have changed my academic career for a private business in tourism, and I am quite happy with that.

9. What’s a job you would definitely never want?
I would try any creative work with pleasure. And sometimes even monotonous physical work comes as relaxing.

10. Where did you spend your last vacation?
What vacation? In the last few years it was usually a few days with friends at some festival or the “Hungarian Sea”.

11. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
I hope I can visit friends in Slovenia and Spain this autumn.

12. What was your favourite band, film or hobby as a teen?
As a teen I was very much interested in avantgarde movements and ideas. Band: A.E. Bizottság; film: L'Age d'Or from Luis Bunuel; hobby: provoking people (in a positive way).

13. Apart of temptation what can’t you resist?
If I want, I can resist anything. But nowadays I do not really want...

14. Red wine or white?
Depends on the occasion. For a long summer evening with friends, start with a fresh mineral dry Olaszrizling from Balaton region. Go on with a ripe barrel aged dry Furmint from Tokaj. When it gets chilly, switch to a full-bodied red Bikavér from Szekszárd or Eger region.

15. Book or movie?
Book.

16. Morning person or night person?
Morning thinker - night (social) drinker.

17. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
Our limited knowledge to cope with and low ethical standards in using the advanced technologies of nowadays.

18. Buda or Pest side?
Buda, at an altitude above the usual smog level.

19. Which achievement in your life are you most pleased about?
I am happy that I could reduce the negative impacts in the case of some development proposals with my professional work as a landscape architect. I am glad for the successful cooperation with many of my former students as a university lecturer. And I am proud of some of my land art projects realised.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
Slowly but surely...


24.08.2017

 




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