“I fall in love on every single corner” – Interview with Roger Llevat
Spanish expat Roger Llevat has been living in Budapest for four years. Working for an office of the United Nations, he has been around the world, yet he still finds the Hungarian capital fascinating. Whether you’re Hungarian or a foreigner, we bet you can learn a thing or two about the city from this sporty Spanish guy.
What brought you to Budapest?
Back in 2012 I was working in Nairobi, Kenya. Life there was great but at some point I wanted to come back to Europe. It was then when I came across with a job opportunity in Budapest, a city that I previously knew and I thought why not to apply because the opportunity looked very appealing. I did apply and on 4 October 2012 I was moving from Nairobi to Budapest. And ever since, Budapest has been my home.
What are your favourite things about living here? What are the things that you don’t really like?
There are many things that I like from Budapest but if I have to pick just three I would start with the amazing and unparalleled vibe of the city. Especially in summer when all the terraces are full and all the festivals are on. Secondly, I would highlight the reasonable size of the city. The city centre is somehow compact and this helps a lot to reach everything quickly. Movements within the city are easy and public transportation works like a Swiss clock. Finally, I also appreciate the location of Budapest. Being in the middle of Europe makes things easier when travelling within the continent.
In my opinion, the biggest downside of Budapest for an expat is the level of difficulty to learn the local language. Although expats manage to get by in English, those who do not speak Hungarian never manage to completely get integrated.
What do you think of the gay life in Budapest? Do you take part in it?
Gay life in Budapest is ok but I believe there is room for improvement. In my opinion, Budapest is a big European capital and as such it deserves more gay places and they could be clustered in a gay area like in other capitals of Europe. I do take part in the gay life in Budapest because I am a member of Atlasz, the gay sports club in town and it is there where I practise squash. Furthermore, oftentimes I go to the different gay parties and clubs in town and I always try to participate in Budapest Pride in July.
How is the gay life back in your hometown or the city you came from?
Gay life in Barcelona is thrilling and very visible. In my opinion, the city offers everything the gay community needs and this is why Barcelona has become a very popular destination for gay travellers. The gay vibe is everywhere and this is something that gay visitors immediately perceives and appreciates.
What do you think of Hungarian men?
Gorgeous! Of course there are all sort of guys in Budapest, but in general every time I walk down the street, I fall in love on every single corner. There are a lot of hot, smart and interesting guys in Budapest.
What do you miss the most from home?
There are three things that I especially miss from home. The first one is the Mediterranean Sea. Sunbathing and kayaking in the Danube is cool but not the same. The second thing that I miss is seafood, almost non-existent on the restaurant menus here. Finally I also miss the warm winters in Spain. I tend to have a hard time during the freezing winters here.
Any message you would like to share with the newcomers who are just arriving to Budapest?
Budapest has so many different people, hobby groups, sports leagues and cultural communities, you only need to define your interests and then go about finding like-minded people. Budapest is not a place to get bored. There is always something happening and it’s usually exciting and fun. Sometimes it’s even free! Keep yourself informed of all the concerts, exhibitions, movies and shows the city offers and wait for next summer, you will be overwhelmed with the best and craziest festivals in Europe!