Melanie Smith, Lecturer in Cultural Tourism

  • 18 Jan 2006 11:00 AM
Melanie Smith, Lecturer in Cultural Tourism
Melanie Smith is a Lecturer in Cultural Tourism from the University of Greenwich in London. She is currently on a research sabbatical in Budapest which is likely to be extended indefinitely!

She lectures at the Budapest Business School and Heller Farkas College and she works as a part-time consultant in cultural tourism, regeneration and wellness tourism.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
I arrived in July 2005. The original pretext was a research sabbatical from the University of Greenwich in London, but actually I wanted to spend more time with my partner Laci, and to learn about Hungarian language and culture. It seems I got my wish, as I will have a Hungarian baby in April!

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
I lived in the South of France in Nice for nearly three years, where I taught English and did some translation work (happily my French was much better than my Hungarian!).

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
The national pastime seems to be staring at other people with great intent and fascination. At first, I found it unnerving, but now I am happy not to be anonymous! I also love the dark, witty Hungarian sense of humour, which is quite similar to the British.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend--what must they absolutely see and do?
I am biased because I research wellness tourism - but I love the spas.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
Somlói Galuska - it makes Tiramisu look tame!

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Cheddar cheese and Marmite - sorry, but I'm a Brit! Actually, I am still looking for a Hungarian who likes Marmite.....

7.What is your favourite Hungarian word?
'Finom' - it's the first word I ever learnt as it keeps my future mother-in-law happy!

8. What do you miss the most from home?
The lunchtime and after-work pub culture.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
A dancer or writer.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
A tax-inspector - it spoils everyone's fun!!

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
A beautiful Austrian spa designed by Hundertwasser in Bad Blumau.

12. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
Slovenia and Croatia (I miss the beach sometimes, much as I like Balaton).

13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
Duran Duran - didn't everyone fancy John Taylor??

14. What can't you resist?
Blue cheese and dark chocolate (only combined recently as a pregnancy craving!)

15. Red wine or white?
Definitely red - and preferably Chilean (apologies to the excellent Hungarian wines)

16. Book or movie?
Both - but we all know the book is always better than the movie.

17. Morning person or night person?
Most definitely a night person - I just hope our new baby will appreciate this fact!

18. Dog person or cat person?
I much prefer cats - especially lazy, long-haired ones.

19. Buda side or Pest side?
I really like Pest as it's so buzzing and transport is better. Zugló is my residential district of choice.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
The French writer Albert Camus once said that 'The point of life is living' - quite a simple and upbeat motto for an existentialist! It has a sense of the carpe diem about it and helps me to live more freely without worrying excessively about the meaning of life......

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