Xpat Interview: Géza Haraszti, General Manager, Avis Hungary

  • 30 Jul 2014 12:00 PM
Xpat  Interview: Géza Haraszti, General Manager,  Avis Hungary
Géza was born in 1963, in Budapest. Has two children.

Education: traffic engineer

Carrier: GM for Europcar (16 years, 1994-2010), Avis – for the last four years (2010-present)

Language: English


1. Where did you grow up?
Near to Budapest.

2. If you could be an expat anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
Probably in Northern Italy. However my favourite city is London, as I really like history - my favourite area of interest in fact, and in this regards London has a lot to offer.

3. What would you miss most if you moved away from Hungary?
My roots: family and culture. Whenever I’ve been outside Hungary I did not miss food – when in Rome do as the Romans etc - but after a while, when I’m back home, it’s good to be back in my land of familiar tastes.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
I would take them to the museums, to the Transport Museum for example, and sight-seeing in the Jewish part of downtown which is very interesting, and around the 6th district, the Palota Quarter, Bródy Sándor utca and around the National Museum. Some parts of Óbuda are worth visiting, and the hilly parts of Buda. As I used to be a kayaker and I really relate to Danube, so I would suggest a ride of the river to guests, and I like crossing the Danube from North to South so would do that with them too.

5. What is your favourite food?
I adore fresh vegetables of every kind, and I eat a lot of chicken, and when by the sea I have a lot of sea-food, for example I like oyster’s very much. I also like vermicelli, and sweets, especially poppy seedy cakes and deserts.

6. What is your favourite sport / form of exercise?
I have many, like running, kayaking, swimming, tennis and hiking.

7. What is your favourite place in Hungary?
The whole Balaton area, Füred is one favourite place. I also like going to places where there is water (river or lake) and hills. Historical places, where there are castles, they are always in mind. Last weekend I went to Székesfehérvár to see Bory-vár and Lovasberény to see Cziráky castle.

8. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
When I was young I wanted to be a merchant – I dreamt about it several times. Earlier I had a small sport shop, but now I wouldn’t do anything else than my current job as I feel I was born to do this, and I am not interested in doing anything else.

9. What’s a job you would definitely never want?
IT, accountant, some manual labour work, there are plenty of them actually that wouldn’t suit me.

10. Where did you spend your last vacation?
Balaton in Hungary, Austria and Italy.

11. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
I have been in just about every European country, in Africa, in Asia, and in North America, but never in South America, Australia, or Japan but I’m not very interested in going there. I would do El Camino in Spain again, but I would need to find 30 free days in my calendar, which is more than difficult these days.

12. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
I liked Western films, like The Magnificent Seven and also cartoons.
Hard rock bands, like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple
My main hobby was kayaking

13. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?
Mainly sport, I have to do some sort of sports all the time, If I don’t do sport regularly then I feel like I am sinking in life. Following the latest news is also important, mostly news about this country but also news from all around the world.

14. Red wine or white?
Red. In second place is rosé, and in the summer white ones. If I had to choose between beer and wine I would definitely go for wine!

15. Book or movie?
A book is far more interesting, but these days due to time I watch more films than I read.

16. Morning person or night person?
Night.

17. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
I used to work for the Peace Corps. Helping people is a must for me. Be it via a company, or in person, if someone is sick or poor or whatever I try to help somehow.

18. Buda or Pest side?
There is always something new to see everywhere here! Pannon Miracle! I’ve seen things several times recently that when I really look at them I think: why didn’t I see that earlier?

19. Which achievement in your life are you most pleased about?
First of all I have two kids. Secondly my relation with my mother. Thirdly I have managed two companies which were losing money when I started with them and both became profitable after a short while.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
“To Fail to Plan, Is to Plan to fail.” / "If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable."
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