- 15 Aug 2018 1:37 PM
We recently sold the Caledonia Bar and Restaurant business. It has been the most extraordinary 12 years, from setting up and getting established to involving ourselves in so many worthwhile community projects. I have now started a new job at Vac Football Club. I am very excited about this.
2. What would you have done differently there if you knew then what you know now?
I would probably have spent more time finding ways to discover and enjoy places outside Budapest.
3. If you could change one thing about Hungary, what would it be?
I would like us all to be more positive about change and embrace change. I would also like us to spend a lot more of our time and resources on improving the conditions that nursery schools operate in.
4. What advice would you give to a new expat in Budapest?
Enjoy the expat community. It has a lot to offer. But also take the time and make the effort to discover the other side of life in Budapest and further afield.
5. Which superpower would you choose?
The power to make a wish come true for every child in Hungary.
6. Who inspires your life most these days?
My long-term business partner and best friend Zsuzsanna Bozo.
7. What does your typical day/week look like currently?
It is never the same one day to the next, which I like. We play our games on a Sunday. So that’s a work day. Meeting people and discussing potential business relations is a big part of my job. And I get to talk about football a lot. Even in the office. I’m the sort of guy who likes to have a list of things to complete in a week and then get on with it.
8. What are some of your biggest challenges these days?
We need to build a new stadium in Vac. The club needs it. The fans need it. The community needs it. This is not a fanciful idea. And we will not build beyond our needs. We also want something that the community will be a part of. It’s not just about the bricks and mortar. It’s about putting something in place that we can all be proud of.
9. What’s your favourite bar, restaurant, and music venue in Hungary?
I couldn’t say I have a favourite bar or restaurant. It all depends on my mood. Or whether I want to sit and chat or watch a football match. I still have a soft spot for Becketts Irish Bar. It has a little bit of everything. Café Kör to indulge is nice. And I like my Indian grub at Indigo.
10. Please share a guilty pleasure of yours…
Wine gums. I love them. I keep asking David Hall at The British Pantry to keep me a few.
11. What is (would be) your favourite karaoke song?
I’m gonna be (500 miles) by the Proclaimers.
13. If your next expat assignment was on a desert island, and you could only take three things with you, what would you bring?
My collection of Glasgow Celtic DVDs, my laptop, and a bag of wine gums.
14, Unicum or pálinka?
I would prefer pálinka, but generally stick to a glass of Rosé wine.
15. What is your best personal achievement while living here?
Winning the Gift of the Gab final. The event was such great fun and lasted 5 years with over 120 people taking part on stage. It also raised a huge amount of money for worthy causes.
Photo: Patrick McMenamin /right, with Vac F.C. Head Coach Zoran Spisljak