Xpat Interview: Robyn Flemming, Freelance Editor, Proofreader

  • 30 Jul 2019 9:17 AM
Xpat Interview: Robyn Flemming, Freelance Editor, Proofreader
Robyn is an Australian freelance editor and proofreader, with clients in Australia, Asia and the Middle East. A digital nomad since 2010, she now has a nest beside the Duna, where she is keen to unpack her suitcase.

She is a passionate filmgoer and amateur photographer, and the author of an unpublished memoir.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary, and what brought you here?
I first visited Hungary in 2013. A friend had recommended Budapest, so I came for a month. I timed my visit to include the beautiful Wizz Air half marathon, which I’ve now run five times.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
I lived in Hong Kong from 1986 to 1993. I became a digital nomad in 2010 and have lived for two or three months in a lot of countries since then.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
I didn’t expect to fall in love with the country and to want to make it my home base. I’ve been a resident since 2015.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend – what must they absolutely see and do? 
Run or walk at daybreak around Margaret Island. Eat breakfast at one of Budapest’s many groovy cafes. Walk around the inner city on foot, to enjoy the architecture and streetscapes and the sight of so many good-looking men! Visit a thermal bath. Watch a Hungarian film with English subtitles at an art-house cinema. Visit a ruin bar for a pre-dinner drink. Eat dinner somewhere cheap and cheerful. Take the #2 tram along the Pest shoreline, then walk back along the Buda side, for the night lights.  

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Salad vegetables and fruit. Yoghurt.

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
Köszönöm. I use it all the time. Next year I hope to learn a second word.

8. What do you miss most from home? 
Apart from friends, I miss Vita-Weat crispbreads.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
Street photography.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
Some people think my whole life is a vacation! I have a full-time job as a freelance editor and proofreader, so it’s hard to schedule holidays. I did a ten-day road trip in Portugal with a Hungarian friend in 2016. I think that’s the last time I announced to my clients that I would be on leave and unavailable for work.

12.  Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
Somewhere close to Hungary.

13. Apart from temptation, what can't you resist?
Taking photos and visiting art-house cinemas.

14. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
I grew up with the music of the Sixties. I still love it.

15. Red wine or white?
Neither. I gave up drinking in 2011.

16. Book or movie?
Both! I’m a book editor and a film addict.

17. Morning person or night person?
Definitely a morning person. There’s no better way to start the day than with a run or walk at dawn. I’m happy to watch a film in the evening and then be in bed with a good book by 9 pm.

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
Animal welfare. I’ve started the Budapest Dogs’ Breakfast Group, for dogs and their people. We’ll meet monthly on the last Sunday for a walk in City Park (email robynfle@gmail.com for information).

19. Buda or Pest side?

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
I’ve used these two quotes in my memoir Where in the World Are My Orange Underpants?

‘The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination.’ — John Schaar
‘When you set sail for Ithaca, wish for the road to be long, full of adventures, full of knowledge.’ ― C.P. Cavaf

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