- 29 Aug 2020 1:19 PM
Among other positions Dr Kokalj previously served as Director General for Economic and Public Diplomacy of MFA of Slovenia, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to the Arab Republic of Egypt and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Slovenia in Slovakia.
1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
I arrived in Hungary for the first time as an alpine ski instructor in 1993 when I accepted an invitation to visit Budapest by members of the skiing course, expatriates from South Korea.
At the time they were living in Budapest and would take ski lessons with me in Slovenia. The second time I came to Budapest was in 1995 when I was assigned a short-term junior diplomatic position at the Slovenian Embassy. Shortly after, in 1996, I returned as a postgraduate student of International Relations and European Studies at Central European University. My mission in Hungary has been resumed in the summer of 2017, this time as the Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Hungary.
2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
Several times. As a graduate student of Economics at Vrij Universiteit in Brussels in 1993. As a postgraduate student of International Relations and European Studies at Central European University in Prague in 1995. As a Secretary at the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Bratislava from 1999 to 2003. As the Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Egypt, Jordan and Gulf countries, stationed in Cairo from 2010 to 2014.
3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
I would single out sailing on the Lake Balaton followed by flying over it in an ultralight plane. Complete liberation.
4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
As an art lover, I would always recommend Műcsarnok and Zene Akadémia as a must.
5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
Delightful Hortobágyi palacsinta.
6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
8. What do you miss most from home?
Very steep alpine ski slopes.
9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
Professor of Marketing Management.
10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
Any job is an honourable job. It is a job, which defines a person the most and hence success in every job is won through dedication to it.
11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
On the Adriatic coast.
12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
13. Apart from temptation what can't you resist?
A complete volume collection by fiction writer Philip Roth.
14. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
The Clash, The Breakfast Club, motorcycling.
15. Red wine or white?
16. Book or movie?
Book and movie.
17. Morning person or night person?
18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
Rights of children.
19. Buda or Pest side?
Both, they are inseparable in their excelling beauty.
20. What would you say is your personal motto?
With persistence and passion, one can achieve purity in perfection.