Jonathan Ainge, English Teacher in Budapest

  • 21 Dec 2021 9:59 AM
Jonathan Ainge, English Teacher in Budapest
Jon was born and brought up in the East Anglia region of England, and originally trained as a merchant navy radio officer, and subsequently spent his working life in various forms of telecommunications.

He has two grown up sons both of whom live and work in the UK, and he now lives in the Budapest suburbs with his Hungarian partner.

As a semi-retiree, he now helps individuals with English language development, and in his spare time, runs the British in Hungary FB group.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?

I first came to Hungary in 2005 to help implement the first 3G network for Vodafone, leaving two years later. I came back in 2013 on another telecoms project and when that finished, decided to stay.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?

Yes, I’ve worked as far North as Norway, as far South as Antarctica, and East to Saudi Arabia.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?

The wine! On a visit to the castle district wine festival soon after I first arrived, I discovered just how good they were.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do? 

A weekend is never enough. A whistle stop tour of the city taking in Gellért Hill, the Castle District, Andrássy Út, Heroes Sq., and City Park. Time permitting, a trip on the Children’s Railway.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?

This is not easy to answer, but the hearty soups must rank high on the list. 

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?


7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
Nyomtatás (Lovely woody sound. Monty Python fans will understand!)

8. What do you miss most from home? 
Fish and Chips.

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

Music composition.

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

Doctor in A&E. The decision to stop treatment would be so difficult.

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?

North Wales

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

Africa, probably Morocco.

13. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?

Good chocolate

14. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?

Band – Blondie, Film – Jesus Christ Superstar, Hobby (sport) - swimming.

15. Red wine or white?

Cool dry white in the summer, full bodied red in the winter.

16. Book or movie?
A good book, be it fiction or non-fiction.

17. Morning person or night person?


18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?

Brexit. It has taken away the freedom to travel, work and study across the EU and created a huge divide within the UK, all for the benefit of a small minority of people. 

19. Buda or Pest side?

Buda, but specifically Óbuda.

20. What would you say is your personal motto? 

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” – John Lennon

  • How does this interview make you feel?