Patrick Hallinan, Native English Teacher, Concord Language School

  • 10 Aug 2022 3:33 PM
Patrick Hallinan, Native English Teacher, Concord Language School
Patrick is from Dublin. He has been an English teacher for over 25 years and still loves his job. He taught secodary students for 5 years preparing them for the state speaking test here in Hungary.

During his time as a teacher in Dublin he was in charge of Business English company classes for employees from Allianz, Danone and Cisco, among many others.

Here in Budapest he has taught in Morgan Stanley Bank, IBM, CIB Bank and Oracle. He currently teaches in Graphisoft and 4iG.

He also works as a voice over artist. Regarding free time, he enjoys cooking at home with his partner Katy, playing with their 8 cats and has a novel in the works!

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

Katy and I arrived here from Dublin 8 years ago for a Christmas holiday. It had snowed heavily just before we arrived and the city looked like a veritable winter wonderland. We immediately fell in love with Budapest and decided to come and live here for the long term.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?

Yes! London, Chicago, Santa Fe, Antwerp, Den Helder, Barcelona.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?

Many things.The side effects of Palinka! The efficiency of public transport. How Hungarians react when a ticket inspector boards a tram. Lángos for breakfast. The heady aromatic mix of fried onions and pork fat coming from my neighbour’s kitchen window first thing in the morning.

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

The Christmas lights on Andrássy utca on the way to Heroes Square and the Elephant house in the zoo nearby.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?

Tricky question. So many dishes to choose from. The Great Market Hall is our favourite place to do our grocery shopping. Great selection of seasonal fruit and veg. Szűzpecsenye or Chilled sour-cherry soup, deliciously silky and perfect on a hot summer day!

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?

Chilled almond milk for my cinnamon cereal chips.

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?

There is a multifunctional and funny phrase that goes like this…" A béka segge alatt”. Literally translates as “ under the a… of a frog” You can use it to describe so many things  the exchange rate of the Hungarian forint!  A hopeless situation. Celebrity TV,  any existential crisis that you may have on a Monday morning and a true reflection of the dark Hungarian humour that we Irish appreciate so much!

8. What do you miss most from home? 

The salty breeze from the sea and Irish sausages.

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

International food critic.

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

Ryan Air cabin crew member. No need to elaborate.

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?

Sardinia off season with hardly any tourists. The locals came and sat with us, to keep us company.

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

Rome during the European Cup Final when everybody is in a bar glued to a TV screen and you have the city to yourself.

13. A part of temptation what can't you resist?

To quote a witty Irishman I would say that I can resist everything “except temptation itself”!

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

The Boomtown Rats, Back to the Future, collecting crustacean fossils by smashing open rocks in my backyard.

15. Red wine or white?

Neither. Chilled rosé.

16. Book or movie?

Neither. Any well staged Shakespearian play such as A Midsummer’s Night Dream outdoors in a garden or a forest.

17. Morning person or night person?

Midday. By that time I've had two cups of coffee and respond well to attempts at basic conversation.

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

The environment of course. However, we should leave Mother Nature alone and stop meddling with her. She will look after herself and she might look after us too!

19. Buda or Pest side?

I am not falling for that one. Somewhere in the middle. So that means Marget Sziget.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?

Depends on what day you ask me. Today I would go for this one. “Life is a wave. You just have to ride it out” 

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