Vincent Laurent, Managing Director, Thermal Hungary

  • 29 Nov 2022 7:14 AM
Vincent Laurent, Managing Director, Thermal Hungary
Vincent was born in Le Mans (24 heures du Mans’ town!) in France in 1984.

Mechanical Engineer by formation with some taste for traveling: first in London, Canada, US and Belgium, it is in Hungary that he has found its longest settlement so far (8 years in total).

Engineer first in Szentes for 2 years in 2012, decides to come back again in 2016 to try a second experience in Hungary and start shaping up the project of Thermalhungary, after having seen and experienced by himself how poor was the existent offer on the net to find information about Hungarian thermal baths, in a non-Hungarian language.

He came back eventually also to complete its learning with Hungarian language (which is endless, as we all know…)

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

I have been fascinated and attracted by Central and Eastern Europe since I was young.
I arrived first in July 2011 for a 2-year mission in Szentes, for a French company.
Everything was setup for me when I arrived: a taxi was waiting at the airport, the job, flat, administrative papers… I had nothing to worry about. 

Then I decided to return to Hungary in September 2016 after 3 disappointing years in France. This time, I had no plan at all waiting for me in Hungary, I packed my little Twingo in total improvisation and drove through Germany-Austria to start a second experience in Hungary. 

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?

Only 4 months in Canada for studies in summer 2008 and a total of 4 months in London.
3. What surprised you most about Hungary?

The impression that Hungarians are not poorer than French people are, even if they have less money on their bank account.

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

Of course thermal baths and….Thermal baths I guess. 
More seriously, Budapest is a fantastic place, but I would try to drag them to the deep country and show them what I call the “real Hungary”, which looks quite different from the District V of the capital.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?

I think my favourite hot plate is the fűszeres túróval töltött gomba, maybe I could eat this every day. Especially those from my friend Szandi.
Overall, the food level in Hungary is great, at a much higher level than what I could try in other countries where I have spent time: US, England, Canada, Belgium…
It is shorter to mention the ONLY ONE Hungarian food I don’t like: Pacal Pörkölt.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?

Cheese ?.. no! Yogurt!

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?

Megborotválkozni, I like how crazy and long is this one compared with the French and English “raser” and “shave”. I also love “Csütörtök” and “természetesen”.

8. What do you miss most from home? 

I could criticize France for hours, but it still dominates everything about food.

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

When I was 15, I wanted to become a famous DJ. Producer, mixer, and play in live.
At 37 years old I have finally started to practice and learn it. It is never too late to develop a new skill!

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

Team Manager. I am a free mind: I hate to receive orders and I hate to give orders.

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?

On the Atlantic coast with my family, we went camping where we have been going for almost 40 years.

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

The country I wish to visit the most is Iceland, but in next May (2023), we go to visit Croatia and Bosnia together with my mother.

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

LIDL pékáru !!! But only the LIDL here in Hungary.

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

I have watched when I was a child, the 3 movies Back to the Future an absurd number of times.

15. Red wine or white?

It depends where, I could not resist a good Pessac-Léognan from my region, but in Hungary it is definitely the Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos who got the lead in my heart. 
I insist on the “5” because the “6” and “Eszencia” have disappointed me both, too dense and too sweet. The “5” has the perfect balance.

16. Book or movie?

None of them?... I only ready for tutorials, articles, news, documentaries. I almost never take the time to watch movies or series.

17. Morning person or night person?

I come from West where the sun is ~90 min late so for Hungarian standards I am definitely night.

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

Technology disconnecting people more and more.

19. Buda or Pest side?

Well since almost all of the most beautiful Thermal spas are on Buda…

20. What would you say is your personal motto? 

From my father:  Dans la vie on a que ce qu’on mérite = In life we only get what we deserve.

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