- 13 Dec 2023 12:20 PM
His extensive experience includes roles in real estate law, legal advice, and project management for big organizations such as the Hungarian Investment Agency.
Dr. Simon's project management expertise at MÁV - Hungarian State Railways and his electrical qualifications highlight his diverse skill set and commitment to excellence.
1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Sopron, a city rich in history and culture. Its vibrant community and unique architectural landscape sparked my early interest in real estate and urban development.
2. If you could be an expat anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
If given the opportunity to live as an expat, I would choose Dubrovnik. Its stunning blend of ancient architecture and breathtaking coastal views provides a unique backdrop that's both culturally rich and inspiring for anyone in the real estate and development field.
3. What would you miss most if you moved away from Hungary?
I'd miss the distinct character of Hungarian cities. Each city, like Budapest, has its own rhythm, beautifully intertwining historic charm with contemporary progress, something quite unique to this part of the world. In addition, the Hungarian gastronomy, and especially soups would be missed dearly.
4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
A weekend in Budapest must include a Danube River cruise to appreciate the city's stunning architecture, a visit to the historic Buda Castle, and enjoying the vibrant nightlife in Pest's ruin bars. Moreover, the Communist Statue Park and the Heros’ Square are essential spots that cannot be missed, and I would recommend a visit to a Turkish bath to finish the day.
5. What is your favourite food?
I have a particular fondness for pasta with cottage cheese and Hungarian bacon. It's a simple yet delightful dish that perfectly captures the essence of traditional Hungarian cuisine.
6. What is your favourite sport/form of exercise?
I am particularly fond of swimming, a sport in which Hungary has historically excelled. It's not only a fantastic form of exercise but also a reflection of a proud Hungarian tradition, providing a peaceful and meditative experience that allows me to reflect and rejuvenate amidst my busy schedule.
7. What is your favourite place in Hungary?
My favourite place in Hungary is Somló Hill, the country's smallest historical wine region with its distinctive volcanic soil. This unique terrain imparts a remarkable minerality to the wines, elevating their quality and taste above those from more well-known regions. It's a testament to how even in small places, Hungary can produce something truly extraordinary.
8. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
If I were to choose an alternate career path, I'd be deeply intrigued by the burgeoning field of Hungarian gastronomy and hospitality. The recent 'gastro revolution' in Hungary has put our culinary scene on the world map, and being a part of this dynamic industry, which blends tradition with innovation, would be a thrilling and fulfilling experience.
9. What’s a job you would definitely never want?
I would definitely not choose a career in accounting, particularly in Hungary where we not only have one of the most complicated tax systems but also the highest VAT (ÁFA) in Europe. This complexity contrasts sharply with my love for the more dynamic and creative aspects of real estate and development, making accounting a less appealing path for me.
10. Where did you spend your last vacation?
My last vacation was spent exploring the stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage of Croatia. Its beautiful coastline and historic cities provided a perfect blend of relaxation and architectural inspiration, reflecting my personal and professional interests.
11. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
For my next vacation, I'm planning to visit Georgia. I'm particularly excited to explore its ancient winemaking traditions and taste the renowned Saperavi wine. Georgia's rich history and contribution to viticulture make it an intriguing destination for someone passionate about both wine and culture.
12. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
As a teenager, I was captivated by the film 'Black Cat, White Cat' by Kusturica for its unique storytelling and vibrant cinematography. My musical taste was defined by the catchy tunes of Modern Talking, and I spent considerable time collecting historical artifacts, which deepened my appreciation for history and culture.
13. Apart from temptation what can't you resist?
I can't resist the allure of uncovering and solving electrical issues in ancient buildings. The oldest electrical system I've encountered was from 1898, and working on such historical structures presents a unique blend of challenge and fascination, intertwining modern electrical standards with the preservation of our architectural heritage.
14. Red wine or white?
My preference for wine actually varies with the seasons. During the winter, I lean towards a robust Kékfrankos as red wine which complements the colder months perfectly. In summer, I prefer lighter Furmint, which is refreshing in the warmer weather.
15. Book or movie?
I have a strong inclination towards books and archives, particularly inspired by my hometown Sopron, which houses one of the oldest European archives with more than 6,000 medieval documents dating before 1526. This treasure trove of history deepens my appreciation for written knowledge and historical research.
16. Morning person or night person?
I am a morning person. The calm and quiet of the early hours are perfect for planning my day and reflecting on my goals. The day starts at 5:00 Am, or in June at 4:00 AM
17. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
The issue that resonates most with me is the decreasing representation of young people in decision-making processes, coupled with the challenges they face in accessing affordable housing and property. It's crucial to empower younger generations and ensure they have a stake in shaping their communities and a fair chance at homeownership.
18. Buda or Pest side?
I have a special affinity for the Buda side with its historical significance and scenic landscapes, though I appreciate the vibrant energy of Pest as well. Bonfini, the historical writer of King Mathias referred to these parts as Pannonia and Hunnia.
19. Which achievement in your life are you most pleased about?
The achievement I hold in highest regard is the nurturing and growth of my family. Each member is dedicated to learning and hardworking, embodying our shared belief in the importance of knowledge. Seeing this value come to life in my family is both deeply satisfying and personally fulfilling.
20. What would you say is your personal motto?
Living in a Central European historical storm zone has shaped my personal motto: 'What does not kill you makes you stronger.' This phrase, originating from Nietzsche and popularized by Kelly Clarkson, resonates with my experiences and beliefs, emphasizing resilience and growth through adversity.