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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Why to choose Hungarian wines?

Hungarian wines are not classified as the best wines in the world, but it is well known that the science of viticulture and wine making has been perfected by Hungarian winemakers for hundreds of years. The Hungarian wines are getting greater and they are achieving better and better places in several competitions, thus bringing a bigger reputation to the Hungarian wineries as well.

A diving paradise in Curacao! Interview with András Gáti

I don't think I'm really overreacting when I say that you can meet Hungarian people all over the world. There may not be a country, province or island on Earth where Hungarians wouldn’t have settled. Up to this day, there are many who don’t even know that there is a small island in the southern Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela called Curacao. András Gáti lives on this wonderful island, with our author Gabriella Flórián we can find out how András got to the island which belongs to the Netherlands Antilles.

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Why to choose Hungarian wines?

Hungarian wines are not classified as the best wines in the world, but it is well known that the science of viticulture and wine making has been perfected by Hungarian winemakers for hundreds of years. The Hungarian wines are getting greater and they are achieving better and better places in several competitions, thus bringing a bigger reputation to the Hungarian wineries as well.

Even athletes die once … we are mourning two great water polo players at once

It is always a huge loss when we lose one of our loved ones, but when we have to say goodbye to a man, who was loved by a whole country and whose life was accompanied to the very end - it is an even sadder goodbye. Never in the history of Hungarian water polo had it ever occurred that the country lost two of its successful and efficient players with only one day between. We hereby commemorate György Kárpáti and Tibor Benedek, three-time Olympic champions.

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Gabriella Flórián
Gabriella Flórián
Life always gives us an opportunity that, if we can use it well, it will serve us. I believe that I became a founding member of this magazine for a reason.
Before I ask anything, I would like to introduce the island a bit, the associated state of the Netherlands, where the Dutch language is the official as well as the Papiamento. The population of the island is just like one larger city, with a population of about 160,000.

So, you who lived here in Budapest and graduated from university, one day during work you woke up and you felt that you wanted to look around the world? You even spun the globe and just pointed to Curacao, let’s see what life might be like there. I don’t think that’s what happened. As the island is quite small and it is not much in the news either, I think the Hungarian population, even if they heard about the island, at first certainly has no idea where to find it on the map.

G.A.:  No, that’s not really how it happened, because I knew quite a bit about the Netherlands Antilles and especially Curacao. The main thing in choosing a place is diving itself and its business opportunity – so we were looking for a place that is not seasonal, so diving can be done all year round – there is no winter and no cold. That’s how the circle narrowed – Europa dropped out, local property laws were cumbersome in Asia, so the Caribbean remained – but at first, we looked at Colombia, including Cartagena. We even went there. The plural is not a coincidence, as my two friends and I made this journey and the base. Saci and Mark. Mark is also a diving instructor and the interesting thing is that he was my instructor when I started diving. We worked together at one of the largest diving bases in Hungary – there is the connection from.

G.F.: -How did you get in Willemstad (Curacao)? What was more difficult to pack and break from the usual milieu, or to get on with the integration and pick up the rhythm of the new place?

A.G.: When I started to look for a place where I can open a dive centre, I travelled a lot around North- and South America – but finally I decided to stay at Curacao. Hardest part is the immigration process. Here as a reel Caribbean island, everybody is really slow and relaxed – you have to slow yourself down for sure.

A diving paradise in Curacao! Interview with András GátiG.F.: -Our learned foreign language really becomes clear if we can use it in life. How difficult was it to prevail and to do official business in a foreign environment?

A.G.: Most of our customers are from the USA or the Netherlands, all of them speak fluent English, also the locals do, so for me, that is not the case.

G.F.: – How much did you know about this place before? Have you ever been here, or as a true adventurer have you begun to try your luck with some information and great determination?

A.G.: I had a few basic information about the islands of Netherlands Antilles, but Curacao itself, I didn’t really know that it existed. We made some phone calls to home who are in the diving circles to find out who knew the different islands and which one they recommended – this is how Curacao became the choice, which is part of the Netherlands Antilles.

G.F.: – What did you like most about this place when you moved here? What do you love about this place now?

A.G.: The underwater life of the Sea, Coral reefs with lots of interesting fishes… For me, the most beautiful things are the underwater wrecks, coral walls and really is that you can do any dive style or discipline at any time, like me as I do the technical dives or Mark who does the freediving. Also, not secondary, it is always summer. Still that is my favourite, I moved here 1 year ago.

A diving paradise in Curacao! Interview with András GátiG.F.: – How much different is job search from home? What difficulties did you encounter and what was easier than you thought?

A.G.: I built up my own company here – permit process can be a long time. If someone wants to work here then get ready for a 5-month immigration process – but basically if you are qualified you will find a job. They are constantly looking for diving instructors, for example.

G.F.: -How long has it been, before you felt that you were no longer a stranger, that you were at home in the new city?

A.G.: I think here I will feel all the time that I am not a local.

G.F.: – Have you felt homesick, and have you sometimes still have it?

A.G.: I’m lucky. Not really- I go home every year which helps maybe, I don’t know. But of course, family is missing but they visit, friends are missing but they visit occasionally too.

G.F.: – If you were to invite someone to visit you, what would you show them? Just the sights of your place, or your favourite attractions that might not even appear in the travel guide? What they should definitely see?

A.G.: There are little known lookouts to the sea where you can admire the sunset. Christopher Mountain, Shete Boka National Park, Beaches, Willemstad the capitol. Which has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A variety of beaches, diverse architecture, local food and of course a drink called Blue Curacao. In addition, the flamingo park, which is UNESCO protected and flamingos live freely here.

That is a small island – all attractions are in travel books, but normally after the must see things, I would show local restaurants, beaches, festivals, music bars. There are two national parks, one is located on the highest “mountain” at an altitude of around 400 meters is worth climbing here, the other is at a beach in the north of the island where you can really get to know the power of the sea, the waves from the open sea.

A diving paradise in Curacao! Interview with András GátiG.F.: -How did you go through the difficulties in the beginning? Have you had time when you said you’d rather go home?

A.G.: Not as my choice, during the immigration process, you have to leave the island. What we set as a goal we fight for it, we fight, we don’t usually give up on things, we didn’t do it here either. There have been, and there will be difficulties, difficult times, but together we can get over on them and help each other, without it we won’t succeed. Without Saci and Mark probably I wouldn’t be here anymore and maybe it would be vice versa.

G.F.: -Who or what kind of influence made you stay?

A.G.: Obviously I founded a company that we can’t and you don’t want to leave, the first few years are hard for a new business, we work 6 days a week in good times, and 7 days a week in a busy season, many times with night dives. Why I/we stayed – because we love what we do and believe in the long-term of a successful business.

A diving paradise in Curacao! Interview with András GátiG.F.: -How welcoming, helpful and friendly are the locals?

A.G.: Most of them are really friendly – maximum they do not know how to help.

G.F.: – If you already knew as much as you know now about life here, would you have decided differently than you did it back then?

A.G.: Nothing, I think I did good to be here. It’s a good thing to live here, especially since the weather is very favourable for any activity all year long. Or it’s worth doing business. Obviously, there would be little things we would do differently, but these are little things for the overall.

G.F.: -What have you learned from the locals which is natural and part of your daily routine now?

A.G.: Slow down, really. Live your life slowly and try to be positive in every situation and smile.

A diving paradise in Curacao! Interview with András GátiG.F.: -Is there something you have learned here and you are very grateful for that, you would never have had the opportunity to acquire such knowledge and habits at home?

A.G.: No, not really – really just stress-free living, attaching to happiness, career and money are not the central idea.

G.F.: -If I visiting here, what would you show me what I should definitely see?

A.G.: Christopher Mountain, Shete Boka National Park, Willemstad as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A variety of beaches, diverse architecture, local food and of course a drink called Blue Curacao. In addition, the flamingo park, which is level UNESCO protected and flamingos live freely here.

A diving paradise in Curacao! Interview with András Gáti

G.F.: -If you have lived in many different countries, where did you feel best and why?

A.G.: Vancouver – I simply fall in love with Vancouver City, just too cold to dive.

G.F.: – If you could choose any country, where would you like to move, where would you like to try life?

A.G.:  Definitely Vancouver, Mexico, Florida because of the cave diving, maybe Colombia.

G.F.: -Write down everything you would like to say about your town and its surroundings.

A.G.: The island itself is amazing, huge parties – a lot of amazing beaches, parks, palm trees, white sand… Willemstad as the only city in the island is amazing to see. Try scuba diving – amazing coral reefs, underwater creatures, turtles, dolphins this gives you an unforgettable experience. It awaits visitors with amazing sights, where Dutch architecture is dominant. Although Spanish signs are also significant from the time of colonization. Those who visit here can taste the Blue Curacao, the atmosphere of the carnivals is also unique. A diving paradise in Curacao! Interview with András Gáti

G.F.: Is diving a wonderful but not the safest sport and not one of the cheapest either, am I right?

A.G.: No doubt it can be expensive, but mostly for us because we don’t have a sea at home and because of this we are forced to travel. The pleasure diving itself, because of the standards and limits, I think is safe – obviously, like all extreme sports, it has its dangers, but with a good instructor, proper base and attention, I don’t think it’s more dangerous than any other extreme sport. This is, of course, true for recreational diving.

G.F.: Which was your most memorable dive and why?

A.G.: For me, my technical dives are the most memorable, ship and car wrecks at a depth of 50-60 meters where you are really just you and your thoughts, your heartbeat slows down, as does your movement, wonderful world and feeling.

A diving paradise in Curacao! Interview with András Gáti

G.F.: Were there any underwater creatures you saw and could call yourself lucky because you could rarely see them?

A.G.: Basically, Curacao is not famous for sharks and Mantas, but we were lucky enough to see Reef Shark and Manta, which is rare here.

I wish you many more memorable and safe dives!

Picture gallery:

A diving paradise in Curacao! Interview with András Gáti

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