Ed. Fouten first visited Hungary 17 years ago and while travelling around the country decided to come live in Hévíz and Cserszegtomaj. He loves and knows the area very much. It is interesting that a South African world-travelled citizen who speaks 7 languages chose Hévíz as his place of residence and to retire here.
Where did you first hear about Hévíz?
My first interest was by meeting a Catholic Hungarian priest at the church I was schooled at and being a good priest his positive interest stayed with me to visit Hungary one day which I did.
I was very interested in Hungarian history and culture, so I bought a book with photos and a video.
What did you like about buying real estate in Hévíz and its surroundings?
The lake Balaton, héviz thetmal lake, beauty, country life, houses, restaurants,market, food, the world-class dentists and the people!
He would tell you a little bit about himself. What did you do in South Africa?
I worked as a Finance Manager and Accountant and responsible for Audits. But everyone is interesting! For example, I also read a lot about Hungarian history, culture, architecture music, wines, different foods (paprika and lángos) the language and the lake!
How did you manage to learn Hungarian, which is considered to be one of the hardest languages in the world?
I speak seven languages: English, Flemish, African, German, French and Spanish. I learned to speak German here, which was quite easy after learning English, not to mention the many German speaking people living here. I am learning Hungarian constantly. I understand and use a lot of words, however, I haven't managed to speak fluently and consistently yet. Maybe during the quarantine, I will have more time to focus on language learning.
What are you doing now in Hévíz, now that everything you can do here is closed?
I never get bored, I have a lot of friends in the area (Many Hungarian). I learned to cook Hungarian food and I like to host my friends. I go hiking in the area, December is a very nice month. In the summer, during the first wave of the epidemic, I had to travel home to visit my mother who was ill and needed care. My 90-year-old mother is now fine, but unfortunately due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic and worldwide lockdown and borders closed, I had to wait until September to return to Hévíz. I missed it a lot. It was a very sad time not to experience the summer here, but I remained hopeful! I have many friends, in Cserszegtomaj. I have many grape vine trees, from which I make wine with the help of a local friend. Also apricot trees.
In the meantime, I'm writing a motivational book on how to live a happy positive life.
Another book will be about my travels and architecture, churches, and buildings.
Do you have children, do they also visit Hévíz?
I am the baptpismal godfather to two children in Keszthely, one is 5 and the other is 7 years old. They are sporty, active and happy children when they see me. They love their bicycles and want my attention to play with them!
Have relatives of your South African friends ever visited you?
Yes of course. I used to organize a program for them, to introduce the area, I was accompanied by a group of 10 people. Even now, my acquaintances are waiting at home to end the virus situation and travel to visit me.They want to experience what the place has to offer and the country as a tourist. The friends also come from many other parts of the world, amongst others Canada, the UK, France, Switzerland, Mauritius and many who show interest to come. They want to experience the good dental work done here.
Which season do you like best in Hévíz?
All seasons are beautiful. Spring with the freshness, beautiful flowers, summer with so much happening, autumn with the beautiful colors of the trees changing and winter with festivities lights, decorations and markets. Also waiting for some snow and the lake freezing up!
Do you swim in Lake Hévíz?
Yes, as much as possible. In summer, seeing the sunset while swimming in lake Balaton and the “Hot air balloon" flying over! The thermal lake is refreshing and peaceful.
What is your favorite place in the area?
The whole area has much to offer. The whole country I want to visit which has so much to offer a tourist which I promote.