Hungarian men are some of the best-looking ones I've ever seen - Interview with Eoin Mac Donncha

Hungarian men are some of the best-looking ones I’ve ever seen – Interview with Eoin Mac Donncha

He was born and raised along the western ocean-side of Ireland and now he is working in Budapest as a dancer. Let’s meet Eoin!

Where are you from?

I am from a place called Carraroe. It’s a very small village in the west of Ireland, right on the Atlantic Ocean.

Tell us about your day to day life.

When I am in Budapest, I like to wake up two hours before I leave for work. The important thing is to get my coffee right away. I move slowly in the mornings, but I also love to be able to walk to work when possible, because there is no better city to walk in than Budapest. I go to work and I dance for some hours, socialize with my work friends, then usually I will nap an hour after I get home. I always try to go out as much as I can with people, have a drink and talk about our day.

What did you know about Hungary before moving here?

Actually, very little. I know iIt’s a shame, but I did not do much research on it. I knew it was beautiful and the food was good because my mother had been a few times.

Have you had any cultural shock?

Oh yes. Firstly I knew Budapest was beautiful, but I had no idea how much, and when I saw it, my jaw dropped. On the other hand, the first few weeks I would say were very hard, because I did not fully understand the mentality of the people. I found them quite unfriendly and frustrated along with a strange atmosphere of depression. It was quite difficult.

Any tips for a foreigner moving here?

I think you should really do your research; also, learning some basic Hungarian phrases would help integrate you more efficiently. Don’t be disheartened if you have some misunderstandings with locals. This is bound to happen, but rather try to see things from their perspective more so than your own.

What are your favorite things in Budapest?

So many things to mention here: the ice rink during the winter months; 100% the architecture of the whole city, it’s just stunning; the amazing food and how many places there are to eat. I often find myself coming from work not knowing what to eat because there are simply too many good choices. I love that Hungarian people work extremely hard, and are very dedicated to what they do; they don’t give up.

Name one place you would recommend a traveler to see or do?

Király Baths.

What do you think of gay life in Budapest? Do you part take in it?

I don’t take part in it much, I’ve been to the gay clubs and bars once, and I’m quite happy to have done it but for me it’s not necessary. I enjoy more laid back and easy-going places with my friends. I love to cook and to host dinner parties. I don’t and never really did participate much in the gay scene anywhere I’ve lived.

How is gay life in Ireland?

I would say gay life in Ireland has been a lot more open in the past few years, it’s quite wonderful. A few weeks ago, I was walking in Dublin and behind me was a young couple with their son, and the father and mother were explaining to their son the differences between hetero and gay relationships. I started to walk a little slower so as not to go past them too much, because I was so curious to hear what they said, as I thought it would be a negative, but they were so open. I came close to tears when the father told his son that both are perfectly natural. This is also a part of the reason I tend not to participate in gay events, as I don’t see myself as anything different from anyone or anything else – we are all equal. I’m very proud that we were the first country in the world to adopt same-sex marriage by popular vote.

What do you think of Hungarian men?

A difficult question with many answers; some negative, some positive. Apart from the obvious fact that Hungarian men are some of the best-looking ones I’ve ever seen, they can be some of the most difficult – as a foreigner I tend to think they see me differently. I’ve been told many times that “oh you’re not Hungarian, so bye-bye..!” Which is a huge shame and a very close-minded approach. I find they need to broaden their minds, and not judge everyone in the same way. I’m an extremely friendly and curious person, and some see this as me intruding or being too intense when it’s just friendliness that seems to confuse people. But, on the positive side, once I get to know a Hungarian man a bit better, there seems to be such a nice understanding of each other, and a kind of respect. It might take some time to break their shell and for them to be comfortable with you, but once they do, you see them for who they really are and that can be quite wonderful.

If there was a man who was coming out, what’s something you’d want him to know about being a part of LGBTQ+ community?

I would say don’t label yourself as anything, don’t even label yourself as part of a community because of your sexuality. Be yourself, don’t feel pressured to be someone or be part of something you don’t want to be or don’t feel comfortable with. Always be true to yourself. I can’t stress enough to be respectful of others, mind your own business, work hard at what you’re good at, and the world is far less scary like this. Things eventually fall into place. Also be open to kindness and don’t mistake it for anything else than what it actually is. Smile at strangers sometimes – a smile costs nothing but can give so much. Never ever be afraid to ask for help and advice from people you trust, because we all need some help sometimes.

What do you miss the most from home?

The ocean which is a 10-second walk from my home.

What kind of hobbies do you have?

I play a lot of online games, both on PC and PS4. I have been practicing martial arts for many years: I hold a second black belt in Shotokan Karate, and been doing Wing Tsun Kung Fu for 3 years. I love languages, which is why I speak four to this date. I write a lot of poetry, which I tend not to share with people. I’m a professional dancer, so my job is also a partial passion and hobby as well as the means to pay the bills. I have 15 samurai swords, ranging from katana to tanto and I like to practice with them. I love to paint, and I love getting lost in unfamiliar parts of town as it’s the best way to explore and find interesting new places.

What is something that you have learned here that you will take with you?

How hard and passionately people work for what they do. I noticed it from a very early stage when I arrived in Budapest. It was and still is very inspiring to me. Also, how caring people are – I have many Hungarian friends who want the best for me always. Of course, I have hard days, but they are always there to pick me up and buy me a beer. They push me to be a better person and a better artist. I will always take that kindness and their friendship with me regardless of where I end up.

Csaba Roszik