You cannot imagine how beautiful Budapest is – Interview with Carmine Fulvio Cannone
Carmine Fulvio Cannone came from Italy. He considers friendship the most valuable thing in life – his motto is that you better hold onto good people and appreciate them since they are worth more than gold. Let’s get to know him a bit better!
How was your life before moving to Budapest?
My life was pretty slow and relaxed. I was working in my family’s business. We say “Dolce Far Niente” when you just chill and spend your time with friends, watching the Horizon on the sea and throw stones into it, of course after work or during a long Siesta (Nap).
Could you tell us a bit about your hometown?
Well, in my region it’s pretty common to move around the county and to experience living in multiple places. The main cities are rather chaotic, but there are more pleasant and interesting places – Bari for example. So I can essentially name more than one place as my hometown Apulia is really interesting for a vacation but it’s pretty hard to develop a successful career there. I have to say that Hungary is much safer than Italy in general – the “mafia attitude” is a big issue in the region where I grew up.
What did you know about Hungary before moving here?
I heard about the successful porn industry especially because of a famous family (half Italian, half Hungarian) who made a fortune with that business in Budapest. I knew about the country’s glorious history, but also the more unfortunate parts like the Communist era. Furthermore, I knew that salaries are really low compared to the prices of general goods and considering a modern, globalized lifestyle.
What brought you to Budapest?
I came here in 2011 for a holiday. It was my first trip with a friend of mine after spending a summer in the UK to study English. I fell in love with the city, the architecture and the thermal baths as well. You cannot imagine how beautiful Budapest is when you are not used to it and you see it for the first time. A few years have passed after that trip when, in 2017, I found a job opportunity in my field (IT) in Budapest and I decided to leave my comfort zone to explore a new country and experience a new way of life.
What are your favorite things about living here?
The city is safe and affordable. I can drive with no restrictions and I like that the summer is pretty long and hot. I can survive with my English skills and I can eat good quality international cuisine at a reasonable price. I also love the festivals here.
What are the things that you really don’t like?
I can’t deal with the language, it’s just simply too hard for me to learn which makes it harder to have local friends. I would love to feel more happiness around me. I know life is not that easy for a lot of Hungarians but let’s try to still think positive. I don’t like the rude politicians. I agree with some of their decisions but I really do not like this big propaganda. It’s quite unbelievable and sad.
Have you had any cultural shock?
Yes, of course, I had. The first shock was about the food, especially during my work time when I could not choose where to eat. At my previous company the food was disgusting. Since I changed workplaces since then, this issue is now solved. I can not pretend to be proud of my Italian heritage in Hungary. I left my home country because I was fed up and also to explore a new place.
What do you think is the main difference from your home country?
In South Italy, if you have some difficulties, someone somehow will help you out. Here it’s completely different, and it’s pretty hard to get help. I feel that Hungarians are more individualists, a bit like people from North Italy.
What do you think of gay life in Budapest? Do you take part in it?
Gay life is definitely growing in Budapest. New clubs are being opened but unfortunately, there is not a big alternative scene. The clubs all look the same. The stereotype is that gays have to dance all the time to pop or R&B music. But what if I like progressive house or electronica? Why are they trying to spread this mainstream culture all the time? Fortunately there is a small gay-friendly scene who have surfaced recently and who like alternative music but still, it’s a small circle. I have nothing wrong with pop stars but there is much more to explore. I have also noticed that there is a great divide between gay and hetero parties.
How is gay life back in your hometown or the country you came from?
In Italy, gay life is more vibrant in the summer but I have to say that people are generally more violent so there is also more homophobia. In big cities like in Rome or Milan there are more opportunities and Italian guys are definitely really handsome but it depends on what you like. Bari is not a place with a very great gay life, that’s for sure.
What kind of hobbies do you have?
I love to travel and I like to drive and explore new places. I’m still discovering Hungary – the last place I visited was Miskolc. I like GoKarting and hiking as well as ice skating. Simple stuff.
What do you think of Hungarian men?
I am bisexual (yes, we do exist!) so it is a bit tricky for me to find adventurous partners in Budapest who are into that. Hungarian gays are usually very stereotypical and a lot of cute guys are scared to explore their sexuality so basically it’s almost impossible to find bisexual guys or girls who can accept bisexuality in their partners. In my opinion, Hungarian men are generally pretty hot so there is big competition among them.
What do you miss the most from the home?
I really miss my dog, my friends and family, the culture and the sea. Oh and I also miss good cocktails and an Italian breakfast after a long party, cappuccino é cornetto.
Any message you would like to share with the newcomers who are just arriving to Budapest?
Budapest is Budapest. You should adapt. If you are not willing to adapt then it’s better to stay home! We can not come to a foreign country and instantly establish our own set of new rules. Every country is different and unique – discovering each one of them is the beauty of traveling.
Bali V. Gergő