In Merida Dreams Come True
YL: When did you move to the Yucatan and from where did you move?
Oresztesz: I came from Hungary in 2003.
YL: Why did you move?
Oresztesz: The original idea was to work in the hospitality industry abroad while perfecting my Spanish. Then I met my wife...
YL: Why did you choose the city you now live in over other places in the world?
Oresztesz: I found love!!! Long story or short, this is what made me stay. Obviously anybody that has experienced Yucatan and especially Merida, will know all the rest: history, nature, peace, tranquility, security and friendliness of the residents.
YL: Did you buy a house right away or rent first? Do you think you made the right decision?
Oresztesz: I am renting my principal residence even though we own another property in Merida and one at the beach. I feel it works out perfectly for us at the moment, and I hope the owners will finally allow us to buy the house we are renting...
YL: Are you doing now what you intended to do when you moved here? If not, why not?
Oresztesz: What I do now is something I intended to do at some point in my life since I was 12 (I probably had it in me much earlier). After working in the hospitality industry for many years, I am now a practicing hypnotherapist. I now help people improve their lives (in some cases, quite dramatically), help them with their problems or help them find their true potential. I didn’t know when I was moving here that that’s what I would do here for a living, but it has grown beautifully.
Hypnosis is a marvellous tool, and I get an amazing satisfaction from the knowledge that I help people become happier and healthier!
YL: What are the most interesting things about living here for you?
Oresztesz: Discovering the wonders of a great relationship and growing as a person through raising the family. Cheesy? That's how I feel! I also love the possibilities that my new discipline opens for me. I tremendously enjoy helping people.
YL: What do you absolutely love about living here?
Oresztesz: My family and the tranquility of the city. I love how the people are accepting and friendly everywhere.
YL: What do you miss from your "former life"?
Oresztesz: Friends, and some Hungarian food items.
YL: What don’t you miss from your "former life"?
Oresztesz: Cold winters that turn people “gray” and puts a “bored-with-life” expression on every face.
YL: What is your favorite local food?
Oresztesz: Street food is torta de lechón and panuchos; a sopa de lima from the not-so-wide soup selection; probably the queso relleno or relleno negro as main dishes and medallon de camaron in the seafood area. There isn’t much to my taste among bakery items or pastries.
YL: What is your favorite time of year here and why?
Oresztesz: Summertime would have to be it. I just love to see the city less crowded, and I also enjoy the times at the beach, when the best part of my extended family moves to the beach for a few weeks.
YL: Where do you take guests who visit you here to show them something really special?
Oresztesz: Most of my visitors stay a good while so they usually get taken to all or most of the following: Merida all around town, Uxmal, Chichen-Itza, Chelem, cenotes in Cuzama, Haciendas, Río Lagartos, Izamal and Cozumel for some diving.
YL: The last time you went out to dinner, where did you go and why?
Oresztesz: Last time I took my wife to La Pigua to try the restaurant…we hadn’t been there before and we were way overdue. It was delicious.
YL: How is the city where you live different for residents than it is for tourists?
Oresztesz: Merida treats me just as well as it did from the very beginning, so she hasn't changed. The difference is inside of me. I try to remind myself every once in a while to look at what I have with the eyes I had the first time I saw it. This is something that my newborn baby reminds me of, and keeps reminding me when he is fascinated with everyday objects. And practicing this is great for my relationship and general happiness.
YL: Do you have friends from the local community or do you pretty much hang with the expat crowd?
Oresztesz: My local extended family that “came included” with my wife has provided me with quite a few great people who have become friends. Working here also allowed me to find more local friends. It is rather the expat community that I do not know as well as I might like.
YL: If you are working or own a business, what is it like owning and running a business here or working here? How is it different from doing the same thing in your country of origin?
Oresztesz: What I do is kind of an exception in many ways. Hypnosis does not exist as an official profession here in Mexico, so there are few regulations here. I am happy that I can do my work legally, which is the most important part. Fortunately, by being married to my Yucatecan wife, many things are facilitated in immigration.
YL: Do you find it more or less difficult to make a living here than in your country of origin?
Oresztesz: If you manage to adapt to the local customs and needs, you can make it anywhere. I think it is a little easier to make money here then it would be in Budapest. I happen to be subject to some positive discrimination here that I disagree with, but it is a helpful thing.
YL: Are your work habits different here?
Oresztesz: My hours are adapted to my clients needs, and fortunately fewer hours are enough to make a decent living.
YL: Did you speak Spanish when you moved here? Where did you learn Spanish (if you did)? Is the language barrier a problem for you in your daily life?
Oresztesz: I am very happy with my Spanish. No problems there at all, fortunately. I started learning at the University when I first came here, then perfected it here through living among the locals.
YL: What interesting Spanish word or saying have you learned lately? What does it mean and how did you learn it?
Oresztesz: I recommend this one to anybody deciding to move to a different culture. Adonde fueres, haz lo que vieres which translates as “Wherever you go, do as you see”. In other words, adapt to local customs, act like the locals do.
YL: Are you a Mexican citizen? Do you plan to become one?
Oresztesz: Not a citizen yet. I could easily become one and I have thought about it. Maybe I will go ahead with it eventually.
YL: Have you traveled much within Mexico? If so, where and what has been your favorite location to visit? What did you see there that you liked so much?
Oresztesz: I have visited Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Jalisco, Colima and Mexico City. My favorite places would be both coasts, probably because I don't get around to relaxing next to water frequently enough... Not a good thing for a Pisces!
YL: How are you treated by Mexicans? Do you feel resented or welcome?
Oresztesz: Very welcome. My local family, everyone in the neighbourhood and everywhere in Merida treats me as if I have been here all along. I have not experienced a single incident of resentment.
YL: How do you feel about the economic prospects of Mexico? Of the Yucatan?
Oresztesz: I should be very careful to make any economic predictions at this time. In relation to the economic crisis, I feel that Yucatan should be one of the least affected states in Mexico.
YL: What are some changes you are hoping for in the city in which you live? Do you see any progress towards these changes?
Oresztesz: I don't like the way the city progresses in many aspects. I'd prefer it to stay the way it was the moment I got to know it, which is impossible of course.
YL: What are your plans for the future here?
Oresztesz: To live happily ever after! I would like to keep developing my businesses, and to raise my wonderful family.
YL: What is the one most important piece of advice you would give someone buying property and/or planning a move to the Yucatan?
Oresztesz: Congratulations! You are investing in a wonderful place, where great local people welcome great visitors every day. If you found us and consider moving here full or part time, you must also be a person similar to us in many ways and you must appreciate tranquility. You are welcome here! My one piece of advice is this: Even later on, never forget that you are coming here because of all the things you like. Don't ever let the few things you don't like make you forget that!
YL: If you could say something to all the people of Mexico, what would you say?
Oresztesz: Keep doing your best every day and fill your life with love. Actually that goes for the whole world.
Editors Note: We first met Oresztesz when he was managing Hacienda Temozon, and were impressed by his calm and confident air of professionalism. Oresztesz Murgacs has lived in Merida for five years. His wife runs the family's Hungarian food catering business, while he practices bilingual hypnotherapy in an office on Calle 80 between Calle 67 and 65A. You can reach Oresztesz via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about his practice, you can download his Spanish-language brochure which includes his office address, email, phone and description of his services.