“Already as a small boy I was interested in sports. I began with the gymnastics, but due to injured leg joint I had to be careful. I could do ice skating, but not skiing. The doctors recommended swimming, so I began to swim a lot. When I was about twelve or thirteen, I got excited about water polo, which I then continued playing until the age of twenty three. Then I quit due to university studies. For about ten years overall. I played for the Partisan Belgrade. It was amongst the four best team in the whole Yugoslavia, where water polo is as popular as ice hockey here. In the semi-finals the Serbs change with Croatia and Monte Negro. Serbia is amongst the top five in the whole world. I travelled a lot all through the Yugoslavia. I played in Croatia, Slovenia, Monte Negro, Macedonia, although there was no top league. Each summer from July until August we used to travel from Rijeka to Kotor, played in Hvar, Split, Korcula, whole two months on the coast of Dalmatia. The matches switched between Zagreb, Belgrade and Dubrovnik… With the older players we always got after two or three days to play also international matches as substitutes. We went to Napoli, Spain, Hungary, which has great water polo players. We played in Budapest and Segedin, Subotice in Vojvodina. I enjoyed it. I enjoy sports until today. I like nordic walking around where I live, I exercise and swim – at least once a week in a pool. For me it is the best relaxation.”
“I could not speak a word in Czech, when we opened a little tobacconist in Opatov. There was not much money in it, but we had our peace. The advantage was to read all the papers and magazines and also talk to the customers. We could remember who is used to buy what in a week´s time and had the press of their choice ready for them and they were thrilled. One of our customers told us: ‚I´ve been coming here for five years and no one remembered me like you do.‘ Our great advantage was that the Czechs liked Yugoslavia. No one cared about Serbia or Croatia, but all went ‚Oh, the lovely Yugoslavia…‘remembering their holidays. A certain man from the ministry liked to chat with me. He also advised us and offered help, when there was a change in the foreign residence legislative back then. Our customers cared a lot about us and we could improve our Czech with them.”
A man can bear material deprivation, but not wrong and injustice
Dejan Pulejkovič was born on 11 January, 1946 as the second out of three children in the capital of the former Yugoslavia, the Serbian Belgrade. In his youth he devoted himself to sport on a top level and as a very young boy he travelled around Yugoslavia with his sports team and got to travel abroad as well. After finishing the gymnasium he studied the Geological faculty at the Belgrade university since 1964. Apart from studies he was a water polo trainer for some time. At the end of his high-school studies in 1970 he started a family, gradually had two daughters. In 1970-1983 he worked in a banking industry, later did computer courses and worked in a banking information centre. Simultaneously he worked for research programs in the area of geology. In 1983 he started at the geological institute GEOZAVOD doing geological research. Political and economic situation of the former Yugoslavia began to deteriorate and Dejan Pulejkovič used the opportunity to study and work in Prague gradually for both his daughters in 1993-1994 and followed them together with his wife in 1995. They sold their house in Belgrade and bought a flat in Prague. At the start they ran a tobacconist, had their own stand same and later found a stable job. Dejan Pulejkovič worked as a hotel receptionist and since 2005 worked for an international research project in the Motol hospital. In 2012 retired and nowadays lives with his wife near Prague, still working and enjoying sports and grandchildren.