I first visited Amsterdam in 2008. I stayed there for four days with my former girlfriend. She played floorball and was playing in a tournament in Amsterdam. It was an exciting and beautiful time; we stayed during the Gay Pride festival, and the city was full of colour. It was the first time I had heard about the Gay Monument. We walked through the entire city and came across historical places and museums such as the Van Gogh Museum. By the way, my ex’s team won the tournament.
I never really made any decision to come and live in Amsterdam. It was sheer coincidence. I decided to make a whole lot of changes in my life, and fate brought me here. 2012 was a year with ups, and a lot of downs. I lost a lot of money and it was my own stupid fault. My relationship ended and I needed some cash. So I decided to try to earn some outside the Czech Republic. By coincidence I met up with an old friend of mine who said he had just come back from the Netherlands where he had worked for two years. I asked him how he got there and he told me about a certain employment agency. So I visited the agency, did an English test and was accepted. I left my apartment, sold all my furniture and signed a contract without knowing exactly what the company did or where it was. I only knew that it was somewhere in the Netherlands. In the end, I was sent to Amsterdam.
It wasn’t love at first sight. I like the city, but the language!! I thought I would never get my head around it. I listened to the radio but couldn’t figure out a single word. But it was funny. It was exactly the change I needed in my life. It felt like the right path and I was happy. Three months after I arrived I took part in a lesbian football tournament during Gay Pride 2013 in Wester Park. We finished third and that was the moment I fell in love with both the city and my life here.
However, I have had a few less positive moments in Amsterdam, mainly because of my health. Over the past year and a half I have been struggling physically. There were moments when I was desperate to return to the Czech Republic. But the moment I felt better, I wanted to stay here. It’s kind of like an Italian marriage; either fighting or loving with nothing in between. No balance. However, and this may sound a bit cliché, “Home is where the heart is.’’
378 people in Amsterdam have the Czech Republic nationality.