Thirty-five-year-old Markéta Pekarová Adamová brings quite unprecedented things to Czech politics - youth, charm, education and at the same time the search for a purpose not only at work, but in everything she does. She was not afraid to oppose her parents, who imagined her behind the production line in a factory, she was not afraid to go to Armenia during the holidays to help orphans. And she is not afraid of what will happen once her career in politics is over. In an interview for LP-Life.cz, she revealed how she likes to spend her free time, what she likes about men, and how she enjoys marriage with a partner whose profession is miles away from politics.
I'm old-fashioned, so I'm happy when men are gallant, well-mannered, and it's part of their pontoon. And what puts me off? I don't like boors, just like any woman.
In politics, you work with politicians who have been doing it two or three times longer than you. What's the worst thing about them?
It's similar to any other profession, you gradually gain experience and they have more of it than anyone else. They remember various things, cases that happened, they have insight into them. And this "historical" memory is also quite a fundamental thing in politics. So that's definitely a plus for everyone who has been in politics for a long time. What is more complicated, on the other hand, is that some of them are losing touch with the world outside of politics. They have a more distorted view of life. That's a risk that I myself am trying to avoid so as not to get stuck in the political worldview.
Definitely! It's difficult to maintain any regular diet in politics. A lot of people gain weight here, but fortunately I'm not one of them. It's probably because when I can't eat regularly, I try to eat healthy.
I do as much sports as time allows. Ever since I became the chairwoman of the party, I have been rather dormant in sports. It's more work and I can literally feel how I don't have the energy to go and do some sports. But in general, it's my form of relaxation. I've always liked running and in the winter I used to do a lot of skiing and cross-country skiing. In the summer, my husband and me often ride a bike.
I trained dutifully. I'm not the type of runner that would challenge themselves and decide to try and run a marathon in 14 days. I've put in 10 kilometers three times a week, I took part in the Beskydská sedmička (Beskydy Seven) race, in which you have to overcome seven Beskydy peaks. But I didn't finish it then, because it's really "hardcore", I quit at 82 kilometers.
You say that you have a lot more work now, but at the same time you've mentioned several times that you would like to have children with your husband. How are you going to combine it?
I will definitely not abandon my current function. But honestly, I don't really want to deal with it at the moment. It's not like we don't have kids because we don't want to. On the contrary, we want them, but we don't have them yet, so it's not an entirely pleasant topic.
How does your husband deal with the fact that you're a well-known politician? A lot of men wouldn't be able to handle it…
My husband has no issues with it. He is proud of me, he doesn't feel any jealousy about me being well-known. Of course, sometimes the „fame“ is a nuisance, I don't deny that. I myself don't always feel comfortable when people keep approaching me or commenting on me. And the comments are not always completely positive. But I see it as part of politics.
For him, it's an interesting insight into how politics works. He became more interested in it, we talk a lot about it together.
Sport, it is also my husband's passion. He's actually a much more active athlete than me. But when we have the opportunity, we go cycling or skiing together. We also go cross-country skiing in the evenings, we take a headlamp and enjoy the empty forest.
I'm not competitive, but my husband is. And sometimes he does provoke me. For example, when I talk during sports, he tells me to try harder. He needs to destroy himself more with the sport. (laughs)
I like humor and good comedies. I also laugh with my husband a lot, we have a similar sense of humor and we can make fun of ourselves.
I like to sleep. I'm not a morning bird and it's not always easy for me to get up and start fuctioning. I'm a little grumpy in the morning, too. (laughs) But bad habits? I don't smoke, I rarely drink alcohol, so I have most of the typical bad habits under control. I'm more of a person who doesn't stray away from a healthy lifestyle. It has become a second nature to me and I don't have to strive to keep it up.
You come from a working class family, you were the first to finish high school and get a university degree. And you've mentioned earlier that your parents were trying to discourage you from your studies, that they didn't want to "let you" go to Prague…
My father is a butcher who has worked in a slaughterhouse for a long time, my mother is a trained dressmaker and worked as a seamstress in a factory. And they both had different ideas about my future. I'm not saying that they outright despised the fact that I wasn't doing manual work, but they felt that I despised manual work when I wanted to get a degree. At first they couldn't accept that I didn't see myself doing manual labor. Thus it was more complicated during puberty, I was staking out my territory.
But on the other hand, my parents are so tolerant and open in their upbringing that they have taught us children that we have to take responsibility for our decisions. They let us do things our way and didn't try to compromise our decisions. So I already had to support myself during my university studies, and in many ways I had to "deserve" it.
But at the end of the day, I see it as positive. I may not have seen it that way at that age, though, it made me sad to see my high school classmates receive support from their parents, who, on the contrary, wanted them to have the best possible education. But in retrospect, I must say that they have led me to extreme diligence, to decency, and to not relying on getting anything from anyone for free or being taken care of. I think that this might also be the reason why I am right-wing, even though I come from an environment that is more naturally inclined to left-wing ideas.
No, my parents don't see it that way. I think that my political function has shown them that anyone who is interested in politics can be engaged in it. And that it's not just for a handful of the chosen ones anymore. I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth, and even though none of the poeple around me encouraged me to it, I found the way to politics myself. If you really want it, you have the opportunity to secure a seat in the Chamber of Deputies for yourself. And that's why my parents don't see it as detached from reality.
I've been in politics for ten years now, so it's been a relatively long time. Before, I used to work in human resources and HR. So that's my basic education.
I definitely don't want to stay in politics for the rest of my life. I don't even think it's healthy. (laughs) And thanks to having started a young age, I could switch to a different field in the future. In politics, I focus on the social field, which really fulfills me, I am a person who needs to see their work has a purpose. So I know for sure that when I leave politics, I will focus on something that will have a profound meaning to me. It's not just about making money for me, that's secondary.
That's probably also why you worked as a volunteer in orphanages in Morocco and Armenia in the past. How did you get into it?
At one point, I wanted to travel in a different way than visiting a country or city and spending 14 days on vacation there. I wanted my journey to be closer to the people who live there. And volunteering seemed to fit the bill most accurately.
I used commonly available projects, of which there are a huge number. You can choose from a variety of areas and activities, whether it is environmental protection, social care or cultural matters. And I managed to find projects where it was possible to work in orphanages. I always took a three-week vacation at work in the summer and went abroads to spend it like this. (laughs)
Of course, many people would raise their eyebrows at me spending my vacation doing more work, but I found it immensely fulfilling. What's more, you get to know the country in a completely different way when you have the opportunity to spend time with the locals. When you go to a holiday resort, you hang out there and you don't get to know the country.
In Armenia, we always spent part of the day renovating the house where the orphans lived, and the other part creating a program for the children. We played football or some other game with them. Of course, we didn't understand each other, because the children didn't speak English… But we had to interest and activize them anyway.
The children had summer holidays at that time, so they didn't go to school and had no daily program. They were just "drifting" aimlessly around the premises. At first, it was difficult for us to motivate them to want to do something, because they were used to boredom. Like we wanted to take them on a trip, but they didn't want to go, they were apathetic. I will never forget that.
And then I was in Morocco, where I could focus more on the children. There were fewer foreigners and more Moroccans, so it was a little different.