We hadn't been in for a long time. Normally the door is locked and the owner is having an early or extended lunch break depending on the time of day. As we were passing, our persistence to try the closed door once again of this second hand clothing shop was too tempting. Not that we needed anything in particular but a few moments out of the outside cold was more than an attraction. For once, the door was able to be opened. Inside it is small and dark with a curtain not drawn back on the only possible window light. I gave my customary greeting to the mannequin that faces you when you first come in. Beyond the over-crowded clothing rails and from behind another curtain appeared the shop owner. Not a chance of a smile on her face, we've only bought one item from her in four years. But we weren't perturbed as we began to browse in the dim conditions under hanging Christmas baubles which predictively hadn't been stored away (it seems to be traditional for shops here to keep festive decorations up for as long as possible, the butcher's shop has a very pleasant tree with all the trimmings next to the freezers full of pork!). This shop does not require any security camera, the shop owner's eyes are enough. Her laser stare follows your every movement and if for a moment you decide to touch anything you can hear her breath from over your shoulder. She does not communicate nor offer assistance and she will put things back straighter after you have left them. An unfortunate persistence of many Slovak shops still treating customers as a hindrance came to mind.
A closer look at a large textile item from off a top shelf and an un-sighted "Airwick" room freshener flies off and hits the ground. The temperature in the shop dropped to freezing point. Broken pieces were scattered near our feet. We didn't dare give eye contact back to the proprietor. Our browsing adventure was over, a quick shuffle to the door, another short glance to the attractive mannequin and we were out. Sniggering like naughty schoolkids, and then the realization that our mishap probably led to the shop closing early that day too.