Zuzana went shopping on Thursday, with her friend Libuška.

She rarely goes shopping, because she is very careful about spending money. A lot of her clothes are ancient according to the time table of fashionistas.

They went to check out shoes.

Zuzi tries on a pair. She’s put her handbag down, and her laptop bag.

She turns around to get the same shoes in a different size.

It can’t have been more than ten seconds.

She turns around.

Handbag gone.

She almost can’t believe it, because there’s almost nobody in the store.

Her laptop is still there. Odd that it wasn’t stolen along with the handbag. It was standing right next to it.

The lady behind the counter immediately says: ‘the security cameras don’t work here. Something gets stolen every day’.

Zuzi’s intuition says that the shop clerk is the thief, or at least working together with the thief, but there’s no way to proof that of course.

The loot?

Just ten euros.

The damage?

Infinitely more.

In the purse were old pictures of her grandparents. The handbag itself had huge emotional value, as we bought it on our first trip to Brugge. It was a beautiful handbag in a burgundy color. We bought it at a flea market for 8 euro back in 2014. It was brand new, yet cheap. It’s not the one pictured above.

There was also a picture of my father.

Her glasses.

A book by Hannah Arendt. We are hoping this was the main and most prized goal of the thief, but less optimistic people believe the book will go unread… I gave Zuzi the book as a Christmas present last year, in 2016.

My bank card was in there too.

When it happened, I was still teaching. So at around 20.30 we had to rush to a bank to block my card. Over here in sweet, mellow, unpretentious, and catholic (eat, pray, love and your reward waits for your in heaven) Slovakia the working force is exploited to such a degree that banks and shops are almost always open.

I know it doesn’t work like this, but I don’t know anybody who deserves this less.

Zuzi is all the time thinking about the kids she works with in a kindergarten. She’s very giving and nurturing. The next day she had to get up early to go and teach at a highschool for the first time. She had to teach German to twelve 18-year old boys. That could be kinda intimidating if you’re not used to it. Especially if you can’t really make out the students’ faces because your glasses got stolen.

The class went fine.

The police was friendly, although they can’t do anything about this.

They only asked: ‘Didn’t you see some fat gypsy guy there?’

Slovaks are mildly prejudiced towards the Roma minority.

I doubt very much the thief was a guy or a gypsy. Zuzi says there were only women in the story. The only one with a real opportunity was the shop clerk…

For those who feel there shouldn’t be any cameras watching our every move: well, apparently a lot of the time they are just for show.

The most annoying part of the situation is all the time she will lose renewing all the documents she’s lost.

I know lots of people claim they are so so busy and have no time, especially those who are always on facebook, but I know Zuzi and she really is very busy. Apart from watching two episodes of the old series Friends, having a quick lunch with a friend from time to time and reading a book on the bus, she’s always working, studying and preparing classes. She really doesn’t need to have a big chunk of her time eaten up by more bureaucratic hassle.

Like am writing this on a Sunday morning and Zuzi is attending a course about pedagogy which will last all day long. It was the same yesterday. She has a dream of becoming the best possible teacher she can be and she’s investing an enormous amount of energy, time and money into this. This is not always appreciated by the people around here either, as people don’t see all the things she does.

The person who stole her purse, for whatever pressing reason, has made her road a bit bumpier for, I would say, the next two weeks.

Because of ten euros.

We hope those 10 euros went to the feeding of a small child, and we hope Hannah Arendt finds a new reader.

We also hope, through this website among other things, to make a tiny contribution to building a world in which nobody feels the necessity to steal anyone’s handbag, and all the things in it that were far more precious to Zuzi than some money.

Anyway, she still looks like the younger sister of Sandra Bullock.