Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Notes on good shoe shines 

The Mexico City Sheraton offers complimentary shoe shines in its lobby at a stand next to the State of Texas office (Texas, being like a whole other country, apparently has its own trade mission). Since my shoes are almost constantly unshiny and even crud-covered, I grab shoe shines whenever it is convenient to do so, as it was this morning. It turned out to be a good move, in that it was the most diligent shine I've ever had the pleasure of receiving. I tipped the guy US$5, for which he was quite thankful. Not to get all political or anything, but we could use more shoe-shiners of his diligence in the States...

All of this reminds me of the most entrepreneurial shoe-shiners I know of. There are a couple of south Asians - I believe Pakistanis - who have a stand just inside security at the Toronto airport. Talk about a primo location - they have chairs for people to sit on while they put their shoes back on, which gives them the perfect opportunity to suggest that the poor traveller could use a shine. They do great business. Location, location, location.


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