There’s something elegantly old fashioned about a city that still has shoe-shiners on its streets. But then Porto is elegantly old fashioned in many ways. I’d recently seen shoe shines in Morocco, but the Jemaa el Fna square in Marrakech had much more bizarre things going on so they hadn’t really registered.

What was incongruous about these shoe-shines was their postion. In a city where imposing historic architecture looms ever present, they had chosen to set up their little makeshift shoe shine shops outside of the golden arches on Praça da Liberdade (the absence of McDonalds in the pic is purely down to angles).

The question that popped into my mind when I saw these guys outside of Maccie D’s was ‘are people who eat at MacDonalds the sort of people who would regularly have their shoes polished?’

I wouldn’t have thought so but the shiners were busy buff, buff, buffing away every time I passed.

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