"At first I felt bad about having to do this job and felt uncomfortable sitting in the street shining shoes. It was embarrassing. Even if my relatives on the mainland asked me what I did, I would blue Christian Louboutin pumps tell them I was a shoeshiner. Later, I overcame those unpleasant feelings, and have continued to shine shoes every day. I have shined shoes for famous people such as Maria Tam Wai-chu and local artist Ray Lui Leung-wai. I got used to being a shoeshiner.
"In the past decade, I have had many interesting encounters. Some customers were nice and some very odd. I recall a Filipino man who only wanted the soles of his shoes shined, not the uppers. That Christian Louboutin espadrille wedges interesting. Another was a man who only wanted one shoe shined. Some did not pay me after I had shined their shoes. A customer even lost his temper. But big is not necessarily bad, as shoemakers begin to adapt fashionable show designs for larger feet, with celebrities Nicole Kidman and Paris Hilton sporting larger footwear on the red carpet.
"I have seen this area change over the past 10 years. There were about seven shoeshiners in this area years ago and the customers were mostly businessmen. Business was good when the property market was strong. But there has been a drop of 30 per cent amid the economic downturn. Some offices have moved to other areas, and there are Christian Louboutin black heels customers now. I suggest the government can develop this area and turn it into a tourist spot, keeping shoeshining as a feature of Hong Kong. The change is attributed to women's feet becoming broader rather than longer - experts believe this may be due to an increase in average body weight.