My little buddy, Ebaristo, the shoeshine guy in Trinidad, Cuba saw me before I saw him. He came running across the street to greet me. I made a big joke by sitting in his chair and asking for a shine on my sneakers. He called my bluff by painting the black soles with what looked like stove polish.
It took two days of scuffing around Trinidad to get the “shine” worn down to a respectable level.
I brought him a new brush and some real polish too.