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Street vendors are a common sight in cities across the world. The inability to pay high rent, or the unavailability of cheap commercial space, have pushed these small merchants on to streets, and in some cases, on to basements, as in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.

Known as klek shops, these basement shops are unique to the city of Sofia. The shops are set in the basement of the buildings containing a small window that opens in the sidewalk, usually below the knee level. This is why they are known as “klek shops”—klek means knee. Products are displayed outside on the sidewalk, but to order something, customers need to squat and peer into the window and into the dimly lit face of the trader inside the basement.

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