Along the river, women washed clothes on steps at the bank, children played in thick overcoats, and old men in blue played cards; using stones to stop them being blown away by the wind.
In a restaurant, I couldn't understand the menu, so I looked around for something appetising. The waitress suggested that I write it down in English.
'Noodles and meat', I wrote. Keep it simple, I thought.
The girl smiled and pointed to a price on the menu.
"OK," I smiled.
She took the order to the kitchen and her friend returned with a can of 'Special Quality Drink'. It was fruity, probably a blend of several, and thicker than the average canned drink; almost a syrup.
While I meditated on its taste, the waitress returned with a slip of paper:
'Sorry no noodles, but we have rice'.
I said that would do fine. She looked at me, so I underlined rice; and nodded.
I was brought a bowl of rice and a plate of deep-fried, fatty meat. I wondered if it was the traditional bear-paw or nose of camel deer. No-one could translate, but it was probably pork.