The sun had come out but the shoppers were all indoors at Riga's Central Market. All around the converted German zeppelin hangers that form the main part of the market there were stall holders with fur hats and bodies the size of beer kegs, selling oranges and grapes from slatted benches covered with snow, and wooden kiosks with Zippo lighters, leather caps, pirated CDs and cheap, unbranded shoes.
Things were livelier inside, though the choices were more or less the same. There was a queue of old people in a four aisle supermarket, slabs of meat and pale yellow cheese laid out in open-topped fridges, pile after pile of dull-coloured winter vegetables, fish tanks full of carp, and a shop selling pasta and tea bags at prices that made Tokyo seem cheap.
I walked outside, back into the cold, and continued on to the station. Skaters circled a Christmas tree, two men in coloured capes were dancing to the panpipes.