‘Would you like a beer, Ma’am?’ was almost certainly NOT what the boy was asking the lady I assume to be his mother.
I took this photo strolling along the streets of Xi’an back in 1991. The families of these store owners seemed to live on the street. As I recall it was relatively hot and there was no air conditioning.
The street appeared to be where everything happened. I even saw parents holding their infants over the gutter so they could go to the bathroom!
In this photo, a beer seller’s supply sits out on the street gently stewing away in the heat. Rather than use crates, the cases are simply strung together. Judging by the dirt on the bottom layer of bottles they’ve been there for a while.
Best I could tell, commerce here was a 24/7 activity. It may have slowed down at certain times of the day or night but I don’t believe it ever came to a full stop.
Like any lager beer, ice cold it was tolerable, warm it was positively awful. But, as in Europe in the middle ages, in many places it was safer to drink warm beer than tap water.
I always found it curious how many travelers would insist on bottled water, pour it into a glass and then add ice made from tap water to chill it down. It may not appear sophisticated but in many places it’s safest to drink from the bottle and forgo the ice, even if the water’s warm!