After many hours of waiting in the pitch black and freezing cold for the bakery to open, the crush of men at the head of the queue started drumming on the doors in frustration.
An activist was explaining to me how the bread shortage in rebel-held parts of Aleppo was another crime to be heaped on the head of Bashar al-Assad.
He was waved away by a stout matron in a hijab and long black coat.
"Don't blame Bashar. What's happening to us is of our own making," she said as, behind her, Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters struggled to keep order.
It is widely believed in Aleppo that the bread shortage was caused by the FSA stealing flour to sell elsewhere.
An FSA officer confirmed as much when I asked him if this had been done by individual fighters or was ordered by commanders to fund their operations.
"Both," he said, "including my own brigade." He added, ruefully: "We are all thieves."
It was a joke, and his men erupted in laughter, but he meant it seriously, too.