My German friend and I are in Qingdao, a city that was under German rule before the Japanese came. It's the home of the "famous" Chinese beer Tsingtao which is brewed beginning with the water of a nearby spring.
There is a lot of German influence in the city seen in the architecture. We've also met a lot of German people here. So, in between chances to practice Chinese in the shops and restaurants or when figuring out which way to go, I get short German lessons from my friend (whose English is so good I forget I'm not talking to a native English speaker).
Yesterday was a warm, sunny, but not quite clear day. We walked up and down the coast, took a few dips in the ocean, and enjoyed the beach. Today we've been trying to figure out what to do with a rainy day when all we really want to do is go back to the beach.
This morning we visited an old German protestant church in time for service. We sang the same two hymns over and over, so it gave us a little practice reading Chinese characters. The large room was packed with mostly old Chinese ladies who sang loudly in their tinny voices. The lady in front of me had gone to the market earlier and had a bag of live mussels tied to the edge of the bench. There was an ongoing battle all throughout the service over whether the fan above us should be on or off. There were "shh" pictures on the walls to remind us to keep quiet and a bouncer type lady at the doorway to monitor people going in and out and keep people quiet around her. All in all an interesting experience.