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Today was filled with beautiful gardens and shopping at knockoff stores.

The details at the crafted gardens was immaculate. Even though we are here in the winter, it is apparent that this place must be absolutely gorgeous when all the folliage is in complete bloom. The garden we attended in an older section of town, was built in 1760 after a bumper crop. The owner had a serious bent for a quiet place inside of a push and shove neighborhood.

Shopping in Shanghai is an experience for itself. There is a drama with every purchase. People chase you down inviting you into their shop. If you do not find anything you want, they take you to a "friend's" store.

Once you find something of interest, the bargaining begins. The merchant pulls a calculator and tells you about the special price they are going to give you - it is the year of the rabbit, so I am going to give you a happy new year price. They show you a price in the calculator, then whack that in half.

Generally, you start at somewhere about a third of the given price. They will counter, and you can decide if you will budge. The drama has to continue: Be prepared to walk. Until you walk away, you have not shown that you are serious. They will let you go ... eight feet out the store, then run after you. You will get your price.

Crazy, yet fully enjoyable.

Although Debbie kept giving me the stink-eye, I ordered a pork dumpling off a street corner vendor. I just gotta do it. She ate, but I still have not heard the end of it. Seriously, it was great and even six hours later there are no ill effects.

Debbie did insist on chasing the dumpling with a drink from Starbucks. Some are just not destined for adventure.

Keith Gandy - GermanyKeith Gandy - Germany

Keith, originally from the desert of Phoenix, Arizona, has been planting a church in Aschaffenburg, Germany for over thirty years. Daughter churches have also been started and missionaries have been sent out of the congregation. Annually, he participates in encouraging other European church-planters and frequently travels to visit them in their respective field of service.

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