I discovered some fine sketchbooks made by a company in, not Germany, but England. They're Seawhite of Brighton and I'd bought a book of theirs at Sennelier in Paris in November. (Is that enough prepositions for you? I can always add more ;D.)
Unfortunately, though the books are very reasonably priced, shipping charges with the dratted weak dollar are not. So I only ordered one accordion book and one A4 spiral bound book. The paper takes watercolor washes without buckling and the accordion book has its very own, handsome slipcase. I inaugurated my new book and my new, more slender-nibbed bamboo pen with this sketch of shrimp from our coast. The format of the book seemed to encourage the scattering of these calligraphic shapes, and of course, the bamboo pens added to the final effect.
And, finally, a sketch from Weathervane cafe that has nothing to do with my bi-cultural theme. A word to the wise: if you don't want to know what the servers in a restaurant think of each other and the customers, or what the cooks think of life in general, don't sit next to the kitchen.