Pavlov trained his dogs to associate the ticking of a metronome with the sudden appearance of food. Later, the dogs retired from lab work and moved to good homes with lovely children who were budding musicians. And whenever those children were forced by their tiger moms to practice with their metronomes, the dogs would slobber all over the children, in anticipation of a yummy morsel of food. (Ok, I made everything but the first sentence up.)
I realized the other day, that I’ve become like Pavlov’s dogs in response to the construction noise in the apartment above ours. No, I’m not salivating! And unlike the dogs, I don’t get any tasty tidbits following my stimulus; rather my body gets tense, I feel really crabby and I want to run screaming from the apartment!
It’s only one noise that they make that’s getting to me. Hammering, dropping things (and then cursing in Chinese?), and sawing are all background noises that don’t phase me in the least.
But there’s this incessant drilling thing they do for sometimes hours at a time, which after a steady diet of this directly over our heads the last couple of weeks and in other apartments ever since we’ve moved in is really setting my nerves on edge. It was when we came across this noise in some other random building in Shanghai and my body responded to the noise before my brain registered what it was hearing, that I realized I must be developing some sort of conditioned response to it. (Or I may have totally misinterpreted the Pavlovian response–my apologies to the psychologists out there!)
Which leads us to our photos today. Earlier on Friday, I took the long walk to the Avocado Lady to get some cheap fruit and veggies and I saw a woman wearing the most fabulous pair of shoes. As a person with old lady feet who is now compelled to wear orthotics and ugly shoes the rest of her life, shoe gazing at the beautiful shoes women wear here is a hobby of mine. So, when that offensive noise began again on Friday afternoon, I grabbed my camera and went outside into the beautiful weather. I sat out in front of Shanghai Centre until I knew the barrage would be over and took pictures of the shoes that walked by.
Today you’re going to see the good:
and the ugly:
After awhile, I noticed there was a crowd across the street at Plaza 66 that didn’t seem to be going away, so I thought I’d go over there and check it out….
Let’s look at shoes while we wait:
At Kelly’s suggestion, I’m updating this post with a picture of the shoes I was wearing:
Something else I happened to see:
And for a flower picture before we say goodbye: