Saturday, January 26, 2013


It is fascinating how habits drive our actions. I had a morning routine in my house but it was split between the upstairs and the downstairs. Also, we had a coat closet near the garage door. Moving to Shanghai has necessitated changes in habits and I am constantly noticing how I do things by habit. On the other hand, habits seem easy to acquire.

When I wake up, my morning routine includes taking a puff of my preventive asthma inhaler and a couple of sprays of a nasal allergy preventive. It took about 2 weeks for me to acquire the habit of doing this in the bathroom, where I now keep the meds. In my house, they were in the bedroom. Not a big change but one that took a while to change.

Similarly, I also have a few tablets I need to swallow in the morning. I usually take them after breakfast so my stomach is not empty. At home, they were in the kitchen because we had space and I didn't want to go upstairs to get them. Here, there isn't room in the kitchen so I keep them in the bedroom. It has taken close to a month for me to be efficient in getting and swallowing them after breakfast.

We've always taken our shoes off as we enter the house. It is an Indian custom and we've felt comfortable with it. It also keeps the dirt and grit out of the house. Chinese do the same thing. They take their shoes off or put on shoe covers when they enter houses. We experienced this when we looked at apartments. However, whereas Indians are comfortable walking around barefoot or in their socks, Chinese seem to like wearing slippers. Most houses have a few extra pairs for the use of guests. This is not something I like. I'd rather walk barefoot than wear slippers worn by who knows who. Habits, once again. It is all what you are used to.

There is no coat closet in this apartment. We bought a rack and put it in the storage closet, which is in the middle of the house. So I have to collect my stuff, get my coat and then go the front lobby and put on my shoes. At home, I put on my shoes before I put my coat on. Similarly, I take my coat off and then my shoes. This habit has proven very intractable and resistant to change. I have still not mastered it after a month. Weird, isn't it?

Another habit that amuses me has to do with the ladies room at work. In the ladies room where I worked in upstate NY, the towel dispenser was on another wall from the sinks. In the one I use now, it is just above the sinks. You would think that after so many weeks of using the current ladies room multiple times a day, I would have mastered this habit. Nope. Many times each day, I find myself washing my hands and then turning to look for the towel dispenser. And then turning back and getting it from above the sink.

When I go to work, I enter the building through entrance A and go to the elevator lobby. The other day, I walked out with someone who exited through B and it took me a few seconds to figure out how I go home. Funny!

Lastly, one habit that I have picked up very quickly is drinking hot water. Chinese drink hot water or add water to their tea all day. Our water dispenser at work has both hot and cold water. The hot water is very hot. I have picked up the habit of filling my water bottle with 2/3 hot and 1/3 cold water to make a drinkable hot water that I drink all day. I go through about 4 16 oz bottles of water a day. For some reason, this is comforting. I don't put tea in my bottle as it will be a pain to wash the tea stains out.

Now on to other things.

First spinning: I have finished spinning the gradient. The top set is the first single, all wound up and ready to ply. The bottom set is the second single. These have to be rewound so the colors are in the correct order before plying. Each cop needs to be reversed so the part where I began is on the outside and the part where I ended is on the inside. I put chopsticks into the turtles to make sure they don't collapse. I could ply them from t.he inside but they collapse as you get near the end. I can put the chopstick into my shoebox kate or the bin with holes that I use with my spindles.

We also took a walk outside last night - to go out to dinner and do some grocery shopping. I took some pictures of the area all lit up at night. I think this is for Chinese New Year but I am not sure.
The ferry terminal at the end of our street.
A tourist bus outside the ferry terminal See the neon lights on the top deck?
The Oriental Pearl Tower lit up at night. The lights move so I would have to take a movie to show the whole thing but this shows you the tower.
Trees lit up outside a building. Oriental Pearl Tower is in the background.
The IFC mall (a very high end mall) and a near by restaurant all lit up.

Sorry for a long post but I had a lot to say!

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Long posts are Good!