As far as holidays go, I like Halloween. I like it. I don't love it so much that I Iook forward to it all year long (I mean it's no American Thanksgiving after all), but I don't dislike it. I am happy to celebrate it if it seems appropriate, and happy to skip it if it does not.
In South Africa it seems like there is a minimal yet possibly growing interest in Halloween. Generally there are no decorations or extra supplies of candy for sale in the stores. I did see this one (yes one) table with a display of Halloween items at one of the local grocery stores.
The other stores have nothing going on. In fact, many stores have already have put out Christmas decorations.
Mr. Deep told me that one of the offices in the building where he works put up some Halloween decorations and that some people from his office remarked about it, wondering what the display was for. Mr. Deep said he told them about Halloween, wearing costumes and such and he just got a bunch of blank stares in return. I reminded him that people here use the word costume to mean a bathing suit (I'm going to put on my costume and go in the pool) so maybe that was the cause of the confusion?
Given these circumstances I was fine with skipping Halloween this year.
And then we got this SMS/text which went to all residents in our neighborhood.
"Save the date! Halloween trick or treating will be on Saturday, 31 October 2015 starting from 4:30 p.m. Prize giving will follow for the best dressed (moms and dads too), and house decorating. See you there!
I was a little confused by the text. Mostly about "see you there." See you where exactly? See you at your own house as you give out candy to trick or treaters? Will costume and house decorating judges be coming around to judge? Or is there some sort of party at the clubhouse? What if you are an adult but are not a mom or a dad? Can you still wear a costume or is that considered weird?
Due to my confusion I decided to ignore the SMS and continue along with my plan of skipping Halloween. Unfortunately Mr. Deep also gets these text messages and he was immediately intrigued and wanted to discuss it.
First, he wanted to know if we still had any of our old costumes. Of course the answer to that question is no because when you are moving half way around the world and trying to purge the number of belongings you have down to a manageable state, old tangled wigs, masks and costumes definitely do not make the cut. I am sure that Mr. Deep and I had the conversation about getting rid of the costumes and I am sure that he said at the time that we should not bring any of that !&!%^$ with us, but he has a little game that he likes to play with me, called "I'm annoyed because we don't have something/I can't find something that I need/want and I know that you threw it away." And he's not wrong, because I get rid of many, many things away and I think he should be happy that he did not marry a hoarder.
On the topic of costumes, I reminded him that months ago we had the idea to be Duckworth and Lewis for Halloween. I think we could easily create DL costumes out of things that we have around the house, but he didn't think that was appropriate at all (meaning he doesn't think it's good enough to win) because even though I know he's not saying it, I know that is what he wants.
Second, house decorating. Mr. Deep's exact words were, "we have to do it" and by we he meant me because remember I am in charge of household operations. As I write this it October 28th and not one house in our neighborhood is adorned with any decorations. This leads me to believe that either 1) no one here cares about Halloween or 2) people here are so competitive that they don't want to tip their hand as to their design plans for fear of being outdone by a neighbor. I'm 99.9% sure that no one cares. That combined with the fact that there are no decorations for sale in the stores. I guess a person could go on Pinterest and find creative ideas for decorations that can be made out of old coke bottles, pipe cleaners and paper mache' but if a person has just spent the better part of the last few days making Santa shoeboxes, than a person probably doesn't feel like whipping up a batch of homemade spider webs and creating ghosts out of lollipops. And we all know the easiest and coolest Halloween decorations are jack o lanterns and since it's now spring and not fall there are no pumpkins to be found at this time.
Yesterday morning I happened to come upon this flyer over the at Clubhouse.
I'm not sure that you can read it but it says that kids are encouraged to trick or treat, and that if you are interested in giving out candy you should decorate your house in some manner or stand outside with your treats so that kids know where to go and where not to go. Also, the last line is the best. "We plan to be done by 5 p.m. latest, so there will be time to get ready for the World Cup Final!" Even though South Africa is not in the final, everyone will still want to watch and they want to alleviate any concerns that participating in Halloween activities will cause you to miss the rugby.
So I vote that we whip up some batch of alcoholic type witches brew (that I would be happy to muster the energy to search Pinterest to find a recipe for) and download some scary music and play it outside our front door to entice trick or treaters. We can wear our regular clothes and hang out in our plain-jane not overly decorated house and hand out candy to any kids that come around and if no one shows up we will just eat the candy. How's that for a plan?
- American Expat
- Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.