Halloween here (or really anywhere) just isn’t the same as in the US. I keep trying each year, and it just never is as much fun.
So this year we didn’t celebrate at all on the 31st. We actually got invited to a Halloween party the weekend before – random – and I think that was enough for us. We quickly threw together some costumes – Nick came up with the brilliant idea to be tourists. He wore shorts, hiking boots, his cowboy hat from the US, an old fanny pack with Cape Town maps, plane tickets, etc. (which makes everyone laugh here when you say that – it is a bum bag, fanny is anther part of anatomy that is not usually used in polite company). I wore jeans and sneakers, my big camera around my neck, my backpack, and made a name tag for my fictional tour company. Never mind it was pretty much what I actually wear, minus the camera around my neck and name badge – I just threw on my best American accent and kept asking people all night if they were ‘real’ Africans, which didn’t go over as well as it could have as it turned out to be mostly foreigners at the party!
While people liked the costumes, we kept getting the same comments I get every year – ‘what’s scary about that?’ I miss the awesome costume parties I used to go to in the States, where people would come up with the most creative, subtle costumes, and half the fun was trying to guess what people were. Here, and in most places I’ve been, Halloween = scary costume. You MUST be scary somehow. My clever ‘Spud-Nick’ costume for Nick last year (a potato strung around his neck) just didn’t get the props it should have! While arguably tourists can indeed be scary, I just find that to be so boring. There were like a million slutty, bloody nurses, vampires, witches, etc. At least the party was fun!
There also isn’t any Trick-or-Treating, so my second favorite part of the holiday – seeing all the little kiddos in their adorable costumes – also doesn’t happen. All in all, I miss Halloween in the US, DC in particular. Maybe next year we’ll have to plan our own party and be explicit about the instructions – the more creative the better!