A Surreal Halloween

I was so excited about Halloween this year because this would have been the first school year of teaching for me when I’d get to wear a costume to school and so would the kids. Dahl does not allow any Halloween celebrations (costumes, candy, general fun) during school hours, but surprisingly, this school in Bangkok does! What’s surprising is not that this school would take time to celebrate something (obviously, they do that a lot!); what’s surprising is that a Thai school would embrace Halloween as much as they have. The regular Thai program does not come back from their between-semesters break until next week, and I’m sure they wouldn’t celebrate Halloween, but with all of us farongs teaching in the International Program, Halloween looks to be as much fun here as it was for me in my own elementary school days.

Unfortunately, a bout with food poisoning left me curled up in a ball in bed instead of dancing around in the big Halloween parade yesterday at school. I saw Facebook photos later in the day of my co-workers and students dressed as superheroes, monsters, princesses, and 80s hair-band members. I was meant to judge the Halloween bulletin board contest. Luckily, someone covered for me and IP6 won (I would have had them win too…very creative, very scary, and completely student-created). I was very disappointed to have missed all the fun.

Luckily, my sickness* lasted just shy of 24 hours, so by the afternoon of Halloween I was able to walk, sip vegetable broth, and make it out to the mall for a snack. While there, I saw devils and zombies walking around with some very impressive make-up. It was Tori and Kitty’s last day staying with Sean and me (more about all of our travel adventures soon!), so Sean and I took them to the sushi place across the street from us. The restaurant was decorated for Halloween with witches, cobwebs, and spooky lighting, and our sushi (my rice and miso soup) was made by a few Draculas and served by devil waitresses. The blasting smooth jazz, the lack of English, and the heat and humidity made for a very unusual Halloween night. A family of vampires came in, and I assumed they were North American. It turned out that they were not (maybe German?), but we shared some knowing glances about the fun of Halloween and the strangeness of being in Bangkok to celebrate it.

We finished dinner, said  kop-kuhn-kah and Happy Halloween, and then headed back to the apartment. It was a sad Halloween because we had to say good-bye to our guests. It was so nice having Tori and Kitty around; they will be missed!

*My food poisoning did NOT come from my trusty and delicious vegetarian food stall, but rather from the stall across from them. My veg place was closed, so I had to settle for an alternative; oh what a terrible mistake! I wish I would have just gotten some pineapple and waited until after school to eat!


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