Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Like We've Never Experienced It

What kid doesn't just love Halloween?  Well, you can count me as one of those who has never really gotten into this holiday--and it has nothing to do with religious beliefs or the danger of accepting candy from complete strangers.  It's simply because I tend to be entirely too self-conscious about dressing up.  I know, it's silly.

But I don't let my own proclivities interfere with the enjoyment my spawn get from Halloween, especially since one of said offspring happens to have a birthday on that day.  The whole thing for us this year actually started on Friday--I took the day off from work because I had volunteered to be the Mystery Reader for Sarah's first-grade class (and naturally we read Halloween books).  As soon as the kids got back from school all of us except for Anne, who went to a middle school shin-dig of some sort (chaperoned, I'm sure), went downtown to the Embassy for their shin-dig of some sort (chaperoned, of course).  And just to set the tone, right as we pulled into the Embassy parking lot, Jane woke up and vomited all over herself.  Mali, being the prepared mother that she is, had a second costume for Jane, and we moved on as if nothing had happened.

The Embassy had games, some trick-or-treat alleys, and other stuff, as depicted in the pictures below.

Here's the gang, lining up to beg for candy!

For anyone who has ever wanted to make a mummy by wrapping themselves (or someone else) in toilet paper, this is what it looks like.

Jane really liked coloring more than anything else.

And what is Halloween without giant spiders?

But thank heaven for the fearless gecko (gratuitous reference to a previous post)!

No, Jane is NOT picking her least not this time.

Okay, so this is the 13th Halloween that Mali and I have experienced together.  Never once in those 13 Halloweens have we ever even come close to running out of candy.  As a matter of fact, I believe our record number of visitors is somewhere between 20 and 30 kids, the Halloween we were in our house in Martinez.

To give you a flavor for what we experienced this past weekend here in Thailand:

This was taken from right in front of our house (we live at the end of the street).  Now, imagine seven other streets, just like this, but some of them with even more people.  Now, imagine those streets looking like this, or worse, over the course of three hours.  That was Halloween night in our neighborhood.  Oh, and I have no idea who any of the people in this picture are, let alone the girl in the middle.

I know this photo isn't clear, but this is the main street outside of our neighborhood.  It is usually calm, serene, with very little traffic.  Some of our neighbors reported hearing that it took people over an hour to get from the expressway to our neighborhood (on a "bad" traffic day it can take fifteen, twenty minutes, tops).  People were coming from all over the greater Bangkok area to score goodies from our neighborhood.  I have no idea how many people actually came through our neighborhood, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit to learn that we had over a thousand.  We ran out of candy in about an hour, so I had the three older kids dump their bags into Mali's bowl so we could continue giving stuff to trick-or-treaters.  I'm so proud of the girls for doing that--they didn't like it, but they did it, and in the end they all ended up with a pretty good stash of candy.

And of course all Ben really wanted to do was play with the glow-stick.  I love that kid!  Happy Birthday, Moe!

One last note: for Halloweens past Mali and I were concerned that our kids would be warm enough in their costumes, even when we lived in California (we lived in northern California's East Bay, near Berkeley, and after living there for awhile your idea of what is "hot" and what is "cold" weather gets completely skewed).  Here in Thailand, however, we have exactly the opposite problem--we have to find costumes that are cool enough that the kids don't get drenched in their own perspiration.  All of the kids ended up shedding part or all of their costumes before they were done trick-or-treating because they were sweating like mad!


  1. I love that Mali had another costume ready. And good on the girls for giving up their candy. They probably ended up with more anyway after all.

    Jane's hair looks adorable!

  2. Hi Sodeborgs! It's so fun to see what you've been up too. We miss you tons!