Monday, November 3, 2008


Friday was a ton of fun, both for the kids and for me. Before telling about what we did with the kids, I should explain that while Halloween is a very popular holiday in the US and a few other countries, it does not exist in Korea.

In the morning, the kindergartners dressed up in adorable little costumes, and we took them "trick-or-treating" to the homes of the Harry, Jay, Amy, and Cali. The kids and I got tons of candy (almost a full night's worth in the US!) and each mommy put out quite a spread of snacks for us as well. At Cali's house, our last stop, we were treated to a selection of seven different types of sweet breads, eight types of fruit, and assorted nuts. I have never been so glad to have skipped breakfast!

After "trick-or-treating," we went to a great little Chinese restaurant, where we had one of my favorite meals: jajang myeon (homemade noodles in a black bean sauce with onions and beef - delicious). After lunch, I thanked Cate and went back to my apartment to get ready for the afternoon festivities.

Since the kids really wanted me to, and since I am still a kid at heart, I dressed up in costume. I had a terrific long black skirt and black blouse, which together looked very "witch-like." I braided and twisted my hair into a rather elegant style, then stuck about fifteen black plastic spiders in it. For the finishing touches, I added huge silver spiderweb earrings and a ton of eye makeup. When I finished, I looked like a very elegant, evil witch. The kids were really impressed, including the several who were frightened by my appearance.

For Halloween, we canceled classes, and instead set up the classrooms into a series of "stores." Each kid had play money to use at the "Creepy Stationary Store," "Cruel Grocery Store," and "Scary Restaurant." We also had a game room and a movie room (for which Cate had rented Chuckie and Chuckie II - I told her she was nuts for choosing those films). At the restaurant, where I was stationed, we served up two types of noodles, mandu (stuffed dumplings), duck-bukki (a really spicy, tasty dish involving rice cakes, lettuce, and fish cakes - one of only two instances in which I will knowingly consume fish cakes), Vienna sausages, and soda. The kids had to use only English to purchase things, and we rewarded particularly good English usage with candy. By the end of the day, we teachers were exhausted!

Cate took us for food and drinks afterward, which was quite fun. I really enjoy spending time socially with my co-workers. By eleven, though, it was time to say goodnight and head home to bed. I think this was one of my favorite Halloweens.

No comments:

"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"