Saturday, October 28, 2017

trick-or-treat

I’ve always thought the American practice was utterly silly, yet another opportunity for the retailers to make money off idiots who revel in something they don't understand and is therefore devoid of meaning.

The kids "celebrated" a lot of it when they were in pre-school. And till this day, Day's "costume" is the one we all remember as the ultimate Halloween get-up. I suppose it was just fun.

I still think Halloween is meaningless.

But we had our first taste of going “trick-or-treating” around Gong Gong and Por Por's neighbourhood, and aside from the idea of Halloween itself, the practice of knocking on neighbours’ doors and getting loads of sweets in return proved intoxicating.

It started from one of their neighbors, who sent around flyers to the entire neighbourhood advertising an open-house party. I wanted to go. Not because of Halloween, but because I am eternally curious (kaypoh) about other people’s homes.

The girls went along with me because they wanted the sweets. They were not in costume because they’re not the sporting sort. Day took one look at the juvenile merry-making and announced, "I'm going to take a bus home now, bye." (he's at that age)

It was socially awkward, stepping into a stranger’s house full of revelers you don’t know, not a single one. But I've learnt how to make small talk with one-off acquaintances.

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There were many people who didn’t know each other either, but I suppose they had managed to strike up conversations with fellow strangers. We hung around, slightly uncomfortable, as they went through the whole programme of Best-Dressed (girls took care to hide out of sight) and hitting the piñata (girls refused to hit it, but surged forward as part of the stampede when the sweets spilled forth from the cracked pinata).

The real fun started when we stepped out of the house for the neighbourhood walk.

The group, probably about 50-strong comprising adults and kids, took off, the kids at a sprint. They merrily searched for the gates which had the “Halloween” notice on it, shouting TRICK OR TREAT, entering and helping themselves to the sweets.

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* Very lame last-minute sign we put up on the gate

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* The sweets we prepared for the kids

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* Jai, the "dispenser". Fairies, Captain America and... Lu

It took, maybe 30 minutes. It really was tremendous fun.

Under the guise of Halloween, I talked to neighbours I never knew, entered palatial houses I only admired from a distance, enjoyed a very nice night walk, while the girls came away with two huge bags of sweets. “A year’s supply” said Jo.

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