Saturday 1 November 2003

maybe they'll get the hang of it one day

I bought way, way too many chocolate bars, especially considering the fact that our doorbell rang a grand total of three times last night. Trick or treating is a relatively new concept here, and I think the spirit and excitement of Halloween that we experienced as kids hasn't quite made it across the pond yet. The first lot of kids consisted of three children with felt pumpkin masks and one small child not dressed up at all, but they did think our pumpkin was cool. The second kid was a little girl dressed as a witch with her mum (also dressed as a witch), who had the life scared out of her when Jasper came bounding out the door. When I gave her a handful of candy, she looked at the package of jelly babies amongst the goodies I just gave her and said "I don't like these." Ah, kids. The third lot of kids were two girls in skull masks (you may have noticed that the English concept of dressing up for Halloween is limited to ghosts, goblins, witches, and the like) who barely mumbled thanks when they walked away. There was a distinct sense of apathy, almost like these kids were forced to haul themselves around the neighbourhood by irate parents who wanted an evening alone. There was no sense of fun or that excitement of getting another handful of chocolate. There were no laughing children running around the streets comparing their loot and telling their friends which houses were giving out the good stuff (or warning them about the houses that were giving out healthy things like fruit or dental floss). No one had a pumpkin on their doorstep except for us.

Considering all the Halloween-related items that have been in all the shops lately, I was a bit surprised that this Halloween thing hasn't caught on that much. I knew that trick or treating hasn't been a tradition here, but seeing all the costumes and decorations in the shops made me think that maybe it was becoming more popular. Perhaps bonfire night overshadows this North American import, and kids experience the same fun and excitement on Guy Fawkes night instead.

Well, at least my workmates will be pleased to see all the leftovers in the kitchen on Monday.

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