Friday, November 01, 2013

So Halloween

In my London longer-than-a-decade I never really engaged with Guy Fawkes Day. And by that I mean I knew when it was, I went (grudgingly, I might add) for One bonfire night with some colleagues and knew the historical significance of the day. But it was just one of those things that flew under the radar in my daily life. The 5th of November came and went like any other day.

Similarly I was never called upon to celebrate Halloween, no one came a knocking for treats. Sure they had the small spooky installation replete with scary masks and pumpkins in my local High Street but it wasn't a full on assault of all things black, orange and spooky. I marvelled at my pals in America and the detail they went to in this celebration. The decorated houses and yards. The elaborate costumes. The carved pumpkins. Nothing like quiet London. 

Singapore is a whole other kettle of fish. Or shall we say basket of pumpkins. The American expat community is big and there are parades and serious trick or treaters. Last year Kid started school two days before Halloween and all his pictures of the day show a very upset little boy trying to hold back his tears and uncurl his lower lip. I could barely convince him to wear a Mickey Mouse tshirt as a costume.

What a difference a year makes! Kid loves school and has been talking about his Halloween party for weeks now. I went for a cobbled together Superman costume - tshirt, red shorts, red cape and green mask (from his cousins birthday), superman croc shoes (my sis in laws find). So all in all the credit for this goes to my sis in law - her birthday party stuff and shoe find made this costume. 

No red tights with blue undies on top for this Superman. Singers is too hot and so we had a very happy shorts-wala Superman who wore red socks instead. 

He came home from school with a loot bag of stuff that he will not eat and a bunch of entirely breakable plastic toys. But oh so happy! 

I'm guessing that Halloween is catching on in London too because friends have been posting pictures of mini ghosts and pirates trick or treating in the cold last night. Or maybe it's always been big and I never noticed because I didn't have a participating child. 

I miss the Guy Fawkes I never really celebrated. Or maybe just that very English way of celebrating - quiet and earnest. I haven't heard anyone mention it and I can't see that the 5th of November will be big. A smidge of London missing-ness happening. 

This year was fun. Halloween, something I knew little about, was an excellent little diversion from the everyday. An aspect of the expat Singaporean life I didn't know much about but I'm now fully on board with. At the bus stop we met a few batmans, an Olympic swimmer, a ghost pirate (?), a peanut, a fair few pumpkins. So many ideas for next year. Maybe I will be less lazy. 

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