Thursday, November 6, 2008

Quit your Halloween-ing, its time to quietly honor our dead!

Last Thursday I dropped the kiddos off at their grandparents and put myself on the train to the truly scary Oberschleisheim. After switching trains twice, missing my bus by 30 seconds, and then riding for 20 minutes and wandering through a hellish office park-scape I finally came to the mysteriously titled "Pozamt."

I had come for "Halloween Treats" sent by my mother-in-law. I expected something maybe shoe box sized, but the lady came around with let's say a television-sized box. (Not a big screen, but you get the idea). Then I was sent to another line where the woman in front of me was saying "I don't speak German. That's my box. Those are my hair products!" The customs agent eyed her suspiciously and opened the box, eyed its contents, and gave her a receipt to pay for his service. "Crud" I thought. They're going to sort through this massive box and charge me.

But I put on my best American smile and spoke a little German. He let me go without opening our giant box or charging me. The moral of the story: Damnit Americans, make an effort!

That night the kids were presented with massive Halloween bags and were delighted if baffled. They immediately began devouring candy eyeball necklaces and gummi bats. The Reeses were rejected, but hey, more for me!

My mom-in-law was also kind enough to include Chewy Chips Ahoy and Double-Stuffed Oreos. Delightful! We made our host-parents taste the Oreos and their reactions were so interesting. They kept trying to describe the flavors like "cake batter" or "English biscuits" and so on. I'd never thought of what an Oreo tastes like-- they are the Alpha and Omega of my childhood; I can't remember a time before them and they will surely outlive me.

Actual Halloween night was not too exciting. Ryan and I borrowed "Arachnaphobia" from the library and compared its actual contents to the nightmares we had about it as kids. Pretty funny. We ate too many Chips Ahoy and I attempted to drink a small glass of whole milk. Still can't do it. Though I am completely in love with mineral water.

Funny side notes:
-uber Catholic Bavaria has a law that all Halloween activities end by midnight since November 1st is All-Saints Day. Every year families quietly clean their loved ones' graves, place flowers and red lanterns, and have a ceremony where the priest blesses them. It is not meant to be joyful.
-my fellow au pair friend Gwen took one of her kids trick-or-treating. Some people are down with it, but others gave her a talk that its not nice to go begging for things.
-the above photo is A. marveling in his good fortune. Later photos include the tantrum once the candy was put away for the night.

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