Halloween was so freaking awesome this year, I can hardly believe it. My Halloween week started last Sunday when I prepared my Jack-O-Lantern for my Halloween lessons. Basically, I put aside all other lessons and dubbed the whole week "Halloween Week." I gave a Jack-O-Lantern 'How-To' lesson. At the beginning of each class we turned the lights out and I lit mine. Then I gave them a worksheet I made with costume names and pictures, and they had to match the costume with the name. They all thought the mummy was the zombie, so I had to just start telling them at the beginning that the mummy was ﾐｲﾗ. We had fun reciting words like alien, werewolf, and vampire. Then we unscrambled Halloween related words and in the midst of that learned about the Boogie Man. We rounded out each lesson with a rousing game of Halloween Criss Cross. Lots of candy was flying all over the place. It was glorious.
I dressed as a frog all week in class, which was just me placing a headband with frog eyes atop my head. I added a green dress when I went out on Saturday night, but I was unhappy with my costume, so we stopped by this big crazy store called Don Quixote and I got a new costume. I knew what I was looking for; A girl in one of my classes had a Stitch costume and I asked her where she got it. She told me, "Don Qi's." I found it not in the costume section, but in the pajama section.
We went to another hectic Japanese dinner... dinner in Japan always entails us having to physically hold Knox in his seat while waiting for our mystery dishes to arrive because we can't read the menu or speak to the servers, and because the child seats in this country don't have seat belts. WTF?
Anyway, dinner was mostly good. Then we headed to a Halloween party where I saw several ladies that are in the English conversation class that I hold on Wednesdays. I learned about Gloomy Bear at the party. Tomek was gloomy bear for Halloween. Gloomy Bear is a really cute bear that attacked his owner so he has blood all over him. If you look Gloomy Bear up on Wiki, you will find that he is the artists answer to the super cutesy bears that the Japanese find irresistible. Gloomy is like a real bear who is rescued as a cub, but is a wild animal, so he grows up and attacks his keeper. Besides being Gloomy Bear, Tomek did unmentionable things to a cream puff for a few minutes, then I, the nun, and a zombie left for the PEI Pub.
PEI stands for Prince Edward Island. It's a gaijin, that is, foreigner bar, that was founded by a guy from Canada and passed through the hands of a few different native English speakers, as far as I have heard. They have a very decent club sandwich and other American type food. PEI is pretty popular amongst JETs in Oita. They have a dance party about once a month, and this month's Haze, as they call it, happened on Halloween weekend. It's about $10 for entry and one drink, or $30 for all you can drink. I had tons of fun dancing and talking and running around in the park. Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you; You cannot take a sip of alcohol in Japan and drive, but there are no open container laws, so you can walk around anywhere with drinks, and passengers in cars can drink away with no problem. For the pub, which has a park with fountains outside, this means that people leave and get drinks at the convenience store, drink in the park, and go back for more fun and dancing. I got my groove on at PEI for about 5 hours, got home at 3:30a, and slept till 7:30a when I got up with Knox and Peter.
But Halloween had only just begun! We went to a kids party from 10a to 1p, had naps/second party prep from 1:30p to 4p, then arrived at our evening kids party at 4:30p. We went trick or treating to the other kids houses, had a traditional Japanese winter dinner, the kids played and examined their Halloween take, we had cake, and enjoyed ourselves all around. Knox got to bed on time at 8p and we performed our final Halloween act of setting the Jack-O-Lantern out on the porch, scaring or thrilling the natives, we know not.
I never thought we would have such a great time on a holiday that isn't officially celebrated in Japan. Next up, Thanksgiving!