Halloween Done Properly
I don't know if you guys remember the debacle that was last year's Halloween, but we were not about to let that happen again. First of all, I was not going to have D sick on Halloween for the third year in a row, so I started fortifying him with Vitamin C a week before. I am happy to say he made it.
Despite the typhoon-y weather, we had a a proper Halloween party this year, costumes required. Some people were lame and didn't bother (I won't mention any names, okay, Helen), but most of our friends made an effort at least. Jeff was especially proud that he did the Ramen-Snack Panda right this time, having been planning it since last Halloween.
It was a great night. It's funny how we can have a successful party in Japan and I can't even talk to half of the guests. But everyone seemed to have fun. There is one way that parties in Japan are superior to those in the States: no driving. Most everyone takes public transportation and that stops running around midnight. So what does one do then? When you are d one drinking for the night, find a couch or a futon or a nice bit of floor space to crash out on for awhile, or until morning. No drunk driving, no worries. I'd like to bring this practice back to Seattle, but people in the States are perversely attached to their own beds.
Anyway. Since giant Western-style pumpkins are a novelty in Japan,
Japanese pumpkin (you can hold it in one hand)
Jeff held a pumpkin-carving contest. Actually, he carved them all, the contest was for the design of the two not being designed by the 3 kids present. (Another funny thing: pumpkins do not like this climate. Within a couple days, the carved pumpkins started growing white and green fur inside. No gradual appearance of black spots here, no. Full-on fur and a really bad smell.)
It was a relatively normal party, people eating a ton, drinking more, listening to music, talking, la-di-da.
And then the sudden appearance of the guy in a horse head and tighty-whities. This guy had earlier told me, when I had demanded to know where his costume was, that he had a "secret costume." I thought he was just being lame. I was wrong. This one goes in the Top Ten Most Surreal Moments in Japan. To drive it home, he pulled down his tighty-whities to expose -- another pair of tighty-whities.
Later in the night, lots of costume-trading was going on, most notable of the items making the rounds were the horse head and the wig. Both of which we have ended up with, post-party, along with some other random bits of costume and clothing (yes, Martine, we have your sweater, jumper, or whatever).
These shenanigans are well-documented by the party's own Event Photographer:
Martine actually set up portraits, Prom-style. Check out all her wonderful photos here.
Inferior, but still amusing, pictures from my camera can be found here.
Somehow, because it was Jeff's mission, we got up the next day (which was new-washed and gorgeously sunny) and went to Kawasaki for the Halloween Parade. Totally worth it. Jeff said he actually got tears in his eyes three times, because he was so proud of their efforts on his favorite holiday.
More pics of the beautiful mayhem here. Do yourself a favor and watch the slideshow. Once again, the Japanese beat us at our own holiday.
On the day before Halloween, the kids received their annual Halloween Package from Aunt Karla (thanks Aunt Karla!). She outdid herself this year. I only wish we had gotten it before the party, because the body-parts from the Cannibal Store would've been great props.
Jeff spent the night before Halloween packing goodie-bags full of candy, because he was not about to be shamed again. He took this very seriously.
The neighborhood will soon be full of little Japanese kids bouncing off walls because of all the super-sweet American candy he got on the base.
The neighborhood moms love Jeff.
If you don't have a kid as an excuse for trick or treating, you can use your dog.
Kumi came, too.
So, Halloween is over for another year, and we have redeemed ourselves in the eyes of the Japanese, I hope. Now Jeff goes out of town for 10 days, to return for D's Birthday. I plan on watching a lot of movies at night. Any recommendations?