Friday, October 30, 2009

Mischief Eve

Never ever in my life have I walked the streets on Mischief Eve without cautious steps. For 28 years, this has always been the night of my keenest awareness to the shadows that dart between parked cars and into alleys. I always walk on the well lit streets and with the crowds on this night. I have been hit by many an egg in my days. They leave a bruise on your skin and a nasty mess on your clothes. I adopted this attitude of vigilence as I left work tonight. Then i reallized, Halloween only exists in the English Bushibans in Taiwan and even there it is not really understood. I never took much care in dressing up. I never had much delight in the little ones begging for candy. Apprehension and anxiety are more lasting impressions than the sweets I got in own youthful trick or treating experiences. But all that said, being here makes me realize that it is my favorite holliday.
Teacher April asked me what adults do on Halloween. I told her that people host parties at their homes. People dress up and go party to party saving the best one for last. That children stop going door to door around the age of 12 or 13. Children have parties of their own. I told her about bobbing for apples. "But that's so dangerous!"
I said "you are Taiwanese! you put your children, babies sometimes on the back of a scooter with no saftey harness, sometimes with no seat, then you swerve in and out of traffic, in the same lane as on coming traffic, between trucks and busses, heedless of traffic lights, lanes or speedlimits, and you think bobbing for apples is dangerous?!?"


  1. El: Remember when those guys stole our bags of candy in fairmount and some subsection went running after them - probably kate or some neighborhood "good guy" punk. that really killed my halloween high. But it remains my favorite holiday nonetheless. I love getting on the PATH and seeing random people get on all dressed up. Did you find out the zip code yet?

  2. i chased after them for blocks. they ran passed our house and kate was sitting on the stoop with her friends. then the italian roofers from across the street jumped into their car and chased the guys down and gave the perpetrators a philly trick-or-treat. not only did i get my own candy back but all of the other candy they stole. (and the memory of mom chasing after us in her witch's costume!)