As I sipped my third lattè in my favorite cafè in Columbia Heights (The Coupe), working on an ever-so-slightly late paper on Reagan’s actions during the Cold War, nostalgia and a mild bout of homesick struck me.
The trick-or-treaters were out in force and as the seventh, 3ft Ironman adorably sauntered by the window it brought up memories of my own childhood Halloweens. Much was the same, except perhaps the increase in quality of costumes and community enthusiasm for the semi-holiday.
There’s a lot about America that reminds me, not of home now, but of childhood. From shopping again at Safeway (they were bought over about ten years ago in Scotland, but a not-so-insignificant part of my childhood was spent annoying my mum there on Saturday afternoons), to the sensationalism and enthusiasm for events, such as Halloween that seems to disappear slightly as you grow up in Scotland.
Halloween still exists and is celebrated, however the enthusiasm kinda dies off by the time you reach your early-teens. Halloween is really something for kids.
In the United States however, it is just as much for the college-aged adult as it is for children. It’s not only the free candy and drink specials, but the opportunity to show creativity, the bizarre, abstract and in some instances, a little more than usual (Hollywood’s stereotypical interoperation is pretty spot on!).
There are two types of people you see dressing up for Halloween: those who think ahead and put in a lot of effort and those who don’t. I’m the second one.
An hour before I was due at the a party, me and my girlfriend were still constume-less. With reference to a recent South Park episode, I ended up in a dress and wig intimating a shoddy-Kiwi accent.
I’ll spare the internet the very few pictures I allowed to be taken, but it went down extremely eel and all in all, it was a fantastic weekend and the most I’ve enjoyed halloween since I was about 12 years old. I’ve not felt homesick really since I’ve got here (I definitely do miss things from home, don’t get me wrong), but the enthusiasm for halloween gave me a sense of nostalgia; and little piece of stereotypical Americana made me really appreciates being here in DC, at GW.
My only regret is not getting the time to go round the embassies, but I’ve feeling this wasn’t my last DC halloween.
I wish I had time to write more, but there’s so much going on here that I’ve never been so busy doing things I love!
I’m off for my taste of the South next week….