What’s not to love about a dinner at an amazing apartment in Adams Morgan with two friendly American hosts, Grace and Matt? Absolutely nothing. Halloween was edging closer and Kinsha (another Aussie exchange student) and I were headed to the host dinner organised by the exchange office. We didn’t really know what to expect, I mean they were strangers after all. But as we walked inside the apartment, Kinsha holding a bottle of wine we bought as a gift, we both stopped and mouthed a little “wow” under our breath.
The apartment itself was really nice. The bare walls, the open kitchen and Halloween decorations to top it all off. We were greeted by our hosts Grace and Matt who were young professionals working in DC and were contacted by the GW exchange office to partake in the host dinner. We talked about Australian things and American things and had chilli and rice for dinner and pumpkin pie (fitting for Halloween once again) and coconut ice cream for dessert. So the dinner was way above and beyond of my expectations and I had lots of fun. But then again the exchange office never disappoints.
On the topic of Halloween, as it is a tradition that never really took off in Australia, it is very interesting to experience it first hand. As kids, we never really had a chance to get dressed up and go trick-or-treating and eat candies like there’s no tomorrow. So first, in order to get into the spirit of Halloween, one must not go without pumpkin carving. I bought a 1 penny pumpkin off Amazon Fresh (I know!) and waited till it was weekend of Halloween to carve it out. The pumpkin was large enough to have three designs carved out. My roommate and friend and I all took a stab (pun intended) at it and although mine didn’t look nearly as nice as the other two, it was great fun! The pumpkin seeds were then roasted and devoured in the spirit of Halloween.
Then it was time to think about dressing up. This was a hard one and I probably didn’t put as much effort into it as I’d liked. Something Australian would have been good, maybe the magpie one I’ve seen on Facebook, but ultimately it came down to what was easiest. I bought some shirts from the Church sale for $3, some socks that matched, and went as a….watermelon! Given that people kept thinking I was either strawberry or Christmas, I think I’ll just let them slide. For the ultimate Halloween experience, add in a little trick-or-treating at Embassy Row (I hear they give out candies from the embassy’s home country too).