coming to spain, i thought halloween would be easily avoided. don’t get me wrong, i like dressing up and eating chocolate just as much as the next sexy nurse/bumblebee/cactus, but i figured here in alcalá de henares, the day would just come, linger, and pass.
a couple of weeks before october 31, however, i started seeing the fleeting images of halloween manifested as pumpkins at hipercor, bags of candy exclaiming “truco o trato”, and a few witches hats at the chino stores. people started asking me what i was going to dress up as (and i quickly figured out my initial idea of being iphone’s siri would definitely not be understood) and what my plans were. ugh. halloween was a go.
the best part about halloween in spain is the fact that no one really understands it/how to pronounce it, but they just dive right on in head first anyway. pilar and fernando spent a whole breakfast one day asking me if it had religious ties (to which pilar was SURE it did… she thinks it is the same thing as carnaval) and i also enjoyed listening to friends try to figure out exactly what “trick or treating” was, then going as far as to research the beginnings of the holiday. however, lack of full comprehension is no matter to spaniards as long as there is a good excuse to party.
halloween here is all about the gore- aka don’t show up to a party as barack obama, because everyone will probably just think you’re a crossdressing black wannabe. on halloween, for about two days after, the streets were sprinkled with children dressed as three things: zombies, witches, and vampires. nothing more, nothing less. i didn’t go out anywhere on actual halloween. instead, i sat inside and painted my face.
that all changed on november 2, though! since halloween was a on a wednesday, i went to a party on friday… where i masqueraded as a cat/lion thing by buying a “disguise set” at a chino store that i am pretty sure was initially suited for a hooker, did makeup with my eyeliner and bronzer, and walked down the street in cat ears, which elicited many stares, laughs, and taunts from guys who think they’re funny perdona, perdona- no te muerdas, no?? might i add, that at this party, i was just one of the handful of people that actually dressed up? it’s fine though- for what spain lacks in halloween spirit, they make up for in their salsa dancing…. of which they had to teach me (and of which i also probably just made a complete fool out of myself.
good thing i had a cat tail to shake.