Thursday, October 30, 2014

Celebrating witches, ghosts, and slutty costumes in Korea

This is my fourth Halloween while living in Korea. Let me first start saying that I LOVE Halloween!! Yes, I love the costumes, love the decorations, love anything pumpkin, love trick-or-treating (I wish I could still do it and ask for candy), and just love the eerie atmosphere of it. The only thing I will never do is go to a haunted house just for fun, hells to the na! I've barely been able to go through the kiddie ones at Sea World that I know I would sh*t my pants in a real one. 

Anyways, some of my favorite memories from childhood are actually from Halloween in Mexico when my family and I would go out for triki-triki, yup, that's what we say in Spanish. I remember spending hours in the streets and then coming back home with HUGE bags filled with goodies. The smell of pedos-de-bruja (not sure how to describe it, kind of like stinkbombs but a little different) that the older kids would set off in the streets still lingers in my nose. 

When I came to Korea, I obviously had no idea how it was celebrated here. As October rolled in, I didn't see any decorations; everything seemed normal. Actually, and sadly, my first two Halloweens sucked. I was still living in Pohang, so of course it was only the foreigners who dressed up and went to the ONE bar we had. To me, it just didn't feel like Halloween, so I decided to be a Debbie Downer and stay in. 

2012: This is my first official costume in Korea that I wore to work, what am I? 
Last Halloween was my first in Seoul, at last!! Even though it's not celebrated by everyone, there are more foreigners, so the spirit of Halloween is felt a bit more. No pumpkin patches, or spooky decorations, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.

I actually dressed up twice last year. First, I attended my first Rocky Horror Shown (yay!), so some friends and I decided to dress up. This was a borrowed last minute costume, so it was whatevs. 

    Peter Pan!

On Halloween day, my real costume was, um er, let's just say I threw together what I could find. There aren't many Halloween stores in Seoul, and the ones that do sell stuff have veeeery limited options. 

what am I?

This year my costume was something I came up with when I went home this summer ...ok, actually it was my sister who got the idea. We were browsing through a cheap clothing store when I pulled out a dress. I immediately started laughing and said, "Who would wear this?!?" And my sister then said, "That could totally be your costume, a Rubik's Cube!" And that was that. Add a headband with a Daiso fake Rubik's cube and put some Rubik's cube inspired makeup on, and voilà!  

Since Halloween is on a Friday this year, bars here much rather celebrate it on a Saturday, so this last Saturday all the foreigner bars, at least in Itaewon, had their Halloween events. Since it was also a friend's birthday, we said why not? and got dressed up. 

Something surprising happened though, I won a costume contest!!! Whaaa?? I KNOW! 

When we got to the bar, a girl came up to me in the bathroom and said she was a judge for the contest. She said that if I stayed til 1am, I might have a shot at winning. It took me by surprise, but I said ok. I of course thought had no chance cuz there were some other cool costumes around. 

When it was time for the contest, I was thinking maaayyybee I could win third place. Third place was announced, not me. Second place was announced, not me. By then I was thinking it was over for me. Then first place was announced, not me! A girl who made a cupcake costume won it. It was actually a very cute costume. But when she was called, people started yelling out that she had gone home. Apparently she had gotten quite drunk so went home . Then, I guess I was the next best thing hahahaha. So they called me up, I won!!! Buuuuut this other girl started yelling that it wasn't fair, that my costume sucked. I honestly felt a little embarrassed. What was I supposed to do when my name had been called up?

The judges then asked us to wait again while they talked. By then I was just thinking, give me a drink as a prize and I'm good. 

A judge pulled me aside and asked if I was willing to share my first place prize with another person, Amy Winehouse. I said of course because he was someone I knew, and because to be honest, since I wasn't expecting anything, well, something is always better than nothing.  So here we are, we took home each 225,000won !! 

....guess who's gonna have his balls cut off with this money? Hahahaha is ok Gomi, your brother Hobak can explain the process. 

Now Halloween is this Friday, and we are all dressing up again! Round 2! 

 ...maybe I can win some more money xD


Oooh and wait!! I forgot to mention this year's altar for Dia de los Muertos. I'm so excited cuz I finally was able to get some proper pan de muerto, yay!!! Thank you Tamales en Corea!! 

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