halloween abroad pt. III

i love halloween. it always reminds me of roasty, sweet smelling jack-o-lanterns on a cold night and eating candy while watching halloween cartoons at home under the glow of the orange pumpkin lights in the window. so after a pair of mediocre halloweens spent abroad (one in paris, the other here in budějovice), i’ve decided it was time for me to step up my halloween game. this… this would be the year we actually plan a good costume, dress up and go out, ready for the best of what czech halloween had to offer.

in the lead-up to the holiday, i planned plenty of quality halloween programming. after the viewing of young frankenstein (1974) which i loved and now realize where all of my dad’s jokes come from, it was my turn to choose: the classic rosemary’s baby (1968). there was so much i wanted to like about this film but i felt that the ending was a total letdown! fortunately, mia farrow being cute as a button helped to save it for me, but still… nothing even remotely scary. then it was alex’s pick: the creature from the black lagoon (1954). now this was a little bit spookier, but one of those films that has you yelling “why are these people so stupid!!!” at the screen, as is with many horror films i suppose.

then the guilty pleasure: hocus pocus (1993), watched alone with frank, the plaid stuffed elephant. after twenty one years (!), i am happy to report that this movie still holds up.


as usual, with my students i continued to spread the gospel of halloween, teaching them the phrase “trick or treat!” and passed out candy to any successful kiddos and trying to talk about trick-or-treating to anyone who would listen.

on halloween night which fortuitously fell on a friday this year, we wolfed down some green curry & rice after our lessons and dressed in our sixties finest: i present to you, simon & garfunkel.


alex and i like to really commit to our costumes. i’m talking research beforehand and staying in character as much as the evening as possible. as we walked to the corner potraviny for some tuzemak, we discussed the fact that my accent was clearly bad because i kept wavering between east coast and matthew mcconaughey-esque blatant southern americana. alex decided that art garfunkel was to be a quiet, gentle ethreal sort of man and he played the part brilliantly!

armed with our tuzemák (czech version of rum, above, tastes better than your average rum), we waited for the halloween bus. for the first time, budějovice was running a special bus (with only four runs) for the occasion– something definitely of note seeing as halloween is viewed as a very american holiday here in czech republic and is not widely celebrated at all. the bus came… but it was packed. i have to say dopravni podnik (the transport company) did a class act job decorating: the bus had “bloody hand-prints” all over it and indoors there was a variety of party lights, decorations, and music. i would’ve stayed on much longer if it wasn’t so packed! we soon bailed and headed out to a party in a nearby cafe full of interesting characters and happenings.




i am happy to report that halloween 2014, although spent in a small czech city, was a total success! looking forward to what november (my second czechaversary!) brings this year.

i am beyond pleased that there is less than a month until the opening of the christmas markets once again and DM is selling their delicious holiday products already! advent calendar tee & schokoapfel for the win.