It has been another Halloween spent abroad. Last year, I spent Halloween in Costa Rica. I had just arrived to CR the day before and spent most of the day traveling to Montezuma. This year was a little different. I have been in Spain two months now and have spent almost two months in Tomelloso.
We had off from school on Friday, not sure if it was because it was Halloween or from other reason and we also had off on Monday. Regardless of how the weekend actually went it was already shaping up to be a good weekend because we had a four day weekend. Since we had off on Friday I decided to throw a Halloween party in my apartment. I spent about a week and a half leading up to preparing and making the directions for my apartment. I cut out letter for Happy Halloween that I placed on the wall. I also cut out about 50 bats that I placed around my apartment. I decorated the ceiling with an orange garland thing that I made into a spiderweb. Put balloons around the apartment and decorated the hallway as well. I also made baked ziti that ended up coming out really well. People arrived around 10ish with some wine and food and we stayed until about 1ish.
Unfortunately on Friday I didn’t go trick or treating, but I also don’t think many people did as well. Halloween hasn’t been celebrated in Spain for very long, only for like the last 15 years and even less in Tomelloso. There weren’t kids walking around in costumes nor many decorations to see. For a costume, they also think you can only be something scary. I was dressed as a pirate and to them it’s not a Halloween costume. They’re pretty judgmental for a country that’s only been celebrating Halloween in the blink of an eye.
Jess, one of the American girls in Tomelloso invited me to her hosts family’s house at 5:30 for a Halloween party. The family whose name I keep forgetting was extremely nice. Cat the other American girl in Tomelloso met us there with one of their friends who was visiting for the weekend and her host parents, Jesus and Maria who are also extremely nice. I had met them the night before. After some hanging out I was asked if I could take the boys around the block trick o treating. Of course I said yes. When I got outside there was a mass of my younger students. I guess they had heard that I was at the house and came by. Jess’s host family lives on the outskirts of Tomelloso in like a wealthy block that has a community center and recreation center. The kids parents were inside the community center eating while the kids walked around the neighborhood trick o treating. Instead of walking around for 5 min which was the initial plan, I ended up spending about an hour with the kids. They kept pulling me from all directions, chanting my name and tell me about how weird or crazy the different people that live in different houses are. We didn’t actually end up getting any candy, but I did end up getting really good chocolate from the community center.
At around 9 we left for dinner, but not before I changed into a new costume. I put on a vampire costume with a wig. Jess’s host dad loves dressing up for Halloween and Carnival so he had a whole closet filled with different costumes and wigs. We ate dinner and spent the night out at the bars. The bars were really nicely decorated for Halloween. When the night was over, I got dropped off at my apartment. It was around 6:30 am. I walked to my door, reached for my keys and ….. they were not in my pocket. I sit down on the bench in front of my house and pictured it being my bed I texted and called the people I were with, since they had only just dropped me off. Luckily Cat responded and said I can come to the house she’s in to sleep. I walk the 24 min across town, in the cold, in my Halloween costume to her house. She sets me up on a pull out couch on the ground floor, with a small blanket and no pillow, but it was better than sleeping on a bench.
I woke up around 9 because of the blinding light seeping into the room. Went in and out of sleep until Jesus came down at 11 and moved me into their living room with a blanket and pillow (they’re super great people). Again fell in and out of sleep until like 12:30. I couldn’t really sleep well because I felt bad that I was taking up their living room and because I was in somebody else’s house. Jesus and Mari left to go the cemetery at 2 because that’s what they do in Spain on the day after Halloween. Jess came over around that time too and we literally sat around the house and did nothing until about 4. At 4 we went out, walked around for a bit to show their friend Lindsey Tomelloso. Sat down and had a cup of coffee. Meanwhile, for the better part of the time I am awake, I was trying to figure out how I can get into my apartment. My Realtor has a spare set of keys and I am friends with his son, so I tried asking and telling him. But, for the longest time got no where. I was also mistakenly calling keys, which is llaves, claves. But still, with context it could have easily been deduced. Finally at around 5:30pm I was able to get in contact with Paco and get my spare keys! We went back to my house, ate left over baked ziti and then I took a nap. When I woke up, I looked at my dresser and realized I had both sets of keys. I didn’t lose them and just left them in my house (the night before I went back to my house around 11 because I needed to get more money, due to habit, I put them down when I entered and forgot to pick them back up). I woke up from my nap, got dressed and left because I had plans to meet with the nephew of one of the teachers from the school. I met with him around 9:40, I had to walk across town to get there (about 23 min). We ate hamburgers that they made and we drank there until about 2. Then went out to the bars for another fun night.