Friday, November 25, 2011

Halloween. American Stylee....

October 2011

As many of you know, Halloween is a massive event in America, with many of the aspects of the celebration having crossed the pond to England. However, at home it is nothing like the pure mental-ness that grips Chapel Hill for Halloween. Couple that with the fact it was my birthday also, a pretty great night was had!

Halloween is big-ed up a lot here, with shops stocking Halloween merchandise from around the beginning of October. And the stuff you can buy for Halloween is mental – literally anything from candy (sweets) to pumpkins to a full blown costume with missing hands and pumping blood. And anything decorative in between. Those of you who know me well enough/looked on facebook would know my birthday happens to be on Halloween, and so with the knowledge that Americans LOVE Halloween and birthdays, I was very much looking forward to experiencing the both together. Needless to say I was not disappointed!
After being woken up at midnight by my hall mates to say happy birthday (I wasn’t as grumpy as I appeared to be I promise!) I woke early to find a lovely e-card from home waiting for my in my email. Cue homesickness on quite a large scale, which isn’t a great thing to have on ones birthday! Anyways, being a Monday, I only had one class in the afternoon, so I spent most of the morning laying in bed, enjoying the fact I could do nothing and not feel guilty, something which very rarely happens at UNC. I was also watching my emails constantly, hoping my costume and a package from home would be delivered to the package centre in time.

Dressed up (with nowhere to go...)

God I am so cool

Luckily both were delivered that day, so I could go through with my (well, what I thought) hilarious costume of a chav for the evening. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really understood by Americans, and I had to explain myself a fair number of times (what’s new I guess…). As I wasn’t allowed to organise the party in the evening I received rather cryptic instructions (read: I had no idea what was going on until I demanded to know) to get to the Pritchard Ladies house, only to be swiftly texted to be told to take my time as they weren’t ready yet. Women (and John!)! Anyways, we had a great take away Mexican food together and a good laugh as is usual with them lot, and Pat came by too which was nice. The girls (and John) then disappeared to ‘get ready’ – god knows what they had been doing before hand – although I was then incredibly surprised to be presented with an amazing card hand drawn by Lexi (absolutely stunning) and lovingly (well, amusingly at least) signed by everyone inside, and a birthday sign with some cracking caricatures of everyone too. Plus some cool presents and a rather tasty cake (which did not last long at all!). It is customary on someone’s 21st to have 21 things for them to do (usually involving alcohol related shenanigans), however with me being 22, and it being Halloween with a lot of cops out, it was decided it would probably not be a great idea to get arrested for doing something stupid on Franklin Street.


ANYWAYS, on Halloween part of Franklin Street is shut down and taken over by people (mainly students) to gather together and have a good time. And show off their costumes. We had all dressed up too, with a notable costume from Andrea and John as a Siamese Hick Twin. Which involved them squeezing into a leg of some huuuuge overalls they found and talking in southern accents. The most hilarious bit being the fact they couldn’t walk very far at any speed because of the restrictive nature of the overall legs!  Franklin Street was a fantastic atmosphere, with some amazing costumes from “the 1%” (going off the occupy protests) to the little critters from ‘Despicable Me’ and a giant penis. No seriously. Halloween isn’t quite like at home where the costumes tend to focus around vampires and ghouls and “scary” things, but merely an excuse for people to dress up (fancy dress isn’t as big a thing as it is in the UK. And cross dressing is a big no-no. Thank god MSUOTC isn’t here with me that’s all I can say!). But the effort people go to was quite incredible. According to the paper the day after over 2,000 people attended Franklin Street – much less than the 10,000’s of previous years, restricted due to safety fears. 

On Franklin Street

Once we had had a good wander around Franklin Street, we headed back towards the Pritchard House, to be greeted with the sight of people literally spilling out of the house. While it was great that so many people were at the party, it was really too many and quite a worry for the girls who didn’t really know many of these people who had arrived at their house… However, it was a good party and there were a fair number of people I knew who had come to celebrate with me, although unfortunately a lot of them left early due to the number of people in the house. I stayed to the bitter end (hardcore right?!) and got to bed at the decent time of 3.30am. At least I remembered the whole evening unlike last year…

Costumes everywhere!

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