Halloween in the Hood

The witching hour has begun. I’ve raced home from work like a demon, the neighbourhood is aglow with orange lanterns and the boys are dressed up and on the sugar again.

It can only be Halloween – alive and kicking in Dubai, thanks to the significant number of American expats. And because we live in a compound of families, trick-or-treaters practically line up at our door.

In the Muslim world, beings called jinn - or genies - are believed to exist. Paranormal citings in the UAE are considered not to be connected to people who have passed away, but to these entirely separate beings. Citings of jinn are said to be common in Nad Al Sheba, the ‘haunted’ Jazira Al Hamrat village in Ras Al Kaimah, and Jumeirah.
The first year we were here, we ran out of goodies and ended up handing out juice boxes, cheese, apples, bananas, sandwiches – anything! The cupboards looked like they’d been ransacked.

This year, we know what to do – panic buy candy as though preparing for nuclear war, dole it out in rationed portions, then when it’s all gone, turn the porch light out and hide.

BB and LB are in their element, of course. Our preparations started a week ago with costume planning. The Little Boy was easy – I grabbed a spiderboy outfit from our local supermarket which he loved.

Not interested in a big reveal tonight, he’s worn it to bed every night and nearly all weekend too (his face was a picture when we walked into the Halloween bash at the Madinat to find at least six other spiderboys in exactly the same red-and-blue outfit).

The Big Boy was harder. I’ve mentioned before he likes trains – a lot – and so he decided he’d go as a ghost train. He drew me an elaborate illustrated diagram then tested me on it. “Do ghosts have teeth?” he asked, picturing in his mind some kind of monster-ghost hybrid.

Pammy the Pumpkin
In the end, we settled on a glow-in-the dark skeleton outfit from OshKosh, which he’s wearing with his pilot’s hat and a set of handcuffs that went to school this week for show-and-tell.

We’ve even decorated: DH planted a skull in the flowerbed and dangled a one-armed skeleton in the porchway. But, I have to say, I’m rather proud of the pumpkin the boys and I carved yesterday. Just a small attempt on my part to redress the boy/girl ratio in this household. She’s rather pretty, no?

Postscript: Halloween’s over!
Now 10pm, the streets are quiet, the Halloweenies all in bed. As predicted, the doorbell didn’t stop ringing, and I practically had to retrieve the boys from the ceiling they were so high on e-numbers. Some highlights I’m still laughing about:

The boys collected enough candy to last all year - this tired mummy is about to steal some
– The drive-by trick-or-treaters: a quad bike pulling a six-foot trailer loaded with revellers

– The teenagers who got in on the act

– Piling our candy on a tray, only to regret it when kids started grabbing the stuff. “I’ll have that one, that one and that one….”

– Hearing about last year’s egging at the Ranches (really? It’s hardly the wrong side of Dubai)

– “I don’t like these. Have you got anything else?” (Who do you think we are? The pick ‘n’ mix stall?)

– “Could we have money instead?”

4 thoughts on “Halloween in the Hood

  1. Love the teenagers coming by! Back in the US, I never minded the teenagers – as long as they showed up in an actual costume, mind you – but we always insisted that they say ‘Trick or Treat’! For some reason, they didn’t mind walking around asking for free candy, but actually saying ‘trick or treat’ was beneath their dignity…not at our house, bwahahahaha…..No trick or treating here in Korea, unless you live on a military base, so our Halloween was a non-event (except for the adult parties on Saturday night). Back home, all of our neighbors in the cul-de-sac would have a cookout before the kids (and usually the Daddies) headed off for trick-or-treating, while the others (usually Mums) stayed in the cul-de-sac, talking and handing out candy (we had a big table set up in the street with bowls of candy from each house; the kids went down it like an assembly line, with each of us taking turns being in charge of handing out the candy.) It was so much fun out there, seeing all the costumes and catching up with friends from the neighborhood that we didn’t see regularly. Even more fun seeing the kiddos and their costumes, especially little ones we’d not seen in a while who’d ‘magically’ grown over the past year!!!
    Your Halloween sounds wonderful, and I bet the boys simply loved it!

  2. Sounds like you had a great Halloween. Ours was cancelled this year because the unseasonable snow caused so many power lines to fall. The kids went out trick-or-treating in our neighborhood (where we have underground power lines) but many of our neighbors had left for somewhere where there was power. We had a grand total of THREE trick-or-treaters! Apparently most people are planning on doing trick-or-treating next Saturday instead.

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