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.
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.
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 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?”