Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm On A Spook-tacular Boat!

This post and the following one are both long overdue...but I have some free time so here we go...

Halloween is huge in America.
Kids dress up, go door to door, get candy, and are hyper for the following 24 hours as the sugar surges through their veins and small bodies.

Here in Korea, Halloween is not celebrated...at all. The only people that really go all out are the foreigners. Westerners from all over the world living in Korea come together to continue the celebration of Halloween in their homelands that they are missing out on. I was able to participate in one such celebration.

About 3 weeks before Halloween, my friends Megan, Travis, Mitch, and I started discussing what we were wanting to be. Now costume attaining here in Korea is much more difficult than back home. There are no Goodwill's or secondhand stores to raid to find that perfect article or accessory that will send your costume over the top. So we had to try and be resourceful. All of the ideas that we came up with originally were too difficult to achieve with our limited budget and resources. We finally decided that we were going to try and pull off the Lion King. This idea was inspired by one of the costumes that I constructed for Camp Adventure training a couple of years ago when I was Zazu...

Megan was going to be Scar, Travis called Rafiki, and Mitch would make the perfect Timon. So we set to doing some research and found a secondhand store chain here in Seoul with multiple stores all over the city. We went to go check it out one weekend, only to be extremely disappointed with their "selection." So that dashed our hopes to pull of the Lion King. But we were not out of options just yet.

We headed to another part of Seoul and went to a costume shop that had a small selection of props, masks, wigs, and other accessories. However, they did not have any complete costumes. There were bits and pieces of things, but nothing really complete. So after staring at this minimal selection for about 45 minutes, we started to feel hopeless. Halloween was only one week away and we had no ideas. Enter random mouse hat...

Travis just happened to pick up this random mouse head hat and put it on as a bit of a joke. Megan got super excited and suggested that her, Trav, and myself go as the Three Blind Mice! Problem solved! Perfection! Halloween was saved. We proceeded to but these hats and a white cane (for the blind part) and headed out of that store with our heads held high and a new sense of excitement for Halloween.

Mitch decided to be fan death. For those that do not know what this is, there's a superstition here in Korea that if you leave a fan on over night, you will die because the fan will suck all of the oxygen out of the air. You will then die in your sleep from CO2 poisoning. To avoid this, all fans in Korea have a timer on them so that they do not run for the entire night. A little weird, I know, but it made for the perfect costume for Mitch.

So now that we had our costume, we had to figure out what we were going to do to properly celebrate one of the best holidays during the year. My friend Tennille had told me about a boat cruise that her and some of her friends from her Hagwon (private Korean school) were going on. We checked it out and decided to do it as well. Turns out 800 other westerners liked the idea as well.

The day of the cruise, I met up with Trav, Meg, and Mitch and we all got ready. It was quite the experience riding the subway with our costumes on - Trav, Meg, and I dressed like mice and Mitch with his face painted all white with "blood" stains all over. We got some pretty awesome looks and managed to scare a few Koreans in the process. One family and their kids were so enthralled with our outfits that they actually missed their stop!

Once at the meeting point, we signed in, met up with a bunch of other people also attending the cruise, then jumped on a bus. The cruise was taking place off of Incheon, about an hour and a half bus ride away from the middle of Seoul. Once we got to the docks, we waited for about 30 minutes before the party boat arrived. It was four stories, complete with two dance floors, two large mingling areas, and plenty of room to enjoy the night!

The cruise lasted for three hours and was worth every minute! Once on the boat, we were treated to some free food, cheap drinks, pumping jams, and socializing! The costumes were pretty entertaining and some were down right genius considering the supplies (or lack their of) that we had to work with. Below are some pictures of the Three Blind Mice and others.

After the boat, we took the buses back to Hongdae (a popular party district in Seoul) and spent the rest of the night enjoying the sights and sounds of Halloween in Seoul. All in all it was a great night and probably one of my favorite Halloween experiences to date!