Saturday, November 01, 2008


Hannah was very excited about Halloween this year. She made, unmade, and remade plans for the big day, including having a party, going to an amusement park's Halloween day, and finally setting for plain-ole trick-or-treating.

Getting a costume for her turned out to be a logistical nightmare. It's not like you can run out and get any type of costume here. Your choices basically boil down to witch or vampire, with the occasional skeleton here or there. Hannah insisted she wanted to be a Storm Trooper. **insert sound of dismayed silence** And of course she found a costume on an expensive, American costume site. I thought Toys R Us might have it here, but Hannah insisted they wouldn't. She also claimed that she had gone to a department store at the bus stop and checked their costumes with no luck (see witch, above). Finally, since I was ordering her some clothes from Target, I checked their costumes, and there was the Storm Trooper, on sale even. Target doesn't mail internationally, so LMIL forwarded the stuff to us last Thursday via Express Mail.

So far, so good, right?

Wrong. The package came before Halloween, but it is sitting in Customs. We got the notice in the mail ON Halloween AFTER the Customs office closed for the weekend.

BUT, on Thursday, Hannah and I had found--wait for it--a STORM TROOPER COSTUME at the department store she had previously been to, but in their toy department. So on Friday afternoon, I ran out and bought the local costume:

Hannah, storm trooper

She caught the bus down to her friend's house later that afternoon, and they trick-or-treated their way back up the hill to our house. They managed to get a pretty good haul, despite the fact that Halloween is not a big holiday here. People who didn't have candy dug into their pantries and refrigerators and change purses: I think they ended up with 2 new packages of cookies, a full bag of gummy bears (not individually wrapped), and over 9 Euros in small change.

Halloween Loot

Then they hung out here until her friend's mom came to pick her up after 11. Our doorbell only rang 2 or 3 times, despite having a glowing jack-o-lantern on our balcony. I expected it to act as a beacon for the little sugar-fiends, but there was a light rain all evening, so I guess that kept them indoors.


I cut the lid into this pumpkin, but Hannah did all the other work: scraping out the guts, designing the face, even making a mole hole next to the nose. She doesn't seem to have inherited my tendency to self-inflicted injuries, thank the 7 dwarves. We have lost the skull on our plastic skeleton, so Hannah did a little mix-and-match decorating with what we had.

Jack, the pumkin king

The kids spent the rest of the evening gorging themselves on candy and watching Tim Burton movies, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice. I am such a wiener that I was having trouble staying awake until the friend's mom came, so who knows what they were doing between the end of the last movie and then, but the house is still standing this morning, so it couldn't have been too bad.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Signs, signs, everywhere signs

In the German as a Foreign Language Department:
“Monolingualism is curable”

In the copy room of the English Department:
“Reading is hazardous to stupidity”

Best. Warning sign. Ever.