Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween 2009: A perfect merging of two cultures

(Note: I tried to add photos to this blog post but for some reason this site or my PC or SOMETHING is absolutely anti copy-and-paste and I literally cannot make this simple function work to integrate uploaded photos from the top of the page into the text, or to even copy and paste text from one place to another. Has anyone else had this problem?? It's very annoying.)

**WARNING: This blog post is irrationally long. If you want to skip it, I totally don't blame you. Just click on the Picasa link for photos captioned with the highlights.**

This was the second year in a row I celebrated Halloween in Buenos Aires. Last year we had a party at Sol's mom's house and then went dancing, and although it was a blast I definitely had to push people into getting dressed up and many of them were less than enthusiastic; this year I'm happy to say everyone willingly and happily participated and it was one of the most fun Halloweens I can remember.

The premise was the same: have the prefunk party at our apartment from 10:00-1:00 or 2:00 and then go out dancing (they do things late here). It was a stormy, rainy day (and has been since, actually; there is constant thunder and lightning outside our windows as I type this) and Sol and I were busy the whole day getting ready. First we went to their version of Costco in that you buy things in large quantities and you have to be a member to shop there. The cool thing is that you can also buy things individually. The less cool thing is that you get this long, detailed receipt and on your way out someone checks every single item in your cart. Since we bought a ton of stuff and most of it was individual items, this took a considerable amount of time. Overall it was a lot of fun and I bought some random stuff because it was just so cheap.

Then we went to Sol's mom's house for more provisions, costume items, and a delicious lunch. From there it was off to a normal grocery store for a few final items, and then we had to unload the bulging car in the pouring rain. Once inside it was already about 3:30 so we did what any party planners would have: we opened a bottle of champagne and set to work cleaning, decorating, cooking, and taking pictures and videos to commemorate the experience. The photos are on Picasa; the video will take me some time but I promise to figure it out soon!

The party was, as the title of this post indicates, a merging of cultures. To eat we had vegetables and bleu cheese dip and at the last minute I decided to cook the pumpkin seeds from the awesome, gnarly green pumpkins that Sol carved (she's more Yanqui than I am!). Both of those are typical American things to serve. But, we also made 75 homemade empanadas, which is possibly the most Argentinean thing to eat at a party. Sol made cheese, mushroom, and tomato empanadas and I prepared two different versions of meat filling, one "suave" (soft) and the other "picante" (spicy). However, I left most of the actual assembly to Sol - for it being my first time making empanadas I did okay (they didn't fall apart in the oven or anything), but I couldn't hold a candle to her deft and rapid fingers (which you will see in the video once I put it together). All the food was a hit and long gone by daybreak.

Continuing down the path of cultural mixing, to drink we had red and white wine and a very typical drink called Fernet which they mix with Coke; but, I also made Jello shots which were wildly popular. I can't remember the last time I made them and it was a little like being in college again. There was some neutrality in our beverages as well: champagne, beer, and something called Dr. Lemon which is their version of Mike's Hard Lemonade. I think I drank a little of everything.

The theme of the party was, theoretically, Alice in Wonderland, based on a conversation we had at a party several weeks ago. I dressed as Alice (not the Disney version) and there was also the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter. Otherwise people came dressed as all manner of random things and I was impressed by the improvement of costumes from last year to this year. My favorite was a toss-up between a local parody of a rock star (he definitely worked it) and the Pencil, since it took some major cahunas for a dude to show up wearing a pair of brown women's tights. I also loved Sol's costume since we decided on it (Cleopatra) a half hour before the party started and watched an online tutorial on how to make a toga while hosting a two-person dance party and waiting for the first guests to arrive.

Of course, there were some people who showed up sans costume, but Sol was ready for them. Anyone who came in normal clothes was immediately whisked away to the Bag O' Costumes where Sol dressed them up as a princess, Pocahontas, the Karate Kid, Madonna, and some others I can't remember.

Overall there were about 25 people, 7 of whom were from the U.S. (made the party more authentic!) and the rest were Argentinean. It continued storming and everyone was having such a good time that we didn't end up going out after all, and I walked the last guest out at about 5:30 in the morning.

The next day (yesterday) we did the obligatory clean-up and then I went to Renée's house for what should have been lunch but turned into a 10-hour hangover marathon of eating, watching movies, and participating in a photo essay project that her roommates' friend had to turn in on Wednesday. It involved stabbing, fake blood, and having one of my legs sawed off. Good times. I also for some reason decided to take the White Rabbit with me and I think I might make him my signature accessory. No one on the bus or the street even looked twice, because obviously I must have had a good reason for carrying around a stuffed animal.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend and I don't even mind that it's still raining since it's accompanied by so much good thunder. Also, I managed to find a non-rainy window in the day to make it to the post office in order to mail my ballot (thanks Mom for sending it!) but who knows if it'll make it in time to be counted. I think I can track it online so we'll see.

I wrote this blog all day but I'm just now getting around to posting it now that there are PHOTOS available online (check them out here!). I'm sorry it has taken me so long to share pictoral evidence of my first month here in Buenos Aires, and I hope you enjoy them. More to come soon, especially now that the weather is (theoretically) getting warmer.

In the meantime, go Phillies! It's the top of the 8th and you're up 6 to 2. Don't blow it!

1 comment:

WTU said...

long long post but only few things about Halloween! Come on! I want to read the full version of our party!!!

It was sooooo much fun :-D