Sunday, November 01, 2009

Ce-le-brate. Good times. Come on.

You might be wondering, especially if yours was sugar-filled and satisfyingly scary and horrifying, how halloween was celebrated in South Africa.

You might. If not much else is going on. If that sugar-high left you too hung-over to do anything but surf and wonder about South Africa.

Could happen.

Well, just for you my lovelies (Is it just me or does that make me sound like a decrepit guy who tries to lure children into his house but never succeeds, an aging witch played by Michelle Pfeiffer, or Gollum from the Lord of the Rings, the cinematic adaptation? Maybe it's just me, since you can't actually hear me. Hmm. Can you?) I decided to engage in some very sophisticated empirical studies.

Just for you. I went ahead, donned my South African designers top, and tried to blend in with the natives.

But as it would be, my rigorous research ended up unearthing a secret much darker than the South African ways of Halloween.

It unearthed rugby and soccer. The two truly horrifying aspects to living in South Africa.

On Saturday, it seems, a rugby cup known as the Currie Cup came to a much anticipated end in a battle between two of the greats, the Blue Bulls from Pretoria and the Cheetahs from the Free State, right when folks were really, according to that calendar forced upon us by Coca Cola and Disney and some minor thing someone once referred to as tradition, walk around begging for candy dressed as tiny Dwight Schrutes from The Office, or barring that, as ghosts, supermen, witches, Bratz dolls, or something fun and inventive that my brain is completely incapable of coming up with.

There was also soccer. A match in the South African Premier League between the Kaizer Chiefs who hail from South Africa (and that's all I can find out about them, so...) and the Orlando Pirates who train at the Johannesburg stadium, but who (I think, and we all know my thinking can't always be trusted) hail from Soweto in south-western Johannesburg.

So instead of white sheets, Edward Cullen messy hair and fangs, or 'elaborate' gogga-costumes, all I was met with as I was trying to bring you the inside scoop on the Halloween celebrations from the tip of this very special continent, were drunk guys in pick-ups wearing Blue Bulls jerseys and a set of blue flashing horns on their heads, with a black heart, or possibly upside-down balls (wouldn't be too surprised to find out that's what it was.), between the horns, and drunk guys in cars and taxis wearing yellow or black and white skull-and-bones decorated jerseys.

There was a very drunk guy wearing a pair of really big yellow glasses and carrying the biggest bottle of Southern Comfort I ever saw. What those had to do with soccer I'll never know. Or maybe he was the only one in an actual Halloween costume I came across.

But I doubt it.

So what did I do?

I didn't think twice. I abandoned the potential hight of my scientific life, and escaped to the movies, saw the absolutely awesome Inglorious Basterds, and quietly made my way home with the scared Hubs, as we tried to avoid the drunks on the roads, too busy waving their flags in support of one of the four teams playing that night rather than watching the road, or even bothering with such minor details as putting their hands on the steering wheel.

You can forget all about ten and two. But being scary (and scared?) is what matters on Halloween anyway. Right?

After the eventful journey back, during which I was very happy that we were traveling in the monster-vehicle owned by my dear Viking (who didn't go as a viking, but very much without thinking about it wore a Blue Bulls blue polo-shirt, which worked as the equivalent of 'honk if you're plastered out of your mind' bumper sticker.), and not the little tin can I sometimes, when the sun's out and I'm feeling good about life, have called a car, we finally rolled onto our much-missed driveway, we glanced at the neighbor's balcony. Yes, the same people who like to dress up their pug.  

There was no pug, but there was definitely something out there.

It turns out the neighbors had celebrated Halloween by putting up their Christmas Decorations.

I bet I'll be staring at this display until at least February. 

And here I was thinking you shouldn't do that until November 1st.

Silly me.


Georgie K. Buttons said...

Definitely a frightening Halloween. :) Thanks for the laughs!

Ellie said...

Try country horse race meets... ye gods.

Tina said...

Enjoyed this very much. Lovely to see how a different part of the world does things! I thought Inglourious was brilliant too!

Mr London Street said...

That Dwight Schrute picture is genuinely terrifying, though Gareth from the UK version of the office would have been an even more chilling role model for kids at this time of year. It's the sunken cheeks, they scream "undead".