Halloween, Norwegian Style

This is going to be a pathetic but happy Halloween post. Pathetic, well, you’ll see why in a minute. And happy because Maxi went to bed quite happy. 

I never know when it’s Halloween. We had never celebrated it in Bulgaria before I came to Norway, and it is also quite new in Norway, too. Other than the plastic Chinese garbage and discounted sweets in stores, there’s nothing much really going on here.

I knew that Halloween was sometime in November, and when we just drove in front of our house at 5 in the evening, the man said that it was Halloween TODAY. I put Maxi back in the car and we went to the nearest all-purpose store. Time was ticking. We ran trough the shelves, bought about a kilo of sweets for the tons of kids who were supposed to come to our door, and then figured that Maxi would need a new costume because it’s quite snowy here and I really didn’t want him running around the neighborhood in his white Toy Story Buzz Lightyear ballet unitard. All the scary costumes were over (or probably they had never made it to the store), so he got to choose between a pumpkin which he would put over his jacket (“a very scary pumpkin”, I assured him) or nada, so he smartly chose the scary pumpkin. We also bought a small real pumpkin to put outside and attract the tons of kids to come and eat our sweets.

Back home I started working on the real pumpkin while Maxi was unsuccessfully trying to squeeze himself into his Chinese-size-12-fits-size-2 pumpkin costume.

I cut the legs and made a nice pumpkin dress out of it (“just like a real pumpkin”, I assured him), and he went searching for a scary pumpkin mask we had been having around from a previous Halloween. Back in the kitchen, the real pumpkin was hard to kill. The man started making sexist jokes, so I grabbed the knife even stronger and with lots of sweat and effort, another scary pumpkin shone in our home.

I checked my fb to see how the others were doing on this super special day and a Spanish friend (I love you, Leo) who lives in London had written this:

“Oh meennn, my neighbours pumpkins are so much
better than mine…. I know they’ve got probably years of experience and
so and so but…” 

Dear Leo, you would have felt so much better had we still been living together.

Well, Tromsø may be called Paris of the North but Paris is not London and in my neighborhood this was the best pumpkin, I can tell (I couldn’t see any other to compare).

Moving to the most substantial part, Maxi was nervously waiting at the front door to go collecting sweets. His dad dug out his beach bucket and the sugar-deprived kid left the front door. First – the neighbors upstairs. I hear some voices, the word “apples”, the word “no”, and Maxi comes and begs me to follow him around. Well, that was not quite the plan but then it’s actually quite dark outside and he might not find his way back home, I think, so I follow. On the way upstairs I meet the neighbor who asks whether I had seen a small kid in search of sweets. “Yes, I say, that’s my son!” plus I’ve got a kilo of sweets downstairs so if you want I can give you some so that you can play nice. Said and done.

Around the neighborhood, it’s an awkward situation. I’m not wearing a costume and I don’t quite feel like knocking on people’s doors, so I instruct Maxi how to act and remain hidden somewhere in the shadows. I’ve no idea what one’s supposed to say but I tell him to scare people. He thinks that his scary pumpkin costume speaks for itself and gets straight to the point – “I want sweets.” Which is actually not such a bad idea given the surprise people show when they see him. The first several houses give us nothing. Then people start opening their cupboards and sweets start coming our way – half a chocolate, half a pack of biscuits, licorice sweets in a god knows where it’s been pack, plus a whole plastic beer glass full of sweets. Man, people in this neighborhood are generous. I mean it! I got to taste the chocolate while hiding behind a car, waiting for Maxi to rob some more people off their sweet possessions, and it was really good. The one who had parted with it must have felt quite sad about it.

Thanks god the wind got quite strong and Maxi abandoned his initial plan to walk the whole town.  We didn’t see any other scary pumpkins in the neighborhood so we knew we would still have a whole kilo of sweets when we get home. In retrospect, the kid was quite excited about the whole thing but who knows whether it was because of the experience or the kilo of sugar which he engulfed before he went to bed.


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