A Hallowe’en Tale

I don’t have any photos to show you, but this story was something I just had to share…

In a previous post I spoke about Hallowe’en here in Shanghai.  I explained how over the last 3 years we have seen Hallowe’en go from a few decorations in a shop to a more wide-spread celebration not only by the expats who live here, but the locals too. Well they still don’t quite ‘get it’, but as with all things new we must work out the details and improve things over time.

On the weekend leading up to Hallowe’en there are many parties surrounding the holiday and some compounds, where the locals live, there will be the traditional trick or treating. Then on the actual day you will also see a few more, since they follow the tradition of the west. Saturday we were out at the mall and many local children were buying capes and hats then running around in dress up mode. Some children were also getting simple face painting designs. No candy, just playing dress up. Some of my students told me about parties and picnics they went to over the weekend. There they had treats and played games.

Now this wouldn’t be me with a funny twist on things… nor would this be my version of China if something else didn’t happen. As I said they don’t quite ‘get it’ just yet. Wednesday night – October 30th – we went to the local plaza by us where there are shops, restaurants, banks and a large grocery store. After some errands it was getting late so we decided to grab dinner at our favourite place. As we were sitting and eating 2 little local children about 3 or 4 years old came inside and their mom’s waited at the door. Their costumes consisted of their regular clothes and the boy had an orange witch hat on and the girl, pink bunny ears that kept falling forward. They each had a little bag,with, I am guessing, treats inside. With their parent’s encouragement they went up to the counter and were asking for treats. I am not sure what ‘trick or treat’ is in Chinese, but with my limited understanding they were asking for treats. At first it went unnoticed, but they didn’t give up. Finally someone saw them and said something to the manager. A conversation ensued. We were giggling since it wasn’t Hallowe’en and even if this shop would participate it wasn’t until the next day. The cashier continued to speak to her manager. In my mind this is what they were saying…

Cashier: These kids want treats.

Manager: We don’t have any treats.

Cashier: What do I tell them?

Manager: We don’t have anything.

Cashier: Can we give them something?

Manager: We don’t have anything… oh wait what about this?

Cashier and Manager look around behind the counter and find something and the cashier gives it to the children. The children say thank you and head back to their beaming parents.

We are in a fit of giggles because in each of their little hands they hold… a packet of sugar!     🙂

Well I guess in the spirit of Hallowe’en you give none other than sweets. Could have been worse, like a packet of mustard or ketchup.

Do you have any cute or funny Hallowe’en stories to share?

Stay tuned….

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13 thoughts on “A Hallowe’en Tale

  1. Hilarious! I love the story!

  2. LOL I remember my Grandmother giving me a “package of sweets” but in England that was a bag of candy.

    My tale for this year: A 6 yrs old boy comes up to me during the lunch break at school. “He bit me!” When I asked the 8yrs old ‘why a big boy like him would bite anyone?’ He answered. “I was trying to turn him into a zombie.”

  3. Freda Goulet

    Josh, grade 7, decided he would NOT dress up for the Hallowe’en party at school…until the very last minute. He went with a pair of crutches and elastic bandages to wrap around his leg, and a Hallowe’en Tee shirt. I asked if his teacher dressed up and he said:” No, he’s an old fogie!” Talk about the pot calling the cauldron black!!
    PS I think the crutches were to ensure that he didn’t have to DANCE!

  4. lol…great anecdote!

  5. That is a fun story. It also reminds us that it’s the generous thought that counts.

    • Yes that is true… and the smiles on the faces all around said it didn’t matter. I am sure a western kid wouldn’t have had the same response. It made us laugh too since it was so unexpected.

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