Americans in Paris: Halloween Style

Trip Start Sep 13, 2012
Trip End Dec 21, 2013

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Monday, November 12, 2012

I started off my Halloween evening, (10/31/12), at Gigi and Sarah's place. Our group was to meet there, and then head out for some Halloween bars. Our rule was that you had to come in costume, or not at all, (some bars were giving out free drinks to people in costume). I personally like the rule we use at home for our neighborhood Halloween parties: you come in costume or you come naked. But it didn't really seem like an option that needed to be given here. It was BYOB and BYOC, (bring your own candy), so that was interesting. It is lucky that Gigi and Sarah only live 5 blocks from my apartment; it was a short walk, and not too cold. I stopped at the FranPrix to get some candy to share with everyone. Turns out i was the only one who brought candy out of the 13 of us who showed up; everyone else just brought wine. Although, with my group, that is not a surprise. 

On my walk over to Gigi and Sarah's, everyone on the street was looking at me because the sparkly, white halo on my head reflected all of the lights on the street. Or, it could have been the fact that i was wearing a halo at all. Either way, everyone I passed gave me a funny look. Not a look that was necessarily scornful or degrading, it was more that they were pleasantly surprised to see someone in costume; Halloween isn't really celebrated on a wide scale in Paris, or Europe in general. In fact, there are only a couple Halloween stores in the whole city, one of which Catherine, Melanie, and I had to stand a line down the block to get into earlier that day, just so we could participate in the festivities. We ended up getting really beautiful butterfly masks. I figured out later, that mine would not fit over or under my glasses, so i could not wear it with my halo. I would have worn my contacts, but the pair i have over here is not the correct prescription, and i would not have been able to see a damn thing.

On the way over to Gigi and Sarah's, a man stopped and asked me for directions to the bus stop around the block, (the full story is in Short-ish Stories: Part 5), but after i helped him, he wished me a happy Halloween. Must have been the halo.

We all met up at Gigi and Sarah's, had a little wine, ate little candy, Skyped with Alec who was in Germandy or Austria or somewhere. It was then that he told us that he had finally bought a jacket. Idiot had been walking around in a T-shirt and scarf for the past month, freezing his arms off. As each new person showed up, we "Ooo-ed" and "Ahh-ed" over each person's costume. Everyone showed up as something completely different. I was an angel, Afsy, a doll, Hannah was Madeline, (from the children's storybook), Gigi - Minnie Mouse, Sarah - Amy Winehouse, Catherine - Papillon, (butterfly - I know that work now, Mommy), Melanie Morse - Butterfly (different color), Melanie Montoya - cat, Shelby - Dog, Isabelle - Rabbit (not the cute kind), Sean - Charlie Chaplan/ old man in corduroy/ what he usually wears, Natalie - Marilyn Monroe, and then there was Antonio. Antonio didn't dress up. He came in nice pants, a sweater over a button up, and his hair newly showered. Well, Afsy and Gigi were not having that. They whipped out some of Gigi's liquid eyeliner and drew a very neat mustache on his cleanly shaven face. It was not until Hannah arrived that we figured out what his costume would be: Pepito, Madeline's 'boyfriend' in the storybook. 

Later in the evening, we took the metro to the Latin Quarter and to a bar called W.O.S. (it stands for something, but i don't remember what). They had advertised free shots for anyone in costume. On the metro, we encountered a bunch of other young people in costumes; it was nice not to be the only ones being stared at. It was fun; for the short ride on the metro, we had a sort of comradery with them. The metro was pretty lively for a Wednesday night. When we got to the bar, (which is a couple blocks from one of our school buildings), the place was so packed, costumed 20-somethings were literally pouring out the door. When we were finally let in, we could not even move. The man at the door told us to head toward the back of the bar where there was free space to stand, but there was no way to get there. Everyone was in costume, (even the bartenders), but we were all packed so close together, it was worse than Time Square New Year's Eve. When we were eventually able to get to the back of the bar, there was no way to get to the bartenders to order drinks. We stood around looking at everyone's costumes for a couple minutes, (there was another angel there; she had wings and everything), but then it was just too ridiculous. We tried to make our way back out, but then we got separated because there were just too many people. We all me outside the bar, and immediately, Marilyn sat down on a door stoop, and took off her shoes. She had been complaining earlier about her 6 inch stilettos, but she didn't want to change her shoes because she wanted her outfit to be perfect. Some of the group wanted to continue to other bars in the area, but a few of us knew that, since it was a Wednesday, the subways stopped running about 1am, and we didn't want to spend money on taxis later. Plus, Marilyn wasn't going to be doing any more walking. 

Before we headed for the metro, we looked around and realized we had lost Catherine. We concluded that she must have gotten stuck back in the bar, unable to make her way out with the rest of us. When we called her, she told us she was somewhere near the Pantheon. She ended up being a few blocks away and in the opposite direction from where we were; we were standing right in front of the building; she, a few blocks behind. Thank God for large, historical, easily recognizable, touristy landmarks.  
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