Thursday, November 03, 2005

Halloween of a Thousand Screams ~ Does South Korea Only Stock One Costume?

Happy Halloween! Our Hogwan, like almost every other Hogwan, decided to throw together a Halloween party for the kids. Of course, we couldn*t simply have fun, there had to be some element of English involved in the whole production. The plan was the kids would exchange the coupons we give them for good marks, for little slips of paper representing dollars and cents. After the costume parade, they could use their currency to buy the stationary type supplies I had hauled on my back from Costco many miles away; they could also purchase food. It was my job to do up a menu for the event. I made Gim~Bop into **Fresh Maggot Rolls**, Dapoki into **Worm and Slug Stew**, Mandu into **Giant Spider Eggs** and Tuna Sandwiches into **Zombie Brain Sandwiches** and then found lots of gross pictures to go on the menu.

It*s late and I have already wrote too much tonight, so I will get right to the point. I have never seen such a lack of originality in Halloween costumes. I understand the whole idea is foreign, and thus unclear, but does everyone really have to buy a white Scream mask. There was even one boy who went through the effort of crafting his own out of cardboard! Now that I think about it, there wasn*t a single girl sporting a Scream mask, it was only the boys. In one class all of my boys ended up wearing the same costume! When all the classes gathered in the foyer it looked like a damn Scream convention. At least the boys who went for the more expensive version of the mask, the one where you can make fake blood trickle down the front, stood out from the crowed because they had red hands and faces from all the mishaps they had with the shotty pump mechanism.

I ended up dressing up as Gim Bop, the Korean food staple over here, like a big Sushi roll for any of those who don*t know. What started in my head as a fleeting idea during a teacher meeting became reality. The sheer simplicity of the costume is partly what drew me to it. I bought some black, mesh tarp, cut some armholes and wrapped it around me. At this point I just looked like a guy wearing a tarp. I found an old cardboard box and ripped it into two trips. Then made a circle of cardboard just big enough to rest on my shoulders and attached the tarp to the outside wall using Zap~Straps. With the puffed out ring around my neck I Now had that classic Gib~Bop look. Finally, using water colors, I painted half my face orange to represent carrot and the other half yellow for egg or that pickled yellow beat they throw in there. The whole thing went off really well. The funniest part was riding to the bar on my bike while wearing the costume, motorists were either perplexed or in hysterics.

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