Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween and Culture Shock

  Mother was a funny woman; I can remember my first Halloween alone. What I mean, I guess was after I moved out of my parent’s and into an apartment.
  That first year was insane; I had lived in the Yakima Valley all my life, but a month after graduating high school I had decided to move to Seattle. I was never one to live off my parents. I worked all summer to raise the money I needed to move.
  I even applied to Shoreline community college. I was accepted, I say this as if they rejected anyone. A high school diploma and heartbeat was all that was needed. The trouble was at the end of the summer I needed a roommate. I ended up with a disabled man who was pretty easy to get along.
  At home in Sunnyside, my parents counted the number of kids that came to the door to trick-or-treat. I can remember that there were never more than 30 in a given year. My apartment had 250 units, in an area with more than 20 complexes in just a few blocks. Which in just a few square blocks added up to more people than what lived in my home town.
  My mom called and she had her first trick-or-treater, I can remember her saying, “James you should write how many you get each time so we can see who gets more.”
It was just like my mom to make a game about it. Just then someone knocked. I opened the door and froze in my tracks.
  “Mom, I think I am going to need more candy. Oh and by the way, would you like to bet on who gets more kids this year,” saying this I started to pass out the candy.
  “S%#@, how many are there,” she said.
  “15, 16, 17,” I counted as I dropped treats into the bags held by the outstretched hands.
  The phone went dead and I ran out of candy after opening the door for the 30th time. I couldn’t stand not having enough so I ran to the store for more. Mom called back and was talking to my roommate when I got back. He was giving his own stash away at that point.
  “James, how many have you had now?” she asked.
  “TRICK OR TREAT,” the next bunch screamed.
  “Mom, can I get back to you this is getting ridicules,” I said into the phone and digging into another bag of freshly bought candy.
  In the end, Mom called and said she got 28 and I said I lost count at 300. I was in culture shock. I had never seen such a thing. Visiting a city is not he same as living there. Today we get around 120 kids, do mostly to our location on a corner across from a park. If this was Seattle in the same type of neighborhood, we would need a chain link fence and tear gas to control the riot that would take place every Halloween.

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