Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Red Hill Halloween

For years, we have heard about it but never dared to try it. Red Hill, a residential complex near us of low rise townhouses, is reported to be the best spot for trick-or-treating in Hong Kong. This year friends invited us to the Red Hill Halloween and we are now converts. After leisurely walking the streets going house to house for candy, it will be very hard to go back to a hot elevator crowded with hundreds of kids riding up and down looking for the one or two apartments that are listed as Halloween participating flats.

The ocean views from Red Hill were stunning. The views there are essentially the same as the views out of our apartment, proving once again that a new perspective is always good. With temperatures around 28 C, finally not hot, we grilled hamburgers on the second floor and watched the kids run around our friends’ small backyard. Disregarding the warm weather and the beach, Halloween really did seem like Halloween this year. The kids’ costumes were quick and easy and stayed on all night. Adam was Dracula and Royce was an Indian. Tori opted for the truly scary and went as a plague microbe. Needless to say, most people did not guess her costume right away but as she explained they partially caught on and said something about swine flu.

As the kids trick-or-treated, we ran into many people we knew and realized that non-Red Hill residents are clearly coming up for the holiday. And while there were plenty of interlopers, the actual residents themselves were ready for it all. Most of the houses were open for trick-or-treating and typically decorated to the hilt. Domestic helpers stood in front of the house passing out candy from huge bowls. Many adults decorated their street level garage in Halloween spirit with added haunted houses for the kids or ongoing parties for the adults.

Over the course of the night, our kids grabbed as much candy as possible. At home they quickly sorted it into chocolates, hard candies and Chinese candies. There were a few things that defied categorization such as seaweed cookies and ice cream bars, completely melted but at least with the plastic still on. Adam and Royce immediately began eating their candy but Tori did not. Her approach seems to be to savor the possession rather than the candy itself. I thought there was a lesson in there somewhere about instant and delayed gratification but it did not come to pass. A few days later when Tori remembered her candy and tried to eat some of it, she found temperatures had gone up again and the candy had all melted. Now those seaweed cookies are starting to look better and better! Internationalization through desperation.


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