The night before Halloween, House Owner and I experimented with several Halloween recipes that ended with chocolate all over the kitchen.
The morning of Halloween, House Owner was working so I invited Freshman to come make and decorate marshmallows with me.
On Halloween night I found myself running through the streets of Busan in a green jumpsuit while House Owner filmed me. (An ode to 원류환).
Our Halloween party had finally came to fruition after the fateful discovery of wigs in storage. The four roommates plus Brazilian’s girlfriend and House Owner’s mother and sister came to our festively decorated café. Corgi also made an appearance and ran circles around the table, happily eating leftover pig feet.
House Owner asked if any of my classmates or friends would be coming. I told her it might be difficult for them since the dorms have an 11 PM curfew. She amended and asked if I had invited them anyway to which I had to glumly responded “no “.
She asked if I wanted to invite any friends to which I said I don’t have any friends. Freshman agreed. We told her that since our classes are online it has been impossible to meet new people. I suppose I could’ve said that she and Freshman are my friends but is that like saying your mom is your friend?
I had gone to some great lengths to put cookie dough together since there is a small toaster oven at House Owner’s café. She wanted to help and so I instructed her to make small balls and place them 4 cm apart. The Freshman and I were hanging garlands but when I turned around the dough balls had been smashed into discs.
I asked her why and she said “my mom used to work in a bakery and said this is how we should do it”.
Suddenly I was angry. I don’t tell her mother how to make kimchi. This is my country, my holiday, my recipe. But I shoved it all down and just said “OK“ with enough of a pause that it wasn’t entirely emotionless.
Perhaps sensing my strife with tingling mom powers, House Owner’s mother insisted I eat ice cream to which I would not say no. I sat down with Freshman and House Owner’s sister whose lack of networking skills signaled to me that she must’ve been young.
I tried not to be irritated with her as well but I found myself irrationally annoyed. I wanted to say that it was because I was homesick since that is a much more noble reason but really I was just offended.
Vindication was shortly achieved when after just a few minutes in the toaster oven the cookies has spread. Upon making the second batch I noticed the dough had become balls once again. Ha!
Eventually our delivery fried chicken and jokbal, pig’s feet, showed up and we feasted. The Brazilian ate probably 10 cookies and all of us were over-stuffed to the breaking point.
The Brazilian and his girlfriend decided to rental bike back to the house and the rest of us took down decorations.
Earlier in the evening I had set out small plastic pumpkins filled with candy and when I turned back, all of them were gone. Apparently everyone had excitedly grabbed one and I was happy for that.
The mother drove us all home and deposited tangerines in our hands and all was forgiven.
House Owner, who is “in the middle of breaking up with her boyfriend “, mentioned once or twice going out to a bar. But I was too sickly full and too tired from the day of preparation and too cognizant of the multiple warnings from the government and my school for foreigners not to go out and spread COVID that I simply said good night and fell asleep in the green tracksuit.
Last year during Halloween I was dressed as Minnie Mouse, drinking in a park, and ended up sharing a 20 pack of nuggets with a guy in a dinosaur costume at 3 AM.
COVID life certainly has changed so many things but I’m glad at least for this little family. Even if it wasn’t the Halloween I’m used to, at least it was a good experience for them.