Thursday, October 29, 2009

Embracing my inner FREAK

There are few times when I really get to be a total freak. Halloween offers such a glorious opportunity to do so, that every year I find myself totally sucked in. I know there are people who object to Halloween for one reason or another, but I've always just had so much fun with it. I don't feel any spiritual implications in the matter, so I let go of conventionality, and enjoy walking around the streets of my quiet European town looking totally insane.
It's amazing the way people here stare. It's very open. No holds barred. There are so many levels of it as well. Wide eyed children who gasp in horror. Old grandmothers who appear afraid they really have seen death walking around on their sleepy streets. Construction workers who don't get a lot of work done to begin with, and appreciate a chance to really stop and gape, then turn and laugh with their friends.
I think my favorite, however, is the double take. So often people don't even pay attention to the faces of those around them. They wander in their own little worlds, unconcerned about what anyone else is doing. Their eyes flit about, not spending more than a moment on the faces they encounter. But then, oh then, little synapses in their brain fire with the realization that what they just saw was NOT normal. And not just a little bit out of the ordinary, but entirely freakish. It is then that they whip back to look again, or slow their pace and turn just as I'm about to pass so that they can get a good gawk in before I'm gone.
The best bit of it all is that I know why I look this way, and they're clueless. Perhaps they've seen me walking by hundreds of times, but today they take notice. I'm no longer invisible, I'm suddenly the talk of the town. So entertaining.
So on Tuesday I wandered the streets of Cheb in preparation for our Halloween party. It just isn't worth the effort to wash my face off in between the morning party and the evening pub night. So I wander around and bask in the scene I make.
We had a small party at school this year, but there were some quality costumes and I think good times were had by all.
So here you can see my ghoulish colleagues, me hard at work, and all the attenders of the gala event.

In the evening we had round two. It's always hard to get decent pictures at these night time events, but I got a few fun ones, just so you can have some feeling of the atmosphere.

Now I'm enjoying the rest of my 5 day weekend. I wasn't expecting it, so I don't have any big trips planned, but I'm going to spend some time in Germany, so that should be fun. And today I had the joy of cleaning my flat. Oh how I love being on my hands and knees scrubbing floors. Good times for sure. Fortunately I had it all finished before my boss just happened to pop in! Ah the relief.

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