Tag Archives: Culture

A Halloween Rant

Like a lot of kids, Halloween was my favourite. Who doesn’t love getting dressed up as whatever you want for free candy?

I grew up in an old, working class neighbourhood where the majority of people were older. Every year there would be some great Halloween displays. There was the guy a street over who would cover his driveway in corn stalks to create a sort of maze to get to the front door. He also brought out the ol’ smoke machine, and had clothes stuffed with straw (terrifying when you’re eight years old) hanging in the trees.

The old man a block down in the small blue house on the corner always had the best things to give away. It was a well-known fact that his house was the first one you hit each year to avoid disappointment when he inevitably ran out of treats. He gave away picture books and small stuffed animals, as well as the traditional candy.

The rare house that decided not to give out handy knew the risk, and I’m assuming they regretted their choice the next morning. Good.

And then, I moved into a newer neighbourhood full of creepy recluse-types who worked all the time. The house across the street, I swear up and down, was a drug den or halfway house or group home or something. Only in our town would the “upper middle class” area be more sketchy than the working class parts of town. At least you knew the drug dealers’ names and they were friendly. All the fancily-dressed parents seemed suspicious of each other. Too much Dateline, I presume.

Not many people “did” Halloween. Few decorations, no effort.

What is the problem? You can’t buy a jumbo box of mini chocolates for $10 and spend an evening sitting by the door? You can’t even dress your children up before you shove them up the walkway with their No Frills bag to demand candy? You, annoying teenager, think I’m going to give you the non-stale candy when you walk up in your street clothes and hold your back-pack open?

You’re all missing the point, you greedy, selfish, soul-less people.

Halloween is for fun. It is for scaring the crap out of small children in good humour. It is for dressing up and earning your candy.

For all of you who have been a guilty party in the paragraph above, I have one thing to say.

Stop ruining Halloween, and go back to your sad, loveless lives. 

To the rest of you lovely folks, enjoy it. Have a great October 31st!

On The Fence: Work Abroad?

I was going to call this post just “On The Fence,” but then I realized that title could probably be applied to almost any post I write here. So I clarified. I can have my own “On The Fence” series.

It’s getting to that point where it seems everyone has been to goddamn Europe or Asia. This is what I get for going to a high school with so many rich kids (or kids who have hundred of family members in various South Asian countries. That, too.)

Being a young Canadian citizen, it’s pretty easy to get a temporary work permit for the UK. Then I discovered SWAP.ca
This is an organization that facilitates and organizes (An organization that organizes. Online thesauruses are for losers) young people to travel the world an work. They hook you up with an orientation, help you find jobs, roommates, etc.


[Note: photo from SWAP website] I mean, look how much fun these people are having. I bet they aren’t sitting at home on Facebook crying over everyone else’s awesome frosh pictures. (Well, not crying.)

I’ll be attending a SWAP talk in October downtown, hopefully I’ll be able to meet some other people who want to also travel to the UK. Nothing is more terrifying to me then landing in London not knowing a single soul. Edinburgh is calling my name (although I’ve actually been pronouncing it wrong up until yesterday. Awkward.)
The rent isn’t as much as London and it’s a large city also inhabited by a lot of working foreigners, according to the SWAP Facebook page.

I mean, there’s a 4 month gap between when my job ends for the season in December and when it picks up again before school starts, and I’d rather travel than sit at home trying not to kill myself.
I just have to make the choice: Am I prepared to spend 4 months in a country with no Tim Hortons or poutine?