Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

The Cruel Smell of Roses

October 30, 2013

Whenever I feel sad and lost and lonely in America, overwhelmed by questions like “Why do they stir their coffee with straws?” or “Why do they think ‘In God We Trust’ is not religious?” or “How is my money worth 60% of what it was when I got here?” I go for a walk around my neighborhood. It’s my alternative to buying a bottle of red wine and drowning my sorrows, because when I’m sad, I don’t know the meaning of “a couple of glasses to relax”.

It smelled of bath salts I bathed in once, when I was 15 and I accidentally went on a date with a preacher's son. True story.

It smelled of bath salts I used when I was 15 and I accidentally went on a date with a preacher’s son. True story.

So instead I walk around, smelling the roses. Orange is flat – it’s a lot like the Cape Flats except the streets are cleaner, there’s no crime, and the low-ceiling, two bedroom houses cost about R3-5million each. The smelling the roses thing started because I wanted to see which ones had a smell, and which ones didn’t. Then it was supposed to cheer me up.


Got to admit, this was sorta cute. A witch above my least favourite parking sign, which over the years has cost me about $120 in fines. In the USA, you actually have to pay your fines or they put you in County Jail eventually. No wonder their prison population is growing so fast when they criminalize you for being disorganized / poor.


A black cat crossed my path. Literally. And it’s got a really weird eye.

But my rose smelling thing always backfires. there’s something about the smell of roses that makes me terribly sad, these days. And it doesn’t help that it’s Halloween. I know it’s supposed to be fun, but the macabre shit all over the place just freaks me out. I don’t get it.

I find this in poor taste. But then again, I'm not American. I think the alienation this makes me feel is scarier than all of it.

I find this in poor taste. But then again, I’m not American. I think the alienation this makes me feel is scarier than all of it.

I can’t wait til it’s over and Orange can start redecorating for Christmas instead. The out-there Christianity is tiring at times, and the carols drive me up the wall, but at least they’re not terrifying.

Hello again, Halloween

October 20, 2011

It’s another of those “It’s been a year” moments. Feels like a minute. Feels like decades. America’s definitely gotten under my skin.

For some reason, the sight of so many American flags was the scariest thing about being here at first. Which is weird, because the World Cup Soccer patriotism I'd come from made me so happy. Ah, hypocrisy. Always comforting in times of trouble.

With Halloween coming round again, I feel sentimental, remembering how weirded out I was by the decoration. Cycling home at night was like riding through a childhood nightmare of sorts. Now, it just all makes me smile.

Last year’s costume: Brocolli – with picture.

This year’s costume?

Purchased at a Mexican-American yard sale. Do I look the part? I thought my expression was pretty scary right there.

Halloween in America: first blud

October 22, 2010

As I cycled home from an early Halloween party tonight, the wind of my speedy traveling made a woooooh woooooh woooooh noise in my ears.

I dressed up as broccoli. It was the scariest thing I could think of. And the cheapest.

Orange, CA… I think I’m falling in love with this nerd of a town. It’s so pretty and quiet. And yet, at certain times of year, it’s the scariest thing in the world. It’s like this one guy I was in love with for a few years. Impossibly beautiful. With a very dark side.

Reminds me of my childhood home. Without the "asylum" part perhaps.

Pretty. Weird. Like goth wedding decor.

Somehow this house is freakier in daytime with the American flag flying next to the ghoul.

I got lost and found this... I kept peddling.

My favourite one of all. This must be made by a film graduate... it's so well done.

In America, pumpkins are scary. Actually Halloween was originally a harvest festival, and people probably actually ate the pumpkin meat. Now apparently it all gets thrown away, which I find more disturbing than any halloween lawn.

Who needs ADT when you got... ME!

The best one I've seen. Not the most elaborate, but it just works so well.

Since Chapman Dodge College film studios students will all be filming their chase sequences soon, I suspect a lot of them will be halloween themed. I know I’d like mine to be. If only I can find a few kids, and drastically improve my broccoli costume… let me know if you have a child going spare.