My First Halloween in Korea

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Last Updated on November 5, 2010 by Christine Kaaloa

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I’ll be honest, I may be a tough cookie in certain regards to life, work and travel but this past Halloween weekend, there were some things I found scary:

1. Dressing up for Halloween:

There’s only one truly frightening thing about Halloween– the pressure to dress in a costume!  Just call me spiritless — I was never the type to go all out for Halloween donning makeup and costumes. Just not. I did teach my students a short lesson about Halloween and had them “trick-or-treat” me for candy, though!

SAM 3805Trick or treat to my teachers, as well. My faux jack-o-lantern via tangerines.

Alternately, Koreans do not celebrate Halloween. If you hear of any sort of news about Halloween celebrations in Korea, it’s usually expats (read about Chris Backe’s “Zombie Walk here) or hagwons who do the costumes and celebrations. Recently, the Huffington Post ran a photo essay, “Halloween Celebrations Around the World” and it caught Korean employees at Everland (a famous amusement park) dressed in Halloween costumes.  It’s a bit misleading because Koreans’ participation in Halloween, generally requires a special circumstance.

Costco sold some Halloween candy at frighteningly exorbitant prices and E-Mart had a small Halloween section with a handful of generic costumes, some jack-o-lanterns and Halloween accessories.

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2. Taking beauty shots of nature

The leaves are changing into vibrant colors and all of Korea is proud (and a bit excited) by what this brings in the picturesque. Rural farmlands are a golden hue and mountain scenery sparkles with a lively myriad of vibrant reds, oranges, greens and yellows.

Shooting beauty shots of nature however, is like nails to chalkboard for me.  I feel ridiculous about taking  shots I know a gazillion other landscape photographers and hobbyists will shoot much better than me and with Photoshop magic! If it weren’t for my family back at home, who’s checking in on my blog, I’d prefer to just buy a postcard!

IMG 1160Oh, it’s Christine! Christine Teacher!
Some of my school students see me before I see them. Moments before I get rushed.

3. Life-Altering Decisions

Sometimes life choices can make you feel like you’re on The Price is Right game show. How do you know you’ve made the right choice? So you’ve opened door #1 to a brand new car! Do you still dare risk all for the mystery behind door#2?

Last weekend after just having given notice I’d not be renewing my contract, I was on my way to meet friends for a weekend getaway! Our neighborhood park was having a library sale event and I got hijacked by some of my students into the festivities… (read more Why I Love Teaching English to my Korea Students)

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Expat Life, Korea, Teaching English

1 Comment. Leave new

  • I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in years. I think the last time I made an effort to do so I was in 5th or 6th grade. Since arriving in Korea, I’ve had to dress up for school events each year, and I’ve taken advantage of my physical features when constructing my costumes.

    2008: Professor X
    2009: Mr. Clean
    2010: Zombie jiSung