On Halloween, I had no breaks. I had full six lessons and all but two were different. I also had a cold. And, a Halloween costume. Chaos. I went as Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz film and brought with me a Japanese thrift store basket-hand bag and as I couldn’t find a Toto look a like plush toy, I took my boyfriend’s stuffed toy ferret. My coworkers called me the Faker Dorothy all afternoon. The kids were disappointed I wasn’t something scarier. Halloween is a scary day! Duh, teacher.
Lunch itself was one of the nicest parts of the day. In honor of the holiday it was a spread of pumpkin soup, a hot dog slathered in ketchup, and coffee milk. The pumpkin soup was a first for me. It was also absolutely amazing. I wish they had that once a week in the fall! The hot dog was comically small. This photo illustrates the greatest problem with school lunch here in Japan: It’s all grains and no meat. I know that’s a good thing for the bodies of little bundles of energy who walk to and from school and spend half the day running around. But, it’s my downfall. I eat more carbs and starches because of these lunches than I would ever choose to on my own and I don’t even notice until it’s too late.
The extra special treat, though, wast that coffee milk. I don’t know why they do this, but on special occasions they give the kids a super sugary coffee syrup to squeeze into their milk cartons to create a cafe late. Nothing like an afternoon full of 37 six year olds who have just had coffee with their lunches.
In the end, I survived and ran home just in time to put a sign out front of my apartment as the kids walked home that invited them to try trick or treating for real. Around 30 children from second grade to junior high stopped by, knocked, and properly recited “trick or treat” before getting a pass at the candy bowl. Yes! I did it! I actually got a little Halloween action in the suburbs of Saitama. It can be done!