Step 1: Grab a couple friends
Step 2: Dress up in costume and face paint for Halloween. This is crucial: never mind the fact that it’s not Halloween
Step 3: Go out into the city
Step 4: Spend the night walking around, going into different [cheap] restaurants/cafes
Step 5: Enjoy the baffled stares strangers will give you. Answer their “What day is it today?” questions with humour.
This is what a couple friends and I did last night. Now, keep in mind we’re a group of students attending an international school in an ex-Soviet, conservative country. Although Halloween isn’t a very widespread event, many of the younger (and 30 year old clubbers) crowd in the country have fun dressing up and going to Halloween parties at clubs. Our original plan of attending a party at an undisclosed embassy was cancelled. Upon arriving, the night guards told us that there was no such thing happening at the embassy that night. However, there was going to be a party at a place called London Bar in the city at 10. And so the adventure began.
My friend (let’s call her Teddy) and the new girl in our group (let’s call her Skillet) and I grabbed a taxi off the highway and headed into city center. Our driver was very much amused by our attire and makeup, and eventually his curiosity got him and he had to ask if there was some special party going on.
We hopped out of our taxi and the baffled gawks began. The most amusing stranger we encountered the whole night was the one who literally stopped what he was doing, let his jaw drop, and looked on in absolute shock. After all, he had just seen super woman, a skeleton, and a circus ringleader walking around like normal at night. But as Adam and the Ants chanted, “ridicule is nothing to be scared of.”
We made our way to the promised London Club at about 8:30, which was completely empty save for the cleaning lady who very rudely kicked us out of the bathroom, refusing to answer my question of whether there will be a party that night.
Hungry, we headed to the best burger place in the city, where there was a “party” going on with very loud, bad Arabic music playing (presumably due to the insurgence of Syrians in the country). Our cute waiter was nice enough to turn it down a tad, and our burgers more than made up for the loudness.
We walked out and headed over to Cinnabon for tea and cinnamon sticks, hoping to kill some more time.
By 10, we went over to the club once more to see if anyone had showed up but were once again disappointed. Bummed out, Teddy came out with a stroke-of-genius suggestion, “How about hookah?” We had a chocolate-mint flavoured one for a mere $11 USD and Skillet and I engaged in an equally terrible game of chess, neither having the skills to play a proper game. Upon leaving the shisha bar, the employees asked us, “What day is it today?” to which I replied with a sad shake of the head, “Not Halloween.”
The third time’s always the charm. At 12 PM, the club finally had gained some life to it. We got ourselves a table and a round of vodka shots, paid, and went over to the dance floor. We noticed a group of boys from school and went over to say hi, and then Skillet and I got ourselves a second round because the first shot hadn’t sunk in. Teddy is a lightweight, so she opted out. At some point, we saw the cute waiter from the burger place walk in and wave at us in recognition.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to dance since Teddy had to be home at 1, so the three of us left then and shared a cab back home. It took me about 20 minutes to get all my face makeup off.