Posted by: Jena Davison | November 3, 2009

Halloween Oh Nine

This year Halloween just didn´t feel like Halloween. I had an awesome time, but without the build-up of Freakfest, the chilly Madison air, the absurdly creative State Street costumes, and endless bags of assorted candy, it was hard to accept that it was, in fact, Oct. 31st. Yet, all the way in Uruguay, we tried our best to make Halloween our own. Holly decorated the lobby of the hostel with black and orange balloons, spider webs, plastic spiders and jack-o-lanterns in the morning. Actually, Analia, who cleans the hostel, but is more like a hostel mother (she calls us all her ninos, or children), was frightened by the spiders because she thought they were real! Below are some pictures of the decorations:

Halloween Decorations in the Hostel


Most of the hostel workers dressed up in makeshift costumes due to our limited supplies. When you are packing a backpack for a nine-month journey, the last thing you are thinking about is what you can bring to wear as a Halloween costume. Even so, many of us were pretty creative given the circumstances. Rob was Indiana Jones, Kerry was a Christmas tree, Julie was a Greek goddess, Holly was a Zebra, Lindsay was Miley Cyrus, Erin was a devil, and I was a Hawaiian girl. I forgot that here they also celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, which most of us learned about in Spanish class way back when. Though it is much more of a religious holiday than Halloween, kids still dress up with masks and facepaint and trick-or-treat at businesses around the village. It was cute to see them all running around in excitement on Saturday. Below are some pictures of some of the hostel staff in costume at El Diablo Tranquilo´s Bar and Restaurant:


Some of the Hostel Staff on Halloween

Kerry the Christmas Tree with Her Favorite Puppy

Halloween night was also the grand re-opening of the hostel´s bar and restaurant. It has been under construction for a few months now, so we had yet to see it in its completed, functional state. I was in awe when I walked it, because it looks so great. The bar and restaurant is very rustic and is dimly lit by candles in wine bottles on tables throughout. First of all, the food is so delicious, so we have truly been getting spoiled by Mattias and Diego´s fine cooking. We have recently had chicken straganoff, spaghetti bolognase, and cazon, which is shark. Plus, they make the most delectable dessert, which is basically a banana crepe with carmelized dulce de leche on top with the option of adding a scoop of ice cream (a necessity). Anyways, Brian got a live cover band to play at the bar for Halloween night and it ended up being a pretty big crowd. The band covered classic rock songs by Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and others. Below is a photo of the live band:

Live Cover Band at the Bar

The crowd steadily got bigger over the course of the night and by about 2am, it was in full force. The party was especially fun because at least half of the bar was filled with local Uruguayans or other Spanish-speakers vacationing here for the weekend, so it was nice to meet and mingle with many of them. We ended up closing the bar at about 5am and afterwards, those remaining came back to the hostel. Overall, it was a great success, but it left me longing for 111 N. Bassett and State Street and all the madness that came with them both. I can´t believe it´s all over.


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