And that was it with Halloween for me. What else could I expect of Halloween in the sleepy town like Seremban? Nak kena kejar dengan Pak Cik jemaah surau kalu berani nak carve pumpkin bagai!!!
I guess when you are 17 going on 18, there were loads of things you’d want to try our. Apalagi lah in this Uncle Sam’s land. In fact, that very same year was indeed the onset to a whole lot of new encounters, this small town girl was about to experience. New place, new culture, new friends and of course Halloween was another new thing as well. That October in 1982, I had my first “lemak-lemak labu” taste of this ghosts and spirits a plenty, community celebration a.k.a Halloween.
One of the first signs of Halloween is when the pumpkins start making their appearances on the door step. I thought to myself, “Rajin nye lah nak pi korek-korek labu tu and turn them into scary look a like creatures.” What a waste, Mat Salleh buat carvings hantu, and Melayu would have definitely turned it into masak lemak labu. East and west, a world of difference!!!
Okay what next, now that you have the pumpkin on the door step. Haa…time to go treat-or-tricking!! But before that must go get a costume. What shall it’d be? Frankenstein, ET, Darth Vader, take your pick. Well, just like the carvings I didn’t bother doing this ritual either. It was more for the children I must say. Going around all dressed up in costumes saying, “treat-or-trick”. Most doors they knock on would treat the children with candies and cookies rather than do a trick.
I went on my first Halloween so called party with this one senior guy (ehem..ehem..teka lah sapa??) We have been bumping into each other after our Anthropology class every Tuesdays. And later we were formally introduced at a friend’s makan-makan invitation.
The relationship had been casual, purely plutonic. If we happened to bump into each other oh well, we’d just smile and pass an exchange or two. We’ve gone to the library a couple of times together and being a gentleman he was, (masa tu lah…now, masih ka?? soalan cupumas tuh!! So, dah boleh guess sapa dia???) he had a few times walked me home.
That Halloween night we went to State Street were the party was. It was a cold night and the street was packed with crazy people dressed in all imaginable ghosts and funny looking costumes. I was somewhat confused as there were streams of people walking up and down. I wondered if they had an actual destination they were heading to. From a distant, I could hear music blasting. There was already a band playing. So we decided to hang out at the concert area for a while. The band played one song after another. Then it played this 60s number “Shout”, a catchy tune by the Temptations. And that song got the crowd on their feet!!! I remember the lyrics somewhat like this:
You know know you make me wanna
(Shout) Yeah, yeah
(Shout) Yeah, yeah, right
(Shout) All right, all right
(Shout) Come on now, come on now
(Shout) Yeah, yeah, yeah
(Shout) Come on now, hey, hey
(Shout) Alright now, yeah, yeah
Wah…ala-ala seronok gitu!! But the most funny thing was my senior was also moving to the steps of the song!! Hah..hah…tak ku sangka this engineering dude had some groove in him!! Ok, that got him scoring points in my books of liking, since I was also into dance and music. Ummppp…at the back of my mind, ader harapan nak ajak lepak-lepak listen to music lepas ni.
We stayed for a while at the concert area. The crowd began to swell and at one point it got pretty rowdy due to the madness in alcohol consumption. “Time to go”, my senior said to me and I followed him like a little lost cat.
The whole entire street was packed with people in costumes. Never have I seen people so absorbed in a celebration. Occasionally, we passed groups of students high from pot smoking. Ummpp…sekali dua bau smoke from their pot smoking tu did make me that little high, causing me to place one or two fuddled footsteps.
It was a good two hours we were at the party scene. We wanted to go grab something to eat, but the restaurants were packed. The line was long even for a mushroom slice pizza at our favourite pizza joint Rocky Rococo down on State Street. “Let's head back for home lah”, I said.
We walked home that night. It was a long walk back to my apartment and it was dead cold too. Halfway home, it started to snow lightly. Snow flurries fell and covered the ground like a fluffy white carpet. Ahhh…it was snowing, how beautiful (and romantic too!!). Surprisingly, it wasn’t as cold as how it felt earlier and the gush of fresh air was indeed making the walk a very pleasant one.
It was a good 30 minutes walk from State Street to my apartment in University Avenue. When we arrived, I contemplated if I should ask my senior up for some coffee as I wasn’t too sure if my roommate was home. But since it was still a long walk for him back to his place, I figured, one cup of hot coffee would not do any harm. Plus it was cold, there was nothing like a good cup of Folgers. So he was invited up. Normally, I’d have reservations about inviting guys up the apartment, but well, it wasn’t like I hadn’t gone out with him before. And he decided to be funny, there was always the vacuum cleaner or my thick calculus text book I could use to defend myself with. Hayooo…kalu kena ketuk dengan calculus text tu, mau jadi high, more high then the ganja smoking kat Halloween party tu..
One cup of coffee followed by the next one and later we stumbled upon a horror movie on television. My roommate later came back and some other friends had followed her up to our place too. In no time, we were already into out next pot of coffee. Then the frozen Pillsbury croissants went into the oven. Macam party lah pulak dah…
As the night was getting late and my senior and the other guests excused themselves, all geared up to venture the cold again, back to their respective apartments. I thanked my senior for being such a spot taking me to the Halloween party. After he left, I felt a funny feeling that something was brewing....ummpp…I wondered what it was!! (ehem..ehem….buat-buat innocent lah pulak!!)
Just as I was about to sneak under my comforter that night, the phone rang and my roommate said it was for me. Heh..heh…guess who was on the other line?? Siapa lagi if not my Halloween chaperone…..
Thank god for call waiting from Wisconsin Bell. Otherwise other callers would be guessing siapa lah yang bergayut till the wee hours that Halloween night.