One thing I do miss about the fall is celebrating all the great holidays that fall from October through November. Thanksgiving will be weird and Halloween was very interesting. Halloween is not celebrated in South East Asia at all. No special pumpkin cut cookies, pumpkin pie, ghosts, or goblins. Halloween does not appear in any advertising, restaurant specials, or specialty cocktails. The holiday is completely absent from the Thai culture. Mainly because Asian culture is incredibly respectful and cognoscente of spirits. Ghosts are not seen as humorous or scary but feared in a respectful way. Ghosts are people’s ancestors and commonly prayed to.
The women do not dress up in the American slutty fashion, little kids do not trick-or-treat, and the men don’t wear women costumes. If the men dress up like women, they are lady boys and that is a year round recognition. As an American or Canadian would, we turned this Halloween absence as a challenge. We had to show Bangkok what Halloween was all about while also spreading influence to the Europeans in our group.
I had no clue what to dress up as and there are little costume stores in Bangkok. There are no Goodwills here in Bangkok where I can slap together a cheap costume. Nick, David, Nate, and I walked around MBK, a huge shopping mall, for around an hour searching for costume ideas. I came up with nothing. A lightbulb went off in my big ol noggin and I knew what had to be done. I remembered I packed grey sweatpants and a grey sweatshirt hoodie. Both of which, was incredibly pointless to pack. I packed three sweatshirts and a rain jacket that I never use. I should have known it would be 80+ degrees the entire six months abroad. I bought a grey tank top at MBK for 3 dollars and my genious plan was underway.
Again, Chang means elephant. I was an elephant.
I came back to the room, took scissors to the new grey shirt I had just bought, took a shoelace from my Nikes, and created my trunk. I tied the trunk to my cut out ears with shoeless and “The Mighty Chang” was born. I was an all grey elephant fit for any 5 year old costume. I looked like a little kid ready for a night out trick-or-treating. Needless to say, I looked good. My creativity and imagination at it again, full force. David bought a gorilla mask and a chinamen hat, Nick borrowed my golf shorts and dressed as a country club golfer, and Nate just wore black. Nate felt the need to look good.
We went over to Asoke because Jaime, Canadian fellow Halloween enthusiast rocking the risky business costume, came up with the great idea to throw a Halloween party. Time to get rowdy. The entire international group dressed up in multiple different costumes. We had witches, Muay Thai fighters, Starbuck’s coffees, country club golfer, elephant, guys with stuffed animals on their heads, flowers, geisha girls, and much more. Of course, there were the bros who dressed as ladyboys. The greatest costume and personality of all was Jacob. He completely bought into the lady boy lifestyle and Nick, David, and I were a little concerned with how well he was portraying the lady boy personality. It was almost as if he had done that before…This felt like Halloween back in the states. Except the Europeans didn’t get the fact that your supposed to dress slutty. Would have liked to have seen more skin, but this just means I will cherish next Halloween more haha.
We played beer pong for the first time in a couple months and I could have sworn I was back in the states. But o no, this was Bangkok and we were hitting up the one and only Halloween party we knew of, Route 66. Time to get weird.
We arrived to the club and it was packed to the brim with people. I am at this point sweating like crazy. This is Bangkok, its around 85 degrees even at 11pm with 80% humidity, and I am walking through a packed crowd where the body heat is sweltering, in a full sweatsuit. You could say the color of my outfit started as light grey and ended in a black tone. My elephant costume was receiving mixed reviews from the Thai people. This costume was baller and would have been a hit in America. The Thais are dressed up and only a few had costumes on. Most costumes were scary or Gangnam Style, which is now really old here in Asia. Oppa…shut up!
I had a couple great lines set up for the Thai women here. I would rest my trunk on their shoulder to get them to turn around and I would say things like “If you think this trunk is long…” and others similar. I was receiving no attention at all. I lost the group and was walking around trying not to die from dehydration. I finally met up with the group and was pleasantly surprised to see everyone was on another level. This truly was Halloween. Nate was going around pouring his bottle of Johnny Walker into everyone’s mouth, Nick was jumping around with a constant smile, looking truly white with his dance moves and outfit combination, the girls were getting their flirt on, and it was truly a typical Halloween.
I was frustrated that my elephant trunk was not doing the trick, annoyed that it was in my face the entire time, and decently intoxicated which resulted in me throwing it into the crowd. Mid flight, I yelled “Who wants my trunk? Go and get it!” The trunk, ears, and shoeless went soaring into the crowd where it hit a young lady in the back of the head. I witnessed her pick up the trunk, express a very confused look, and drop it back on the ground. Instantly I knew that no one gave a shit about my trunk. I did not realize until the morning that I had just thrown my shoelace. Now my Nike shoe is worthless until I buy another pair of shoelaces. Way to go Chase, smooth move buddy.
Now I am dancing without my trunk and my costume is nothing more than a grey sweatsuit. It didn’t matter to me. The best part of the night wasn’t the fact that it was Halloween. It wasn’t the fact that the club was packed. The costumes were not the highlight. It was the group. We hadn’t all gone out and partied together as a BBA group in a long time. As time continues to tick down, and this experience comes to a close, you begin to really cherish those moments. You don’t know how many times that we can all go out as a group again. We were dancing together, drinking together, and more importantly enjoying each other’s company. That was the best part by far. I want to give a shout out to the BBA group for making this Halloween one for the books.
We all got in taxis, came back to evergreen, and ordered some good ol’ McDonalds delivery. Great way to end a great night. Happy Halloween ya’ll.
p.s. love you mom and dad. See you and my sista Tori in 5 days!