Happy Haunting in the Lair
Trip Start Sep 01, 2008
8Trip End Dec 14, 2008
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Last week, we found a Halloween stall at the Pearl Market that had hundreds of masks and wigs as well as about 50 costumes to choose from. Every costume was different, which leads me to believe that these costumes were either individually sent from the United States (Chinese relative in the States?) or individually smuggled out of a factory. Among these, there were several Disney princess costumes, a witch costume, a salsa dancer costume, a female pirate costume, and a belly dancer costume. Unfortunately, the saleswoman refused to sell each costume for less than 200 RMB (that's a little more than $30), so we left empty-handed. She must have known she had the only Halloween store around.
On Halloween, no one was dressed up during the daytime and, when we went out fully decked out in our outfits at about 6 pm, everyone stared, pointed, and laughed (quite loudly, in fact). Our first stop was the Peking University Halloween Party, which started at 7 pm. When we got there at about 7:30 pm, we were told that we would have to wait because the room was full. Despite the suspicious lack of the sound of music coming from the building, I anticipated walking into a packed, dimly lit room full of cheerful PKU students. Instead, I walked into a brightly lit room where everyone was sitting at desks that were lined along the edges of the room. The hostess was giving out masks to everyone. Someone was talking into a microphone and, before I knew it, we were whisked up to the front to stand with the handful of Chinese students who were in costumes. I think the most creative costume was someone dressed up as a card.
After a round of applause for us, the music started - but it was country music (in English)! The hostess assured us that they had "real music" playing earlier, but that it had gotten too hot, so they would play more "real music" later on in the night. After 15 minutes, the music cut out again and a performer was brought out. A few PKU students also volunteered to sing a solo while everyone sat back at their desks and watched. After that, for the rest of the party (which ended at the late hour of 9 pm), they played Latin music. However, they never turned off the lights
I was actually surprised that there were a handful of boys and girls dancing together. Of course, there was a substantial number of people standing along the edge of the dance floor and just watching, but I saw more than a few boys asking girls to dance! Someone in my group described the party as a middle school dance, which I would say is fairly accurate.
Then, we went to the club (Mix), which usually has a cover charge of 50 RMB per person. However, the club had some Halloween decorations and thus decided that a few big spiders on the columns inside and some hanging ghouls justified charging 200 RMB per person as the door price! Inside, there was a decent amount of Chinese people dressed up - mostly with masks and with bunny ears or devil horns. I only saw two Chinese girls dressed up in excessively inappropriate outfits. The club played Thriller and had fake snow falling at some points during the night!