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by Sine Thieme, a writer and mother of four who is new to South Africa and busy chronicling her experiences on her blog, Joburg Expat.

The golden leaves are waving in the crisp autumn air, little feet are scurrying onto porches lined with jack-o-lanterns, cries of “trick or treat!” are echoing through the neighborhood… Actually, that seems to be other people’s Halloween fantasy. Let me come right out and make a confession: I really do not like Halloween! I don’t like dressing up, I don’t like buying costumes, let alone sewing them, I’ve had to force myself to show enthusiasm going to the pumpkin patch to help the kids pick their pumpkins, I don’t like decorating the house, and most of all I hate all the candy coming home, on a weeknight to boot, when it seems like our goodie bags are still full from Valentine’s Day.

Credit: https://hgifford.blogspot.co.za

Credit: https://hgifford.blogspot.co.za

Imagine my delight about moving to South Africa: I’d finally be rid of having to deal with Halloween! But to my horror, I’ve since learned otherwise. Trick or treating seems to be the great new thing in all neighborhoods around us. What’s more, South African kids don’t seem to get the “or” part of “trick or treat” – from what I’ve heard, you end up dishing out candy and having your house vandalized. As every year, my kids are scheming what they’ll be this time, and trust me, it’ll involve brand-new gear. So not only am I looking at another round of trick or treating, I have the additional challenge of finding costumes and pumpkins and whatnot in a place I can’t even find apple sauce and chocolate chips!

But the good news is that at this time of year Joburg evenings are mild and balmy, so at least we’ll be strolling down the street in short sleeves, beer in hand, meeting some of our new neighbors while thinking of our friends back home who are breaking out the mittens and ski coats and freezing their butts off.

by Sine Thieme, a writer and mother of four who is new to South Africa and busy chronicling her experiences on her blog, Joburg Expat.

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