I guess visiting the birthplace of "Dracula" in Transylvania makes up for missing a few Halloween parties!Living abroad requires sacrifices - there’s no doubt about it.  Some are easier, and others are more difficult.  But, there’s one particular day that bothers me:  Halloween.

Let’s face it, Europe was designed to be a perfect setting for the holiday.  Most of our classic horror stories originated here, and the spooky feeling is based off of old, strange buildings.  Add some changing leaves, gloomy weather, and shorter hours of sunlight, and the recipe is complete.

That’s why it’s more difficult to ignore this one.  Thanksgiving doesn’t bother me so much because I often forget it even happened.  Most of the other holidays are either celebrated or boring (and therefore irrelevant to me).

Of course there are parties or other events if you look hard enough, but it’s not the same as having costumes, pumpkins, and candy shoved down your throat despite any and all protests.  One promising fact is that I’ve been seeing more and more shops with Halloween window displays blocking their normal products.  On the other hand, a lot of Christmas decorations are getting put up, so that kind of destroys the scary vibe I was hoping for.

The good news is that I don’t have to figure out a costume and stock up on candy.  And, I could be somewhere much worse, so I think I’ll wander the canals of Amsterdam tonight and look for and ghouls, goblins, or other monsters that may be about.

Happy Halloween!

 Try and tell me the town of Sighișoara doesn't have a slightly spooky image.

Dutch Word of the Day:


I’m still struggling with pronunciations, but this is probably the word for “pumpkin.”  They do sell these in the grocery stores, but I’m not sure I they’re to make jack-o’-lanterns or pies.  I’m going to stop complaining and take what I can get.