This past weekend was Halloween, and Spain celebrates it for three days. Oct 31st is Dia de las Brujas (Day of the Witches), Nov.1st is Dia de Todos Los Santos (All Saints Day), and it ends on Nov.2nd with El Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead or All Souls Day). To many, this may come across appealing, exciting, and leave one eager to see what Spain does on this three-day weekend. However, because Spain has adopted the American tradition of celebrating this Holiday intertwined with theirs, it becomes a legit Fright Fest leaving me with panic attacks and heart palpitations.
As many people in the States know, Halloween is a day where boys and girls, men and women get dressed up as their favorite character, creature or thing. It is a light-hearted tradition where one would find heroes, actors or actresses, pop stars or goblins walking through their neighborhood asking for candy. Some women use it as an excuse to wear less; example: being a sexy cockroach--as one of my friends explained she has seen. While some men use it as a day to fulfill their childhood fantasies; example: Spiderman, or my favorite one yet, Robin Williams character, Ms. Doubtfire. Classic! R.I.P Robin W.
Whatever the costume may be one understands that Halloween is pretty easy-going and carefree with the occasional dark costume in the States. Well, that is NOT the case here. I have been scared straight by my childhood nightmares sitting right in front of me as I taught lessons. That’s right, not one quasi-cute costume. NOT ONE! It felt like I just walked in on the Adam’s Family: Family Reunion. Not to mention the three characters I hated the most growing up were all coincidentally sitting next to each other on the front row. Chucky, Bride of Chucky, and IT are whom I taught English to that day or at least tried to. These characters may not do anything for you, but when you find yourself short of breath in front of your classroom, it becomes a problem. My mind suddenly became flooded with memories of having nightmares about how each of them would be hiding in different corners of my bedroom contemplating on how to take me OUT!
Negotiating with other auxiliaries on switching classes with me became my best bet but was shot down; as I was reminded that we’re not allowed to change classes. When I tried dropping hints to the Principle about my anxiety he quickly told me that my pay would get docked if I decided to go home early. So the next best thing was to give the excuse that my stomach hurt during the classes that frightened me the most and stay in the bathroom, which is precisely what I did. Call me a punk…I don’t care, but when did Chucky and IT need an education? They threw that out the window when they decided to lead lives of terror.
As for the rest of the classes, I taught that day, I may or may not have thrown a few kids outside of the classroom wearing disturbingly scary costumes. If I decide to teach here again, maybe I’ll dress up as something that requires a mask so the children can’t see the look of sheer terror on my face or I may very well call in sick that day depending on how I feel and just take the pay dock. Until then, I have a little less than a year to figure this out.