Happy Halloween from Mandalay!

Greetings to everyone on my favorite day of the year!   I had wondered how exactly I was going to celebrate Halloween when a) no one in Myanmar celebrates October 31, and b) most of the other travelers I meet are from countries that do not celebrate October 31 (i.e., pretty much every country but America).  However, a fellow traveler, Eileen from Germany, invited me this morning at our guest house to join her at the movies to see Dracula.  This is clearly as Halloween-y as it is going to get here, so I gladly accepted.

We purchased our theater tickets for 2000 kyat each (about $2).  I bought some bottled water and Chickpea Strips (delicious!) and we sat down to enjoy the show.  Instantly noticeable was the amount of noise in the theater coming from the crinkling of plastic and aluminum snack bags.  I know now why theaters at home serve popcorn in tubs:  the crackling made it sound like the theater was on fire.  Dracula, also known as The Cast of Game of Thrones Visits Transylvania, is one of those CGI-crazy revisionist action films where the character you’ve always known as “the bad guy” ends up just being really misunderstood.  I typically hate these types of films.  But Eileen and I had a fabulous time Mystery Science Theater-ing it (as did several of the Burmese folks around us, repeating epic phrases and making us giggle).

Me: “You know, I bet the casting director was saying, ‘Hmm.  I need to find a boy who will cower fearfully and cry a lot.  Is Rickon from Game of Thrones available?  He is?  Great!'”

Eileen:  [as Vlad the vampire protectively leads Rickon away from a final scene of carnage] “Your mother’s dead and I’m a vampire, but it’s totally going to be okay.”

Me: “I’m going to leave you with Thoros of Myr; he’ll take care of you.”

Me: [when Vlad’s silver ring starts to burn him as he becomes a vampire and he throws it into the river] “One ring to rule them all!”

Eileen: “No! The precious!”

Me:  [when Charles Dance as the vampire/devil makes his first appearance] “Dude, is that Tywin Lannister dressed as Voldemort???”

Charles Dance:  “Let us begin the game.”

Me: “Yes… this game … of thrones.”  <insert evil Mr. Burns scheming fingers>

And the like. 🙂 The movie directors did a great job of making a LOTR/GOT/Harry Potter tribute, complete with eyeliner-wearing “Turks” with bad Russian accents.  We had a BLAST.  Hope you all do, too:  happy Halloween!

My hippie farang/I Dream of Jeannie costume at the Mingalar Diamond Cineplex

My hippie farang/I Dream of Jeannie costume at the Mingalar Diamond Cineplex

Categories: game of thrones, mandalay, myanmar | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Happy Halloween from Mandalay!

  1. Jane Allard

    Happy Halloween. Been thinking about you a lot as we come up to this holiday. Glad to know you’re having fun and were able to do something Halloweeny. Liked the GoT references.

    The band has a show tonight and we’re all going in costume. We had a preview of our costumes Saturday. Attaching that and another Alora photo for your enjoyment. 🙂

    Do you have dates yet for when you’re coming back to the US and might be visiting Boston?

    Miss you! Jane

  2. Max

    Halloween is not big in Australia either, though some try to make it so. I reckon it’s a global conspiracy by dentists – go on… admit it ! HAHA. Love your longyi.

    • Max

      Halloween is not big in Australia either, though some try to make it so. I reckon it’s a global conspiracy by dentists – go on… admit it ! HAHA. (Love your longyi.)

    • Hey Max,
      Strangely enough, I don’t like Halloween either for the candy or for the scary stuff. I can go through October without eating a single piece of candy, and I actually hate horror films. I just like the fall atmosphere and any excuse to dress in costume. (Former drama club nerd here).

      Funny that you mention the longyi, because even though the purple getup I’m wearing in the photo is just a pair of baggy pants, I *did* buy a longyi a few days ago. It’s quite a bit shorter on me than on the average Burmese woman (low calf rather than foot-length), but I quite like it :).

  3. No, Halloween is not big in Korea except only American resident in Korea.

    • Hello! Funny that you should mention Halloween in Korea: when I was visiting my friend in Seoul in October 2011, we went for brunch in Itaewon and saw a sidewalk display full of rubber Halloween masks! My friend (also an American) said that she had been noticing more and more Halloween-oriented events and items for sale. But my guess is that this is mainly in the bigger cities with larger expat populations.

      • hi rebecca,
        exactly you right in big city, but some special limited distrct, becoming popular every year but still not much known to most Korean.

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