This is Halloween po-russky

“Boys and girls of every age

Wouldn’t you like to see something strange?

Come with me and you will see

This our town of Ulan-Ude!

This is Halloween, this is Halloween

Oranges scream in the dead of night!”

–The Nightmare Before Christmas with a little twist


I spent most of the week running up-town and down-town, hunting, searching for anything vaguely Halloweeny and waging war in my Russian kitchen to produce something American. There was not a pumpkin in sight for my Halloween night, but I carved up an orange, and that worked all right.



I made a shocking discovery that Love might not actually be the most important ingredient in M&M Cookies. It might just be baking soda. Also, I’m sure measuring cups and cookie sheets are useful too. All of these I was lacking, and my cookies were slacking.

A flat, soggy mess stuck to my pan

My students, however, tell me they were still quite tasty. They are very kind. 😉

It’s a lot of pressure taking on the responsibility of representing all things America and Halloween in this faraway land of Ulan-Ude. But my English Club Halloween Bonanza was a smashing success. There were eleven of us in total, and some people even came in costume, so I didn’t feel *too* ridiculous running around in tights and a flower cape pretending to be a super-hero (note: I did still feel slightly ridiculous). We listened to all the best Halloween jams—Monster Mash, Thriller, Ghostbusters, This is Halloween… My pathetic cookies, chips, and candy multiplied into a bountiful feast of junk food galore, and we chowed down.

We bobbed for all my apples.

We carved up all my oranges into miniature jack-o-lanterns.

Out came the toilet paper for the ever-popular and whimsical TP-Mummy creation.

Then we all killed each other in Mafia.

This was Halloween по-настоящему! Except—and this is a rather large except—the evening was almost entirely in Russian. So much for English Club… But I suppose this week it’s the culture that counts.


About Arielle

I am a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Ulan-Ude at the Buryat State Agricultural Academy.
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