Yesterday marked 17 years since my family moved to USA. Which makes it a half point for me - I spent exactly half my life in Russia and half here.
My co-worker and friend Leslie gave me these lovely flowers from her garden and it took me half a day to get the red/white/blue thing that was happening with the pointy ones.
She absolutely loves hearing my story of my family's very first culture shock. You see, in Russia we don't have Halloween. (At least we didn't back then). So, when my uncle drove us from the airport to his house in the suburbs, we were greeted by cobwebs, skeletons, giant spiders, and such all around us. My grandma finally asked about it, and my uncle explained that these were decorations people put up for a holiday. Now, in Russia, "decorations" and "holiday" mean something pretty and exciting, and skeletons and witches just don't meet the criteria as "decorations".
"Crazy country," we decided collectively and doubted for a moment the wisdom of our choice to move here.
To be fair, though, my cousin took me and my brother trick-or-treating that year, even though we were kind of too old to do it, and the concept blew our mind. You mean, complete strangers, for no good reason other than it's the tradition, will give us candy just for muttering a code phrase? And all you have to do is dress up? We're so in! So, for the youngest generation Halloween in US of A was redeemed.