Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Halloween Party

Our last break between trips was another mere six days, packed full of sleeping, eating, doing laundry, catching up with the world, and preparing our next site reports. It was also marked by yet another of the American School’s traditions, the Halloween Party. Naturally, Halloween is one of the most characteristic and spectacular of all American holidays, so the American School throws a costume party each October. We host all the Foreign Archaeological Schools in Athens, of which there are about seventeen. Many of the Western colonial powers set up archaeological schools in Athens in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the number of institutes has increased over the subsequent decades. The Halloween Party is designed to provide an event for the different archaeological schools to socialize in a non-academic environment, while also being a chance for everyone to, as they say, let their hair down. In fact, the Halloween party is really one of a pair, the second being Carnival, hosted by the British School in February. I’m told there is a rivalry between us to throw the best party each year, so I’m looking forward to see what the Red Coats pull out of their hats in a few months.

The Bar, pre-party.

Originally the Halloween party was a local American School thing. When Margie Miles, this year’s Mellon Professor, was a Regular Member, the party was attended only by people from the ASCSA. It was a smaller thing, and involved people dressing up in extremely dorky Classics related costumes. Now it is a large event with a different theme each year. It is also tradition that the party is organized and funded by the Regular Members. This means that while on the trips and during our brief forays back in Athens, another one of our tasks was to put the party together, send out invites to the other Schools and to acquire supplies, decorations, etc.

Our party was this past Saturday and the theme was ‘What I wanted to be when I grew up.’ We started planning about four weeks ago, but most of the activity took place during the three days prior to Saturday. For example, some of us made three trips to the major grocery stores for supplies, two of which involved lugging backpacking bags full of liquor, mixers and ice on our backs through the streets of Athens. Everyone pitched in to help get Loring rearranged and decorated for Saturday night, and in general it was a great success. The Saloni was turned into a Dancehall and the Dining Room became a nearly fully stocked bar. I have to say that my past party hosting experience in entirely different contexts proved to be well-worthwhile; we had really great mood lighting, lots of dance music, a rotating staff of bartenders, and Halloween-themed drink names (Screwdrivers = the Rusty Pumpkin, Whiskey and cokes = the Headless Horseman, Ouzo with ice = the Grey Ghost, Zombie = Zombie, Rum and Coke = the Chupacabra, and so forth).

Two of the bartenders: Dan, who wanted to be a surly cowboy; Mark, who wanted to be a rockstar.

We started at 8pm and the last guests left around 4:30 am. The costumes were all homemade, since it is so difficult to get costume materials in Greece (thrift stores are anathema here). Some of them included:

Julia wanted to be a Greek museum guard.

Jonathon wanted to be a fairie princess.

Will also wanted to be a rock star; Ben wanted to be Lawrence of Arabia.

Jeremy wanted to be real horrorshow.

We had a pretty good turnout. A whole contingent of Princeton/Oxford grads showed up; they were here on a week-long study abroad trip and they went straight to the airport from the party; props to them for their dedication. They particularly liked hearing ‘It’s Raining Men.’ The Italians were in full-effect and dominated the dance floor; the Norwegians were by far the most jolly and seduced far too many people with chewing tobacco; the British wore pith helmets and drank lots of London Dungeons (gin and tonic); the Canadians made our own Canadians Scott and Mark proud. There were more languages going on then I could keep track of and a whole lot of people that I am looking forward to seeing again at academic lectures around town.

It was a good time. Thanks to everyone who helped out and to everyone who came!

1 comment:

Jeremy LaBuff said...

Haha, thanks! But why didn't you take a picture of me in my costume?