I MOVED TO ARGENTINE PATAGONIA HELL BENT on leaving every trace of American culture far, far behind me. Then my first Halloween rolled around and I suddenly wanted nothing more in life than a face covered in glitter and a pile of (stolen from my kids’ stash after they go to bed) Reese’s peanut butter cups.
One problem. Halloween is not really a thing down here, so I took it upon myself to single-handedly bring it to rural Patagonia. I invited all of my neighbors — which meant the nearest six Mapuche Indians and their kids who were kind enough to humor me. I passed out face paints and funny hats to people who understandably did not have a fucking clue what was going on. I had ‘Monster Mash’ and ‘Thriller’ blaring as I passed out pumpkin-shaped cookies. It was awkward. Things got even more awkward as us adults realized that, without notifying us, my excited young kiddos led their kiddos in a herd to try out trick-or-treating. Minor detail: the nearest house was two kilometers away in either direction through the forest and we had no clue what direction they went. So we had a pack of costumed kiddos roaming the Andes, showing up on doorsteps demanding food. To her credit, the one confused lady whose house they ended up at did make them whole wheat pancakes with dulce de leche on the spot. My American kids were not entirely thrilled with that score.