I make an ugly woman.
November first, Eindhoven, Netherlands. It’s Friday afternoon, the day after Halloween, and we’re pinching pennies in a tiny little costume shop near downtown. Although Halloween traditionally isn’t celebrated in this part of the world, there is a fairly strong expat community here that still throws down. We’re taking the week to relax after a few weeks of fairly busy travel, staying with Kylee’s sister Kristy, and her boyfriend Aren, who is currently living here for work. Assured that the local Irish bar is having a costume party, we are attempting to throw some costumes together at the last minute. Kylee finds a muscle suit designed for a child, a fuzzy viking helmet, and a moustache; while I find myself a pair of tight red leather pants, a mesh shirt, and a blonde wig. When it comes to Halloween, we don’t mess around.
Out of the cab downtown, we head down the busy streets full of end-of-the-week drinkers. Let me be more specific: a police officer, a jailbird, a viking, and whatever I was – something between a cross dressing prostitute and 80’s era Vince Neil – wandering through the crowded streets of a city that doesn’t celebrate Halloween. There were one or two strange glances our way. Arriving at the bar, where we’re told that about a quarter of the patrons have come in costume, we enter, and soon see that aside from the four of us, and two of Aren’s Irish friends, nobody else is taking part. But we’ve committed, and we’re with Irish folk, so we order a round.
Things begin to get a little fuzzy around this point. The following five hours include many pints of Guinness, punctuated with random shots of whatever Irish expats drink at Halloween. There are vague memories of a small viking running through the streets in the rain, fake eyeballs hanging from faces, and a Romanian girl with a chilling vampire impersonation. Blue wigs, Beastie Boys, and the creepy reflection of a bearded hooker are my final memories as the night began to wind down. But of course, before going home sometime around 4am, we made the obligatory coffee shop stop to set things straight… because apparently that’s just what you do here.
Although I don’t feel even remotely good today, last night was one of the good ones. I don’t often pull late nights at the bar anymore, but this was one of those situations where everything aligned. As a bonus, sometime in the haze between the coffee shop and waking up this morning, I finally got around to updating my iPhone! Positive atmosphere and great people can really make an awesome night… but dressing as a woman, and drinking enough to convince yourself that it was a good idea, doesn’t hurt.
“Dude looks like a lady.”Steven Tyler