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FRESH OFF THE PLANE: Newcomer gets spooked!

It was our first Halloween in Canada, just a few weeks after our arrival here, and it was not something I was too familiar with. That morning as I dropped off our kids at school, I was astonished to see children in all manner of costumes. 

While the girls were mostly in pretty princess or fairy costumes, the boys were dressed as monsters, ghouls and characters out of popular movies.

I asked another mom what was going on and she explained that there was a costume parade at school for Halloween and that kids would go door-to-door in their neighbourhood in the evening, again in costume, and people would give them candy.

Ah, sort of like Lohri, then, I thought, recalling the days when as kids my friends and I would collect money from our neighbours in Delhi for a bonfire and candy.

Since this was the first time I had heard of Halloween, I couldn’t come up with costumes for our kids at such short notice. I joined the other parents who stayed back to watch the Halloween parade at school. Promising my kids we’d  participate next year, I picked up candy on my way home for the kids I was told were sure to show up at our door.

What I did not know, however, was that adults, too, got into the spirit of things and went trick-or-treating.

Thus when three masked figures showed up at the door, I was terrified.

Their masks were truly horrible. Eyes popping out, blood dripping down, the works. This was before the advent of Zombies, but they would have landed parts in the movies so popular today easily.

“Hi there! How come you are not in costume?” said the tallest in the group as I hurriedly dumped candy in the sacks they were carrying.

Now I was scared and flustered. Who was this man and why was he acting so familiar?

Until, while walking away, he called out to the other masked figures with him, “Come on, Jamie, Chris, time to go find mom!”

I realized he was our new neighbour!

It was years before I was able to tell them I’d taken him for a bad guy on that cold, dark night. 

                                                                                                                                – Kiran Ahuja

What’s your story? Every newcomer, no matter how savvy or where he or she comes from, has a Fresh Off the Plane (FOP) story to share about their early days in Canada. Do you want to share your story? E-mail it to us at canadaboundimmigrant@rogers.com.

Posted: Sep 30, 2014

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