No Free Starbucks for Me, but I did Get a Little Devil at my Door

This week I posted about my love for free stuff and about a couple of “deals” in Paris on Halloween. (Um, 3 euros burritos and a free Pumpkin Spice Latté if you were in costume.) Around 4 P.M. yesterday (Halloween) I gleefully pulled out the costume box and Lexie joined in digging through it. She resorted to her usual Elsa dress but added some lovely “arm puffs,” Dave got his Captain Amazing outfit on, I choose my hot pink twirling skirt and Dave outfitted Jackson with a doo rag and motorcycle shirt– and the baby went as a baby. We were ready for our free stuff!

We decided it’d be easiest to head to the 9th arrondissement by car (by easy, I mean we wouldn’t have to haul the heavy stroller and three kiddos through metro). There wasn’t any traffic… until we were coming up on Place de la République. Traffic was stop and go, or, mostly just stopped. The booming music out the window hinted at either a concert or a protest. Turns out the Young Communists were protesting. I’m not sure about what but they certainly screwed up our Halloween plans. After sitting in traffic for a good 45 minutes and seeing our GPS go from “2.3 kilometers until your destination” to “2.2 kilometers” Dave decided to pull the plug on our adventure. I think at this point Jack and Lexie were sucking on suckers and I had crawled in the backseat to help our baby keep her pacifier in her mouth. This was not how I imagined our little family outing. I wanted a burritos for dinner.

Poor little Lexie was so excited to go to the restaurant she begged from the backseat, “But we being patient, Papa. I really want to go…” (So sweet.) Dave then promised the kids pizza from Franprix and watching “Cars.” Um, did I mention I wanted a burritos for dinner? Oh well, he was the level-headed one that knew when to throw in the towel.

Here's what the kids looked like after a good hour in the car. Note Jack's blue mouth-- thanks to the suckers I had hidden in the glovebox they were quite content.
Here’s what the kids looked like after a good hour in the car. Note Jack’s blue mouth– thanks to the suckers I had hidden in the glovebox they were quite content.

My consolation prize was getting my first-ever tricker-treater at the door after the kids were zoned out on the couch watching “Cars.” A little girl about 11 years old was dressed as the devil (Halloween is still very much associated with zombies and vampires and the like…) rang our doorbell and I could hear her say to Dave, “Bonsoir, Est-ce que vous avez des bonbons à me donner?” Translation: “Good-evening, do you have any candy to give me?” I was laughing to myself as I fumbled around looking for a sucker for poor girl. I found one and then took it upon myself to help teach her a thing or two about this American “holiday.” “Tu sais, tu devrais dire ‘tryke-or-treet’ quand tu vas chez les gens.” (“You know, you’re supposed to say, ‘Trick-or-Treat (said with a really thick French accent) when you go to someone’s house.”) The little girl just stared at me. I insisted a bit more and then a bit more. I think the third time she understood that “tryke-or-treet” meant something, so she gave it a shot. I smiled and then wished her luck. Next year, I might clue her in that she should bring a bag for the candy.

Halloween is starting to pop up all over Paris. This photo was taken while walking around Lake Daumesnil earlier in the day. When I arrived in France 12 years ago it was rare to see Halloween decorations like this.

Did anyone else get stuck in traffic for 45 minutes on their way to Starbucks or Chipotle for their freebies because the local young communists were protesting? No? Well, I’d love to hear what your Halloween surprises were.

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