October 2007 Issue: Happy Halloween

What are you going to be for Halloween? This year I’m dressing up as Lucas Vidgen, founder, owner and outgoing editor of the XelaWho. My Australian accent needs some work, but I’ve picked up smoking and have my smug sense of superiority down pat. As for the XelaWho – well – how hard can running a magazine be anyway?

As for the rumors surrounding his disappearance, I can assure you that most accounts have been highly exaggerated. First of all, he was not naked. A cowboy hat is clothing as far as I’m concerned. Second, the goats were covered in paint – not blood – and the fifteen pounds of queso fresco could totally have been in the room for cooking purposes. Just kidding Lucas. Have fun in Argentina!

Back to the subject at hand. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, and not just for all the partially-hydrogenated, high-fructose related indulgences. It’s the one day of the year when we can forget about who we are and transform ourselves into someone else. Whether it’s a simple mask or an intricate costume, Halloween lets us, for one night, be the person we’ve always wanted to be.

For many travelers, ex-pats and fellow hangers around, Guatemala affords the opportunity to live out the magic of Halloween on a daily basis. We leave behind our lives and responsibilities and take on new personas coordinating development projects, exploring new places or doing nothing at all.

This transformation can serve as a temporary respite from our otherwise well-planned lives or an impromptu escape therefrom. We must remember, however, not to delude ourselves into thinking the one while living the other. Just here for a bit? Enjoy your time off, but spare us the bit about becoming one with the natives. Moving here for good? Welcome aboard, but do realize what you’re getting into. Most importantly, enjoy your Halloween. If you have any treats, you know where to find me.

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