I originally posted this on my LiveJournal, but I want all of my Taiwan posts in the same place. So, after a three-month hiatus from proper blogging and over three years after the actual event, I present:

Halloween Massive: photo proof I was there, and I was awesome.

DJs Roger Shah and Benny Benassi were playing a rave on Halloween in Taipei, and when I found out, I was pumped. I decided on my costume, began working on it on Wednesday, and by Saturday night was a dancing, fist-pumping can of Taiwan Beer.

Taiwan Beer Halloween costumeOnce I knew what I wanted to be, I found the supplies and began working on my costume. I wanted a costume that would require no explanation and very little financial burden, and this was perfect – everyone in Taiwan knows this beer, and it cost me $15 US to make. Quite a few hours went into the creation, but I didn’t mind. I’m actually not bad at recreating stuff with a marker and a canvas.

a lot of work...Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday afternoon: I worked ten hours or so with tape and permanent markers to create my beer can. It was done by freehand, very slowly and deliberately, with some artistic license taken when I got tired of working on a particular section.

so close!I finished the tab headband first, then the can face, then hung the apron from a modified hula hoop. I finished in time on Saturday so that I could help Gretchen and Juan with the finishing touches on their costumes – Gretchen was a flamingo, as you can see from the pink boas in the first picture. Juan was Evel Knievel, and I helped him with the markings on his helmet.

Saturday night at 8:30 we hopped in a cab and made our way to the High Speed Rail station in Jhubei 15 minutes away. We bought our tickets, ran into some other foreigners, boarded the train, and took an entertaining 20-minute ride to Taipei.

posing on the HSRThe foreigners were all in costume and looking ridiculous, while the local Taiwanese stared, smiled, or shied away from the craziness. We exited and made our way through the station to the subway. Normally this would’ve been a five-minute endeavor, but we were stopped numerous times to take pictures with strangers or pose together.

group shotAs we took the above picture, literally 20 Taiwanese were taking our picture with cell phones and cameras. We were quite the sensation. Anytime we saw fellow foreigners or people dressed in costume, we’d all yell and wave, causing an even bigger commotion. It was hilarious and more fun than I’ve had in a while.

We pre-partied at a Family Mart (7-Eleven’s cousin) with a few dozen other revelers, and I took the opportunity to take a picture with my family… of Taiwan Beer.

cheersI was a certifiable hit. When a man walked toward me, looked me up and down, then bumped his beer against my costume and said, “Cheers,” before walking away, my night was made.

Finally, around 11:30, we entered Taipei’s World Trade Center to the insanity of thumping bass, thousands of people dancing in costumes, and lights and lasers darting around. It was incredible. We made our way to the front, near the stage, stopping to take pictures with strangers as we pushed forward. In front of the stage, ten people back, is where I made my home for the next 4.5 hours.

Roger ShahI had a blast. Dancing, waving my arms, jumping, celebrating the night with an awesome crowd; at one point during his set, Benny Benassi looked at me and waved. After I waved back, he smiled, nodded, and ramped up his set.

I had water the entire night, and while I was surrounded by people who were trashed in some form or fashion, it didn’t take away from the wonderful atmosphere. Everyone was smiling and enjoying the rave.

Benny BenassiIt was my first rave, but it will not be my last. Even as my feet began to ache and my costume became cumbersome, I stayed in my spot until the last sounds of Benny Benassi’s set faded and the lights came on at 4am. Fifteen minutes later security began encouraging people to leave, and our group went back to the Family Mart to figure out the next step. I ended up taking a cab with another girl back to Hsinchu at 5:45; for a 1.5 hour cab ride, we paid around $50 US. I crashed into bed at 6:30 or so, slept until Gretchen and Juan called me to let them into the building at 8:30am, then fell asleep until 12:30pm.

It was the best Halloween I’ve ever had.