Emigration Diary: Egg Hunting
Last week was Spring Break. All the kids were off school and college. It was very welcome in our school district for kids and teachers alike, after having missed out on Winter Break because of the unscheduled Hurricane Hallowe’en Holiday back in October. It is called Spring Break here because we do not mention Easter in schools. The actual holiday coincided with the days of Passover. Jewish holidays are all observed by schools in New York. Everyone was back in school on what would be Easter Monday to us. Unfortunately, there is no bank holiday here.
I am unsure why the school doesn’t allow Easter celebrations. To me it is not a religious holiday. It is a celebration of Spring and fertility, hence all the eggs and bunnies. The school may have ignored it, but the town sure didn’t. Egg decorations hung everywhere. Baskets and bunnies were available in every store. Most places even stocked Cadbury Cream Eggs much to our delight. They are actually smaller here, only 34g to the Irish 40g. They fit four into what should be a three pack but at least they taste the same. What wasn’t so easily available was a traditional Easter egg: a large egg in a box with a couple of chocolate bars beside it. I found some online but there was no way was I paying $20 for a small Crunchie egg. My mom bought a few in the famed Myers of Keswick English grocery shop in Manhattan, but they were still
extremely expensive compared to what they cost in Ireland and compared to how many regular chocolate bars could be bought for the same price. It was nice to get one each though. I’m saving my Maltesers egg for a chocolate nostalgia moment.
We had our own little egg hunt in the garden and later we went down to the town for the village hunt. The park was filled with little plastic eggs filled with candy. There were hundreds of kids. At 1pm the Mayor let down the rope and said ‘Go!’. Kiddie chaos ensued. Adults wandered around desperately trying to keep track of their children. By 1.01pm the park was completely clear of eggs and the rest of the time was spent by families trying to reunite themselves. Afterwards, there was a series of egg & spoon races. My eldest was awarded the prize in the 6/7 year old boys’ category. Although he wasn’t the first to cross the line, the judge decided that he cheated the least. He was presented with a large chocolate bunny. George maintained that he should have won the parents’ race, but the judge was too distracted by a leggy mom and awarded her the prize.
And so we’re heading into the last trimester of school. I’ve already been getting letters about end of year testing and enrollment for next year. I think it’s official: we survived our first New York winter. Now, where’s my badge?