Thursday, July 07, 2005

i never thought i'd do it

so this is a post devoted exclusively to KARAOKE.
yesterday i was invited to go out to a karaoke bar with a bunch of the younger staff from here. 10 thai people and the one other volunteer, a filipino guy who speaks french and english. i went, just for the hell of it. it was the kind of place where you rent a private room and there is a table & seats and a TV screen & microphone set up, and people order food and then everyone sings karaoke. very popular thing here in asia, i'm told. the concept of karaoke kind of hurts my soul, but hey, it's a different culture here. the difference is, asian people like karaoke even when they're not drunk.
so anyway, it's pretty weird. i looked through the book and there were like 4 songs i knew; most songs are in thai, of course, but even the fair number that are in english are either crappy thai pop groups who sing in english, or the carpenters. all the songs have videos to go with them, but since many of them weren't originally made with videos, they karaoke people made their own. the ones for american songs mainly consist of white people with floofy blonde hair and cut-off shorts walking around on beaches, or sometimes wandering around high bluffs in cowboy hats. The thai ones feature lots of backup dancers in shiny, colorful outfits; well-groomed couples in suits and cinderella dresses with puffed sleeves, facing one another chastely under a trellis; or a shiny-lipped, sultry thai woman (porn star?) who just sort of rolls around on the edge of a pool and fondles her fancy drink. they are hilarious. oh yeah, and after you sing a song the screen rates your performance. i'm pretty sure the numbers are completely random, and everyone always gets either a 94 or an 88.
after much coaxing, i agreed to sing a song. i didn't even have any alcohol. what am i coming to? i picked out "hey jude," because the beatles was one of the only recognizable bands. we won't talk about that part.
after a while, everybody got up and danced, which was pretty hilarious also. they were a sweet group of people. one girl, mint, who i just met earlier yesterday, was really sweet and kept on affectionately patting me on the knee and stuff. they folded me right into the group even though i was being a wallflower and don't even speak their language. so funny.
i could say more but people are waiting for me to go to lunch!
till next time!


Blogger Dad said...

Karaoke -- that's pretty crazy, all right. I never thought you'd do that, either. Maybe when you go to Europe in spring, you can visit some Alpine village and learn to yodel. You might like that, too...

From your blogs, emails and cell-phone calls, it sounds like you've really enjoyed the cultural immersion. I know it's a tremendous growing experience for you, aside from being fun (and I understand that it is also work, not just fun). I know it's something you'll always remember, and always love to think back upon. It's also experience that will help boost you to another level in whatever comes next.

All around, it's great, and I'm really proud of the work you're doing this summer.

Keep up the good work. Be smart and stay safe.


1:32 AM  

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