Karaoke nights

As so often happens at the end of the evening in Korea, much karaoke was performed last night.

Mind you, Koreans generally go to the private singing rooms (noraebangs, mentioned far too many times before). My friends and I, on the other hand, have fallen into the rather brazen habit of treating The Local like our own personal noraebang complete with stage, instruments, professional lighting, and an audience of generally unimpressed strangers. If Pete is unhappy about this, he is hiding it well, and also doing a rather masterful job of adjusting the sound levels when he switches on the karaoke machine for us, so that we can’t actually be heard in the other areas of the bar. ;) When I discovered this last night, I felt vaguely like one of the kids playing noisily in the living room while the grown-ups sat in the next room drinking wine and smoking cigars and discussing politics and suchlike.

Oh, how I love karaoke, though! Once we get started, I honestly do not leave until either a friend or member of staff insists that I absolutely positively have to. Last night, one by one,  my friends said goodbye, and yet there I remained, singing my wee heart out with fresh recruits, most of whom I’d never actually met before. This does not matter, with karaoke. We sang and danced and played our tambourines, and we were all best friends.  Behold the awesome and mighty power of the karaoke machine.

Mind you, there was a point in the evening when we were briefly silenced. A girl had been watching us for some time, smiling at our enthusiastic caterwauling and enjoying the craic without getting involved. I got chatting to her between songs, and she was lovely. She did want to sing, it turned out, but didn’t want to intrude on our fun. Don’t be ridiculous! I said impatiently, putting a microphone in her hand and steering her towards the book. What song would you like to sing? I’ll put it on for you. She chose a duet, and dragged her friend in from the Grown-Ups Area of the bar to sing with her. It is the only part of the entire 6-hour karaoke marathon I recorded but is in no way an accurate representation of the evening’s performances in general. ;)

I have to say, I know I finished my “It just makes me happy” blog, but if I were still keeping it, I’d write a post entitled “When someone picks up the karaoke mic and you discover they can actually sing”. It was the first time all night that everyone stopped chatting/laughing/fighting for the songbook/bouncing around like eejits, and just sat and listened. I tried to get them to sing more, but I think they felt a little bad for us when none of us wanted to sing again after their performance. :)

Of course, it wasn’t long before we were up belting out random hits from the 80s once more. My voice is almost gone, and I have bruises, actual bruises on my thighs and hands from slamming the tambourine against them till after 6am. And this karaoke-saturated life is Completely Normal in Korea. I’m telling you: it really is my perfect country!


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