Monday, July 25, 2005

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I went out for Karaoke on Saturday with Jodi. Karaoke here is a bit different from karaoke in the USA. First of all, it's called "卡拉OK" (ka la OK), and instead of singing in front of the whole bar you instead have a little room to share with your friends, drinking coke and chips, playing tambourines while they sing, and generally acting silly. Jodi put on one song in English ("Hey Jude") because I got off to an awful start on this other awfully high song that my voice could have handled maybe, 15 years ago, but not in at its current depth. It was more comfortable to sing in English. Then after I was warmed up, we spent the rest of the night singing in Chinese, at first only current songs, and then digging into some patriotic songs and hits from the 80s and 90s.

There were five people total: Jodi, me, a couple of her co-workers, and one of their husbands. We spent a little over three hours singing. I overheard the husband paying the bill, and it came to RMB 400, which is a killing because the place is right downtown (Huaihai Rd and Chengdu Rd, the same building as DKD). We stayed out until about three in the morning.

It was my first time karaoke-ing in China. It's actually pretty fun.

Several songs caught my ear so I went and downloaded them the next day. One example is girl-group S.H.E.'s Only Lonely. I'll leave it for a while in the media folder.

(I've actually been to karaoke places before, but that was back in/after high school in the Japanese parts of Los Angeles. Back then, I went with my high school friends who, despite being hyphened Asian-Americans of several sorts, had grown up in the USA and been raised on a diet of American pop music of the 80s. I didn't have a good time; we sang only a couple songs in Japanese even though we were all taking the class, and I felt that everybody was uncomfortable when we did. I don't understand why I resent American culture, it's possibly just a case of familiarity breeds contempt.)

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