Day 333: Sing Korean karaoke

August 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

"When a problem comes along, you must whip it."

Where were you at 3am?

I was at a Korean karaoke bar, warbling out the words to Devo’s “Whip It.”

I had never done any sort of karaoke before, but was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had, while also simultaneously disappointed at my inability to hit the high note on Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby.”

I’m not sure whether or not this was the typical karaoke experience, but here is what this place was like: Every group gets their own individual room. Microphones and plum wine are passed around, and colored strobe lights begin shooting stars across the walls. Most of the songbooks are in Korean, but after finding one in English, you pick a song and mash the number into an extremely complicated console that has 20 flamboyantly colored buttons, labeled in Korean. The melody starts and the lyrics appear across four flat-panel TV’s, with looping Korean dance scenes playing in the background. A light-up tambourine is also available for those less willing to sing. If you venture out to find a bathroom, you’ll find a bartender down the hall belting out “Margaritaville,” and might even be offered a free platter of bacon. Once back in the room, you may even find yourself pulling out the air guitar to “Bohemian Rhapsody” – something you’ll deservedly be ridiculed for later. But that’s okay, because everyone looks ridiculous and you’re all okay with that. It’s a weird kind of freedom.

Any way the wind blows…

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