Friday, February 10, 2006

What's Up, indeed!

Here's a little poem I wrote:

O, no rae bang,
what took me so long
to come sing your song?
O, no rae bang.


I composed that masterpiece in the haze of disco ball lights, beer, smoke, off-key singing, big soft couches, and laughter that comprise a Korean karaoke room, or noraebang. (Careful readers will recognize the 'bang' from PC bang, the public computer rooms.)

Many friends can't believe that before last night I hadn't done the karaoke thing here, but I think it's because of my particular affinity for all things karaoke in the U.S., not in spite of it. I *like* the scene, the dive bars, the silly drinking people, the so-called "middle America" element that snooty coasters secretly crave, the absolute bonding it provides, and the sheer fun of getting up and singing like a fool, or belting out an intense rendition, or something in between.

So, unlike many a Westerner here, the notion of renting a room with friends in which to get silly and sing didn't strike me as freeing, a la, "oh, I could maybe do karaoke if there isn't a crowd of strangers watching," but rather as strange: why shut yourself in a room away from all the random strangers?

But now I have experienced it, and it is good.

I feel like I sang about a hundred songs. I went with three girlfriends. The selection of English-language songs was not extensive at this place (but there are about a dozen noraebang on every street, and some have more English tunes, I hear) but we covered everything from Nirvana and 4 Non Blondes to "Kokomo" and "9 to 5," with a healthy dose of the Beatles and some Dylan. They even provide tambourines on the table! There was a whole lot of shakin' goin' on!

My throat and I are just getting up and preparing for Saturday after a very late night, and I have to get to the train station and get to Seoul, so no more noraebang musings at the moment. I will try to post again tomorrow so I can share my delightfully random work musings...

Sing on, my friends!

1 comment:

Catherine_G said...

Love it! I haven't had any karaoke fun in years. I eagerly anticipate wooing the next crowd I sing before with such songs as Pass the Dutchie, It's My Life, or Beyond the Sea.