Last night out
7/14/07 - 7/14/07
Living across town from the University where Stacy went for classes meant that we didn't usually participate in the late night excursions of her mostly younger classmates. On the last day, after the final and closing ceremony, we ventured out for an evening of Karaoke at Party World. Finding taxi's for 30 people was a challenge and we were the last group to get into a cab.
We arrived at what looked like a hotel, with long lines of taxi's collecting and depositing passengers. We wandered into the lobby and were fortunate to have a Chinese speaker in out midst to help locate our party in the dozens if not hundreds of Karaoke rooms. While Karaoke in the states is usually found in bars, where everyone enjoys or agonizes through each singer, Asian karaoke bars are set up so groups of friends or colleagues can have their own private karaoke experience. We eventually found our group in rooms 392 and 393, busy selecting play lists, belting out classics and pouring the first of many rounds of drinks.
The rooms were sound proofed with one or two large screen tv's so everyone can see the lyrics. Smaller consoles in the room let you browse available songs and add them to the rooms play list. A large selection of English and Chinese songs were available. The videos accompanying the songs were rarely if ever done by the original artist and there were frequently amusing errors in the English lyrics.
Introverts though we are, eventually Stacy and I were coaxed to the microphone. Whether on the mic or singing along in the background, the belting out of lyrics and the clouds of cigarette smoke did a number on our throats. Despite raspy voices and a long cab ride home, we both had a great time. I imagine there are similar karaoke parlors in some of the big cities in the US, though I have never heard of them. If not, they get my vote for the next big thing.