Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter with KTV

Easter is here, although here in China it’s just like any other day. I’m getting ready to catch an early train to Shanghai and spend the wknd there with my sister and her boyfriend. We are not very likely to get up to any Easter activities: but more like, Teppanyaki (a must do for visitors, although personally I am quite over the whole thing), followed by some bar-hopping and karaoke. The latter is going to be fun! Although I hate to admit it –I always enjoy myself when I go to sing karaoke here in China. It might have something to do with the fact that during my (soon to be) three years in China, I have only gone to a KTV place maybe… 6 times. So, unlike some of my Chinese girlfriends, who go and sing karaoke as often as I go to the gym (almost!) it’s still all fresh and new to me. And I’m a terrible singer –which makes it all even better (I refuse to go singing with people who takes the whole thing seriously… that’s my only KTV rule).

It’s funny when I tell my friends back home that sometimes we go to karaoke bars during the wknds. They all frown and go: ‘ehhhh, really?!’ although I guess their idea of a karaoke bar is completely different to what it is like here. In Sweden, bars with karaoke are the tacky kinds… with the drunkest of the drunken people getting up on a small stage in front of others and often sing some cheesy tune form the 80ies. Well, sure, in China it is just as tasteless: the singer is often intoxicated (at least if s/he’s in my crowd) and the tune is often cheesy… however, it all takes place in a small, private room, available only for you and your guest, which instantly makes it more fun times 10 (I mean, you don’t have to listen to strangers singing… and strangers don’t have to watch you making a fool of yourself!).

If I Chinese person would explain the concept of KTV here in China it would probably sound completely different though. Not many of my Chinese friends would even dream of having a drink before going to sing, and also, I believe to them, it is more of a serious business than a ‘make a fool of yourself’ thing… A few times I have ‘crashed’ a Chinese-only KTV party and I have felt like a complete misfit. There they are, singing along perfectly to buttery love songs and there I am in the corner, working on my outrageous dance performance to Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’ (Oh yeah, because you have to dance to your song too, of course, that’s a must!).

Anyways, no matter what you make of it –it’s still fun! Have a great wknd everyone, and Happy Easter!


Anonymous said...

Isn't teppanyaki Japanese?!?

I LOOOOVE karaoke boxes! I don't go often either but I love it. I can sing for 3 hours straight. I'm kinda lucky because my husband likes karaoke, too.

For me thought it's serious. Don't even dare singing with me during my favorite songs!! But I also do all of the crazy dancing stuff... when others are singing XD

flyingfish said...

Happy Easter to you too! I can just picture your dance routine. :)

But I really hope I don't offend anybody if I say that I would rather walk the Via Dolorosa than sing karaoke EVER AGAIN. Also, making anyone listen to me would probably land me in The Hague.

Unfortunately for me, one of my neighbors back home is getting married this summer in a karaoke wedding. I'll be Stateside at the time and am trying to come up with excuses to get out of singing. If anyone thinks of a good one, please let me know.

Emil said...

Hahhah so true

It is quite awkward to crash Chinese ktv parties.

Like when my friends invited me and I showed up with 20 bottles of beer and already a bit "intoxicated" and they all looking strange at me, and then you chose something like Michael Jacksons Thriller and make all the girls scared and ruin everyones mood :D

Brad Farless said...

Filipinos refer to it as Videoke. They hook up a microphone that has the software in it to their television and cheesy stock photos scroll across the background like a screensaver, with the words popping up in front.

It's meant to be a thing you do to have a good time, often accompanied by alcohol. I don't know if there are karaoke bars in the Philippines, or even in Singapore where I live, because more Filipinos seem to prefer to do it at home or at a friend's house as a supplement to a party or get together.

Reyjr said...

There are a lot of Karaoke bars in the Philippines, actually. But I don't know about the preferring to do it at home bit. I suppose a lot of people want to have it at home too for parties and such, however karaoke bars like Red Box or KTV restaurants are still huge businesses in the Philippines.

Filipinos abroad also like having karaoke machines in their homes because they get the ones with Filipino songs in it. ;) Filipinos just love to sing.

Happy Easter!

The Casual Observer said...

I've never been into Karaoke, but I do sing in the car (not the shower, though).

Unfortunately, "Row, row, row your boat" is a common song these days - it just won't get out of my head. Incredible the subtle influence a child can have.

Lebowski said...

I have been to KTV in Taipei a few times. It seems they take it seriously as well. However we managed to "take it easy" with a little help of beer and other stuff. My first experience with KTV was really comical. Me and my friend were looking for a nice pub in Taipei. It was kind of hard in the beginning so we decided to follow locals. People headed to the lift and so did we. Then however they disappeared behind lots of doors, so we thought it was sort of hotel :). We decided to withdraw. Sometime later i learned it was KTV. When i think of it now it seems so funny. Feel like Mr. Bean.