(PICTURE: My Irish friend Pamela, who I met in Australia, was in town and joined the singing frenzy)
They love Karaoke in Vietnam. Last night I went karaoking for the fifth time since I moved here. For those of you who are counting, that's five times more than I ever went in the states. A few things always strike me as amazing whenever I have a karaoke night:
1. Vietnamese people sing their hearts out with no embarrassment...when they are stone sober.
2. For a tonal language, the majority of Vietnamese people are tone deaf.
3. Despite winning the vocal music award at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School AND singing at Carnegie Hall* with Showstoppers (the "elite" singers of Mt. Pleasant Middle School**) I know I'm no Sinatra. That's putting it mildly. Frank-ly, I'm a horrible singer. My brother and sister got ALL the musical genes in my family. That said, I still get HUGE applause every time I sing a song here and inevitably get at least one, "you're very good" from someone in the room.
(PICTURE: Huyen and the ladies going crazy for the sweet sounds of my tenor voice)
4. The karaoke videos are amazing. Usually they are literally long videos shot by some guy riding a motorbike through the country. The video is usually wobbily and the footage is of traffic and street scenery. However, on occasion you get slightly better quality video. Here's a snipet of what we had last night. My favorite parts are the monkeys and bees...
* It was a wing of Carnegie Hall. Despite practicing for months to sing at Carnegie Hall we didn't know until that night we were basically singing in the coat closet. But hey, it was still in Carnegie Hall.
** I was most definitely not an elite singer. The group had 10 very talented girls and I believe 7 very talented boys. They need three more boys to match up with the girls on stage. Somehow I was selected.***
***Being selected may or may not have had something to do with the fact that my father was on the Board of Education at the time.