Posts Tagged karaoke
After work I went out for some karaoke and drinks with Koalako and her friends in Numazu.
Usually when I go out for karaoke, I’m with at least a few English teachers. Tonight I was the only non-Japanese person in my group, and possibly in the whole building as well. Koalako is functionally bilingual but her friends weren’t so it was a good chance to practice my Japanese. We had a lot of fun and I wasn’t completely awful at singing.
On our way out, the karaoke remote had an unfortunate accident on the stairs to the front counter. We apologized to the staff and Koalako attempted to reassemble the remote for the staff. They acted like it wasn’t their first time to see a remote bounce down the stairs.
Seriously though, who puts a bunch of stairs in a place where people are drinking?
Today was a fantastic day!
I got to spend the day with The Penpal, which was a lot of fun. In the evening her parents took us out for dinner. After parting ways with the family, I met up with most of the local NOVA teachers and staff for a double birthday party for myself and Dom. Numazu summer festival was in its second day so we headed out for fireworks and street beer. The staff were kind enough to get me a happy birthday senbe cracker.
Like all summer festivals in Japan, Numazu festival saw the main streets lined with small stalls selling food, drinks, and toys for the kids. One of the stalls sold a giant inflatable cola can with straps so you could wear it like a backpack. After a few drinks I thought that this would be a fun souvenir. I wore it around for the rest of the evening, which led to random people sneaking up to try to hit it or sumo wrestle with me. I am definitely not built to be a sumo wrestler!
After fireworks we went to the new karaoke place across from Numazu station. It was a big chain karaoke that also had a comic cafe, internet, and movie rental rooms. It wasn’t as cheap as Uta Club, our usual karaoke place, but it did have a free ice cream bar!
Usually karaoke ends a night out, but instead we all stumbled down the street to Farao cocktail bar for some delicious but totally unnecessary cocktails. Usually the bartender is impeccably dressed in a suit that would put James Bond to shame, but tonight he was dressed for the festival in a yukata. I think we ended up getting friend pricing that we used to get when my roommate Palmer was still living in the area. Farao cocktails are delicious and incredibly strong.
At some point I ended up stuck in a drunk conversation with one of the local students; a single mother who had a reputation for “interacting” with some of the other teachers. Being happily engaged, I tried my best to get out of the conversation, using the secret “help me out” signals that I learned in my fraternity days. The signal was passed down from one generation of frat boy to another, and I had used it with great success on a night out in Winnipeg.
Since none of my coworkers had been in my fraternity (or went to my University or had grown up in Canada), the signal unsurprisingly had no effect at all. Eventually one of the other single teachers walked by. I grabbed him and brought him into the conversation before excusing myself and making a graceful exit.
After another cocktail I walked home slowly to finish off my long, full day of fun and adventure. Today was likely one of the best birthday celebrations I’ve ever had!
Last night I went to karaoke for the first time in a long time. I’m not what anyone would consider a good singer, but I make up for this with volume and enthusiasm. I usually leave with a raspy voice.
Enthusiastic karaoke decided to team up with a cold that is making its way through the teacher’s room. By the end of my shift I had lost most of my voice. Not all teamwork is good!
After my short vacation in June I have been pretty reclusive, trying to save money by staying home after work as much as possible.
Tonight I went to karaoke after work for the first time in a long time. Fun was had by all and I stayed out too late (as usual).
Tonight was the official farewell party for my roommate Palmer. He is moving to Sapporo at the end of the month but we held the official farewell party tonight in order to accommodate other people which resulted in a larger turnout.
The evening followed the template of almost every other teacher leaving party: meet after work, go to an izakaya with a drink / food special, second party at karaoke. For tonight’s party, teachers and staff met at the garlic themed restaurant Ninikuya (literally garlic store). We all left a few hours later a bit drunk and smelling like garlic. Most of us moved on to Uta Club for karaoke. We didn’t book ahead (we rarely do), so our large group ended up being in a long, narrow room that had barely enough space for a table in the middle.
Sometime later into karaoke, sake was ordered. Getting into sake late into a night out is usually a bad idea. Tonight was no exception to that rule.
It’s unfortunate that some of the best parties are farewell parties.
Disclaimer: UPS is the nickname of one of my friends visiting Japan. This post has nothing to do with United Parcel Service.
After enjoying bubble tea with The Penpal , my friend UPS and I met up with my coworker Vivian and her roommate Chrissy. Vivian had met UPS a few days ago, thought he was fun, and brought out her roommate to hang out with us. Over drinks UPS and Chrissy started immediately flirting with each other.
After a few too many drinks, we went to Uta Club, the favourite discount karaoke place for Numazu area teachers. It was at this point that Vivian and Chrissy, both British, unleashed on us one of the worst pop songs to ever come out of the UK: Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum) by The Cheeky Girls.
Some of the greatest music ever written has come from the UK. Musicians like David Bowie, The Beatles, The Who, Radiohead, and so many others have created amazing, timeless music that has brought joy and enhanced lives around the world. Unfortunately, for every fantastic musician, there is one horrible, soulless, pop monstrosity that summons an awful hit song from the depths of music hell. The Cheeky Girls represent the worst parts of pop music.
Usually I would link the song, but I have too much respect for my readers to link a catchy earworm that includes lyrics like “touch my bum, this is life”. You can look it up yourself at your own risk.
While we were singing and drinking, the flirting continued between UPS and Chrissy. Vivian and I were singing an epic duet, when we turned around and saw UPS and Chrissy making out like teenagers. Vivian mentioned that she didn’t want to see that, so UPS and Chrissy crawled under the table and started making out there.
Vivian and I sang a few more songs, deliberately being off key and horrible to try to distract our friends from their not very stealthy makeout session. We eventually realized that UPS and Chrissy were no longer interested in singing and wanted to call it a night. Chrissy suggested that UPS and I should go over to their apartment for another drink (read: more makeouts). I was tired and wanted to get home, but since UPS didn’t know his way around Numazu and didn’t have a phone, getting separated would create some problems for the next morning. Vivian said that if necessary I could crash on the floor in her room, which is exactly what ended up happening.
Vivian and I fell asleep next to each other on her floor, trying our best to ignore the giggling noises from Chrissy’s room. UPS was absolutely making the most of his short time in Japan, and who was I to stand in his way?
Today I spent some time hanging out with The Penpal and some of her friends from NICE (Numazu Association for International Communications and Exchanges). We went to karaoke together in the afternoon which was memorable for two reasons: there was no drinking, and I learned how challenging it could be in Japan for someone in a wheelchair. Since these are two very different themes, I am going to make them into separate posts.
Karaoke without beer
I have lost track of how many times I have been to karaoke since coming to Japan almost two and a half years ago. Karaoke in Japan is great – there are private rooms to sing with your friends, there is a phone on the wall to order food and drinks, and alcohol is usually cheap and plentiful. I rarely touch a microphone without having at least one or two drinks. Most of the time I go to karaoke with other English teachers at the end of a late shift. Today I was out with The Penpal’s friends in the afternoon, and nobody was ordering drinks.
Don’t get me wrong – it is both possible to do karaoke without alcohol, and possible to have fun. However, when you sing sober, you become aware of how terrible your singing actually is. I am not a great singer, but this never usually stops me. Today however, I avoided a lot of my regular songs with notes that are outside of my one octave range. I also was a lot less theatrical; no dancing around or striking rockstar style microphone poses. In addition, I did not pick up the spare microphone to duet on songs that I didn’t really know well.
Overall, it was a very different experience than usual, but I still had fun and got to spend some time with The Penpal and her friends. After singing we all went out for yakiniku, which is a great way to end any day.