Saturday, August 28, 2010
Finally went to norebong last night. Norebong is karaoke, but it's nothing like karaoke in the US. I started at a bar called Dangerous which is known to be frequented by foreigners because I have definately been wanting to meet more English-speakers. I was not disappointed. I was only at Dangerous for 15 minutes before I met about a dozen new people from the US, UK and Canada. All of them are in Korea to teach English. (Another great thing about Dangerous is that they have Guiness on tap.)
We all went to a norebong club after a couple of drinks. Unlike karaoke in the US, at norebong you are not singing in front of a whole bar of complete strangers. For norebong, a group of people get a private room furnished with a big screen TV/song system, a couple of microphones and a bunk bed. Luckily, plenty of the song choices are English. Each song plays along with Korean music-video film that has absolutely nothing to do with the song being sung. Beers are ordered and brought in via plastic milk crates along with popcorn and other snacks while people sing songs for each other. The whole idea of private rooms is really cool (even if the room does stink after a while).
It's funny how well everyone sang. One guy, Jay (a Korean with excellent English skills) sang a LOT of Stevie Wonder. This guy didn't even need to look at the words on the screen. He sang most of his songs with his eyes closed. The norebong system tracks how well you sing (kind of like a video game) and assigns points at the end of the song. I got the second highest score of the evening (97/100) thanks to my much-loved and much-practiced ABBA albums.
The best part of norebong was hanging out with a group of total strangers brought randomly together in a foreign country, with little else in common besides location, enjoying an activity that most people I know won't do with a group of their most intimate friends!