June 14, 2010
Now Sing Along... the Karaoke night...
We kind of crashed as soon as we got there. We didn't unpack, we didn't do anything... just slept and the alarm went off to go meet Qin, or as she goes by now, Nancy...for KARAOKE!! at 7pm because she had d a reservation there. There is a 13 hour time difference between Chicago and Shanghai and the flight was supposed to be 14 1/2 hours... it kind of messes with your internal clock. Qin was in Angie's Tax LLM program at Northwestern and is just about as smart as they come. I met her a few times when she was still in the States and she was always a great girl.
Anyway, the place Qin sent us to is called Holiday... (what she told us) but was really Hao Le Di KTV (Karaoke TV?) at what I think was the Jiang Ning Road Branch (江宁路店) Address: 4F, No.167 Jinag Ning Road, close to West Bei Jing Road(江宁路167号食博汇4楼,近北京西路). We saw several of these while we were there so we figured out there were branches.
Having just seen the Sex in the City 2 movie, I was a little worried we were going to be put up on a stage and probably mocked, but it was much less painless than that. Essentially, there's a buffet for dinner in a shared area (you can buy tokens to get more expensive parts of the dinner) and then you were escorted into a little room and picked songs from a screen and sang along with the video... The lyrics came up while a video or screenshots came up in the background. You just sang with the people in your little room, that had been reserved in our case, but I'm not sure if everyone has to have a reservation.
Qin has a beautiful voice and Angie and I... well not so much... I know I was terrible, but I was barely keeping my eyes open and really just can't sing. Her favorites were the Carpenters and we convinced her to sing a song in Chinese. So, there you go... and that's one of the reasons you won't see video... it was a blur of a few hours really. I will say the translations weren't great, words changed, were missing, etc. and as Qin graciously said... we don't practice as much as they do... so that's why we weren't good.
As a side note, we Americans thought that some beer might bolster our nerves but we didn't find any until nearly the end of the experience... in which case, and I'm only speaking for myself, the one beer I drank (a Corona) just made me more sleepy.
Angie saying goodbye to Qin as we got in our taxi to go back to the hotel. She had a train to catch the following morning early where she was going to go to Beijing (I think). But she admonished us, if we needed any help, to call her secretary "Jesse" to help us find our way around. And then we sadly parted ways and headed back to our hotel.