Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Our Weekend: My First Noraebang

I felt a little like Minnie Mouse with my dress and bow in on Friday...
This weekend was filled with birthday fun as it was two of my favourite people's (who also make one brilliant couple) birthdays. We started with an afternoon on Gwangalli beach enjoying the sun.

Later Katie, Alex (the birthday couple) and I tried The Hangover restaurant in Seomyeon. It's decked out like an English pub/ American bar, I don't really think it knows what it wants to be itself. We feasted on their fish and chips. The fish was amazing, whereas the chips weren't so great. Overall it was a great place and I definitely think that I'll be going back at some point.

Afterwards we had some birthday drinks and headed home, ready for the rest of the birthday festivities. On Saturday we headed to Haeundae beach and played games and sun bathed all afternoon. It was really nice to have a big group of people there and so much going on. Later, we headed back to Katie's apartment where we all got changed ready for a night on the beach at Gwangalli.

One drink at dinner turned into many, and as the early hours crept up on us the Noraebang seemed like a great idea.

For people at home who don't know what a Noraebang is, let me first explain the word loosely translates to singing room. Then secondly let me tell you  how much Korean people love karaoke. They love it so much that literally on every street you will find a Noraebang, no matter what the neighbourhood's credentials are like. Noraebangs are private rooms that you hire, where you and your friends can go in and have a good sing song. They even have them on trains.

Whenever I mention to another foreigner living in Korea that I haven't been to a Noraebang in the year and a half I've been here they act all over the top surprised and tell me I need to go to one right away and embrace the Korean culture. I've physically been to a few before, once I walked out of one because the group of people wasn't quite right for my first time, and a separate time we held a quiz night in one. I have to say the one that we went to was very swanky in comparison. It was like walking into a space ship, with metal floors and walls and flashing neon lights everywhere. There are hundreds of vending machines to fuel your singing marathons and even tambourines so you can support your friends while they sing to their hearts content.

Most of the songs you can choose from are Korean, but then there is a strange selection of western songs that trickle through to Korean charts, so I settled for Carly Simon's You're So Vain, and was backing singer to Alex's I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor, before I finally decided that enough was enough, that I'm not a big fan of karaoke, that I'd ticked a 'what to do in Korea' box and that it was 5am in the morning so it was really time to sleep!

Do any of you have favourite karaoke songs?

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