Tuesday, 1 September 2009
I don’t know what it is about these singing rooms in South Korea, but a few minutes in one and you’re certain to morph into someone you never imagined being.
Take for instance my last night of orientation with the other guest English teachers. We went out to a seafood buffet and came back to our dorms to get ready for a night out on the town. The staff was nice enough to extend our 1 a.m. curfew by an hour and we intended to take full advantage of it.
We headed out to Wa Bar – our nightly watering hole for the past week – and then, to a Noraebang (singing room) in the building next door. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that everyone was happy to have finally completed the nine-day orientation, or maybe it had something to do with the mass consumption of soju… but everyone seemed euphoric.
I think we must have taken over four rooms, with at least 15 people in each room at a time. If any of you have seen these rooms before, you’ll know that they’re not spacious. Cozy, but definitely not large.
And as for me, I’m not sure what happened. I just remember hopping from one room to the next, singing one song here, and jumping to another one there… and smiling from ear to ear the entire time. Even the most reserved of those in the group were belting out Pearl Jam and Journey. One of the staff members even asked to sing “2 become 1” by the Spice Girls. I played the tambourine for that one.
I am starting to understand why noraebangs are so popular in South Korea. In fact I think we need them in North America. They offer a sense of liberation from all that weighs you down and stresses you out. People who don’t normally talk in everyday life can perform amazing duets when in the confines of these tiny rooms. I guess you can liken it to the “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” phrase. No one talks about what happens at the noraebang, once outside the noraebang.
Oh! An added bonus? You’ll be sweating up a storm while performing, so you’re certain to shed a mass amount of calories. By far the funnest workout!