Saturday, January 29, 2005

International Karaoke Guidelines

Last night I had my first taste of the famous Buenos Aires nightlife. OK, I admit, it´s probably not famous for it´s amazing karaoke scene, but that´s what we did. (Unfortunately, it is lately infamous for its club scene, due to a fire that occurred Dec 30 and killed 191 people.)

Juan, one of the guys who works at reception at this hostel, is leaving Sunday to spend a year working at a hotel in Florida, and about 15 people from the hostel went out to send him off. As is typical in BA, we left the hotel at midnight and came home at quarter to five. We were a mixed group, mostly Argentine, but also 3 French and one Swiss guy from Zug! (Incidentally, if anyone stays at the Marriott in Marco Island Florida in the next 12 months and is looking for a karaoke buddy, I can recommend Juan.)

Once the cerveza started flowing, several of our group got up on the stage, and once there, it wasn´t easy to get them down again. You may be happy or disappointed to know that I did not get up there. Maybe next time. But while watching the other crazy people (mostly singing Argentine favorites I didn´t know) I realized there are certain international standards at work in the karaoke world. Here are a few:

1. People take themselves too seriously, and sing inappropriate songs. Really, why sing the Titanic Song?
2. You often get the suspicion that some people do this A LOT.
3. Karaoke brings people together. Where else will you see a room full of strangers singing "Can´t live if living is without you" (or for that matter a similar obscurely famous Spanish song) at the top of their lungs?
4. There is sometimes a very sketchy drunk woman who befriends strangers and offers them advice. Hopefully this is not one of your party. Bostonites will of course recall Tequila Sheila.

Well, that´s your Argentine culture lesson for today. Never mind the Spanish class I signed up for or the political demonstration that happened.