In America, many people think you have to go to a bar or get drunk before they sing karaoke, but not so in Korea. In Korea, even the kids sing karaoke. Singing karaoke is not a go to the bar thing here in Korea. You go to a small room with your friends and/or family and everyone sings their hearts out. This evening, I met a group for dinner, and then we all went to sing karaoke at the Korean nore bang (singing room).
We started at a pizza place. Most of those who attended have been my friends for quite a while. The guy who organized it was was one my students at the university where I taught in America before I ever came to Korea. His wife is a girl who lived at my house for two years, and they brought their little boy. Before they got married, we also hung out with his sister. She was there with her husband and baby too. You have seen Hanul on my blog a lot, and she was there. She used to be my student, and another guy who used to be my student was there too with his wife and baby. My daughter and son in law came this evening too. We had a good sized group and had a lot of fun.
After we ate pizza, we all went to the nore bang. Some of these people are fantastic singers. They have been singing sing they were children. Koreans grow up singing karaoke. Hanul is so good that when she starts singing, everyone is amazed at how good she is. She almost became a K-Pop star, but she got stage fright and quit. She doesn’t quite look like a K-Pop star any more, but when I met her, she did. She has changed because she has been sick, but she can still open her mouth and please everyone in the room. The guy who organized it all tonight is also known for his musical talents, and he wants to much for his little boy to have that talent. He is already teaching his little boy to play the piano.
I met this guy in America. I was teaching international students at a university. I borrowed the school van to take them shopping because they didn’t have transportation, but I didn’t know him yet because he wasn’t one of my students yet. When my students showed up for me to take them shopping, he decided to come with them. He laid down on the seat and wouldn’t get up so other students could sit there. He just laid there and laughed refusing to get up. He explained later that he didn’t know anyone, and it was his way of getting to know everyone. He wasn’t done there. The students were complaining about the prices even in the Dollar Store I took them to, so I took them to a free give away at a church. They were giving lots of clothes away. I was talking to one of the ladies at the church, and she stopped talking and was looking really strangely at someone across the room. This guy had grabbed a little girl’s dress and put it on. I was embarrassed because I felt responsible for him. He is a Korean preacher’s son, so I explained to her that he was a preacher’s son, and she accepted it as, “Okay, preacher’s kids are always the loudest, craziest of the bunch,” and then she continued to talk not worrying about it. He was still acting crazy trying to get people’s attentions so he could make friends. He thinks it is great when I tell people how we met, so I thought I would tell you this evening. He knows my family in America. He was a classmate of my Japanese son in law. He hung out with the same group my daughter and Japanese son in law hung out with before they got married. He became my student in America and had visited my home many times, and when we ran into one another here in Seoul, we were both thrilled! He runs an English school now.
Everyone who went this evening are Christians. They are all part of the Kong Hang church of Christ in Bangwha dong, Seoul, S. Korea.