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British Expat Newsletter:
19 July 2006

Hello, and welcome to those who have joined up since our last newsletter.

In this issue

  • This week: Karaoke
  • Virtual Snacks
  • Bizarre Searches
  • Quotation and joke

This week

What do you think about karaoke? Are you one of the people who love to get up there in front of everyone and belt out one of the old standards? Do you have to be dragged out of your seat, mumble a couple of lines and hot-tail it back into the darkness as quickly as you can? Or would you not be seen dead in a karaoke bar in the first place?

Back in the UK karaoke seems to have died down a bit following the initial craze in – when was it exactly? The late eighties or early nineties, I suppose. Yes, you do still get karaoke nights, and great fun they are for all concerned too. But it’s not the massive phenomenon it was.

Here in South East Asia it’s very much alive and kicking. In Thailand, it’s very hard to find a bar catering for the Thais which doesn’t offer karaoke at some point in the proceedings. Every DVD player seems to come with a karaoke setting. And all the parties involve a guy dragging along a sound system, TV screen and microphone. This can be a bit of a bummer when one of the young lads living just over the wall is due to go and become a monk for a year – the festivities start at sunrise. Earplugs are vital if you don’t want your sleep disturbed!

What is it that drives some people to grab the microphone and sing? Well, I suppose for some it’s just that they like singing, and the presence of an audience is neither here nor there. In some parts of the world you can even find coin-operated soundproof karaoke booths where you (and a friend, if you like) can nip in and warble to your heart’s content without anyone else hearing you.

For others, it’s the chance to clown around after a few beers. These people aren’t generally that bothered about quality – it’s having a laugh that matters. This is why you get all the Tom Jones impersonators that seem to be magnetically attracted to karaoke nights. Some of them are scarily good. But, as I say, it’s just for fun. (It’s even better fun when the disc has been produced in a non-English speaking country and the subtitlers have just guessed at the lyrics.)

And then you get the scary ones – the microphone-hoggers that are convinced they’re better than Sinatra. Or that they ARE Sinatra. Sadly, it’s only rarely that their belief is matched by the actual performance. More often it can be cringe-inducingly awful, especially when the hogger has had a skinful. Or when the echo’s been turned up to the max.

It’s when you get two of these people in the same room that you really have to watch out. Not so many years ago we heard of a fight over a microphone resulting in one of the two would-be Sinatras being shot dead!

Better stick to singing in the shower, perhaps…

Do you have anything to say about this topic, or do you have some suggestions for other issues we might discuss in our weekly email? Why not comment and tell us about it?

Virtual Snacks

Just a few suggestions if you have a little time to spare:

How about this? Your very own online karaoke machine! Not a bad range of songs either, though some of the words are a bit iffy.
The Online Karaoke Machine

Some interesting stuff about the history of karaoke on karaokescene.com:
karaokescene.com: History

Classic! Here’s some celebrities performing cover versions – they’re so bad, they’re brilliant!
[Obsolete link deleted]

Bizarre Searches

Some strange search terms which have led people to visit British Expat recently:

  • cigarettes deposits location in romania
  • australian notes lobster prawn $20
  • eerm
  • india electric currency
  • joorself
  • strong arms moving
  • feeling horney
  • british spots new
  • chicken goujons calories
  • holly comes
  • how to climbing plant on a brick wall
  • jealous ecards

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

Kay
Editor
British Expat Magazine

Quotation

Swans sing before they die – t’were no bad thing
Did certain persons die before they sing.

– Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poet (1772-1834)

Joke

What did the karaoke singer get on his IQ test?

Dribble.

PG Author: Kay McMahon

Kay has been an expat for nearly 30 years. She set up the British Expat website back in early 2000, whilst living in London and missing the expat life. These days she spends much of her time lugging computers and cameras around the world. (Dave gets to deal with all the really heavy stuff.)

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