Kara Okay

Where to begin.

There’s the bit about this weekend being pretty much one of the lowest points in my life, but I’m still thinking about whether a blog entry would necessarily be the best way of moving on and avoiding wallowing in self-pity.

There’s the bit about being #2 on the Internet for “nature bamboo gal”, which is, like, so not me.

There’s the bit about Chinky karaoke with Terry, where for the first time in my life I managed to sing more than 5% of the lyrics of a Chinese song! I think I’ll go with this. It’s happy and triumphal, unlike, er, the rest of my weekend.

I’ve documented my previous attempt at Chinese karaoke here. A few months later, I padded downstairs for the mail on an early spring morning in London and found two CDs Terry had sent all the way from Singapore. One was a Faye Wong compilation, the other was a compilation of his favourite mushy ballads, both came with tracklistings and commentary including his views on the stupidity of the singers’ names, and I listened to them lots. So the premise of Sunday’s outing was for me to flex my tiny little Chinky song muscles and enter the wonderful world of Chinese karaoke, under the encouragement and tutelage of my Chinky song benefactor.

I didn’t do great, but I did okay! I mumbled my way through Liang Ge Ren Bu Deng Yu Wo Men (I think this means Two People Don’t Amount To Us, but I’m not actually sure), and pretty much the only words I could manage in King Of Karaoke (stop laughing, it’s really rather nice) were its kickass “AI AI AI AI DAO YAO TU!” climax (translation: LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE UNTIL I WANT TO VOMIT!), but I managed to sing almost 70% of my old favourite Nan Ren Bu Gai Rang Nu Ren Liu Lei (Men Shouldn’t Make Women Cry) and Faye Wong’s Qi Zi (I have no idea what this means, but I can read the words and that’s enough), and I’m real proud!

Chinese karaoke certainly has its advantages over English karaoke. The biggest reason for this is the accompanying videos. For Chinese songs you get the actual music video, featuring the actual artist looking pouty/teary/suicidal (but still dee-lish, natch). For English songs you get some really dodgy shots of an “exotic” woman walking in slo-mo along the beach/by a fountain/in a flower garden that look like your granny put them together using all the cheesy fade-outs and romantic lighting filters she could find in DummyEdit Pro. Admittedly, given that all my attention was riveted on deciphering all those bloody fan ti zi (old, massively complicated Chinese characters which mostly resemble the blueprints to the Pyramids; we learned the dumbed-down version of these in school, but actual Chinese nations still use them), I was mostly too busy going “fuck me, that immense scribbly thing is rang?” to really appreciate the subtler points of Chinese music video artistry.

Worst Asian Fetish Subject Ever

I didn’t actually mean to leave the house today, but there was this strange French guy staying in the next room (when Easter holidays begin, spare rooms in my hall get let to tourists) who paints Picasso pictures on neckties, and wanted to take me for a walk and talk to me about China and have me speak Mandarin to him. This continued even when I explained that I wasn’t from China and speak only very bad Mandarin.

“Oh, ze gai-rls from China, you arre so preeeetteee.”
“Actually, I find Chinese beauty too boring. They all have long hair and meaningless smiles.”
“Yessss, you have ze shorrt hairrr. Eet ees so charrrming and fool of life.”
“Um, thank you. I actually have a lot of work to do today.”

Exeunt hall, to computer room.