Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why did we give away our karaoke machine?

My Grandpa gave my sister, Sara, and me a karaoke machine when we were 12 and 10 years old after he witnessed the Japanese phenomenon hit Hawaii, where he lived the last years of his life.

I can remember singing Ebony and Ivory over and over and over again in the upstairs living room like my life depended on it...sometimes I went solo if Sara wasn't available for the duet version :) Little did I know that one day all of that practice would come in handy.

My husband and I walked into a small sushi bar last night just off a side road in dowtown Shimoda, a sleepy beach town that many Japanese call their Hamptons. (Having not been to the Hamptons I can't really attest to the validity of this statement; however, Shimoda certainly seems far more laid back and less posh than I imagine the celebs' summer hotspot to be.)

I think we picked the right night for the little nook that we chose. Within 10 minutes it was packed with locals ordering sushi, sashimi, oysters and lots of sake. Thanks to my husband's near perfect Japanese accent, his encylopedic knowledge of major Japanese time periods and their baseball league, he hit it off right away with our neighbors at the bar, two gregarious men, Arai and Ishida.

Three bottles of sake later and we were off to Arai's favorite karaoke bar.

Little did I know, but my husband is a damn good karaoke singer. Unafraid of his mediocre singing skills or the random cracking of the throat, he saved me from a near catastrophic attempt at paying tribute to Michael Jackson via Billie Jean.

(Note to self: karaoke machine growing up or not - public singing is not for me!)

Elvis Presley, the Beatles...he threw down and the crowd loved it.

The sake and beer were flowing, but the best part of the night really was how kind and welcoming Aisa and Ishida were to us. We only had a few phrases and scattered words of English and Japanese to exchange with one another but we said goodbye feeling like old friends.

And that is why I love to travel.

(Images via Google Image Search)

1 comment: