Saturday, September 03, 2005

"Nor-Rae-Bong": the singing hall of shame

I like Fridays. They're the best day of the week and it's finally the start of a nice, long weekend. Though I'm thoroughly exhausted, I know I don't have to prepare for the next days' classes; no kids, no screaming, no short 10 minute breaks between back-to-back classes. It's simply--tranquility.

Curiously though, I find myself spending less and and less time going out---going downtown I mean, like I used to over a month ago. My ex-co-worker, Angelina (who just left for Canada) used to take me out quite a bit on the weekends---we'd head down to 'SSi-Nae' in a taxi, downtown Daegu where everything was 'happening.' And just like my college days, we'd drink, check out the clubs, and have plenty of girl fun in general. Now, I find myself wanting to just relax. Maybe it's because I have alot of classes, so by Friday, I just want to take it easy and coast into the weekend. Or, perhaps, I'm reaching that point in my life where I feel like I'm getting old; going out until the break of dawn, drinking, smoking and spending lots of money just doesn't feel or seem appealing anymore. It's rather strange.

In any event, my co-worker Seungbo and I went to a Nor-Rae-Bong this evening. "Nor-Rae-Bong" is Korean for "Karyoke Hall" and it's a blast! Funny enough, we usually go to the Nor-Rae-Bong after drinking "Dong-Dong Ju" (Korean alcohol made of rice--very delicious!) so my singing ability always seemed better while drinking. Tonight my voice cracked on several occasions and I wish that I had a drink or two to keep myself from being embarrassed. Then again, I'd overhear other people's horrible singing next door to our singing room, and I'd realize that my singing wasn't too bad afterall.

Actually, I like to think of the Nor-Rae-Bong as the 'singing hall of shame:' people that don't have a chance in the world to become real star-singers, come together in clusters to express their otherwise suppressed selves through off-king singing and screeching. Ouch.

It's interesting; Korean students are really suppressed, though. By this I mean, even the kids at my school---the 10, 13 or 16 year old kids not only have regular school hours that usually last from 9 am to 3 or 4 pm--but many of them have OTHER Academies that their parents oblige them to go to. It's sort of the thing to do here in Korea. If you want your kid to do well in school, you have to send them to a Hagwon to improve their English. If you want them to go to college, they have to go to SEVERAL academies. Crazy.

Wow.. it's already 4:30 in the morning. Really late already. In 5 hours I will be on the train heading to Busan to meet Kate. I'm thrilled. But now I'm tired; the songs I sang at the Nor-Rae-Bong are still ringing in my head...
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