1/28/09 After the meal, the Wun cousins decided to leave the township of Tamsui and venture into the City of Taipei. It's been a while for any of us to go to a KTV, and we were in the mood to sing--hard to explain, but hey, this is the land of Karaoke we're talking about--so off we went to the Cash Box "KTV" in Eastern Taipei.
Ella drove Jane, Chiyue and myself across town and we arrived at the Cash Box KTV. Omar joined us in about an hour. I am out of practice either in singing or in going to a KTV, so I stood back and let others take charge of getting us a private room with the singing machine, the screen, and the rest of the gadgets.
the Cash Box KTV that we went to was one of the first and the most well established of all the KTVs in--I dare say--all of Taiwan, if not the rest of Asia. The entrance hall looks like that of a 5-star hotel, with chandelier and marbled floor. We registered for a room, were ushered to the elevator, and then were shown a room on the 5th floor of this entire enormous KTV building. The room was spacious and has cushy couches, granite tables and even a bathroom within the room itself. It could comfortably seat 6 or 7 people, so we made ourselves quite at home as soon as we stepped in.
Here's some sidebar info on KTV and Kareoke...the concept of Karaoke, which is a form of entertainment where people sing along with music and music video with the lyrics on a screen, originated in Japan. It has taken off in Taiwan during the early 80s, and I venture to say one cannot easily find a Taiwanese who hasn't been to a Karaoke at least once. Does everyone sing, or sing well? The answer is...Who cares!! The quality of singing is never the issue. Especially considering KTVs are in small room settings. You are singing among friends and family. The fun of getting over the initial embarrasement to sing before people you know--or don't know--is the entire point. Music and tension release are both good for health. Truly, it's a life enriching experience. Gotta give it a try.
Back to the KTV scene...We excitedly got into the room and little to my surprise, my cousins grabbed the remote control and the index folders listing all the songs available on the singing machine system, and started entering the songs like mad.
Very soon, the first song came up on the system and the microphones were passed around. Each person whose chosen song came up on the screen enthusiastically jumped to get the mic, and the rest of us were there to give the utmost support. To my great amazement, all my cousins sang like pros! On the other hand I have been out of loop and out of practice at singing any Chinese pop songs, so I opted for some old time favorites. Thankfully my cousins were equally encouraging.
The KTVs are known for tasty snacks, too. There are some menus and some KTVs even boast a little buffet bar on each floor. We ordered some food and drinks and had our dinner here--after that big lunch at such late hour, we really couldn't eat another full blown meal anymore. These snacks were just right for this time.
All of us had a great time singing, chit chatting, and eating. Three hours passed and we barely noticed. It wasn't until it was really late that we decided to call it a night.
Chiyue was leaving for Japan the following day early in the morning; we all said goodbye reluctantly. I am already longing for the next family get-together where I would be able to see all my cousins soon.