Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Voice of an Angel, pt 2

Ryan and I really couldn't believe it when, on Thursday morning, Angel walked in to the kitchen while we were eating breakfast and invited us to watch her at a karaoke competition Saturday night. What was she singing? You guessed it, Avril Lavigne's "Complicated." Practice makes perfect, I guess.

So last night Ryan and I found ourselves in a crowded club where we were the only non-Chinese speakers. When Angel invited us to be her guests, I felt pretty flattered. The few days clicked by and I hardly gave a thought to the fact that her hair is clogging every drain in the house, or that we are once again almost completely out of gas. We started some pre-cooking for our Thanksgiving celebration last night, and Angel sauntered in dressed to kill to hand us a note in Chinese.
We handed it to a table of ticket-takers like 2nd graders with a note from their mom. We couldn't read it, but guessed what it might say "Don't roundhouse kick these outsiders, they are my flatmates." After being admitted, having to leave and get in a huge queue, and then being readmitted, we spotted Candy who we met earlier this week at the pub. She welcomed us and handed us programs, then the guy next to her asked "Can you read?" And realizing the entire program was written in Chinese, handed the programs back.

We found our seats, there wasn't room for Angel and her friend Tom to sit with us, but she came by often to check on us and remind us to vote for her. (She even pre-filled out our ballots for us.) There were 20 acts, and while Ryan and I are used to karaoke being high on drunken showmanship and low on actual singing, we found the opposite to be true. People were taking it really seriously, singing ballad after ballad with plenty of emotion. Also, people kept running up and handing them things on stage, like a bouquet of roses. The best was this guy who was really into his ballad-- a girl ran up on stage and gave him a Winnie the Pooh bear, and he continued to gesture and sing full-force with what looked like Winnie the Pooh for a hand.

But the hands-down best was the girl (? Ryan and I argued this one) who rapped in Chinese while twirling nun chucks around dangerously fast. Like most acts, we hand no idea what she was saying, but we managed to catch on to the call & response. "[When I say] quai [you say] ha! Quai ...ha! Quai ...ha!"

Angel was second to last in the running order, and although she could've won on outfit alone (micro mini and fishnets) sadly, her singing was not quite up to the high standards of the karaoke competition. It was nice to hear something upbeat, and also in English, but it wasn't her year. Nevertheless, I did feel an odd sense of pride watching her pump her fist in the air on that tiny stage.

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