Hanuman admits that in all his travels around the world that he has never (and I mean never) been in a Karaoke bar. Well there is always a first time and that first time was in Siem Reap, Cambodia (the gateway to the ancient city of Angkor Wat). It all started innocently enough as he was having dinner at a local restaurant on his first night in Siem Reap. The young waiter at the restaurant-cum guesthouse, struck up a conversation with ‘the big ape’, and seeing that Hanuman was all alone, suggested that I go with him to sample a little bit of the indigenous nightlife. Karaoke he asked? I said why not, I’m game. So I sponsored the young man (Mr. T) who was the nephew of the proprietor. Mr.T was very westernized and spoke English and Cambodian fluently. I knew this the whole thing was a hustle and that I would be picking up the tab, but even ’ royal monkees” like Hanumann need to have to have some fun from time to time.
So after dinner, we left on his motorbike to the other side of town (the Zona Roja) where the Karaoke club was located. Entering the club, we were escorted into a private room by the club manager. The room was very comfortable with plush sofa, red curtains, a TV monitor and sound system. You all know the set up? Soon thereafter, the manager ushered into the room a bevy of young ladies, most of them appeared to this very experienced eye to be between 18-20 years in age. My friend chose a real cutie, while after surveying the ladies, I chose the most mature gal in group(who says that Hanumann does not like older women) and who I sensed might have a good singing voice. I learned later in the evening, all the ladies/hostesses who worked at the club were from Vietnam.
Being the gracious host that I am, I ordered a round of drinks for my new found friends and a bottle of mineral water for yours truly. Now that the table was set , it was time for the games to begin.
We all chose our favorite songs from the karaoke selection. While the two Viet gals, (who spoke both Vietnamese and Cambodian) sang their favorite Vietnamese love songs and Mr. T (my buddy from the restaurant) sang a mix of Western and Cambodian tunes, “the big ham” himself, Hanumann, gave outstanding renditions of such love songs as I left my heart in San Francisco (Tony Bennett), For the Good Times (Ray Price) and Mona Lisa (Nat King Cole) in addition to such rock standards as House of the Rising Son (The Animals) , Papa was a Rolling Stone (the Temptations) and I shot the Sheriff (Bob Marley). Of course, there was a big cultural divide - the ladies had never heard of the songs I was singing and I had no absolutely no familiarity with their music. And of course, ladies did not know more than 6 words of English; that is where, Mr. T, my westernized Cambodian friend, came in handy as a translator. My hostess was very friendly and genuinely affectionate (and actually had a decent voice), but Hanumann’s big brain kept him in the control the whole time and kept the session PG
After ordering another round of drinks for Mr.T and the lovely young hostesses (and more water for myself), the action was heating up but as it was reaching Hanumann’s bedtime, his big brain decided it was time bid adieu to the young ladies and head back to the hotel for some zzzzzzs
Total damage for a night of Karaoke was about $35USD And a fun and safe time was had by all!
Sphere: Related Content