Saturday, 29 January 2011
1. Most songs are sung in pairs, which ensures shared humiliation.
2. The microphones they give you have the most incredible reverb that can make even the worst of singers sound good!
3. Those in the karaoke box are primed with a steady supply of alcohol throughout the evening.
The last factor is most important as it has the dual effect of making the singer think that they actually sound good, while also making the listener totally unable to differentiate the numerous bum notes. Having now experienced the wonderful world of karaoke, we both agree that it can actually be a fun few hours and certainly a great way to bond with newfound friends. We certainly won’t be taking our singing talents any further, but if you’re tempted to indulge in such musical mayhem there is probably not a better country in the world to give it a try. After all, the Japanese invented it and karaoke still remains one of their most popular national pastimes.
Sunday, 23 January 2011
Saturday, 1 January 2011
After much anticipation we finally boarded our plane for our first journey back home since leaving the shores of Australia over 20 months ago. Despite only a slight time difference between Japan and home, it takes around 17 hours before we actually touch down in Adelaide on a somewhat uncharacteristically cold and damp summers day. Despite feeling a little tired we are very excited to see both of our families and in particular our son Dave. Much has happened in his life since we left and not having parents to rely upon has certainly seen him mature into a very responsible and confident young man. Also brilliant to catch up with friends, who continue to be so encouraging with their moral support throughout our travels via skype, emails and letters. Christmas Day brings the whole family together, including Jules’ sisters and her mum and dad, who make a special trip from country Victoria to share the special day. It is one of the rare times when we are all together and the occasion also provides an opportunity for us to also mark a number of significant family milestones, including their 50th wedding anniversary and our 30th. We all gradually slip into a relaxed holiday mode over the next few days as temperatures steadily rise, culminating in a stiffling 43 degrees on New Years Eve. A traditional Aussie barbeque seems like the most appropriate way to welcome 2011. Typically, Adelaide tends to shut down over the Christmas / New Year period, but we do have chance to drive around familiar haunts in our little rental car. We have noticed some superficial changes, but it remains essentially the same. Progress tends to work in slow motion in good old Adelaide, which can be both a blessing and a curse. However, we can now see our home town with fresh eyes, which tends to happen when you have been away for a while. Even after living here almost all of our lives, we now feel slightly detached and observe the various happenings somewhat impartially. For the moment we feel out of the loop, but through the wonders of technology, we will continue to keep a watchful eye from afar … after all ‘we still call Australia home’!