Around the World in 80 Days
Day 52: 15 November
Mr Nakajima is in his office and I have had a great stroke of luck . . . Hai! . . . a container ship of Neptune Orient Lines is scheduled to leave Tokyo tomorrow evening for a ten-day journey to Long Beach, California.
This is good news indeed and demands a celebration. Clem is set on trying a Karaoke bar. Karaoke (which means 'empty orchestra') began twenty years ago as a way of allying Japanese technology to the Japanese urge to sing in public. It's refined a little since then but basically consists of a small bar at one end of which is a performing area. The one I visit with David Powers has on laser disc the backing track to 2000 popular songs. For the negligible sum of 100 yen a tune can be played through the club's PA system whilst the punter stands on stage with mike in hand, words relayed on a screen in front of him, singing along as best he can. But this is not all, for on two screens behind, a video adds the final touch. Respectably dressed middle-aged men, and women, can croon mournful ballads whilst young lovers on video career through corn fields in soft focus and 4-wheel drive Subarus.
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- Series: Around the World in 80 Days
- Day: 52
- Date: 15 November
- Country/sea: Japan
- Place: Tokyo
- Book page no: 180
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