Take me home country roads...

Trip Start Oct 05, 2004
Trip End Jun 30, 2005

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Flag of China  ,
Monday, May 30, 2005

No I'm not homesick, but I've been taken to Karaoke (KTV) enough to know that it's an integral part of socialising and doing business in China so you'd best be ready to perform. The hitch is finding a song! Wherever you go in China if there is one song in English it's going to be Country Roads and you'll be expected to sing it. It should be compulsory inclusion in all guide books for travellers in China (Lonely Planet, Rough Guide et al please note!) This is the karaoke equivalent of a life raft. There may be lots of other songs in English with familiar looking titles, but the words and tunes are often spectacularly unrecognisable. So, knowing how to get home down the country roads of West Virginia gets me out of the middle of a Chinese Karaoke bar.

It's also wonderful proof that you don't experience or learn what you expect to when you go travelling, because John Denver lyrics weren't at the top of my list of expectations when I boldly struck out for China.

For those of you who've not had the pleasure, memorise this to get you started and wing the rest when you've got into it. That worked for me, and so far, ok'ish... A lot of fun!

Almost Heaven, West Virgina, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shennandonah River.
Life is older, older than the trees, younger than mountains, blowin' in the breeze.
Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong. West Virginia, mountain mama, take me home country roads.
All my memories gather round her. Miners' lady, stranger to blue water.
Dark and dusty, painted on the sky.
Misty taste of moonshine, teardrops in my eyes.
Country Roads. Take me home.......etc.

This is engraved in the brain for life, like a school hymn!

That said.....I'm not quite as enthusiastic about Karaoke as Victor. Just look at this! To his credit, he's singing in Chinese!
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