Tonight was the FESCO party -FESCO is the government run organisation that every foreign owned company must use to pay its taxes and staff. It was a typical-ish chinese party with the mask-switching guy, the singers and party games, plus of course a tombola. Always fun, as long as the awful music they play is not too loud, especially as one of only about 5 foreigners there out of 300.
Since I came to China i have had to go to ktv a few times, and voluntarily gone a few times too -a south-east and east Asia thing, karaoke is hugely popular and high-tech. It helps being quite cheap and being open 24 hrs including free buffet/drink (not normally alcohol though this is normally what us foreigners need to get us to sing!). Once you realise how bad half the chinese men are and that everyone expects foreigners to be bad, then it's not too bad -and quite good fun (also comfortable to sleep in).
Well there is a link between karaoke and the FESCO party -since at the FESCO party, a woman by the name of Yun En Feng was singing; she is the most famous singer in the province of Shaanxi, celebrating her 70th tomorrow and apparently famous throughout China in the 80s. She sings the kind of music that us foreigners listen to and at first say: hmm, different; then -ah, so it's a cultural thing; then -ok, that's enough with the screeching already.
However at the FESCO party, there was a slight difference, since I (with 2 days notice) was nominated by Plan's HR Manager to sing with this lady in a love song duet (me first verse, her second verse then a final verse together). And as you ALL know singing is probably the one thing i am worst at. Let alone singing in Chinese (i had the words in advance) and in a song which involves screeching (i.e. high pitches -that does not suit my growl!). After making a total fool out of myself on stage in front of 300 people (with 50 Plan colleagues cheering me on, making things worse) I then managed to ..... if you can guess... slip on/break the stairs (obviously designed for flimsy chinese girls not meant for big white men) and fall on my ass (whilst holding the flowers i was given during the love song). However there were no injuries physically and no more pride to lose -and the flowers survived.
Anyway the kids in the audience loved it; my colleagues admire me for my guts (and not for my singing, so hopefully i won't get asked to do anything like that again for their sake) and I can say i sang with one of the most famous singers in china (once-upon-a-time) -and get 4 of her CDs as a gift (yay!)
Otherwise things are ticking along ok; since i moved into a new apartment, committed to a new year resolution of writing at least 4 chinese (very short) essays a week before class, and go back to an AIESEC conference tomorrow as an Alumni (am delivering training and making an interesting announcement and launching something even more interesting -hardly an inactive alumni!)