On Wednesday K suggested I meet up with him and Sunshine, with whom he's been staying this week, for an after work drink. Not one to say no to a drink with friends, I said yes. We met up on the corner of Rotterdam's "gay street". Last time we went to a bar there that has done its best to look very trendy, but doesn't seem to attract much of a crowd. So at first we walked by it this time, but then K said, "actually, I think I'd like some place quiet". (wait, that's my interpretation, K wouldn't say "I think I'd like" he would just say "I'd like") So we had a drink in the quiet, trendy bar, then decided to move on to the slightly trashier and much fuller one almost next door.
There were binders on the bar and, as you do, we all started leafing through them. They were lists of karaoke songs for later on that night. But if we were going to hang around for karaoke, we had to eat something first… K wanted sushi, Sunshine and I thought that was a good idea, so we asked the bartender. He suggested a place just around the corner that had "all you can eat" for €20,-. Officially it's not all you can eat, but eight rounds of five items per person. But even if you stick to the nigiri, that's 40 pieces and most of the other dishes were larger. In fact they even warned us that we had ordered several big bowls. But we were stubborn - and almost completely full after the first round. We ordered a few more for the second round, but found it hard to get rid of them. (Our waitress warned that for anything you didn't eat there would be an extra charge, because the didn't want food to go to waste. I assume this is to prevent someone ordering 40 items and then leaving half of them…)
Despite all the pinkness on offer (there were different shrimp, salmon and tuna dishes), it was decided by all that the gayest dish was the mackerel nigiri with it's shiny silver skin and wonderful blue marking. Didn't taste bad either! We also managed to consume three bottles of warm sake. But all that only set me back €77,- (it was my treat to them), definitely worth repeating. I'm a little confused as to the name of the place, on the outside it says Shabu Shabu, but on the inside the menus and even the chairs had logos that said Sumo, but fortunately I think I can find it again.
As we got back to the Regenboog (rainbow), karaoke seemed to have just kicked off. K quickly got in his request for Somewhere Over the Rainbow and I was going to back him up. The only problem was that K was singing the song at about twice the speed as the music and lyrics. I was waving my hands in much the same motion as that police officer telling us to be quiet (see this story), trying to get him to slow down. Only when I started to sing to him rather than to the mic did it seem to have any effect - but not much.
After that Sunshine and K did Kids and Something Stupid and the three of us, with the help of one of the lesbian ladies (of which there were quite a few) sang Lady Marmelade despite the best efforts of the karaoke machine to confuse us by showing the wrong lyrics, or rather the right lyrics at the wrong time. And when I tried to do a solo version of Filthy/Gorgeous, the only Scissor Sisters song I could find, it seemed to skip and go completely haywire. No, you are not going to think that I broke it, I know you, you're a nice person. Aren't you?
I feel like I'm forgetting even more songs, but all I can remember, after I asked for the bill and the bartender had given us another free round of drinks, is that K decided to do Billy Joel's Mony Mony and did so enthusiastically. He was telling me I had to sing with him, but I couldn't remember knowing that song. He told me I'd know when I heard it. Although this was true, I have to say it was no thanks to his singing...
A song we didn't do was Islands In the Stream by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. Which is a shame because I've always wanted to be Kenny… Strangely enough K had me pegged for Dolly. Go figure.
EDIT I did forget at least one song. Somewhere near the end of the night we sang I Will Survive. K was starting to repeat himself and told us several times he was going to do it in the manner of Eartha Kitt, but when the time was there, he'd forgotten about it. Although he did remember again later as we were walking home.
The next morning I called K but got his voicemail, so I left a message asking to speak to Ms. Kitt or Ms. Gaynor. A short while later he called me back. "This is Shirley Bassey" he said. "Diamonds are forever!"