The sizable Korean community in Mexico City’s Zona Rosa (among other places) wouldn’t be complete without norebangs. These are rooms you rent with a squad of karaoke revelers. The rooms come with mood lighting, multiple microphones, tambourines, rotating disco light, a large karaoke hard drive and a flat screen TV with a mega karaoke remote.

Speakers are studio sized and beer is available for about $40 pesos a pop, with a huge plate of fruit running around $250. Other side dishes at some norebangs in the area offer chicharron de pulpo, which is some kind of fried octapus treat, if you’re into that.

It’s easy to go norebang hopping, if you find yourself spending a weekend in Zona Rosa. I landed in one for a short spell (couldn’t get to my rendition of  “Livin on a Prayer”), London Karaoke, which was run by  a middle aged Korean man with a casual hunting-cap and bubble vest kind of style, named Park Hyo Yong. The price per hour for a norebang runs around $200 pesos, less than 20 bucks in U.S. cash.

For me, my karaoke thrills are best had at a venue with lots of strangers. I’m not into the tiny room thing, although it’s a great place to practice your stuff. Because  if you’ve had the odd experience of being caught up with a group of trilingual karaoke experts who bogard the mic and the karaoke controller, I feel your pain.

London Karaoke, Londres No. 167, 3 Piso, Esquina Florencia, Mexico, D.F., Telephone: 52-07-01-84

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