Baños Day 2: Karaoke

Back at Chimenea hostel, Drisdelle informs us that Fubar are gonna be in Baños this evening. Oh shit. Wanna join for the volcano tour? the response text says “Oh yeah dude, for dude”. Ahhhh ok. I think they’re in. Meet by the church at 6.

Down at the church Josh and Calvin come laughing around the corner and dole out a smacktacular round of high fives. We go to the adventure strip and inquire about the tour. Yes it’s happening at 7, but the volcano isn’t active right now. Hmmmmm. MacKay looks at me, “I dunno, man. That’s just us standing on a mountain in the dark”. Fair enough, we pass. Well what now? Drinks. Yep, drinks.

Downtown Baños we walk past a place blaring tunes. A guy with a cap and glasses head nods to the door down a flight of steps, “Karaoke? “. Oh man, we burst out laughing. No, i think Ecuador saw enough of our Karaoke antics in Quito.

A little further we find a melio-swanky spot and roll in for dindin. I picked something off the menu I can’t pronounce. Drisdelle picks three things and they have none of them. MacKay goes back to the milanesa dish hoping for some Commissioner Gordon Bleu type of thing like in Popayan. We order a bottle of wine but they don’t have any. Hmmmm yes they do, don’t worry. K, we’re not.

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A girl comes through the front door with two bottles of wine. Nice. Wine run. We take the cab sauv. My dish turns out to be steak and eggs. Adventure filled day, we put the food back like human garborators. Ahhh good. What’s next? More drinks? Yep

Stroll back down the strip and find a neat spot with saloon style doors and a Lenny Kravitz lookalike bartender. He’s playing some contemporary, auto-tuned hip hop playlist. Every song is about bitches this, N-bombs that, bling, booty, and titties. The genre has come amazingly far in just 30 years. We twerk out with some ron and cokes. American football is on tv. Been seeing a lot of that. And sports bars. Hang there for a bit and the Playlist restarts. Got no twerk left so we swing back through the saloon doors.

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Getz directs us to a rock and roll place we spotted yesterday but it’s closed tonight. Round the corner from the hostel though, so we head there. We’ve got some ron, coke, and beers, and we bring the works to the rooftop terrace. The Danish girls from the morning are up there, we swap rating stories. They’re around til Wednesday, then off to the Galapagos. That’d be sweet. Not in the cards for us tho.

We polish off the Ron and some beers and the Desk Guy comes up to tell us the roof is closed. Actually it was closed a half hour ago. I stop the girl portion of a couple who were in the dining area playing gin rummy. “Do you mind getting a picture of us with these masks on?”, “Ahhhhh sure”. I scoop up 5 of the creepy masks hanging in the dining area and hand them to the guys. Makes for a hilarious picture.

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What’s our band name? Cooper and the Troopers! We’re a Bradley Cooper cover band. Good enough. Back down stairs. Through the lobby we get some glances. It isn’t late, but it is Monday, we are drinking, and again we’ve brought people who aren’t staying at the hostel inside. Get to our room and Fubar is royally ripped. They’re being pretty loud and I’m not feeling cool about it. I tell MacKay, “Now we’re the Russians skyping our boyfriends”, “Yeah”. I just wanted to take it easy and hit the room, but i didn’t wanna resort to kicking people out, so i make the worst suggestion ever, “Hey, you guys wanna hit that Karaoke joint?”. And then things took a turn for the stupid..

Down the steps to the Karaoke bar we can hear someone just belting out some Spanish tune. It was Hat and Glasses Dude who had invited us in earlier. He’s up on a mini stage. During instrumental breaks he rambles off a bunch of Spannouncements. Up to the bar we get a round of litre Pilsens. Grab a large table. The bench has hemorrhoid cushions to sit on. The bar is decked out in various gawdy night lighting, lasers and murals of prominent musicians. Shakira has center stage. The Doors and Mariah Carey are some others we recognize.

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There is another table of older local folk on our left. They’re really into it and get up to salsa dance. Alright, there’s a Monday night scene here after all. Kinda.

The Bar Guy brings over the Karaoke book and we start browsing. He asks where we’re from. Oh viva Canada! Viva Baños! Salud! Sociable!

We biff a few songs in. Can’t remember which ones really because the older crowd left soon after their buddies performance and we had the place to ourselves. From what i can tell, Bar Guy was just putting on every popular English song he could find, be it Michael Bolton or Linkin Park. And we sang then all. Bar Guy would interject booing or applause soundeffects based on our performance or just for humor’s sakes. There was a round of Karaoke roulette where MacKay put a song on for Drisdelle without telling him what it was. Another one bites the dust. Not too bad.

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There was a monitor for the lyrics and after each song it tallied up a score out of one hundred. I got rouletted into Careless Whisper, which is sweet, but i have no idea how the verse lyrics go. Drisdelle jumped up to try them out. Medium-Disgraceful. I rocked out the chorus parts. A duet for the ages. We eagerly awaited the score. Zizzizz 100!! Haha what? How the hell? We didn’t even sing half the song. Bar Guy put our name on as Canadian Friends. We’re immortalized right at the top of the list now.

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Bar Guy was having a blast with us. He brought out a bunch of colorful wigs and hats and put them on us. We snapped a few beauty pics…

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… then hit the mini stage to revise our brilliant Quito performance of Bohemian Rhapsody. Bar Guy took my phone and recorded a video of us and the bar in all our combined majesty.

Bar Guy was showing me these weird statues around the bar. Some gnome looking guy with the word Acapulco beside him. I didn’t know what he was talking about, but at one time we did a shot and left one there for the gnome too and he put a dollar down beside it. Weird.

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It was coming round 2 and things had to close down. For some reason MacKay took that to mean we should get one last round. But we had just gotten a round. So now there’s 10 litres of beer on the table and 2 minutes to drink them. It was the wrong hour for chugging, we were chalk full of weak SurAm beers. We put in a valiant effort and Hat Dude and Bar Guy were laughing at us. Seeing the struggle they told us we could take them with us if we returned the bottles. They were adamant. For some reason they really wanted those five bottles. I took a sec to pay respects to the weird gnome guy. Got a 5 changed and placed a buck on each of the three statues around the joint. If this pays off i may have to ditch SaChriX who clearly is not looking out for us.

We clamor up the steps back into the central park by the church. Five shit lit hooligans singing songs into the dead Monday night. Standing under the main illuminated tree in the center of the square and i just hear “Fuck it”. Josh dashes fir the tree, foot to trunk leverage, launches up to a branch, feet kicking, pulls himself up. He goes and stands in the green spot light “Not bad, eh?!”

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Not bad except the dismount. He can’t find a way down now. “Go where you came up”. It’s a decent drop. How the hell did he get up there? “Aww fuck it” He goes for the hang drop move, loses his grip, and crashes through a smaller branch below in a loud cracking, snapping and leave rustling before thudding to the ground in a heap, entangled in the young leafy branch he’d snapped off in the fall. We all cracked up. “Oh my god, dude. Are you alright?”. “I’m OK, i feel bad for the tree though”. Monday night snickers.

We have a seat on the benches and cool our face cheeks. Still have the beers from the Karaoke bar. Still struggling with them at this point in the night. Josh and Calvin take theirs to go. Some bro hugs and fist bumps and they were off down the street opposite way from our hostel. “Catch up with you guys in Bolivia!” Fubar out.
Drisdelle is powering down, eyes half shut. He lays on a bench and is instantly out. We toy with the idea of leaving him to wake up in the middle of a bustling park, confused and hungover the next day. Nah he’ll probably get robbed.

MacKay almost has Drisdelle’s second shoe off before he wakes up. Alright, enough shenanigans. Back to the hostel. We’ve gotta catch a bus outta here tomorrow. Where we headed? Dunno. Maybe Cuenca. Third largest city in Ecuador. Supposed to be pretty. Has overnight Buses into Peru. Sounds like a plan

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