Get Lost in Translation

And Thai One On.

The groan-inducingly named Thai One On in Lake City dims its lights and switches on the speakers at 11 p.m. sharp each weekend to welcome a sea of raven-haired patrons eager to sing their hearts out. Only a handful of karaoke joints in the International District offer song selections in foreign languages; too often they're buried beneath Gloria Gaynor and Queen. Thai One On is a rarity in that its karaoke nights consist solely of Thai pop songs, and those nights, since their inception two years ago, have grown increasingly popular through word of mouth among Seattle's Thai community. We seated ourselves a safe distance from the mike and ordered an array of Asian-inspired cocktails (lychee cosmopolitans and lemongrass martinis) along with a plate of plum-sauce-laden crab wontons. The late-evening crowd at Thai One On tends to consist of first-generation Thai immigrants, but English speakers need not be intimidated. The only clues we had as to what was being sung were the music video accompaniments. One such video, a particularly perplexing crowd-pleaser, featured a knife-wielding maniac sobbing as he threw away Polaroid prints of a young woman. We felt like we were the only ones who didn't get it until our bartender, sensing our confusion, turned to us and shrugged. "I'm trying to figure it out, too," she said. "But I'm pretty sure that guy's girlfriend just cheated on him." 

 
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