Mourning Michael Jackson (with Karaoke)
That night, the Bora Bora Beach Club, the favored destination of expats and wealthy Burundians, had a Michael Jackson party. I didn’t go to that, but I did go the next night, when the first secretaries of various embassies held a fundraiser for a couple of orphanages. The catch was that it was all centered around karaoke: pay to sing, pay for someone else to sing, or pay to make someone stop singing. (The latter was a wonderfully merciful idea.)
Of course, in the wake of Michael Jackson’s death, the evening was dominated by his songs—and it was priceless to see diplomats and NGO bigwigs sing such classics as “We Are the World” and “Bad”…or, at least, try to. (As for me, I was somehow coerced into joining a rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” and thankfully, someone paid for us to stop.) I have to say—listening to Michael Jackson on the radio is a welcomed change from Celine Dion!