Those memes on Facebook are getting me down. "Don't think about the future, it's bad karma", "Bacon is a dish best served", "Conservatives are so stupid they think spending money you don't have is bad" and so on appear on my newsfeed every day, forcing me into the murky shallows of my misguided soul. Have I neglected my inner bacon-eating goddess? Yesterday there was one that hit a nerve: "When did you last dance?" Aaargh! I used to be fond of dancing, but never seem to put myself in a dance-worthy situation anymore. Even youth discos in the mainland can't persuade my feet to shuffle around in time to music as there simply isn't the space. Then the world of Facebook memes tried to deliver the final blow to finish me off: "When did you last SING?" Aha! April this year. I have written before about the beautiful, history-laden and fun town of Taishan, in Guangdong province, with its winding streets and intricately decorated buildings. But there is one aspect of Taishan's night (and day) life I have seen nowhere else: drop-in karaoke bars. At first I thought they were barbershops, the kind where a haircut is less than 10 yuan (HK$12), or a see doh (convenience store), the type you could find on the ground level of Kowloon's Walled City circa 1962. Then a familiar caterwauling started emanating from one of them, and I noticed the character on the frosted window said: "song". I peered in and saw a giant screen and a couple of geezers warbling into microphones, outdoing each other in hitting the wrong note. The noise rivalled the most upmarket karaoke boxes in Hong Kong, although the wall coverings were far superior: brown linoleum and paintings of old Chinese generals and flying eagles. And all you had to pay for was the tea! I counted six or seven of these barbershop-karaoke houses within a 500-metre radius; even outside the hotel a large, alfresco karaoke-singing group had gathered. Anybody could step up and grab the microphone and, oh, how they did. "Why can't we have this in Hong Kong?" I thought, like so many times before, as my friend M and I sat down at a rickety table in a particularly dark street-level walk-in karaoke joint the next afternoon. The owner left us to look after the shop while she went in search of beer. As I belted out my old favourite I Have Nothing, by China's grandfather of rock, Cui Jian, almost waking a geezer sleeping in the corner, I thought, "This is better than karma."