Rickshaw Karaoke in Brussels, Belgium
Brussels holds a warm spot in my heart. Not only is the capital of Belgium the land of delicious chocolates, but more importantly, my younger sister Maya also lives here. Maya and her husband, Peter, live in a busy part of the city that makes it unpractical and cost-prohibitive to own a car. They prefer the greener method of biking around town.
Their love of cycling ultimately led them to a wonderful discovery on ebay: an Indonesian rickshaw. Not only is it a stylish way to explore Brussels, but it’s also become a fun side project that allows them to rent it or provide rides at events. Several years ago, they evolved the concept even further with a brilliant idea to combine it with their love of singing. Hence, “rickshaw karaoke” was born. Sessions often happen spontaneously, but Maya and Peter do offer their services for street parties, festivals, and special events.
I had taken a ride in the rickshaw several times, but this most recent visit was the first time that I performed in it. I nervously observed Maya and Peter as they loaded a mic, amp, and jerry-rigged box onto the rickshaw that would carry a laptop loaded with a huge library of lyrics and tracks. Before getting started, I created a playlist with a few songs that I wanted to sing and I was off!
By the first song in, I had shed my nerves and felt exhilarated with the wind through my hair and voice filling the streets. Peter eagerly pedaled me across the city as I serenaded the patient citizens of Brussels. Most people either look at us confusedly or excitedly as we zipped past them. Some would even sing along with me and at one point, during my rendition of Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back,” I even became the Pied Piper to some neighborhood kids (I know, that may not have been the most appropriate song to sing with youngsters, but spontaneous moments can’t be planned). To see this magical moment unfold, check out the YouTube video above.
If you’re interested in taking a spin in the rickshaw, you can view its availability and a schedule of upcoming appearances at frickshaw.org.
Where’s the best place you’ve performed karaoke? Share it in the reply section below
Lara was instilled with the travel bug at an early age and has visited over 25 countries. Her mother’s job as a flight attendant enabled a childhood of exploring the world. In addition to being the founding editor of En Route Traveler, Lara also works as the Art Director for the branding firm, Belmont Inc., in Alexandria, VA. In her spare time, she instructs high-energy Zumba dance classes, contributes as a Local Expert to AFAR, enjoys vegetarian cuisine, dabbles in photography and, of course, travels as much as possible.