One night, I was listening to one of my favourite CDs by Seckou Keita. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure, Seckou Keita is an award-winning Senegalese virtuoso of the kora and djembe. (And if you haven’t yet had the pleasure, look up his music online!) I play these wonderful world music CDs for two specific types of passenger: the cultured, and the highly intoxicated / potentially volatile.
The former have generally enjoyed an evening of refined revelry, and the beauty of the music enchants their appreciative ears. A rich and stimulating discussion typically ensues, or we just savour the magic in companionable silence. As for the latter, well, the music is simply perfect for pacifying drunks. Many a belligerent sot has been melodically soothed into a blissful stupor, allowing the rising tension in the taxi to dissipate, and, at the conclusion of the journey, they simply pay and melt out of the car, all antagonism forgotten.
I digress. I was listening to one of Seckou’s CDs named “Mali”, while discussing the delights of Indian food with an inebriated (but agreeable) passenger. The passenger slurred, “I see you’re into Indian music, too”. I was bemused until he pointed at the CD player screen, which listed the track “Baiyo”. He was so pissed, he thought it said “Bhaji”.