|We arrived in Bamako, Mali's capital city of dust and dun-colored buildings. In this city the people save all color for clothing. The markets bustle with people swathed in bright clothes. Cab rides are always fun because it's impossible for newcomers to keep their bearings as the cabby dodges potholes and pedestrians in Bamako's maze of low lying, mud brick houses. At night we lounged in a bar with friendly locals. West African music throbbed, the sound beat on our chests as people sang in a jazzy rap-music style. The bartender offered us the microphone. We introduced ourselves to the crowd, they smiled and seemed to understand that we didn't know any African songs. Karaoke is as big here as in Japan.