Jet lag hasn’t quite abandoned us; nor has the feeling that we’d really rather sill be in sunny Pondicherry than rainy San Francisco. But if we had to find the perfect reentry vehicle, it would be an evening of our nephew Tenzing followed by a live concert. That was the story tonight.

Tenzing has been at his very cutest since we’ve been home, talking non-stop (“I think we need to get organized, Mimi”) all the while running, jumping, playing ball, and asking to be thrown about. Eventually, his energy reserves fail him and he crashes into the deep sleep of one who has played well on the day.

yml & 'zing Habib Koite

No sleep for us, however; not just yet. The fabulous Habib Koite played tonight at the Great American Music Hall and I had two free tickets, courtesy of FlavorPill.

There are two things (other than Tenzing) that make San Francisco nearly as great as its inflated self-image: liberal politics and the ability to attract top artists and intellectuals from around the world. Habib Koite is quite a draw. We’ve been fans for years. The chance to see this great Malian bluesman play live is probably not something we’d get in Pondicherry. The seductive, enchanting, soulful two-hour set reminded us why it is exciting to live in more than one place: the broader the geography one covers, the broader the cultural riches one can absorb. To hear an intimate Carnatic vocal concert at the Pondicherry rooftop café of our friend Pichaya Manet one night, and a few nights later to hear the Malian grooves of Habib Koite a few blocks from our San Francisco apartment, speaks well for a cosmopolitan living situation.

Count me in!


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