Tana and the sounds of silence. Not.

This city is loud – turbulent, colourful and real – even here in this compound where I’m currently living.

The hodgepodge of sound comes in waves: the pitter patter of soothing rain in the middle of the night; the clatter of trucks rattling and thundering down the cobblestones at 4am; a creaking roof; the swish, swish, swish of the yard being swept before the sun has had a chance to stir; water being blasted into a bucket at 5.30 for the neighbour’s car to be washed; a rooster crowing and a pack of wild dogs baying; the shrill shriek of one of the neighbourhood children passing on her bicycle; sirens from the main road as a politician rushes to the airport; ugh, ugh, ugh – the thump thump thump bass of an unrecognisable song from the hill in the distance; wedding karaoke, with people butchering well-known songs, all through the weekend; maids gossiping and sharing a joke over lunch; hammering, sawing and bashing from the house they’ve been restoring for half a year; the happy sounds of children playing in the field next door; the push lawnmower’s anaesthetizing murmurs at the hand of a master gardener; an ill-fitted gate being opened and closed ad infinitum; sweet notes on the breeze as the Swiss girl down the road practises piano; white fur-ball excuses for dogs next door and two houses away yapping at shadows all day and night long; a scooter being coaxed back to life, then spluttering down the drive; and finally … rolling thunder, wind blasting, and bucket-loads of sub-tropical rain drumming on the warm tin roof.

Until, silence.

Apart from the steady drip, drip, drip of the leaking gutter at my window …



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