In cities I’ve lived in, various noises have kept me awake a night – in New York City, it was the fire engines blaring up Second Avenue; in London it was the parties next door; in Utrecht it was the drunken revellers stumbling home; in Tunisia it was the mosquito buzzing in my ear. In Hargeisa, it’s a bloody donkey.
I’m not angry about it; it’s hard to be angry at a donkey, such a cute and obedient creature. More than anything, I find it comical – the extended braying of the donkey at night often incites me to laugh out loud. It sounds as though it is dying and having an orgasm at the same time, and then being reincarnated to repeat the whole spectacle the next night.
It’s funny because a donkey is such an ordinary animal (they are used all over town to carry loads such as water), and yet I don’t think I’ve ever heard a donkey noise before living here. When we had a guest the other week, the first time he heard the commotion, he looked confused and asked, “What animal is that?”
Don’t underestimate the donkey.