The grunts of a pig or the bleating of a goat are one thing. Maybe they remind you of childhood stories or make you picture an idyllic scene in the countryside.
Then there's the sound of animals about to be killed. That’s something else.
That, as well as the Muslim festival of Eid-al-Adha, a few years ago in Cairo, is the closest I’ve come to anything similar to this market in Haiti.
Although animals are killed in all three cases, the hygiene conditions and the way it’s done are all different. Here, a butcher peels off the skin from a pig.
Smell is one of the most basic associations we make as humans. Different smells take us back to childhood or remind us of a loved one.
As a child I spent many summers in the countryside, where I was always surrounded by fields of crops and farm animals.
Back in Haiti, the smell assaulted my senses, seeming to seep into me.
The stench produced from burning animal skins is very distinctive. But the smell that best defines this place is a mix of damp earth, animal dung and blood, which you can savour from the road when you pass by.
If in the future I happen to chance on that kind of smell again, I’m sure it will take me back to Port-au-Prince in the hours before dawn.
(Editing by Brian McGee)