The same happened the next day. And the next one.

On top of that, our street, which is barely wide enough for two cars to pass each other, filled with illegally parked 4x4s. In front of the house in question, numerous guests scrambled for garden chairs aligned under a marquee. Loudspeakers as tall as a man blared at the gate. Beer bottles lay abandoned on the street.

A downright rave party.

Except Congolese music does not sound like techno and the lyrics (at least the French ones) seemed to be of religious inspiration.

According to the locals, this was a funeral. A general's son died, we were told. Mary thought the Irish were the world's leading wake party animals, but the Congolese beat them flat.

Yet this is only a posh version of the funerary fiesta. “This is a classy area. But in my neighbourhood, when someone dies, we sing and dance a lot more than that”, said our security guard Jean-Pierre.