Is it possible to miss a place that you’ve never been to before?
For the Welsh, this phenomenon is called Hiraeth, which is described as “the nostalgia and the grief for lost places of your past, or places that never were.”
I had something that vaguely resembled Hiraeth last year: I was standing on the terraces of Cafe Hafa in Tangier (f.1921), looking at the vast shadows of Spain far across the Strait of Gibraltar. Save for the distant crashing of waves and the clinking of silverware on heated glass, it was a quiet day for mint teas. Too quiet in fact, that for a brief moment, I longed for any form of old-world decadence befalling the now sobered up cafe. A little Moroccan shindig, like what we’d all read about when the beatniks were there, way back in the day.
But then I quickly realised how I actually kind of hate commotion (excluding the occasional mosh pit). Burroughs would probably have hated my law-abiding ass. And so Hiraeth quickly turned into Here I Is.
Which wasn’t; isn’t so bad, after all: Here I is.
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