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East of the sun

Everyone wants to go here, but nobody wants to go there anymore.

[East] Many North Africans dream of a life in the United States. Some Eastern Europeans wish they lived in Western Europe. Some Pakistanis still regard Norway as a step forward. But where do we long? When Norway is at its worst, that is when the Progress Party is the country's largest party, Shopaholic ravages on TV3 and I have eaten unwell on truffles, I should like to see that I lived in India. When the election torment hits me in front of the brandy shelf on the pole Friday afternoon, I think about how different everything would have been if I had only known enough to be born in Palestine. And who manages to read 800 pages about the Western cultural history without wishing for the poor Cuba? Most people are probably fine without too much poverty, war and censorship, but can humans survive without the dream of a new life somewhere else?

In the good old days, for example in the Enlightenment or Romanticism, you were not a European intellectual unless you wrote at least one lyrical tribute to Arabs, the Middle East or. . .

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