Monday, January 13, 2020

Thoroughly and uncompromisingly foreign

Tangier is the spot we have been longing for all the time.

Elsewhere we have found foreign-looking things and foreign-looking people, but always with things and people intermixed that we were familiar with before, and so the novelty of the situation lost a deal of its force.

We wanted something thoroughly and uncompromisingly foreign—foreign from top to bottom—foreign from center to circumference—foreign inside and outside and all around—nothing anywhere about it to dilute its foreignness—nothing to remind us of any other people or any other land under the sun.

And lo! In Tangier we have found it. …

Here is not the slightest thing that ever we have seen save in pictures—and we always mistrusted the pictures before. We cannot anymore. The pictures used to seem exaggerations—they seemed too weird and fanciful for reality. But behold, they were not wild enough—they were not fanciful enough—they have not told half the story. …

The Phoenicians, the Carthagenians, the English, Moors, Romans, all have battled for Tangier—all have won it and lost it.
Source: The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

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