DISTANCE HURT – Austrian word of the Week
Fernweh: Oh yeah. Americans feel it too. But maybe the-powers-that-be thought it wise not to allow it into the English language, for fear that the English-speaking wage slaves amongst us with little to no paid vacation time could be chronically ill with Fernweh. Wittgenstein knew exactly what he was talking about when he said the boundaries of our language are the boundaries of our world. No name? No reality. Better to let those European German-speakers name and suffer from their Fernweh ailment as they plan their month-long annual jaunts to distance lands, exotic beaches and tropical paradises. Because who the heck isn’t suffering a bit of distance hurt whenever Poldi from three cubicles down, keeps sending the company Whatsapp group amazingly gorgeous photos of hippos or
rhinos and clear blue African skies while the rest of us peons are battling the last of our winter colds, suffering through Lugner Presidential raps and elbowing Omis in Billa for the last pack of the spring’s first ripened strawberries. Yes, unbelievable but true, even if you are fortunate enough to reside in the world’s most livable city, you can suffer from bouts of Fernweh. So if
you’re like me, it’s not that you weren’t desperate to get out of Dodge while living your hamster-wheel 9-5 existence in small town USA, you just didn’t realize there was a proper name for it and that folks just like you all over the globe were suffering from the exact same thing – Fernweh! Yes, Fernweh!
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