The places that would make a stranger feel at home exist only in TV series, the kind that I’ve been too grown up to watch for the past thirty years. There’s no Little House on the Prairie anywhere in the world, just rented flats, mortgaged flats, and company flats with bare walls and substandard toilets, shared with flat mates or just roaches, if you’re lucky. If you’re not, it might be no more than a spare bedroom at your parents’ place, or at your in-laws’.

Noisy neighbours and nervous dogs barking at nothing are part of the package. Most of the time, cosiness happens to other people.


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