The name had such a feel to it, a grand exoticism, an implication of adventure and mystery. Even with the lame animated film still in recent memory, nothing could really take the shine off those four syllables. With a name like that, it didn’t even really need to be a real place.
If it even was a real place. I mean, he had never seen it. It was like China, or Toledo: exotic places he had never been to, that supposedly existed, but how could he really be sure? I mean, one of his friends in college has speculated that Europe had been so thoroughly destroyed by the Second World War that it had been abandoned, and the popular touristy bits had been secretly and painstakingly rebuilt in Iowa.
Obviously that was just a joke (he was pretty sure), but it made one think: how real could a place be if you never went there?