Three Short Expat Portraits

2 December 2018

This letter, the last in the “Crossing Paths” series, is a bit unusual in both its form and content. Rather than the standard single portrait, I present the short portraits of three atypical expats that I met early in my travels. Although these characters are unrelated, I feel that there is an element of common weirdness and even humor that runs through them. Unlike my previous portraits, these ones mainly concentrate on a single feature of each character that stood out during our brief encounter.

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The Spiritual Cannibal

3 November 2018

We all freely choose or create our life situations every day out of a set of options. Yet these situations, in turn, have to conform to laws, because everything created and residing in the universe is subject to laws.

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The French Sinophile

20 October 2018

A Frenchman speaking Chinese in a French accent in one of the remotest regions of China accompanied by an equally strange Cypriot traveler making all sorts of grimaces – this is what I call a truly odd couple, behaving oddly, in an odd place! 

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Arjuna the God

6 October 2018

“Come on, my friend,” I insisted, “this is definitely not a house! It’s not even a mansion. It’s a hotel of some sort. I have seen many large mansions in my life, but this is ten times larger than the largest house of a big Hollywood star in Beverly Hills! How can this function as a family home? How will you spend time with your family if you need to walk ten minutes to get from one room to another?! You are pulling our leg!” 

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Mr. Irenaeus

2 October 2018

I couldn’t believe my luck! It was my last day in Rio, and I was forming my travel itinerary for the south of Brazil, Argentina, and the rest of the continent – so he was a God-sent gift. What was most surprising is that what interested him and what he judged as important were the same exact things that I also loved and appreciated.

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The Colossal Traveler

7 September 2018

Doris is a world-traveler in a league of her own. She has been to 180 countries, many of them multiple times. Most shockingly, for the past twenty years, she has been traveling for about half a year every year. She is the female equivalent of Ibn Battuta, the greatest traveler in history, the only difference being that he traveled continuously whereas she does it piecemeal. 

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The Drifter

24 August 2018

I was crossing paths with a kindred spirit whose life lay at the extremes of my own endeavor, at the very end of the spectrum of freedom. For a moment, I felt that because of this special yet invisible connection between us, I was given an honorary glimpse into his unorthodox and unique life.

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© 2021 Nicos Hadjicostis