An award-winning writer and world traveler always seeking answers to the universe’s infinite questions. For more essays, visit www.nicoshadjicostis.com.
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Two Worlds, by Freya Horsley

The Plumber and the Electrician

My own stats are quite revealing: For every one time you call the electrician, you call the plumber ten!

In almost every country I’ve traveled to, in most hotels, apartments, houses I’ve stayed in and called home for weeks or months, the plumber was the one professional who was needed the most. Blocked pipes, dirty sink water, damp floors, and a myriad of leaking ceilings, toilets, and bathtubs have been the constant “background noise” of my life. …


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Composition 8, by Vasily Kandinsky (1923)

In one of the most poignant scenes in Francis Ford Coppola’s magnum opus, Apocalypse Now, the protagonist who is traveling through Vietnam during the war falls upon a French colonial family stuck in time. Living on a remote rubber plantation in the Vietnamese jungle, they sit around a long table dressed in fine clothes to have their dinner, attended to by local servants, as if life goes on as normal. The world around them is crumbling; bombs and machine-guns, fires and dead bodies, blood and mayhem envelop their once paradisiacal colonial bubble, yet the French family is in utter denial…


In the Age of the Coronavirus

Shocking daily death tolls around the world serve as a stark reminder that no one is immune to the virus. We are all now forced to face one of the most important realities of Life: that Death may strike at any moment. This older piece of mine couldn’t be more relevant to the times, and I therefore re-publish it here on Medium. (Also check out my latest piece: Coronavirus III — The Resistance to Change.)

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A fragment from Danse Macabre (1633) by Bernt Notke in St Nicolas Church, Tallinn, Estonia. Death is about to “dance” with the royal couple.

The most important thing in life is Death.

Yet he seems to come from some other domain, another dimension. He is the strangest visitor in…


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Filial Piety: Wu Meng attracting mosquitoes to protect his parents.

Something insidious has been happening in the West.

At the beginning it was hidden and unexpressed. But it soon came out in full force.

In its most generalized and simple form, it goes as follows:

“The coronavirus mainly kills old people, who are going to die anyway. Let some of them die, and let us save the economy.”

This is shocking, unprecedented, abominable.

And it marks the lowest point in Western civilization.

The idea first appeared stealthily with the policy of herd immunity in the UK on March 12: allow the virus to spread unencumbered in the general population and…


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“Arrogance” by Paul Klee (1939) — a tightrope walker loses his balance.

There is an elephant in the room.

In East Asia, where the coronavirus first appeared, taking most countries unawares and a few unprepared, they dealt with it, suppressed its spread, and in just two months have almost gotten rid of it completely.

In Europe and the US, where they had almost two months to prepare for the virus to reach their shores, where they could have observed and learned from what was happening in Asia, the rampaging virus is now killing people by the tens of thousands


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Lee Bontecou. Untitled (detail). 1980–98. Welded steel, porcelain, wire mesh, canvas, wire, and grommets. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NY

My “three angels” ended up being three devils!

And Jose Antonio, the most sleazy and cunning crook.

For four weeks in 2006, I stayed in a hotel in Santiago while recuperating from my travels in Latin America that had lasted for a year. The three seemingly kind housekeepers, whom I addressed as “my three angels” and who cleaned my hotel room and catered to all of my needs, as well as the hotel director, Jose Antonio, all behaved in a most professional and loving manner during this period. But the day before I was due to depart, with Jose Antonio…


I already felt it; the invisible forces that compelled me were beyond my control.

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For what the Spirit sees, creates a Truth, and what the soul imagines is made a World — Sri Aurobindo

My itinerary said: “20th of October — Travel to Cancun via Chichen Itza.” Cancun: the latest tourist capital of Mexico. Chichen Itza: the first Mayan ruins I was about to visit. I entered a taxi.

Ten minutes later, as if remembering something important he ought to have told me earlier, the taxi driver said in broken English: “You sure want go Cancun? Hurricane go there!” He turned around, picked up a newspaper from the back seat, and handed it to…

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