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<div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>Mr. Red wrote:</div>Oh thank god, now I’ll know how to survive in an urban setting because I know that communism is bad!

Guys if you want to talk about different political ideology can we have a different thread or area of the forum to discuss that, instead of getting extremely off topic?

Red, here’s some practical information that will help anyone survive in a city:


Make friends with people in the black ghetto, the Latino, the Chinese, whichever you can find within reach of your travel, and learn everything they can teach you.

For example, Mexican Indians can show you how to kill a snake, skin it, slit it open, dry it in the sun, grate it and sprinkle that powder over your other food over several weeks. The health benefits are astounding. The Aztec who taught me died last month at the age of 102. Try to have powdered snake on hand.

Forty years ago, when I checked out goats, the British manual I read said that, because of the peculiar composition of the milk, goat butter could only be obtained by the use of a special machine made in Wisconsin, USA. Ten years ago, I read an American manual and it said the same. Mexican Indians, on the other hand, showed me that, to obtain the butter, all you need do is pour the goat milk into a container with tiny holes on the bottom; the whey drains out and the butter remains — no special machine and no nonsense. An Arkansas farmer showed me that he did the same. If things go down, a goat is a prime resource for an urban home. City dwellers in dozens of countries keep, especially, goats and hens.

If there is a Cuban in the neighborhood, ask him to show you how to make “arroz a la cubana” (“rice Cuban style”). It’s a simple dish and very nutritious: black beans, rice and a fried egg. The importance of it is that you will learn how to cook BLACK beans properly, which is not easy to do. The other beans can often be used interchangeably, but the black ones are of their own odd nature. In a tough situation, you want to vary your food as much as possible, break the monotony; black beans are a good alternative to all the others. Don’t despair if at first you don’t get it. It took me ten attempts to bring out correctly their specific flavor.

If there is anyone from the “Southern Cone” in the area — Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay or Southern Brazil — see if he can show you how to make the “bolas” or “boleadora”. That’s what “gauchos”, their cowboys, use instead of a lasso. You fill three bags of leather or canvas with stones, tie each bag to a rope, tie the three ropes together at one end, grab that end, swing the whole thing over your head — hard, till it whistles — and let it fly at the target. You will find that you have created one heck of a weapon. Try it on a sturdy tree and, when you hear the “WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!”, imagine what it would do to a human being. It is very easy to capture someone who is running away; the ropes tangle around him, and the bags of stones hit him very hard; you can aim for the head and shoulders or for the torso or for the legs, depending on your intention.

Another thing that people from the Southern Cone can teach you is how to get water from the air with what looks like sails of gauze. The people there capture fog water, at night and in the early morning, on large sheets of gauze, from which it drips onto gutters which carry it into containers. How much water you get depends on how much fog there is and how many square yards of gauze “sails” you have set out. (The bottom edge of each sheet is right above the gutter.) You can attach the sheets to trees or to frames that you build.

Costa Ricans can show you how to fortify your house, compound or village with rails of the railway type, set in concrete. This is what they now use to surround their villages. They keep only one vehicle or two per village and go out with it once a fortnight or less for supplies they can’t produce themselves.

Costa Ricans also simplify the smelly mess of gutting a fish by giving one quick push with their thumb in the middle of the animal making the guts spill out through an incision in the neck. Simple and efficient.

Black people can show you, for example, how to use canvas as wall-to-wall carpeting at a fraction of the cost of real carpet. It feels practically the same when you step on it. They have many tricks like that. In a tough situation, you want as much comfort as possible; your family will be grateful.

Chinese neighbors can show you so many things that it would take a separate blog to list them: qi gong that will replenish your energy in thirty minutes, all kinds of fighting, how to grow odd vegetables …

Arabs can show you two simple measures to keep children safe:
— The entire family has supper together. Always, no exceptions. Kids will not stay out late if they know that they are making everybody else go hungry; they are consistently home on time.
— Kids may visit friends and relatives, but THEY ALWAYS SLEEP AT HOME. They do not spend the night at Aunt Harriet’s or Uncle Joe’s or classmate Jane’s; they come HOME to sleep. Always, no exceptions.

And use ETHNIC STORES intensely. If there’s general panic, and you’re out of onions or carrots, go to the stores which Mexicans, Asians and others have for themselves. The very foods and drinks you want are there too. And you will find great medicines which the locals will be happy to show you how to use. The horde will be at the big chain supermarkets. Relatively few people will be at the ethnics.

Note that the Chinese have a white powder, from the bark of a tree in Yunnan Province (their southwest), which heals wounds at lighting speed. It is actually called “White Powder” — in Chinese, “Bai Yao”. Tell them that you need “the white powder that you sprinkle on wounds” and they will know exactly what you’re talking about. Put that on your wound, and be amazed: you can see the wound heal by the hour.

I hope the above helps.