Tea with aunt Sheeply
“Why do you want to move to Spain? Here you can live much, much better. Her you can afford 3 maids, and a gardener, private school, private health and tennis lessons. You can live in what Europeans would consider a mansion”.
The argument was an old one already. My mother, my aunt and my grandmother where having tea in my parents living room.
My mother was arguing with my aunt again. My father was gone before it even started. He went to fix something in the house as he usually does when my aunt is around. It’s been years since he last had the patience to withstand even 5 minutes of the woman’s narrow minded, sheep mentality ramble.
“Alicia, I don’t care about how many gardeners or maids I can afford here. You can afford to have that many people working for you precisely because there is so much misery that people will almost work for food. I’d rather live in a country where I can safely walk the streets and not have a maid. Don’t you see that the same reality that allows you to have 3 maids and a gardener is the one that can get you killed every time you walk out of your house?”
The argument went on and on, with my grandmother siding with my aunt. Not because she thinks that the reality of this country is good, no, but because she doesn’t want to see one of her two daughters leave to a country at the other end of the world.
Most Spanish immigrants, like my grandparents, hate to see the new generations, sons and grandsons, leave to the country they once escaped from, because it promises greener pastures. They escaped hunger, civil war, and now, 50 years later, they want to go back?
Old folks just don’t understand that. They had to leave everything behind, family, possessions, to give their family a better life. And in those days you just didn’t take a plane, my grand parents had to spend a month in a stinking boat to get here. They all remember that trip, and they just don’t get used to the idea of, thanks to airplanes, being just 24 hours away.
For all of them, moving to Spain means that their loved ones are a month worth in a stinking boat away.
There are many like my aunt in this country. People that, surprisingly, don’t fear SHTF, but actually look forward to it.
It means cheaper workers, cheaper services, and new exploitation opportunities. And I’m not only talking about locals, I’m talking about large international corps. as well.
What locals seem to ignore, or simply don’t care, is that you still have to live WITH those that are in a much worse position. Maybe you are incredibly wealthy, yes, but wherever you go you will have to go with an armored car and bodyguards. You wont have freedom, not real one at least.
As I said before a number of times, people will surprise you for being incredible resourceful and /or incredibly stupid.
Most of the “Herd” will simply sail through life being happy that their favorite soccer team won the finals and that they can go have a couple of beers with their friends.
Notice that not much changed since the ancient Roman times, where the emperor claimed that you only have to give the population “circus and wine” to keep them content and under control.
People like my aunt, these are the fools that love vacationing in Brazil, and think that Cuba’s communism is the greatest creation right next to sliced bread. They will come back from Cuba in love with the place. Oh! The resorts, the food, so many cheerful people. They seem to forget that if Cubans don’t put a happy face they get executed, and that they have a great time because they are tourists with money that can afford to live like kings. Why don’t they move over there without a penny, and live as Cubans really do? Let’s see if the like pimping their wives and daughters to survive, lets see if the y like living like rats. Of course they don’t.
Another issue I want to point out. SHTF such as political crisis or economical collapses take time to settle.
There wont be a declared SHTF day. Yes, there are events that are like landmarks, milestones in the course of history. But it will take time, society will change little by little, until the new reality is assimilated and accepted, consciously or not, by the entire population. After a few months, you’ll se people talking about before and after certain event that changed their world. For you it may be S-11, for me it’s life before and after the 1:1 (meaning the 1 dollar, 1 peso conversion) or life before and after the 2001 crisis. People use it on their daily conversations. “ So, you’ve been to Hawaii?, wow!” , “Yes, yes but we went back before the 1:1, now it’s impossible to pay for such a trip”, “ Yes, too bad”
This time of uncertainty, until people accept that the world around them changed, takes time, months or even years, and it’s a SLOW decline, slowly slipping down. One day you’ll start seeing more people begging, more prostitutes, houses not painted, cars will start to look a little more shabby, because people don’t have money to fix them, until one day you will tell yourself “wow, this wasn’t like this 6-12 months ago.” Things do not get accepted day over night, a SHTF event may occur in a matter of seconds, but it takes MONTHS to sink in.
That’s why you should keep an open, independent mentality, and eyes and ears listening all around you, so as to stay ahead of the herd.
Financial security, and the ability to move:
The greatest survival trait.
Which brings me to my final consideration on survival, my final conclusion concerning surviving mayor crisis.
Yes, some paper money, gold, silver, but mostly money in accounts in a couple of “safe” countries and money invested in real estate.
We had people going from middle class to poor over here. We had people going through some terrible situations, and it’s safe to say that those that fared better where those with solid finances.
Our society runs on money, people. Not only paper money, but accounts and virtual money. It would take a world wide collapse, practically the end of humanity for money to be useless as a concept.
A country, or several, even a continent can go down into misery, dragging it’s local paper money with it, but the other end will rise proportionally. I truly believe this, and history also shows that there are always losers and winners, conquered and conquerors, the balance, the ying yang always remains.
A giant meteor could destroy earth and little green men could enslave us, yes, but in the infinite spectrum of possibilities, that scenario is the less likely one. I’d rather prepare for those that are more likely. And it’s very likely that though your country can go down with an economical collapse, suffer civil war or natural disasters, you will probably have the possibility to escape to somewhere safe, greener pastures.
Hel!, that’s what thousands of Argentines ultimately did, what my family did, and what I intend to do as soon as possible.
Just last week my parents told me that they ran across some old friends that recently moved to Spain. Bad guys broke into their home with them inside, don’t know exactly what happened but it must have bee ugly, so they got fed up of the insecurity and moved to Spain with their daughter.
I consider myself a citizen of the world, and have no problem to move if I must. I strongly suggest you think about this, because it may be the ultimate survival solution. While I do believe in the stronghold, retreat concept, I do not believe it is possible to fight off an entire starved, crazed nation.
If we are going to consider long term, permanent TEOTWAWKI, do consider moving to another country, far away, and plan accordingly. This means, having money in accounts, documents and passports ready, maybe even learn a second language.
Now that I think of it, a solid financial situation and making sure his kids had a worldly, ample mentality, was all my father did, unconsciously or not, to make sure his family survived, and he sure did succeed where millions of others failed. Considering he lived in a shack with earth floor when his parents moved from Spain 50 years ago, he sure did better than the rest.
My father’s “survival arsenal” ? a 22 semi auto, a .22 revolver and a box of ammo, until I convinced him of buying a 1911. Still, we did ok. Savings and investing was the key to our survival.
The survivalist that has 5000-10000 bucks worth of weapons, years worth of food and a safe water source but no money invested anywhere is not doing things right. Even if you invest all you have on your retreat, and manage to get of the grid and live in your retreat without the need of anything else, you are pinning yourself down to one single point in the map, from which you can’t move.
Look to what happened to an entire generation of Spanish. They fled Spain escaping civil war. Look at what we are now doing over here. Moving to Spain, escaping from a economical/political SHTF scenario. See a pattern here?
I know that some refuse to leave their country because of patriotism, but you still CAN be a patriot and still leave if you have to.
Many of the most dedicated fighters had to leave my country during the “Dirty War” civil war/dictatorship in the 70’s. They where alive to come back and bring those dictators and murderers to justice, while those that stayed and fought simply got executed. Which would you rather be?
Save money, invest, travel, make new friends, visit those long lost parents in the old continent, they will be happy to see you, travel around and learn about different cultures, how to be flexible and adapt to them. This is, by far, the best advice I can give you all when it comes to bad, bad, SHTF.
Sometimes, you simply run out of options. Happened here, happened before, and happened in several places. It can happen to you.
A person is not a survivalist simply because he lives in the woods, wears camo all day long, and has always a rifle hanging from his shoulder and looking for trespassers to shoot. That is not what I want in life, and that is not what I consider a flexible, adaptable person. In my humble opinion, the survivalist can feel as comfortable in the woods as in a cocktail party surrounded by sheep. He can play both games, he can adapt. He’s a person that can smile back at those that think differently and keep his convictions to himself if needed. A person that cannot tolerate the presence of others that are not like him has a limited adaptation capability and therefore is limited when it comes to survival. Maybe he’s great at wild life survival, but not at the real world, society surviving. He’s good at the kind of survival required to survive a plane cash in the Amazons, which is great, but he cant deal with society and other people.
You have to get over the idea of the retreat being the ultimate, final survival answer to a crisis. That’s incorrect. The final, terminal solution is to leave the country or region. And that requires some social skills and savings. Keep that in mind before you spend every single penny you have on the ultimate retreat. Before anyone beats me in the head with a cinder block, the retreat/bug in house is very important, yes, it’s the semi-last solution, it’s the place that keeps you safe through small and medium crisis (which are more likely than big time SHTF), and it’s also your home, the place you are more than likely to spend the rest of your life in if nothing goes WAY down the swage. But when TSHTF in a large scale, you have to get out, as many of you advised me to do.
Final thought: A Message of Hope
Finally, I want to give a message of hope to you all, and remind you and me both that survival is about surviving, but not for the mere fact of living , but to live happy, rich lives.
Prepare because it’s the smart thing to do, and not because you are looking forward to SHTF and other disasters.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that TSHTF will be a brand new start for you, and that all your problems will just go away and you’ll have a new start in the brave new world.
It doesn’t work that way. Quite the contrary, everything will get worse, small problems will turn into bigger, more serious problems. If you have drinking problems, you’ll drink more, if you can’t keep a job, you’ll spend years unemployed, if you have a disease, you’ll see that it’s harder to get attention and medications. Again everything gets WORSE.
Someone once asked me, “How is it that you cant shoot a criminal 200 meters away, but police don’t do anything to stop them?”.
SHTF, whatever type of crisis it may be, isn’t fair. It will be absolutely unfair.
You’ll have good, honest people starving, while corrupt ones make profit, you wont have a cop to protect you but they sure will come after you when a criminal presses false charges against you. That’s the way it works.
So, anyone looking forward to TEOTWAWKI for a fresh start, better think again, and get your life straighten out NOW.
Survivalists are often considered as dark fatalists, doomsday worshipers. This is not so, the real survivalist should not be like this.
Negative people will have a hard time dealing with a crisis. It takes a positive, good natured person to make it through.
Know that there are dangers, and situations you can not predict and prepare as best as you can for them. But never forget to live life at it’s fullest.
You and I, we don’t know how long we have on this Earth, so make the best out of it, each passing minute.
A survivalist should not be a pessimist, he should always be positive, happy and enjoying life more than anyone else because he understands that each minute of peace we have is precious and unique, and he never takes it for granted.
The way I see it, the survivalist is a vital, fit, ever curious, good humored person. He’s fit because he takes care of his body, and his body takes care of him, he’s curious, because he thinks that it’s important to learn new things all the time, and he enjoys learning, he has a good humor because he’s sure of himself, and treats others the way he wants to be treated.
That’s how we should behave. Being a survivalist is 90% mental attitude. And even if SHTF does not occur in our life, that attitude makes our life more rich and fulfilling.
There are things in life we can control and others we can’t, the survivalist way of thinking makes sure we control those we can and accept those we cant.
So, if you have that mentality, either by having a fully independent homestead or simply a few funds, some supplies, a couple of weapons and bug out bags, set that chin a little higher, walk a little bit straighter, no mater if you are a doctor or accountant, trucker or plumber, be proud my friend, because you are a dyeing breed.
You are, without a doubt, a better person.
I know that many of you are asking themselves: What is this guy doing with such a pic?
The saucepan is a symbol in my country. It was used to remove one useless President after another, a total of 5 in one week. People would beat the pan in their homes and on the streets as a sign of protest. The sound of MILLIONS of pans beating is… humbling, to say the least. It’s like one giant vibration wave that no one could ignore, therefore the president had to escape the government house through the roof in a chopper.
It is also a symbol of hunger. Thousands of Argentines beat pans like that one against the closed doors of the banks that refused to return them their money.
A powerful symbol indeed.
It only proves that it’s not the weapon, M16, FAL, M1A, it’s the willpower that matters.
A saucepan. When every single Argentine beat it, the power of all of them united was enough to remove a president, backed by an entire army.
Not a shot fired, just the will of the people.. and a saucepan to be heard.