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As for improvisation WOW when my son was touring Serbia he had to change over the 15KG gas bottle they used for cooking, fridge, water heater etc. He put the empty outside mid morning and a local serb asked if he could have it, our lad said yes and the Serb guy grabbed it and went. Mid afternoon a young girl came over to the camper and invited my son and his girlfriend to join them for a meal. They went to the house and were treated like honoured guests and given a fine meal. Then the guy who had taken the gas cyl and was the girls daddy proudly showed my son his new home made wood stove.......... it was still blue and had CALOR on it.
Last edited by preppergb on Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Well - Serbia, Ukraine, Czech - they DID have a major collapse, very much within living memory. It's also true that prior to that collapse, having the skills and mindset to improvise, and access to some resources either from your place of work, or your dacha or veg patch, or from taking bribes for something, were really important to well-being in the Soviet times, and of course after the collapse. So these habits are engrained on those societies in a way that they just aren't in ours.
I recent said to a good friend " do you remember how we laughed at and sneered at these former soviet countries of the Baltics and Eastern Europe, relying on wood stoves and boilers, how they get along by growing food we can buy for pennies in supermarkets like Australian strawberries etc, how they rely on community allotments and drive old basic rugged cars that look like they were made in a tank factory. Keeping pigs and chicken when we can buy Mountain house meals etc" We are not laughing any more.
preppergb wrote:One of the things my much travelled family picked up on in travels to places like Serbia, Czech Rep, Ukraine, Poland etc was just how many people who live outside the cities live an almost self sustaining lifestyle. Nearly everyone has large garden plots, wells, wood burning stoves, keep chickens, pigs, goats, sheep etc and still cooperate at village level to grow veg, cut firewood, barter etc. They bulk salt meats, smoke fish, carp ponds are everywhere. if a major collapse in many of those communities few would be affected by any major change. Now compare that to our utterly reliant state !!!
Yes I have often thought that myself when watching various documentaires, even "Alaska, the last frontier", which I know is made for TV but the ideal of self sufficiency gets you thinking. We have often talked on here about the older generations from war time and compared them to today's modern generations. (Not just the youth, I know many people in my generation; the 40 somethings, who are woefully crap at doing stuff for themselves.) Our society is ripe for a fall. But then that is how civilations come and go, you reach a saturation point with social, environmental, religious, and political issues and something gives. It's the natural order of things which you look back in history. No society or civilsation lasts for ever.
"Today is the tomorrow that you worrried about yesterday"
featherstick wrote:Well - Serbia, Ukraine, Czech - they DID have a major collapse, very much within living memory. It's also true that prior to that collapse, having the skills and mindset to improvise, and access to some resources either from your place of work, or your dacha or veg patch, or from taking bribes for something, were really important to well-being in the Soviet times, and of course after the collapse. So these habits are engrained on those societies in a way that they just aren't in ours.
We moved to a small village in Croatia (Ex Yugoslavia) in 2002 and lived there for 10 years and can certainly vouch for many of the comments on here. Our neighbors often didn't have any cash whatsoever and yet lived a good lifestyle, being entirely self sufficient in all food items although not in fuel / energy. Their outlook on life was generally very welcoming and accepting to outsiders. They opened their doors to many Serbs and Bosnia's during the Balkans conflict.
Corruption was widespread and an integral part of the culture and system, it was the only way low paid civil servants could survive during the soviet era and it's viewed as part of everyday life, you get used to it after a while.
We remember it as one of the best places we have ever lived.......there have been a few over the years.
Arwen The Bard
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