Getting to know Selco

*Disclaimer: This is a guest post by Jay, the guy who does the site with Selco.*

Like many of you I know Selco from his posts at a big survival forum. I thought his story is a story that must be told and if possible in great detail because who can we learn better from than someone who has been through the end of the world as he knew it.

If you would like to climb Mount Everest would you listen to someone who has been up there or someone who just imagines how it is up there?

I live in Thailand for most of the year and just a few days after Selco agreed to do the interviews and online course about his experience and preparations, I was already on a plane to Europe. A long bus ride later, I was in Selco’s country. It was quite depressing to still see the scars of war on almost every corner… literally because usually people looked for cover behind corners so they were especially riddled with bullets.

I met Selco in my hotel and he surprised me with a nice Browning folding knife as a gift. I had a shoulder holster for his Glock 21 as a surprise for him… so it seemed we kind of understood each other and hit it off well. We went out to get some coffee. Coffee is really big there and you see people drinking coffee like people in other countries drink water.

In the mall I was surprised to see so many security guys. Selco explained that’s normal, and it makes sense because so many people carry weapons and the tension and people with post war mental problems don’t make the situation any better.

We went back to the hotel and started the interviews. I had 17 pages of questions prepared but while we spoke, many more questions came up. Before I met Selco I also had friends from the US Army and even a SERE instructor who added a few questions. While I did my best to ask “everything” those of you who join the course early on have the chance to ask even more questions. We have planned to do another four interviews in the weeks after the course launches with your questions.

I stayed a whole week with Selco, and this week was a bit like time traveling. He showed me some of the real places. We recorded a lot, and the more I heard from him, the more I understood his survival mindset that enabled him to overcome something so bad and terrifying that it’s hard to imagine.

I was amazed by how he was able to speak about so many devastating experiences and personal tragedies and still remain alright. He is really someone who has processed all that happened to him and the people around him and can live with this experience in peace now.

It is a bit weird but if you hear his story in detail, it just changes your perspective. If you compare this with food then most of the survival books and advice I read so far tasted like frozen pizza with lots of artifical ingredients to somehow enhance the taste, while what I learned from Selco was like a good juicy grass fed beef steak from the grill. More natural, more real and in the end simply better.

What Selco has to share is honest, it is real, it is brutal, dirty, smelly and unpleasant. Welcome to one of the toughest real survival experiences… that lasted a whole year…

I’m not sure about you but I had so many “aha moments” when reading what Selco wrote. I had many more of these defining moments where you gain real wisdom and understand something during this week with him. Many things I understood and learned are things that are better learned from someone else, because if you have to find that out for yourself through trial and error, you might simply die in the process.

Maybe you know some people who had a really hard life and who overcame a lot of massive problems or went through extremely tough times to just come out of it stronger, wiser and more balanced? That describes Selco. There is no hate and no anger, but determination. A strong, pure will to do what it takes. He is a go-getter and this is also what helped him to survive this year in hell. He is really not a person who would start a fight but also not a person anyone would want to fight. He just does what has to be done.

We expect the course to start in the first week of January.

On Buying Gold & Silver for Survival Preparedness

I am very sorry because i have to destroy some popular opinions on some things, but i just have to do that. When i said and keep saying “no rules” i mean that. You can not have something like ideal preparations, you can only try to have it (and then hungry man down the road still might shoot you with his antique hunting rifle for a bit of flour). survival fear

So again on bartering and gold and silver:

No, gold and silver was not like second money, or second value during SHTF, it was not even worth like in normal times, and in most of the cases it was dangerous to have it a lot (actually it was too dangerous to have anything in great amounts and let other people to know that) If you had for example 1000 gold coins, and let s say that one coin worth 150 USD in normal times, you could think that you are rich in shtf.

But in reality it was hard to find someone who give you some food or battery or whatever useful for one coin. Gold coin was not useful for 90 percent of people, what they could use it for? Eat it? Start fire with that?

Only people which could use that gold were people who had connection to outside world, so they could use it for buying things trough their connections. In most cases they just used situation to acquire great amounts of gold for the future and in exchange for some simple things, like food, or fuel or…

They did that because they had everything else.

But thing is it was hard to make trade with people like that, because bad kind of people had connections or were gathering gold, so they can just gonna take that gold from you and give you nothing, or bullet in your head.

So yes gold was useful and not useful, it dependeds what kind of people or group you belonged to.

If we have worldwide crisis and you can not get food anywhere the first currency of choice will be food or useful things, not gold or silver. If you want gold to keep some kind of value for one day after all is over make sure you are prepped for long, long time crisis before that.

It is better to have some useful stuff in your prepping, then to waste money on gold or silver. And of course if you still want to have a lot of gold as a part of your preparations, i suggest you buy lot odd simple gold rings, or simple cheaper gold necklace, it makes more sense than to have gold coins.

In hurry it is gonna make more sense to offer “your wifes gold ring” someone for cans or something else then to offer someone some “strange” gold coin for food or one of the typical gold coins you can buy from gold sellers these days, it can raise some questions, and you do not need raising questions in situation like that. Stay low key. Be the guy with the last family jewels not the guy with gold coins from typical gold sellers.

I would say that in SHTF it is gonna be easier and cheaper to get gold then in normal times. Bartering was not a thing of some regular prices or regular places, even “expensive”things changed. Meet the guy with terrible toothache and you are only person who can do an ok tooth surgery. He will give you some gold for that if he can or a lot of other valuable things to simply get out of this situation.

As i remember coffee and cigarettes was hard to find and expensive through all of the time, everything else changed, sometimes was expensive and hard to find, sometimes not.

But important to remember is to make it easier to you, so obliviously, it is much easier to carry and trade candles and batteries than 20 liters of fuel. There is no sense of letting everybody know that you are “man for trade” and that you have a lot fuel for example, because then you might end finished robbed and probably dead.

If you can be, be a traveling trader and do not trade too often with same people if you can avoid that. People also got shot after trading with one person a few times before. Other person might just run out of things to trade and call on you to come to trade and all he has is bullet for you in exchange for what he needs (and he knows you come with what he needs).

In some hardest period cigarettes was sold at one piece, i mean you could buy one cigarette for something, it was so expensive. Same was with coffee, even some substitutes for coffee were expensive. Now you need to know that traditionally here people drink coffee a lot, so maybe some other thing is so “important” in your area, like tea, beer or something else.

But do not expect that people will loose their addictions because times are hard.

One of my older relatives smoked cigarettes while he had it, after that he smoked tobacco (pipe), after that he bought from some folks pieces of dry tobacco roots or tree, used knife to cut small pieces of that and smoked that, and after that he used some dry leafs from tree and smoke that. He never quit smoking.

So in short instead of getting gold and silver to preserve your wealth you might consider getting useful stuff and if you like gold there is always option to get it from unprepared people in exchange for useful stuff if you think you need this for times after. If you already have everything you really think you could need then gold and silver might be good, better than just money for sure.

I do not believe in any quick recovery. Even with help from other states (thank you all for that) it took long time before things became more normal again.

If things don’t get better you do not want to be stuck with gold and having to do risky trades. Do not think that other people do not see when someone is desperate and take advantage of it.

The Power of Fear

Most of the questions from people who do not know too much about war is about fighting and shooting of course, man to man fighting.

Some of the worst expiriences are from street fighting with stable (more or less) lines of separation between enemy groups. Fighting where there is no real chain of command, real information on positions of enemy, or even real information on positions of your comrades. Not to talk about some kind of support, like logistic, or artillery or air back up.

survival fear

So if man holds position with rifle in basement of abandoned apartment building of some 6 – 8 stores, and enemy is at distance of some 20 meters, same like you, hidden in basement of abandoned and burned building, or even watching trough some small hole in wall from third floor in some destroyed apartment, and every sound is maybe sound of your death, that can change a man.

Some people literally lose their mind in situation like that, watching, scouting, every second alert.

Most of the folks in some period even did not had real sleep, it was more like some kind of half awake state, delirium, like in trance, after some time folks just shoot on any kind of suspicious thing, without too much checking. Being scared for long time does that to humans.

Funny thing that i realize, folks today basing their ammo stock on fact that they calculate possible chances for shooting at enemy, in real life folks shooted all the time, to shoot someone, to relive stress, to make someone aware that they still alive, to scare someone…

Yes you need a lot of ammo because you won’t be only shooting at someone, shooting becomes a sort of communication as well.

In some places and in some locations, people shooted regulary following their own schedule, of course with pattern changing, it was a way to keep people away.

Usually during the night and bad weather all things would become even more confused, so people would just go into the enemy territory because taking stuff from other group, using holes in walls between apartments or even sometimes ropes to climb on some other building and attack some positions, not in order to conquer it, but in order to aquire things like food, ammo, weapon, cigarettes etc.

Like in nature when the night comes predators become active. Hungry man can be evil beast.

At the beginning when most of the folks did not know too much about any weapon it was pretty usual to use some kind of “false” weapon. It is for example when 3-4 men held position in some destroyed house with one rifle and one pistol, they would use some pipe, or even piece of exhaust thing of wood stove, disguise it in window, cover it with something, so when someone look from 100 meters distance it looked like big weapon, sometimes like RPG, sometimes like sniper position, it depends on imagination of looker and ability of folks to decorate and of course also depends on peoples knowledge about weapon.

I know, sounds stupid, but it works (so i guess it is not stupid any more).

When you approach some building and you spot on third floor something that looks like rifle barrel pointed in your direction, you are not going to think about philosophy or agriculture, you are going to switch your survival mode and play safe. You do not want to find out if this thing can blast you to pieces or not the hard way.

It is easy to laugh about man who sought dirty water pipe from 100 meters distance, pointed in his direction, smartly placed on some sand bags and think it is m48 rifle.

In reality it is scary.

So again even “stupid” things work. In a dangerous situation even harmless things can look threatening, use that to your advantage.

You get what you give – but different

Some things about mentality and about morality changed drastically, every men changed in some way, some of us more, other less. Some people welcomed that change in their thoughts and see whole new situation as some chance to do things that could not do in normal times, not without punishment from system.

punishment

Most of the people accept some things over the time almost without noticing it, so for example you wake up one day with thoughts that to steal things has become almost normal, useful, it becomes a „must do“ thing.

Even with some newly „accepted“ behavior, people still had some judgment about what is bad and what is OK. It was distorted, but it still was there.

Easiest way to explain it would be to say that almost everyone did things that normal people in normal times could not accept as a normal behavior, but comparing to some other people actions it was nothing. It was like the scale of what is good or bad was moved all together for everyone. Facing all the killing and misery smoking marijuana became accepted by everyone. Human look for an escape and alcohol was too precious.

But one thing is for sure, whenever i hear these days somebody says: “I will not do that if SHTF“ or „I ll do only that if SHTF“ whenever i hear that i feel sick. Wait and see…

Truth is: You never know how far you are going to go with some things in order to survive, there is no chance to know that before SHTF, everything else is only talking and discussing in front of PC, in nice and warm room, safe, not hungry or thirsty and not under fire or chance of losing life or that loved ones get murdered anytime.

And to make things clear, I am not approving some things that i wrote about, i am not advocating some actions, everyone has to find the line and choose his own „good or bad“ actions. I just share what happened and how I experienced it.

One thing is to suggest what kind of medicines you must have in storage, but on some other things there is no advice, it is all on you. It is a mindset thing and no equipment can help.

Most of the people, great majority of people is ready to say instantly: „I am good man, and i ll do only good things when SHTF“.

Truth is, when SHTF, lot of that good and nice people forget on that „strong decisions“, mostly after first few close gunshots or explosions, or after finding out that local food store is gone, just like any other store.

I like most of you (I guess) want to believe in fact that some kind of punishment gonna „catch“ all people who did or who gonna do bad things. So here is what might have caught up with one guy.

Before SHTF that man was a small thief, pickpocket guy who steals wallets, and do some small cons to naive people at market, smuggling some things, he was not even big criminal, actually he was nobody. When SHTF he „ recognized“ his chance and in short time he is managed from nobody to become powerful man with group of some 200 armed man. He was something like strong charismatic leader, kind of man who would know how to organise small groups of people from lowest aspects of life, he was like god to them.

In some time he was in control of some vital functions, like organising of food coming in that area, trough some convoys. In that time you could be rich with few bags of flour, so imagine amount of power and control if you get all from convoys of trucks with flour.

When everything ended he was a rich and powerful man, man with his own enterprise, and his own people everywhere. He did not leave area when everything ended, he was even more powerful. He become active in public life, some people would have given everything to be close to him. Media even call him philanthropist, helping poor, giving contributions to orphanages, or giving donations to rebuilding schools.

People whispered in cafés about his famous parties which lasted for days and nights, womens, drugs. Powerful and untouchable man.

And then one morning maid found him hanging from some window knob, naked, with his swollen blue toungue out, and his own dirt beneath him. Rumor was that he had nightmares for years, nobody knows for sure.

But i remember story from some other time when baby food for new born babies was very hard to find, and even when you find it to trade then trader could ask lot of things for that, well in that time he just kept baby food from aid and sell it for astronomical amounts, and even he mix that food with some things when it becomes very rare, things not good for babies to make it more, and then sell it to people.

I like to think there is a reason why he died like that, alone naked and dirty. So keep in mind even if scale or level of what is ok and what not shifts it still makes sense to only do what you have to do. Accept the new reality quickly, adapt to it and do what you have to do to survive.

People easily get seduced by the dark side and many will fall for it.

Survival with a guitar

He lived alone, had a job as salesman, did not have any knowledge about shooting, military or anything connected to survival or similar things. His knowledge was more about singing and playing guitar, he was nothing like famous, but pretty known with his group, playing at local weddings, or local festivals.

He missed few chances to go out at the beginning of everything, some his relatives from America called him few days prior everything started and offer him money and help to get out, but he just thought this mess is temporary thing.

Even when people started to get killed on daily basis he still thought It is going to stop very soon, it didnt. They came for him in the middle of the night, like many others, at that time they just doing the sweep, so that means a gang searches a street or several houses in an area, in order to mobilize you for fight for them or in other case to kill you or imprisoned you (robbing is included of course).

prison

He was not material for fighter, he looked more as shy girl then as a grown up man, passing out even on mention of blood. So they just imprisoned him together with bunch of other people. Many years later he told me that hardest thing for him was not to suffer some occasional beatings and lack of food or water. Worst thing was feeling of desperation and sometimes feeling that all is only dream. A bad dream, like a nightmare. His psychological suffering was bigger than his physical suffering.

In one occasion he mention to them that he is good with guitar playing. From that day he become something like their member, he played for them while they drink and beat and tortured other folks.

It was hard for him to focus, while other people suffered but he played encouraging songs that made some men beat others in frenzy. Men adapt and get used to their surroundings.

He told me that he was not in that time neither prisoner neither their member, he was something like their clown, man who amused them, playing and singing songs on demand, not sure is somebody of them going to shoot him in head because bad song, or give him gold chain for a good song. But point is that he was under some kind of protection. He was valuable because there were few sources of entertainment.

Other imprisoned folks hated him, and were scared of him in same time, because he was more popular than they were. After few months he took chance with some foreign news reporters crew and run away, carrying big camera, blue helmet and blue body armor on numerous check points.

I lost contact with him for years, then I found him on some discussion about war and music on web. He is working as a room cleaner, in country far away. I started some discussion with him about prepping and survival and found out that he is still do not know anything about fighting, shooting or survival.

But he told me that he is playing guitar every day, alone in his room, so I guess he is now much better with that.

I think about him sometimes trying to figure out is he a good or bad man. Just a man making the best out of his situation probably. We were all grey and did what we had to do. Sometimes ugly things. But keep in mind simple extra skills give you extra value that might save your life.

There will be more about survival entertainment soon. What extra skills outside of survival do you have or learn?

Old cans and minefields… how to control enemy movement

People used everything they could for their protection, from most primitive things like throwing rocks to more sophisticated kind of traps made with explosives, usually those kind of traps required knowledge so they were rare. People invented some traps or something like false traps, everything was allowed in order to keep yourself and your group safer.

Home Security Mines

Armies used mines of course, there were whole areas covered with mine fields, some urban areas also were covered with all different kind explosive things, booby traps.

In some areas where soldiers had open terrain in front of them, or terrain with bush, and if they planted mines there, they usually throw all kind of empty cans, like food cans or anything similar. As we understanded at that time they used that in order to confuse enemy if they coming during the night trough the mine field with mine detectors.

So basically if man going with those mine detectors trough bushes during the night and trying to discover mines digged in ground he is going to be confused with lots of false readings from all of the cans and metal garbage, so he is not going to pay good attention after some time.

Pretty soon lots of folks started to throw cans in areas that supposed to be dangerous, or hard to watch all the night.

Sounds stupid and primitive, but in most of the situation it is worked.

Whenewer during the night i was stuck in some area that suspiciously was covered with lot of empty cans, or other small metal garbage usually i tried to find another way, even i was sure in 90 % of situations it was only empty cans.

I would just turn back beliving that somebody set up a trap. When it comes to life or death even very small percentages count.

It was just so basic opinion in that time that in every mine field you gonna find lot of old cans to confuse mine detectors that we all belived in that.

In a SHTF scenario some signs of danger will become common, use them to your advantage.

What are your plans for home defense?

Bad people in control

Message:
Selco,
I wonder how bad people are usually in control and if its possible to change that. Criminal types are ruthless and tend to be
charismatic. I think of them as sales people.

It seems that in short time they’d be fragmented due to infighting and those who can work together would grow stronger. This doesn’t seem to happen though. Are most people bad, selfish, weak minded, need a leader, duplicitous, fearful or otherwise? How do the gangs work together when good people can’t?

Any insight into politics or human nature which allow this is greatly appreciated. Also you mentioned your neighbors got along just enough but there was little trust or cooperation. Any way to change this?

Currently many in the USA are catty, petty and this is rampant in
families. We don’t get along. Someone is always trying to get a deal
or a family member is using others. My own family doesn’t get along
although in a SHTF they might come together but who’s the boss? And
what to do with the lazy, unskilled members? ATM, there is no
cooperation.

I’m in the USA and there is much pent up anger here. In shtf, I think
this anger will add much violence to an already awful situation.

Thanks for all your posts, this info is timely and very rare.

 

 

Hello and welcome

First i do not think some things can be changed, yes in every specific situation, collapse, SHTF event i believe worst kind of people will be in charge, or try very hard to be in charge.

Yes, i think our society and way of living make us weak,most of us. When SHTF weak people vanish or connect to group with strong leader, to survive alone bad or good it is way to hard, problem is in fact that in desperate situations great number of people turns from good to bad.

You see in desperate situation man have tendency to gradually loose his morale, most of the people. It is easy to discuss this things in normal times and say “i ll stick to my decisions” but when is come to your life or life of your family member good man probably will do some bad things.
When you describing situation in your country it is like you are describing situation in my country, here is also everything going down, family values, respect, political situation crime and you can also feel anger here, like everything going to blow That is another reason why i believe things going to be bad again.
In hard times there is no democracy, if he do not obey, he is not a member and leader should be man who is capable to make decisions in tough time, it is not so hard to shoot you know, it is hard to make some decisions in hard situations.
I strongly believe that good cooperation between people in collapse can be made only in rural communities, very small places, where people know each other very well, where people are not so adapted on some things that make life in modern city.
And what to do with lazy unskilled member? Nobody was lazy in my time, if he is lazy he do not eat.
In towns everything come to smaller groups like families.In my case cooperation between street members was more based on fear then trust.

Good Night… for Raiders

Usually they were coming during the night, but late (or very early) around 3 or 4 in the morning. They would not coming in silence, always with shooting, cursing and yelling, sometimes they would just throw couple of hand grenades in front of the house, to kinda shock you. Even some tough and good prepared guys would just run away if they had a chance.

SHTF Raiders

It takes some guts and serious weapon to stand up to 10,15 or 20 armed guys, mostly drunk, or high. Sometimes if people did not resist everything ends with few punches, broken rib, or similar. They could just took what is interesting for them and leave, on the other hand they could rape,kill,torture. If you choose to resist, be sure that you can resist to them, or just be sure to kill yourself before they get you alive. People just were not sure what to do, to resist and take chance or to surrender and take chance.

One incident I can remember

I will call him Dan, because his security. His father was goldsmith, quite famous in town. Two of them just waited in the city and looked how everything going to hell with first months of chaos. Father could not survive all changes, lack of medical care and every day uncertainty just finished him and his already sick heart.

Dan buried him with 2 neighbors one night in near graveyard, while city was in flames and battles raged over the reasons that nobody actually cared as soon as TV and TV news were gone with propaganda stories. They had some amount of gold in house, pretty much gold.

They came for Dan at 3 in the morning, did not ask anything, they just search the house in details, beat him and took him to their prison. They ruled in that part of town, prison was not like real prison, it was a basement in local mall.

After 5 th day of regular beating their leader came and said to him: you will take us to the gold.

And he took them, he and two gang members spent 2 hours on rain in the middle of the night, while Dan was trying to remember where he is buried his father s gold in graveyard close to house.

After 2 hours he just use the moment and hit the gang member with shovel in the head, other one was sleeping in house, he took him too, and run away.

I do not know what ways and connections he used then, but after 2 months in Croatia, he ends up in Germany. War ended, I did not hear too much about him, except that he is in Germany, and not doing so good, and that he is keep telling that he is never coming back here.

One day I heard that he is back.

I met him in one cafee close to his old house, we had some coffee, he did not want to speak too much about old times. I ask him why did you come back here? His answer was: I remember where I buried my father s gold.

He also told me :

“Right after my father s death i took all his gold, put it in jars and buried in graveyard. I did not use any map or anything like that, but I was perfectly aware where I was buried that, I memorize it very good.

After they put me in that prison, after they beat me, humiliate me, they took me to graveyard because I told them I was buried gold there. Standing in that graveyard, in night, with two of them with their rifles just erase everything from my head, I was desperately trying to remember where I was buried those jars, but nothing; my head was empty, blank page. I knew they going to shot me if I do not find it, and maybe even if I find it they shot me.

So I was digging like crazy, and suddenly i decide to hit him with shovel, I think it was not voluntary at all, something just woke up in me, like it was not me hitting him.

After I get to Germany I still could not remember where I buried that jars, so after few years I just stop thinking on that. And then few days ago I dreamed everything, like in fast forward motion, my father s death, killings, all atrocities, my prison, beatings, and I also dream about correct place of my jars, so I came here again

You know I think I was lucky because when they came in my house in 3 in morning they did not ask me anything, they just beat me and took me to prison, if they asked me the about gold, I am sure that I would tell them, I was scared to death, and if I told them then maybe after the took it they would kill me at the place.”

He did not want to talk any more, so I leave. I heard later that he suddenly “got rich” somewhere, and that he is doing fine now.

At that night when Dan was digging trough graveyard while two gang members were watching him, he was 17 years old.

Some of our Survival Food

As the situation deteriorated more and more, some things about food changed, things were brought to a level where we eat just to survive. To explain you in simple way: in first month it was like-oh i really could use pizza or beer, but after a few months it was like- oh i really want to eat SOMETHING, it was not too important what.

survival food

There was not to many different kinds of foods, i ll try to remember here what we use to eat. Cooking and preparing food mostly was not my part in that days, but i ll do my best here.

Bread was not everyday thing, and it was not bread like we eat today, and it was homemade of course. Flour was bad quality, actually it was some kind of mixture i think. We use to bake that bread in small pots, on plate, not in oven, it took less firewood to bake it like that. After baking we wrap it in wet clothes, rug or something similar and leave it for hour or two, to make it softer.

About pancakes, we just call it pancakes, but actually it was mixture of herbs , water and small amounts of flour, baked also on plates, so when it is done you got something what look like pancake, with lot of green stuff inside and taste bad. For pancakes we used two kind of herbs, one was wild onion or bear onion, other was nettle (urtica).

We also used herbs mostly for different kind of soups, as a soup we used mostly nettle, especially if we had few potatoes to put in. We used all kinds of tea, actually something between tea and soup, i ques depended did we had anything else to put inside. Rice was popular also, alone or in form of some kind of pie.

Sometimes i did not eat for few days but at the end i always managed to get something trough trade or on other ways. It was a question of your strength and brain and some luck to find food.

Now you are going to ask me how?

OK for example two from our group go out to wait for MREs, two others go to find someone to trade something, two are going to find some usable herbs.
Food was coming in town trough few ways, depended on state of those ways in some days was easier to get some food, in other days was just too hard.
For example in one period in black market there were great amounts of some kind of cookies, or hard biscuits, in big metal containers, i do not have clue from where. Something similar to those crackers in MRE.

People avoided to eat that because rumor was that cookies are poisoned, i did not avoided them. So it was some strange situations with food too. Of course all different kinds of cans, MREs, end every other “luxury” thing was subject of many different “if s”. Preparing of food was pointed to how to “how to make it with less firewood”

In summer we prepared food in a yard on a simple two stone and one plate fire. But most of the preparing of food was simple and took as long as to “boil water”, like pancakes or kinds of donuts (not real donuts, more like a bad case of a donut)

Spices were pretty important for the simple reason because most of the home made foods tasted awful, or did not have taste at all, so we practically used them for every meal. Tabascino, peppers, rosemary everything.

You may say that we actually experimented with food but actually that is a really nice way to put it. We did not have too much problems with storing food, because we never had enough food to store it actually. It was like finding food for day or two in most cases, i mean to get somewhere more than 15 cans at once was really rare. There was some importance of having jars, because people tried a lot with making some kind of sauce or marmalade, if we had sugar it was marmalade, without sugar it was tomato sauce.

Most useful tool in preparation of food was something like a small stove, i mean even if we had a wood stove in house it was not to economic to prepare something really fast on it, it just required too much firewood to get hot so you can prepare something.

So solution was to remodel it so you can faster get “water boiling” or even try to make new one from very thin material, so you do not need too much wood to make it really hot. People used sometimes big cans for that purpose, or changed original material on old stove with thinner.

Money was actually not much worth, only in rare occasions you could use it, and under very changed valuation of course. Even before everything started the monetary situation was confused and we had hyperinflation. When all started i had as i said before some food in my house, for a week maybe not sure, some other folks who joined me brought more, and i had some money, if you compare it with today situation and money i can say that i had something like 700-1000 Euros in house and good savings in bank.

In first days of confusion i did nothing with that money, i just waited for situation to get better, so in some two months i barely found some guy and bought from him some flour for that money, at price maybe 40 times more than at the beginning of everything. On the other way if i would have been smarter and bought candles, batteries, and food for example at the beginning, in few months i would have been rich trough trading that stuff.

So real explanation of question was money worth much it depended how smart you used it. I was not smart. But truth is that very soon money simply didnt matter anymore or was nothing we even thought about.