Apocalypse Skills I’d Like To Teach My Children

Supermarkets are breaking down, markets are breaking down, and we need to learn how to farm again

5 min readMar 23, 2022


Igor Lamov’s fanart of Sarah Connor (from Terminator)

I watch my children sleeping through power-cuts, and I can’t tell them it’ll get any better. For all I know it’ll get worse. We don’t even take them to the supermarket anymore, who knows what’s in store?

How do I prepare my children for a future I’m not ready for? How do I give them skills I do not have?

What a time it is to be a child. What a time to be a dad.

Super Markets

When I was growing up in Ohio, I remember going to the supermarket with my father. I’d hang off the front of the trolley, my little sisters clinging to either side. I still remember how vast and cold that place was, the aisles stretching on forever in a child’s mind. Francis Fukuyama called this “the spectacular abundance of advanced liberal economies.”

I’ve been inside it. What could capitalism not provide?

If you took some butter, another butter slid down to take its place. If you took a fruit, another one just slid down. I remember feeling absolutely lost in the supermarket, clinging onto the cart. There were no seasons, there were no reasons. Whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted, it was there.

Just don’t stray too far from the cart or you’ll become a commodity yourself. Like a special on yoghurt, they’d read your name over the intercom and any interested parents could pick you up. I used to wonder, is there another child behind you, in case the store runs out?


When I came back to Sri Lanka, my father-in-law would always go to the markets. Nothing super about them. A government built roof and some cement stalls. I guess you could call it a ‘wet’ market, or what white people call a ‘farmer’s market’.

He’d handpick ‘the best’ fruit and veg, even get live chickens butchered then and there. When he wanted to make a special biriyani he’d bring a goat home and kill it himself. All of us young people laughed at or even scolded him. With modern conveniences, what a waste of time. What’s the point of the old ways, when the new is so shiny and…




Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at www.indi.ca, or just email me at indi@indi.ca.