The Modern Hunter-Gatherer

How a digital native forages for food

indi.ca

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I wake up and almost immediately begin thinking about food. My wife or the maids will tell me about various shortages. I grunt as I scan my brain — what is available, what is difficult, what’s just impossible. This was never my domain before, things just appeared. Now I must provide.

Around 10 AM the shops open and I scan through two delivery apps. I check these as fervently as the news, with less tragic results. Today there is bread, and an egg shop somewhat inexplicably selling face masks. There is, however, a distinct shortage of fruit. I should have chased the truck in the morning.

When you see prey you must strike, and in large quantities. You never know what tomorrow will bring. It’s feast or famine. My district has been under full curfew for a month now, without even access to supermarkets or pharmacies. You have to get what you can when you can, and more than enough.

So I place multiple orders and wait. There are still things I simply cannot find right now, but I’m always looking. Then there are the unexpected delicacies, like a kombucha that appeared, many scrolls down the digital plain. I watch every day in hope. I scan menus like a hunter would follow footprints.

After phone-herding the delivery rider down our street, the food is at our doorstep, trussed and bound. I put some bread in the freezer and fruit in the bowl. I’ll keep checking but I think we’re done for the day.

This is the life of a digital native during quarantine.

A life of privilege

Your bank account better look like this. Venus of Willendorf, 30,000 BCE.

This is, of course, a life of privilege. Humans have never hunted alone, and money gathers a tribe like no other.

The modern hunter-gatherer is not some lithe runner, striding across the plains, living by the sweat of their brow. They’re a fat chieftain, sitting on wampum, awaiting tribute.

My delivery accounts are connected to credit cards. Which are connected to bank accounts. Which are connected to cash. Direct deposits. Foreign currency. Fat, not…

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indi.ca

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