Russian Student’s Survival Tips, or How To Stay Alive If Your Average Monthly Income Is Around £20
Dedicated to Tom Hiddleston, who tries to survive spending on food £5 per 5 days via mostly eggs…
I used to be a student in Russia for five damned years. The grandest study bursary I’ve ever received (while being A-student 100% all the bloody time) was, if we change the currency to a more understandable one, around twenty pounds per month. If you’re a student in Russia, you sort of develop some survival technique VERY QUICKLY, because you want to stay sane and alive. So I’m sharing a few tips I still remember from those times, just in case somebody wants to try that Hiddleston-style hungry marathon… or wants to save some money (and get thinner)).
- Eat apples for breakfast. Remember, that apple a day keeps the doctor away. You’re hungry? Eat an apple. And chant this like a mantra: IF YOU DON’T WANT AN APPLE, YOU’RE NOT HUNGRY.
- When you walk by some take-away restaurant, remember: if you spend your money on junk food now, you’ll just eat that stuff in few seconds and get hungry again quicker than you think. Few seconds of junk food are nothing compared to half an hour of trying to get some damned soup done; that half an hour that you spend cooking is an occupied half an hour. When you get bored or unoccupied, you start getting hungry, so MAKE YOUR MEALS LOOK LIKE REWARDS IN A LONG QUEST, which they basically are.
- Forget eggs: they are easy to cook, but they are more expensive than, say, vegetables. In fact, forget everything that can be easily cooked; the longer you cook and eat, the slower is the process of your getting hungry again.
- Forget normal tea: you’d be amazed how many times you can use one tea bag.
- Forget cakes and candies, they don’t make you sated, they just make you feel sated for a while. CAKE IS A LIE.
- Soups are good, because there’s a lot of liquid in them, so you consume larger quantity of stuff. Personal favourite: a can of beans + a can of stew + two potatoes + lots of water. You can eat the result for three days at least.
- Ever tried to eat with chopsticks? No? Try it. Eat EVERYTHING with chopsticks, including soup. That will slow you down and prolongate the time you spend on consuming stuff. Note: if you can consume a small plate of rice with the cheapest a.k.a. most disgusting sea food in 40 seconds without leaving a single drop of food on a plate, you’re a true hungry A-student (and it’s a miracle you didn’t chew on the plate)… or you just know how to use chopsticks.
- Be sneaky and follow old ladies. Old ladies usually know the best places to buy the cheapest stuff (and, judging by the fact they’re still alive, the stuff they buy is edible). No matter what you think about your intuition, OLD LADIES KNOW BETTER. Also, helping old ladies is good for your karma… and they can offer you some free tea!
- When you run out of resources, carry out experiments. There’s nothing that you can’t mix together if you want to enlarge the portion of stuff you want to eat for dinner. A tiny piece of forgotten sausage can make any vegetable mix smell better. A piece of cheese is okay to use when cooking soup. You’d be amazed how many possibilities are in front of you, when your fridge is 99% empty. IMPROVISE.
- The more you sleep the less you eat.
I can assure you that all this works (and there’s some money left to go and watch some movie with, say, Hiddles in it). Hope this is somehow useful, or funny, or whatever… I’ll just go and have an apple now; see above, why…