There are a lot of times that I find myself contemplating about the possibility of going to a dystopian world. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Katniss’ or Tris’ or Aria’s or Thomas’ or Lena’s world. The only important thing is that I get to experience living in a world ridden with crazy out-of-this world rules (like people getting persecuted for loving) and endless misery. I know that some of you (or majority of you dystopian addicts) are secretly desiring to have that kind of chance. But fear of the unknown, of the horrible things that might greet you there stops you from boarding the train and experience the dystopian style of living. But worry not, my friends. Being a fellow dystopian enthusiast, I am here to help you whip up that survival checklist to help us live like a pro in that world.
Before I go to the specifics, I need to remind you that this checklist does not guarantee your survival. At the end of the day, your existence always depend whether the odds were in your favor or not.
- Learn the culture. Don’t be a noob. Before you immerse yourself into the community, try to learn their culture first. Yes. Every dystopian community has their own specific practices. And try not to confuse one with the other. If you want to go to Tris’ world, better make up your mind about the qualities you have. Being divergent is a great no-no. Going to Lena’s world? Forget about love and memorize the book Ssssh.
- Forget Hygiene and Sanitation. Life in dystopian worlds is highly unpredictable. You’ll never know when the Leftists/Resisters will blow up everything. Or there is no chance of knowing when the Government/Society will go after your sweet ass. Just be prepared that any time, you’ll be framed up for something you didn’t do. Once any of these things happen, you’d be on the run and the last thing you’ll be thinking is getting a hot and cold shower or changing your clothes or making your breath fresh. The most certain thing that will happen to you is that you’d be stuck wearing the same undies not only for days but for months without even taking a single bath. Or you’d be kissing your leading lady/man with stale breath and saliva. Or inhale each other’s stinking scents. Or worst, you’ll be facing the dilemma of pooping while on the run. These things might be gross but it is inevitable. There are however things that you can do to make this ordeal less daunting.
a. Train yourself. While you are still living your luxurious life in this normal world, get used to wearing the same undies for a number of days. Just be discreet about it. That goes the same for your daily wear. While you’re doing this, do not take a bath. For the meantime, it is necessary that you avoid having intimate moments with your partner for reasons that I think you already understand.
b. Visit your dentist. For the reasons stated above, there are a lot of chances that you’d find yourself on the run. And there is a very minimal chance that you’d remember about toothbrush and toothpaste. So to ensure that your gums and teeth are prepared for the task ahead, get some dental cleaning first before boarding the train. And if it’s not too much to ask, pack your pockets with dental floss. It’s less bulky compared to a brush and a paste.
c. Wet wipes. Have some initiative. Wet wipes are fantabulous ways to temporarily solve your issues on bathing and pooping. Trust me. But since we’re talking about a crazy world here, it’s less likely that you’d still remember this. Leaves or corn cobs or coconut husks are great alternatives to solve your pooping issues.
- Vaccination. Get yourself vaccinated for all types of diseases; you’d never know if the world you’re visiting is suffering from pandemic. Anyway, it is necessary that you have a strong immune system since you are visiting a new world.
- Be emotionally, mentally and physically ready. I can’t stress this enough. It is a MUST. It would be such a waste of ticket if you’ll spend your time getting traumatized or unhinged from the events. The dystopian world is crawling with endless misery, violence and all things that escaped from Pandora’s Box. You must acknowledge these facts.
When I say emotionally ready, you have to stop yourself from being weepy. Accept that you’ll be seeing a lot of deaths, even the deaths of your loved ones. Avoid wallowing in too much grief and self-pity. And most of all, prevent yourself from interacting too much with the opposite gender (especially if he/she is hot and gorgeous) not because you are campaigning for gender supremacy but because of the obvious. Trust me, getting involved in controversial and melodramatic love triangles, square or pentagon (or whatever shape it will take) is the last thing that you want to be in. Love struggles have usually been the downfall of our beloved heroes and heroines. Please don’t be fool enough to take a leaf outta their books.
What about being mentally ready? Dystopian worlds become more exciting if there are a lot of gory scenes for everyone to witness. The gorier they are, the better… cracked skull, protruding bones, arterial bleeding, rotting flesh, exploded brains. Are you prepared to take all of these in and sleep soundly at night? If yes, then you are on the right track. How about the thought of these things being done to you? Would you be able to withstand thinking that your knees will be hammered to powder or your eyes getting popped out of their sockets? And while you’re thinking about all these stuff, you also have to make a strategy to outwit all the bad guys. Yeah, I know, it’s kind of a hectic schedule but you’ll get by.
On the other hand, physically ready means you’re ready to take on your attackers or outrun them… whatever works best. The good thing about living in dystopian worlds though is that once you’re in there, your physical strength is enhanced significantly. Suddenly, you can still run even after your ankle is broken or even after you just received a heavy blow to your head or if the bad guys slapped you with that almighty crack coupled with a powerful jab in your stomach. Let’s just hope that the gods of superheroes loved you enough to bestow their powers to you.
- Equip yourself with forest survival skills. Once you’re on the run, there’s a 98% chance that you’ll find yourself heading for any forest cover. Don’t believe me? You can read Reem’s guide here about tips for fictional characters to survive (it sounds different but actually, it’s almost the same). All your hard work (see steps 1-4) will be for nothing if you get poisoned from forest berries or if you got bitten by a venomous mosquito. Learn to navigate… memorize the basic compass directions. Learn to hunt even if the thought of killing that little rabbit is breaking your heart. And remember this, do no rule out the fact that in the near future, you’d be eating your own friends or your partner. These are desperate times. It’s either them or you.
It is also highly essential that you forget about vanity. Recognize the fact that you’ll be sleeping on hard packed earth, or above the tree tops or on damp, rat-infested caves. The joy of living in a dystopian world.
- Bring some things to be used as weapons. Don’t be naïve and expect that the Dystopian community will welcome you with open arms matched with a marching band. It does not gonna happen. Bring inconspicuous weapons with you at all times, whether it’s a lipstick or a toothpick. Even your bad breath or fart can be used as one. Just know the timing.
- Pack light. (Optional). You are not going to the Bahamas or Paris where you can flaunt your DG or Chanel. You are going to the Hellhole where everything is unstable and subject to change by the minute. As much as you want to linger and savor the moment of the dystopian lifestyle, you want to get moving as soon as possible should emergency arise. Suggested things to pack would be:
a. Panty liners and pads– Not only great for menstruating females but very handy when it comes to dressing wounds.
b. Tapes– to bandage the dressing
c. Pills and condom. After all the stressful things that you went through, it is only but normal that you share some intimate moments with someone whom you’d fallen in love with during the run (can be any one of those involved in the love triangle).
The worst thing that you can do (after getting head over heels inlove with someone) is to bring a child into a world of misery or getting a disease from a partner whom you’ve only met during the run. To prevent that from happening, better take these goodies. Be sensible.
- Always remember to get the hell out of there. If the going gets really tough, please do yourself a favor. Get your butt moving and away from that Hellhole. However, if you’re one of those heroes/heroines who lacked self-preservation then this is where we say goodbye.
I guess I have covered all the essential things to help you survive in the dystopian world. What about you? Do you have other things in mind that are vital in surviving the world of Dystopia? Can’t wait to compare notes with you.
Note: This post is linked to OhChrys! and The Fiction Conniption’s Let’s Discuss Feature. Check it out for more discussion posts around the blogosphere.