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How To Bend Rebar By Hand Video
How To Bend Rebar By Hand

Survival Skills. What’s your understanding of “Survival Skills”?

After moving to Cambodia, moving from a tech-centered city to a tropical jungle on the mountain, “Survival Skills” are no longer the same to me.

In a completely digitalized city, Survival Skills are Python, data science or lead generation.

In the uncivilized jungle, Survival Skills are building a shelter, starting a fire, collecting rainwater or bending a rebar by hand.

The former skill sets gave me anxiety, honestly. The latter peace and satisfaction that I’ve never experienced before. The greatest satisfaction comes with making due with the limited resources we have available.

Why We Need To Bend Rebar

Zenopium HQ Office (in Progress)

This is the office we are building, still working on the door and windows. Wish I could show you the stone foundation. Chris, my husband, took it as an art project. Not only did he make it strong and sturdy, but also pretty.

To fix the vertical hardwood poles onto the foundation, we needed to bend 4 rebars and here comes the challenge.

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DIY rainwater collection system

How To Get Water Off Grid

Getting water was the top priority on our to-do list, when we moved to the tropical mountain in Cambodia. Exciting it was before we started the DIY rainwater collection system, fun in the beginning, disappointing in the middle and frustrating towards the end. When we finally got the system working, it was more relief than accomplishment.

DIY Rainwater Collection System

Equipped with tarps, bamboo, pipes and hose, we were so confident that we could get it done within one afternoon. Now looking at the first version we built, honestly, it was like a joke. So many things were wrong in so many ways.

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dried Turkish apricots
Dried Apricots

Close your eyes and take a moment to recall the happy moments in your childhood.

That’s how the dried Turkish apricots taste like: lightlysweet, chewy and a tiny bit sour. It puts a smile on your face.

October Special: Turkish Dried Apricots

500g, $9.00 (10% off regular price)

Regular price: 1kg, $20.00

82% of the world total dried apricot trade is from Turkey. There are two important quality criteria for dried Turkish apricots. They are moisture and SO2 contents.

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sun rise

One of the mornings in April 2019, in a tropical mountain jungle, it was about 5.30, I opened my eyes underneath my humble shed, still half awake. The view right in front of my eyes was so stunning that I jumped out of my bed, trying to inhale every pixel of the scene breath by breath. 

The violet horizon is holding up the cherry blossom pink sky. Gold clouds are flaring on the top. Even trees can’t help posing in front of such breathtaking scene. Every element of the universe is waiting for the sun to rise. 

That was our first morning living on the Kep mountain in Cambodia, the beginning of an off grid living journey.

No electricity, water, sewage system or really anything other than the tropical plants and aboriginal animals living here. Getting and solving everything is a project itself. Research, look at neighbor’s case studies, experiment, A/B test and more research.

Every step is a challenge. Every step, we encounter something that we have never done or even thought about before. But every step, we learn something about the tropical nature and animals, wisdom from the locals. Every step, we know ourselves better.

Where to Buy Off Grid Living Must Haves

In this post, I’m going to share with you the essential equipments and tools that we use to start living off grid.

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Kashgar, an oasis city in Xinjiang
Kashgar, an oasis city in Xinjiang
Image credit: Instagram @maokexi

When I hear the word “flavors”, I always think of Xinjiang. Its nature, landscape, people, food, culture, even weather is full of flavors in the sense of visual, sound, smell and taste.

Xinjiang, officially Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is located in Northwestern China, right above Tibet. It’s the largest province in the country, covering one sixth of the territory.

Bordering 8 countries, Afghanistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Mongolia and India, Xinjiang is home to many ethnic groups, including the Uyghur, Kazakhs, Tibetans, Hui, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Mongols, Russians and Xibe.

In winter, its continuous mountains covered in heavy snow made its name of “Eastern Switzerland“. Summer is the harvest season of fruit. Everywhere is decorated with colorful fruits.

Autumn is the time to visit local bazaars, because dried fruit and nuts are hitting the markets. In spring, the natural sceneries of its desert, lakes, valleys take your breath away.

Xinjiang people have a combination of western and eastern looking features. Tall, strong, exotic and good looking.

Got excited and curious about Xinjiang? Maybe these nuts and dried fruit can give you a taste of it.

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