I am in the middle of watching the first season of Last of Us, the HBO series based on the PlayStation game with the same name. I just finished watching the 3rd episode that released earlier this week.
The world of Last of Us is set in a post-apocalyptic timeline where a fungal outbreak has taken over the world. To quote myself from the article I had written on the first game:
Quarantine zones, empty roads, martial law and curfew are the norm and safe zones separate the normal people from the infected (reflecting the reality of red zones vs. orange and green zones). Normal life has come to a standstill, ration cards are the new currency and survival is the main goal.
So, what's that all got to do with strawberries?!
Well, in a post apocalyptic world, rations are limited and with military controlling zones, there are very few people in the world, who have the freedom to live alone. Bill and Frank are two such exceptions. The 3rd episode tells their story, of how they meet each other and then end up living together.
Still, how do strawberries figure in all this?
One of the most heartwarming moments in the episode is the time when Frank shows Bill the strawberries that he has grown in the garden. It makes sense that once you don't have access to supermarkets, you cannot buy any fruit you like on a whim and have to make do with what you have. It is only if you are lucky that you will have the seeds to grow fruits that you want.
In this world of ours, I can easily walk out and get a box of strawberries from the nearest supermarket any time in the day. This holds true for a host of other fruit (so feel free to replace strawberries with your favorite fruit or even vegetable for that matter). It should not take the end of the world to miss having it. Rather crave for it in its absence, I would appreciate and take joy in its presence and ease of access.
This reminds me of the first time I actually tasted strawberries. There were these really sweet strawberry shaped candy that I used to have when I was a kid and for a long time, I was under the impression that those were actual strawberries and that was how they tasted. It was when I had actual strawberries a few years later that I found them bittersweet and did not like them as much. But over the years, finding them on cakes, in milkshakes and just freshly packaged, I came to have a love for them.
After Episode 3 of Last of Us, I have stocked my fridge with a box of strawberries, sharing it with my sister and my mom, as we have come to enjoy its taste every day since. It only took a vision of the post-apocalyptic world to get me to appreciate this piece of delicious, delicious fruit.
Share your thoughts with me and let me know if you think I am being ridiculous. Have you found yourself come to appreciate something similar that you had taken for granted? DM me on twitter at @godric_snow and we can have a conversation.
Originally published on June 11th, 2023.