Many of you were in Kiel, when we started our big trip and saw this 50m long ship, that will be our new home for the upcoming six months and everyone of us heard disbelieving reactions like: “How can 50 people live there?“ To be honest, I have to say that this was my first reaction, too. Now, three weeks have passed and I changed my opinion because we got to know our new home and its parts: Our living room, which is filled with six long desks and seats, where we eat, learn and play together and our private room is our cabin, which we share with one, three or five other people.
It‘s easier for you to compare our place with yours when I tell you that our bed has the size 2m x 70cm and that our wardrobe are two shelves, which have a magnitude of 50cm x 50cm. In the shelves we have to stow the whole stuff, we need for six months away and some of you would think again that it‘s not possible but this task was the first big challenge in the shipyard: “Stow all your things in 45min away, make your bed and it has to look tidy – we will check that!“ The ‘shipcongress‘ checks it every Saturday after the ship has been cleaned. Then the captain Detlef walks trough the cabins and he looks very exactly on every skirting board, every hole and every corner if there‘s dust.
But except cleaning there‘s another thing everyone has been already learning here: Things like a bottle standing anywhere unsafed and heavy swell isn‘t a good combination, so we have to watch out every time. We especially had this problem in the North Sea, where things in our cabin got broken. But many of us see something good in it by making bets when the bottle on the desk next to the rubbish bin will fall into it.
The same goes for the cabin life: You can see the negative and the positive sides of an aspect and that is one example I have been learning, too. It is the fact that the ‘bad‘ things also have positive sides. To sum it up, a cabin has two faces – again a negative and a positive one. On the one hand it‘s quite difficult to move when everyone of the own cabin is standing inside and when the ship is listing and you have bad luck sleeping on the wrong side, so you always have to watch out that you do not fall out of your bed. Another example is, if you want to wear a jeans and your onliest jeans is in the room under the bed, so you have to open the whole bed and look for it in your backpack, all that effort just for one jeans- that doesn‘t make you really popular with the others in your cabin. On the other hand your cabin becomes your best friend when you‘re seasick and when you need a little bit of silence.
At last I have to say that you are only partly right: It definitely IS possible to live like that, but only with the exception that it only works when you get involved in this life and appreciate this possibility and ‘every-day-challenge‘. And that‘s it. The cabin life is a challenge that gives you the possibility to learn from each other, to share your feelings, to see how little things you need for a living and how to comfort your friends when they‘re worrying.
In spite of these hurdles, these experiences are something money can‘t buy and I wouldn‘t exchange this for anything!