Nobody will forget
Position: 43° 25,1’N, 008° 13,8’ W
Nobody would understand.
Nobody would understand our jokes.
When I am back home, nobody will understand, why I am laughing.
Only the people on our ship do.
The running gags, our special rituals and the small inside jokes we make, have their own stories. Our stories. If you have not been part of what happened, you will not understand. They are not meant to be funny to anyone but us. That is, what makes our jokes and gags so special. Nobody ever made them and nobody except us will use them.
I am afraid of coming home, where I will be alone with our stories and experiences. All the rituals are not important to the people back home. All the songs that are connected with our journey, do not mean anything to the people back home.
Songs are playing a big role when it comes to jokes in our community. Many times, song quotes are screamed. As soon as anyone starts, everyone else is joining. There are a few words, you better not mention, if you do not want to listen to a mini-concert (kind of).
But these are exactly the moments I love and will never forget.
I can see it clearly.
Maio, Cabo Verde. We are sitting on the wall of an old ruin. The sunset in front of us, a few lights of a small city in our back. We are singing “In The End” by Linking Park. And every word we are singing together strengthens our connection and makes us come closer together. There is this certain vibe that is impossible to describe.
I am afraid of us distancing from each other and this vibe I love will get lost. It connects us and made us to the community we are right now.
Another thing that defines our community is our language. Initially, our board language is German. And in the beginning, it was. But with more time passing, our way of talking changed a lot. Since we are mainly cut off from the rest of the world, we have developed our own language away from external influences.
Firstly, we have integrated the English language into our daily communication. We are using a lot of anglicisms, but they do not really have their original meaning, we made them our own. For example, many people are saying, “play” to almost every smart thing or idea somebody has. But apart from the anglicisms, we also use some words in a completely new context and use them as synonyms. This is the part when it becomes impossible for someone external to understand what we are talking about. If I said, I “needed to set the anchor”, who would think of me going to the toilet?
Nobody would understand.
These things are something that developed in our community and became kind of endemic. Rituals and traditions play a big role in our daily life on the Thor Heyerdahl. You have a certain time to wake up, a time to clean the ship and so on. This is the schedule, but the actual rituals are the ones we created by ourselves. For example, there is always a big battle about socks. Nobody has enough socks. They are getting lost in a strange way. And then suddenly, they appear in the “lost and found auction” every Saturday. Then the battle begins. Sometimes over 70 Euro are donated just for socks *. These battles are legendary and I do not think any of us will forget them.
We will not forget our jokes, our songs, we will never forget this vibe.
They are ours forever.
Nobody will forget.
*At the “Lost and Found auction”, you can donate money to the “Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffsbrüchiger” (an organisation that rescues survivors of shipwrecks) and in exchange get things from the “Lost and Found” box.