Living in cabins – The horror you might think it is?
When I stepped into my cabin, which has the number eight out of ten cabins in total, for the first time, I thought that life in this little room would be very difficult, but now I see that it is actually really cool and I want to tell you why.
On our ship “Thor Heyerdahl” we don´t have our own rooms. We have our cabin with bunks as beds. Inside the cabin can be two to six bunks, but in most there are four bunks. In these cabins I live with my other three roommates, so we have four bunks, two on the left hand, where I sleep in the bottom one, and two at a right angle to the boat. Inside our cabins, there is our whole equipment, either in the two shelves we have per person or under the bunks. Inside our cabin you can be with a maximum of five people, then it is completely full. That means that the cabin is about two meters long and three meters wide. It is a bit tight, not like my own room at home, but on a ship you don´t have this much space.
In my cabin there is always one person who wants to sleep because they stayed up too long for their sentry duty and that is why we always have to be quiet, even if we are outside the cabins. Additionally, you can only use red light in the cabins because nobody can sleep if the ceiling light is on. However, even like this sleeping is always a bit difficult as there are always clothes or other things on your bunk, it is loud outside or there is work to do and sometimes there is a strange smell which comes from our dirty clothes. Then you have to open the door and the windows or you won´t get any sleep at all.
But all in all, I completely like my cabin because there are always your roommates who support you. Whenever I have a problem, I can always tell them and I am sure that they will keep it a secret. Another advantage is that we share everything like sweets, clothes or other things. But the most important aspect for making our cabin life work is that we respect each other’s privacy, so if somebody wants to calm down or relax the others accept that. This is an important rule that the bunk is only the bunk of the owner and nobody else sleeps or sits there.
Since I have been living in my cabin, I´ve never been bored because there is always something to do like cleaning the cabin, folding laundry and putting it back into the shelves, washing the dirty clothes or just talking to the other roommates. On the big cleaning day once a week (‘Großreinschiff’), every cabin has to be perfectly clean, just like all other parts of the ship like walls and floors.
Another fun fact is that I always put on my clothes in the dark, so the others can keep sleeping and I don’t wake them up. This is why it happens many times that I put on different socks or I wear my pullover upside-down. Luckily, with the raincoat we still wear at the moment nobody sees the difference. Hopefully, I will learn to handle my clothes better until we reach warmer weather in a few weeks.
So now you know what cabin life looks like, it is quite a challenge and could be very hard, but it is also very exciting and a nice way to get to know each other better. It is definitely no horror.