Living Together – Predictable Chaos? by Vivi


Two and a half years ago, when I first heard about Classroom under Sail, I thought about all the things that might happen to me, if I ever got to get on this wonderful trip. How exciting it would be to wake up to the sound of waves crushing and the feeling of the sun tickling your face early in the morning. This was pretty easy to imagine. However, to be honest, one of the situations I had never really pictured, was the cabin life.
At home, most of us have their own bedroom, so we are quite used to be given some time by ourselves whenever we feel like it. One can decide whether one wants to stay awake with all the lights on until 2am or to just drop one’s personal belongings on the floor and leave them there. However, here on the Thor things are quite different.
Onboard, we have three hour shifts of sentry-duty twice a day, which means that a quarter of all KuSis has to sail the ship in turns. The first watch is from 11 to 2 (pm and am), the following from 2 to 5. Watch three takes place from 5 to 8 and logically the fourth sentry-duty needs to be done from 8 to 11 in the morning and at night. As you can see, there is always someone taking care of our home, even in the middle of the night, which leads on the one hand to people going to bed very early, but on the other hand also to some of us staying awake until it is late or getting up in the middle of the night. The sentry’s members, normally an equal number of boys and girls, are put into different cabins. The reason for this is that people get to know each other even amongst the watches. At the same time, this is why it becomes extra hard to wake the right watch members up without disturbing the others. That is the moment when one really needs to stay silent and take care of others, as it is incredibly annoying being woken up in the middle of the night by accident.
I can imagine that always being quiet in the evening might sound unfamiliar to most people, but actually it is one of the minor problems. The major struggle is that no matter how long we clean our cabin, it is never, really never, completely tidied up. I am based in cabin number 1, which means that I share my bedroom with five other girls. Admitting that I am not a fan of chaos, I am probably one of those who „suffers“ most from the untidiness. Considering that the things one owns need to get stuffed in two shelves, it is impossible to keep everything perfectly tidy for longer than two hours. Once a week we have to tidy up our cabins, and that is the moment, when people start looking for their things. It might be pretty hard to believe, but objects like toothbrushes, T-shirts or socks get lost very often. A helpful advice is to put a name tag on anything one owns, assuming one ever wants to find their personal stuff again, as washing the laundry on the ship often ends up with people not knowing what their clothes look like or pants disappearing without any trace.
As you can see, the cabin life on the Thor is really quite a challenge. But there is no need to worry, as only after a few days living on our ship, it already becomes normal to not change one’s shirt on a daily basis or to just be quiet when one needs to enter a cabin. Finally, no matter how much you love organisation, sooner or later everyone gets used to the new lifestyle.