Alone Like a Rolling Stone

Live your nightmare

You know the saying, "Don't dream your life. Live your dream." Now it is the case with me that I usually do not remember my dreams after waking up. In this respect I have tried a lot and it is always said that everybody dreams at night, only I can do what I want, waking up in the morning, everything gone. 

With nightmares it is different, mostly they announce an illness and then remember days. That's why I was and am always a bit careful with the above quoted saying. Before one or the other asks himself the question why he does all this and the advice comes to stay at home, let me say: I love my nightmares and therefore I live them. Constantly new situations, constantly new challenges, weighing up decisions, making them, sometimes ad hoc, only to find out a second later that she wasn't the right one and then to react again to the situation that has arisen, make this life interesting. We have travelled a lot in the world and it is always a challenge to get along in a foreign country whose language you don't speak and whose culture is completely different. On holiday this may still work somehow. Usually staying in a hotel, somebody always speaks a little English and you usually get what you need. It's different when your everyday life is dominated by a foreign language and culture, when there's no one left who speaks a little English, when you suddenly become the Syrian who has to explain to a German policeman in his broken German why he's walking this way, in Italian as a German at latest you'll be happy when you've made friends who support and help you.

We have found such friends and are very grateful for that. But we also know that elsewhere we have to deal with such a situation alone and that is why working on oneself, learning languages, obtaining information, a permanent development of one's own abilities and makes it so exciting. Exchanging one's own experiences, profiting from other experiences, have meanwhile reached a high value in our lives. You quickly learn who is still dreaming here and who is actually living his dream. I recently read a blog that described the "foreign showers". On the one hand I found the pun very funny, on the other hand the author of the article described in a very entertaining way what she has already encountered on her journey. She stated that she was quite short-sighted and thank God she does not always see everything so exactly. Dear Sabine, should you ever read this, I envy you your shortsightedness, in many a shower you have to overcome your disgust to get a feeling of cleanness in yourself and that requires enormous mental strength, but we sailors have more than enough of that. This always reminds me of my time in the German Army. In the first week we "newcomers" were taken to a gym and our staff doctor gave a lecture on hygiene. I was very surprised about the one-hour lecture. I thought I was the biggest "dirty pig" on God's earth, so we were pulled down by the experiences of the doctor. But it was extremely difficult to implement the behaviour patterns that were presented to us. The shower for about 200 men was a room about 10m on 10m. The room was tiled from floor to ceiling with swimming pool tiles and from the wall came about 30 shower heads. In the middle of the room there was a drain 10x10cm. If you were late for a shower, you could just about walk the length of a tile along the wall, because there was a grey-brown soup standing ankle-deep in the room and I tell you, nobody would have stood in that soup willingly. In this context, I am not surprised why, in the Corona crisis, general hygienic practices, which are not only used in these times, are being propagated again, but even have to be prescribed. Obviously there are people who, having come from the "shit", still do not wash their hands. Besides, it seems to be common practice to spit in public or otherwise exchange body fluids, may one forgive me, my social contacts are too long ago that I know the common practice at the moment. That is why we need to make masks compulsory, which the WHO advises against, by the way.

I just imagine a clean toilet-goer - Gaby means I should not always throw around with the strong expressions - so I imagine such a said person, who due to lack of buying possibilities or because he does not see it at all to buy a mask, his 5 years ago acquired wool scarf, which he of course never washed when he went shopping, just before he entered the store, turned from right to left over nose and mouth, rushes through the store and because such a scarf is warm and it is also very warm in the store, stands sweaty in front of the cashier and pulls out his credit card to pay. Yes, I think these hygiene rules make a lot of sense. On the other hand, I simply believe that what you have not absorbed with your mother's milk in such things, you can hardly bring into your daily routine and until this becomes routine, the crisis is hopefully already over.

Until it is so far, I occupy myself intensively with the short wave, which gave me a lot of trouble in the beginning, but meanwhile I manage to receive weather faxes, Navtex and RTTY information safely and in good quality. As I only have a LRC (Long range certificate) I envy the knowledge of the radio amateurs, but there is nothing that can't be read and we have plenty of time for that at the moment. Also, this week we had to put in a new halyard for the main sail, as the old one was chafed. Then we will splice in a new shackle, that should hold for a while. 

At this point we would like to thank the ever growing readership and the lively interest and discussion. We are always happy to receive constructive criticism, a simple pat on the back or even just a hello. In this sense, we wish you, as always, fair winds and keep your ears stiff.