Michaela Merz

SS Rotterdam

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My parents and grandparents had taught me to value craft. As a child with my mother I combed through countless barns, cellars, attics, storerooms and dilapidated houses, industrial ruins searching for old farm furniture, equipment, and tools. My mother has saved several items for the ensuing ages and carefully restored what would have been lost otherwise.

This together with countless visits to museums, exhibitions, stately homes and castles, gave me an unsystematic but very comprehensive education on furniture and tools of the various epochs.

I myself am not at all talented for manual jobs but I have an eye for rare, thought-through, beautiful old furniture, no matter under what terrible burden of paint it is hidden. I enjoy to visit old thrift shops and to search for true pearls. I enjoy their perfectness very much. With heavy heart I do not buy anything because my apartment is fully furnished and unfortunately does not need anything.

Now I was in Rotterdam for business reasons. Rotterdam is pulsating, modern, exciting city. I was astonished and when arriving in town I enjoyed the modern architecture. My meeting including accommodation was booked on the SS Rotterdam. This is a passenger ship, built at the end of the 50s of the last century. According to the information received it was the most luxurious ship at its time travelling between New York and Europe. Today one could call its furniture vintage.

I love small boats, which I can steer myself or with friends. Large ships rather rise mistrust and indisposition. Thus my judgement on a steamer is negatively influenced from the start. No, it was not an inspiring and joyful experience. I worked for two days without daylight on deck A. In my cabin with old furniture and new curtains, which had taken up the bright red colouring with blue dots, I had a very oppressive feeling.

A cabin where obviously the window cannot be opened, where the ceiling is low and the furniture has the charm of a naked lightbulb in an empty room.

However the SS Rotterdam I can recommend. One does not forget it and it makes one thoughtful, apart from the funny feeling I had.

She once was the most luxurious and thought after ship on this earth which only the well-off could afford. But at some point it missed the trend. There were larger ships, more interesting ones. For me it is the perfect example which shows that if one does not develop, adapt to trends, get new qualities, one becomes a side note of the past. This applies not just for ships, but also for societies, people, places and events.

If you go to Rotterdam, book a night on the SS Rotterdam and think whether you invested enough in yourself.

Bildquelle: : Christian Strohhofer / pixelio.de

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