eyes on the U.S.

A German Love Letter To The United States

A Die Welt editor spent four months living and working in California, and though many of his countrymen are critical of the U.S., he fell in love with its cool, can-do spirit.

"the feeling of being in a tastefully lit film"
"the feeling of being in a tastefully lit film"
Frank Schmiechen*

You welcomed me with open arms. You reached out to me and took me in for four months even though you had no idea who I was, what I did or what I wanted. You didn’t concern yourself with that. You answered all my questions, politely overlooking my strange accent and mediocre English.

If I wasn’t sure how to get somewhere, it was only a matter of seconds before someone on the street came up to me and helped me find my way. All I had to do was stand there looking a little unsure of myself and — on the street but also in restaurants, the post office, in hotels, at the barber shop, in offices, in shops, at the gas station — someone would come over and cheerfully offer their help.

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Society

Face In The Mirror: Dutch Hairdressers Trained To Recognize Domestic Violence

Early detection and accessible help are essential in the fight against domestic violence. Hairdressers in the Dutch province of North Brabant are now being trained to identify when their customers are facing abuse at home.

Hair Salon Rob Peetoom in Rotterdam

Daphne van Paassen

TILBURG — The three hairdressers in the bare training room of the hairdressing company John Beerens Hair Studio are absolutely sure: they have never seen signs of domestic violence among their customers in this city in the Netherlands. "Or is that naïve?"

When, a moment later, statistics appear on the screen — one in 20 adults deals with domestic violence, as well as one or two children per class — they realize: this happens so often, they must have victims in their chairs.

All three have been in the business for years and have a loyal clientele. Sometimes they have customers crying in the chair because of a divorce. According to Irma Geraerts, 45, who has her own salon in Reusel, a village in the North Brabant region, they're part-time psychologists. "A therapist whose hair I cut explained to me that we have an advantage because we touch people. We are literally close. The fact that we stand behind people and make eye contact via the mirror also helps."

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