GiT Network Partner |8| Paul Rötschke


Paul Rötschke

Already the 8th edition of our serial ‘GiT Network Partners’, in which various GiT partners & supporters answer our 6 questions: Paul Rötschke, antiquarian ànd founder of Michaelson.

Get in Touch is closely linked with this sympathetic and significant foundation, which supports young (and older) people by offering them a

SONY DSCsheltered place to unwind and recharge, find an open ear for their worries and a practical back support, if they like.

Key words to describe Michaelson: warm welcome, no judgement, anonymous & for free, empowering support without ‘taking over’, co-operation with a broad network in town.

Paul’s original post is written in Dutch. Translation by Carola

I AM ..

As an antiquarian, I have a passion and love for antiques, in which I could put a lot of my personal talents and interests. Elements from diverse styles and style periods, I’d like to bring together in an eclectical way.

IMG_6556Besides, I would like to emphasize that I fight for the conservation of cultural heritage and that we should deal with this heritage with great care and a good sense of sustainability.

This also applies to people for whom we should care and pay attention to. I am involved with people and I like to connect the diversity among them and to commit myself to help realizing sustainable relations and to support people to help themselves.

I’d like to work eclectically and integrative, according to the ‘methods beyond the methods’. For this, I feel the need of enough freedom of movement to be able to act unrestricted and independent.

I guess, I recognize this same need in Carola. For me our contact feels as a brother-sister relationship .. (and I also would define us as connectors pur sang)..

IMG_6312[NL: “Ik heb ik een Passie en liefde voor antiek waar ik veel talenten en interesses van mijzelf in kwijt kan. Elementen uit diverse stijlen en stijlperiodes breng ik eclectisch bij elkaar. Tevens wil benadrukken een voorstander te zijn voor het behoud van cultureel erfgoed en dat daar zorgvuldig en duurzaam mee om gegaan dient te worden. Dat zelfde geldt ook voor mensen waar je ook zorgvuldig mee om moet gaan. Ik ben begaan met mensen waarbij ik graag de diversiteit hierin met elkaar wil verbinden en me graag inzet voor duurzame relaties en mensen op weg wil helpen. Hierbij ga ik graag eclectisch en integratief te werk, volgens de methode voorbij methodes. Ik heb behoefte aan voldoende speelruimte om me daarin vrij en onafhankelijk te kunnen bewegen. Het zelfde denk ik ook in Carola te herkennen. Voor mij voelt ons contact aan als een relatie tussen broer en zus…..(ook zie ik ons als verbinders, pur sang) .. “]


Get in Touch brings people and different worlds together in a fluent, almost natural way. It makes you realize that together we are one big family and it encourages more growth than we thought possible. SONY DSC

GiT is like a warm bath in which you could land and where you feel at home right from the start.

You would almost forget that you’re living now in a foreign environment, far from family and friends.

Carola is like a mother hen, who looks after her brood with compassion and takes her family to special places where even the average ‘locals’ never have heard of.

I see in Carola an overall Mother and Grandmother. DSCN3789

[NL: “GIT brengt mensen en werelden op een vloeiende, bijna vanzelfsprekende manier bij elkaar. Het laat je beseffen dat we samen één grote familie zijn en zet meer in beweging dan we ons voor mogelijk houden. GIT is als een warm bad waarin je terecht komt en je direct in thuis voelt, waarbij je bijna zou vergeten dat je ver van familie en vrienden in een vreemde omgeving verblijft. Carola is als een moeder de kloek die zich zorgzaam ontfermt over haar kroost en neemt haar gezin mee naar bijzondere plekken waar de gemiddelde locals geen weet van hebben. Carola is een overall Mother and Grandmother.”]


Please help promote initiatives as GiT. Those kind of projects could function as an excellent linking pin between local and international communities.

[NL: “Help initiatieven zoals GIT onder de aandacht te brengen. Dergelijke organisaties kunnen een uitstekende verbinding vormen tussen locale en internationale gemeenschappen.”]


SONY DSCAs internationals would like to settle somewhere in The Netherlands, where would that be and why there?

There are a lot of Dutchmen who would love to settle in a foreign country (sometimes because of discontent or the weather), but they also seem to like one day to return back home again!

Why do you think they feel like that and do you recognize a likewise wish yourself?

[NL: “Als internationals zich in Nederland zouden willen vestigen, waar en waarom zou dat dan zijn? Er zijn Nederlanders die zich graag in het buitenland willen vestigen (soms uit onvrede of het klimaat) maar geven vervolgens aan daarna ooit weer terug te willen keren! Waarom zou dat zijn en delen jullie dezelfde wens?”]


Not a lot of phantasy and variety in the food. The rigidness in movement (I guess the bit of the Dutch blood in me explains my rigidness in movement too :), although my roots are in Indonesia).

They often love to start a conversation about the weather. The Dutch are fairly conservative, although in my view. DSCN5327

{NL: “Weinig fantasie en variatie in het eten. De houterigheid in beweging (dat verraad tegelijkertijd het Nederlands bloed in mij, J mijn roots ligt in Indonesië) Als openingszin hebben ze het vaak over het weer. Nederlanders zijn in mijn ogen redelijk conservatief. “}


Because of Philips – among others- Eindhoven became known as the ‘Light Town’. Internationals bring more color, culture, knowledge and liveliness in town and country, for which we are very thankful to you all. Please feel welcome!

{NL: “Onder andere door Philips staat Eindhoven bekend als Lichtstad. Internationals brengen meer kleur, cultuur, kennis en levendigheid in stad en land waar wij iedereen dankbaar voor zijn.. Voel je welkom!”}


When ‘space’ becomes ‘place’ |1| Dirk van Eck


Dirk Van Eck

For those who haven’t met me yet, I’m Dirk van Eck. I’m a Human Geography student from the Radboud University of Nijmegen who does a research internship at Indigo-Wereld.

Through observations and interviews with the members of Get in Touch, I try to gather information with which I aim to improve upon philosophical theories that were popular in the 1980s, but which are a bit forgotten by now.

Through a series of blogposts I will illustrate some of the results I am currently writing.

In this first blogpost I write about ‘space’, ‘place’ and ‘place-making’ and what those concepts mean for expats’ spouses and their familiarisation process with Eindhoven.

IMG_7587Humanistic geography is interested in how people perceive and interact with ‘places’ and ‘spaces’. Whereas the layman treats these two notions interchangeably, the humanistic geographer uses them to distinguish between two different environmental experiences.

Yi-Fu Tuan once said that “place is security and space is freedom; we are attached to the one and long for the other.”

Space is unfamiliar, adventurous and perhaps a bit scary, whilst place is acquainted, safe and warm. As such, ‘home’ is the epitome of place.

IMG_8299Tuan suggests that “what begins as undifferentiated space becomes place as we get to know it better and endow it with value.” What he means by that is that time is mandatory for people to become versed in the location they occupy.

Eindhoven is a large undifferentiated space for expats and their spouses who have just arrived there. It will take them a few months before they know their way around the neighbourhood and maybe a few years before they really begin to feel at home in it.

That makes them excellent subjects for my researcher however!

IMG_8313Like an epidemiologist looking for patient zero to learn more about the illness they are studying, examining expats’ spouses during the initial months/years of their stay in the Netherlands can tell a lot about the theoretical foundations of humanistic geography.

My research has thus far already yielded some interesting preliminary conclusions, with which I will eventually attempt to expand, nuance or even criticise existing theories on space, place and ‘place-making’.

Through a series of blogposts on the GiT-blog, I will try to elucidate some of those.

A cIMG_7469olleague of Tuan – the American David Seamon – suggested in the late seventies that being in place stimulates ‘openness’. With this he refers to a situation in which a person strives for fuller understanding of the world, because he or she feels comfortable and at ease.

His thesis is that in place people establish routines that help them to save cognitive energy which they may direct at new and unaccustomed experiences they cross paths with. In space, he thinks, people cannot maintain such an attitude of openness, because they are already too preoccupied with things like navigation, watchfulness, etcetera.

During some of the GiT-meetings, however, I began to sense that this might not hold true in reality.

IMG_7278Seamon’s theory would implicate that the expats’ spouses would be incapable of fostering an attitude of openness, since they perceive Eindhoven, as of yet, as a space rather than a place. Therefore, Seamon says, they cannot rely on extensive regularity in their everyday life, nor a profound ‘sense of place’, to preserve enough cognitive energy.

Until here I believe Seamon has a point, but to explain why expats’ spouses are nevertheless capable of fostering an attitude of openness I will first have to provide some more details on what ‘home’ actually means.

In my next blogpost I will do so and also explain my (preliminary) criticism towards Seamon’s theory.

Strijp-S: A Forbidden City | Seda Baskurt

Seda Baskurt

Seda Baskurt

Strijp-S  .. this is a place where, once, 10.000 people have been working. A place where, once, there was a great effort, hard work, and sweating for success. It was a place where people looked for opportunities. A place for many to put food on the table. That’s where we went on our tour with Get in Touch. We were walking on the streets of Philips factory, where people used to rush to work.

We first met at Seats2Meet, which is my favorite spot, and walked around to explore the areas.IMG_7301

Seats2Meet is a very good place to hang out. You can even ‘work’ there and meet other people in your profession. You can book a spot and work on your laptop and offer your skills to public.


IMG_7361After that we went to the Urban Shopper, where you find lots of little shops. In one of them we experienced a touch of Japanese culture. Anna was dressed by a lady who worked at the shop. The lady dressed her in a traditional Japanese dress. Anna looked pretty in the dress. Then we browsed around the other shops.


Then we walked to a strange building. Well that’s what most of us said. When viewed from outside, the building looked abandoned. Yet, as we entered inside the building, we discovered many places. We went to see the skateboarding place ‘Area 51’. It reminded me about my dear brother and I thought maybe if he saw this place he would be so excited.

IMG_7328After that, we went to see a restaurant, also unexpected because when you look from outside it does not look like one: ‘Radio Royaal’.



Then finally we sat for a coffee and it was the smallest coffee place I have ever seen: ‘Koffiehuisje’. It was a sunny day so we sat outside.

IMG_7385We talked about cultural differences and how other countries have breakfast and dinner. It was very interesting to hear what other people from other cultures had for breakfast. Most of all was that in China it is typical to have rice and fish for breakfast. This is why I love GIT. I learn so many things everyday about other cultures. We learn about each other. And that’s what makes us strong.

Strijp-S, for many people, might not be a place to hang out, but there are beautiful hidden places inside the odd looking buildings. You just need to  ‘see’ it.


At the end of our tour Anna gave us sad news and told us that she was going back to Italy. Even though we knew each other for a short period of time, I got emotional when she told us that.

When I was in United States, I always had international friends. My friends were all international, because I felt more connected to people from other countries. It was maybe because we shared the same feelings. At the end I was always the only one left behind with tears. I got used to being left behind, but it again hit me that day. It brought back memories. Mostly sad ones.