by Melinda Gallo

American culture without the hype

I haven't subscribed to a magazine since I was in high school and sent away for "Teen" magazine. When I was in college, I had no time or desire to read anything that wasn't assigned to me. In Paris, I picked magazines up at the kiosks when I walked by them. And while I was back in the US, I only bought magazines while standing in line at the supermarket.

But now that I'm in Italy, I finally subscribed to two American magazines: "O, The Oprah Magazine" and "Natural Health." You can buy American magazines at the kiosks in Europe; however, you pay a lot more because of the shipping and the exchange rate. Dave got a GQ magazine the other day for 8 Euros (about $9.50USD)!

I enjoy Oprah's magazine because it makes me feel closer to the States in many ways. I get to see the new products in all the advertisements, what some of the current fashions are there, and what movies and books are coming out.

Since we don't watch any American TV stations (although we get some of the TV shows), we never see any American commercials and we don't hear about the same news items all day long. Living overseas, we get only the facts. We only hear gossip through friends who talk to someone in the US.

It's nice to get a monthly update of what's happening in the US and what I might be missing. My American magazines allow me to get informed about what interests me without feeling bombarded by all the hype.

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