When I moved to America (from Europe), I was surprised at how different things were. I had to get used to a new life in every detail – from the banal and bureaucratic (“Where do I get a Social Security Number?”) to the social (“Why is dating so different?”).
No sooner had I gotten used to everything being different that my friends and family in Europe started using me as a resource to explain to them why America did this, that, or the other thing. This all started with the election of George W. Bush, and initially the questions focused on details of the process.
The asking didn’t stop with the passing of the hanging chad from the vocabulary. Every time America did something, or whenever someone needed practical advice on living in and visiting America, I would offer help and guidance.
Since much of my family now lives in Italy, I would start my explanations with the word, “l’America.” That’s America in Italian, where continents get the definite article (and are invariably feminine). I decided to write down all my collected info into a book to be published, but I realized a blog was a much better medium – for the moment.
L’America is a resource. It tries to explain what America feels like coming from the outside. It is neither a forum for criticism nor a panegyric. Clearly, living in America makes me a big fan of this county (otherwise I would move, duh!). But I can be objective about things that don’t work so well, too.
Since my experience shows that you need all sorts of information about this country, I won’t try to structure it. I will just write and try to stick to a single topic in any article, and to make the topic clearly visible. Please comments (requires registration) if you want to see more of fewer articles of a particular kind.
The current list of articles is available here.