Milk in a bag? Okay, we learned how to handle that. Chocolate on bread? Yeah, we grok that, even though it seems strange. And the same goes for all the rest of the cultural shocks that folks who move to these parts experience; slowly but surely, the changes become "normal."
Except for Newsweek.
The organizations that help new olim, prepare them well for life in Israel. But somehow, olim who read Newsweek (or Time) in the US get a real shock when they pick up a copy of the local edition of their favorite news magazine. It's just so... European! And subscribing to the American version of the magazines is out of the question, as anyone who has ever tried knows.
Magazine-lovers have few options in Israel: They can subscribe to some of their favorites long-distance, but the issues - sent by boat - usually come long after the cover date, and the postage makes them very expensive. Some American and British magazines are sold at the bookstore chains - for two, three or more times their cover price. In the end, most people rely on the "supply chain" of acquaintances who travel abroad and pick up the latest copies, passing the issues between friends and colleagues like so much Soviet-era samizdat.
But believe it or not, there is a service that will let you read the latest issues of your favorite magazines for the same cover or subscription price you paid "back there" - all delivered to you at the same time they appear on US or UK newsstands. Sounds great! There's just one - well, issue. The service that performs this miracle, Zinio (www.zinio.com), delivers your magazines - in digital form! If you can dig the idea of digital magazines, you'll love Zinio. It's got perennial favorites like USNews, Reader's Digest, Redbook and others (no Newsweek or Time, though). The mags are digital versions of the same ones you get at the newsstand, with the ads, letters, features, etc. all intact. And the Zinio Reader (the program you use to read the downloaded magazines) makes digital magazine reading a pleasure.
If you're not used to the concept, there are sample issues you can download to see how you handle them. You may as well get used to it; digital books are the wave of the future (http://kindle.com).