This last spring, Annika Cushnyr and her mother traveled to England for a two-week vacation. While waiting at Windsor Castle for the staterooms to open, they began talking with one of the guards, who asked mother and daughter where they were from. Annika replied, “Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.” Nodding, he asked, “And do you speak Spanish?” Annika’s mother replied, “Yes, my daughter does.” The guard went on: “We have a maintenance man here from Mexico and he speaks Mexican. I believe that is a dialect of Spanish.” Annika and her mother were too stunned to reply.


A couple of years ago, Rachel Johnson of Santa Fe traveled to Florida to visit family who had relocated there. During a conversation with some local fellows, she told them she was from New Mexico. They asked if it was true that having $10,000 there was like having millions of dollars here. Thinking the question a little odd, she told them she thought $10,000 would go as far in New Mexico as anywhere else. Next, they asked if she’d had to get a green card for her Florida vacation. It was then she realized that her new acquaintances had no idea that New Mexico is part of the United States.  


Linda Roos recently returned home to Wisconsin from a trip to New Mexico, where she had a wonderful time staying in Santa Fe, Ojo Caliente, and places between. Not long after her return, she was shopping in a building-supply store, where a twentysomething woman commented on the turquoise ring Linda was wearing. When Linda told her that she’d found the ring in Santa Fe, the woman asked, “How much did it cost in U.S. dollars?” <