Diolynda Peña of La Madera recently traveled to Florida to take her grandson to Disney World. While checking in to the hotel, she agreed to receive a sales pitch about purchasing a time-share at that property.

At the appointment she filled out paperwork. The receptionist asked for her ID. Then she asked for her passport, which Peña didn’t have with her. She said she could not register Peña because she was from Mexico and did not have a passport. After Peña protested, another receptionist came, verified that New Mexico is in the United States and registered Peña. Not surprisingly, the hotel did not close a deal with Peña that day.

Art and Margie Maes of Albuquerque almost got through their Disney trip without a similar misunderstanding. But when they went to use the dedicated Disney airline check-in service and approached the domestic travel counter, the clerk told them to go to the international departure line. Back and forth they went, until a co-worker with a better grasp of geography turned up.


Katherine Juestel grew up in Roswell. Before moving to Australia, she traveled extensively in the United States, and frequently had to explain that her home state was indeed one of the 50.

She has now lived in Australia for 15 years, and never once has she had to clarify to an Australian that New Mexico is a state. “However,” she says, “I find I must still explain this fact to American tourists.”


On the FedEx website, a reader pointed out that you can select “New Mexico Pesos” as a currency payment option.

Perhaps they expected Janet Blair of Albuquerque, who recently asked for an at-home pickup, to select this currency. After giving her address to the employee, she was told that she’d need to be transferred to an international operator.

Janet said, “Whoa, what did you say?” The clerk replied, “I asked for your address, you said New Mexico, and that’s in Mexico.” She said, “No, no, the USA. We have Texas to the east, Colorado to the north, and Arizona to the west.” Hoping that she got her point across, she was relieved when a FedEx man rang the doorbell a few minutes later.


Send your anecdotes to fifty@nmmagazine.com or Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Include your name, hometown, and state. Thanks!

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