On his way back to Santa Fe from a visit to New Orleans, Patrick Murphy needed to check in for his flight at an airline desk. When he got to the front of the line, the clerk saw his destination and told him to get in the international line. “I explained to her that New Mexico is a state in the United States, but she did not understand,” Murphy reports. It seems that residents of the Big Easy are not so well-versed on the geography of the City Different.


While searching for a part for his RAV4, Edgewood resident John Unrath headed to the official online store for Toyota parts and accessories. He found what he needed, then was asked to enter his zip code. Twenty-five “local” dealers popped up from places like Amarillo and El Paso, in Texas, and Show Low and Tucson, in Arizona. Fortunately, another website connected him to a Toyota dealer in Albuquerque.


The setting: A clear day at a street café overlooking the deep blue Adriatic Sea, near the beautiful medieval hilltop village of Motovun, Croatia. The players: Ken Kawata and a young waiter. The plot: Kawata sits down for a meal. He and the server, who divulges that he has never visited the United States, begin to exchange pleasantries. After the young man asks exactly where Kawata is from, Kawata takes a beat to respond. He’s expecting the same sort of befuddlement he occasionally encounters stateside. “Las Cruces, New Mexico,” he tells the worker. The surprise ending: “I know exactly where that is,” the Croatian replies.

Read more: Check out our archive of "missing" moments.

have a “missing” moment?

Send it to, or Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Include your name, hometown, and state. ¡Gracias!