Shot Down

About 12 years ago, when Owen Taylor’s daughter was preparing to attend the College of Santa Fe, her best friend was headed to Colorado for college. The girls needed various shots, and went together to the county public health office in their hometown of Brandon, Mississippi. When the nurse learned of Taylor’s daughter’s destination, she told her, “Oh, we’ll go ahead and give you special shots right away, since you’re going to a foreign country!” When her friend explained, with some irritation, that “New Mexico isn’t a foreign country; rather, it’s a state that borders Colorado,” the nurse said, just as emphatically, “Oh sweetie, it most certainly is a foreign country, and she gets the shots!”

When Plants Attack

Diana West and her husband consider Santa Fe one of their favorite places in the world. To bring a bit of Southwestern charm to their home in Rome, Georgia, Diana went to a local herb shop to see if, by chance, they had piñon and sage smudge sticks like the ones she’d encountered here. The clerk explained that customs would never let her order those plants because they couldn’t be transported across the U.S. border. When Diana tried to explain that New Mexico is a part of the U.S., she was interrupted: “Well, you saw what happened to the kudzu plant!”

Something in the Water

On a shuttle service to and from a resort and casino in Rio Rancho, Teodulo D. Rael noticed a group of visitors in town for a convention. The driver checked the tags on the luggage for Albuquerque and proceeded to load an unusually heavy bag. When the driver made some noise about the weight, the (American) owner of the bags explained that the bags were heavy because she had been advised to bring her own water to this country.

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