After a long online search for used truck parts, Jess Rankin, of Roswell, thought he had found everything he needed at a salvage yard in Michigan. But when he tried to order by phone, well, you know what happened, right? The saleswoman said they wouldn’t ship to a foreign country. Rankin repeated that he was calling from New Mexico, but she wouldn’t have it. “It doesn’t matter how new it is, we don’t sell to any foreign countries.” Rankin was so peeved he hung up. But the next day, after fruitless searching elsewhere, he called back and got a different salesman. “I told him I was from New Mexico and that it was a state between Texas and Arizona, but he cut me off, telling me he knew where New Mexico was and asked me what was the point of the geography lesson.”

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When Ross Clark and his family moved to Santa Fe in the summer of 2013, his Chinese in-laws were skeptical of this place they’d never heard of. “We tried to explain it to them,” Clark says. “We even showed them a map [in Chinese], but of course it had the same characters for New Mexico as for Mexico.” When they first visited Santa Fe later that year, one of the first things Clark’s father-in-law wanted to do was get some cash and see what kind of money New Mexicans use. But Santa Fe doesn’t have a branch of their bank, Chase, which they’ve always been able to find in other states. At another bank, the teller dispensed two crisp, newly redesigned $100 bills. “They handed him those funny-looking, colorful bills, and he just looked at me and said, ‘I told you this is not America.’” How can you argue with that? 

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