Bill Young was having dinner with a family in Jaipur, India, when the host’s father asked where Young was from. “I told him, ‘A small town just north of Albuquerque, New Mexico,’ and because many people overseas don’t know our state, I added that New Mexico is a state in the southwest United States.” Young was nearly shocked out of his seat when the man asked if that small town might be Bernalillo. Turns out the dad’s brother is a retired physician living in Santa Fe, and he often drives past Bernalillo on his way to visit. Good job, Jaipur!

David Rodriguez was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, when a fellow asked why he’d joined the U.S. Army if he was from Mexico. “I asked the guy if he knew who Smokey Bear was. He said, ‘Damn right, I know all about Smokey! Learned that in grade school!’” We think maybe his school skipped geography for a fire drill.

When ​David Douglas and his wife moved to Albuquerque from New York City in 1988, they dutifully gave a proper New Mexico forwarding address to their bank, utilities, and any other business that might need to send them an invoice or statement. Do you expect a major mixup in what got delivered? Nope. “We received all forwarded mail to the Albuquerque address without any problems and in a timely manner,” Douglas says. But here’s the funny thing: Their bank, which we’ll once again emphasize was in New York, sent the statements to New Mexico in airmail envelopes with international postage.  David Douglas 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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