LOST IN TRANSLATION
Los Alamos resident John A. Baillie was traveling from Boston to Salem, Massachusetts, on a bus with 40 other New Mexicans when the tour guide called to confirm their next stop. “Oh, no problem,” the tour guide was told. “We have just been talking to your office in Albuquerque. But we hope you have some folks on the coach who can speak English, because we have no translators here.” When the tour guide relayed that message to the riders, Baillie says, “we all just erupted with laughter.”
FILLING IN THE BLANKS
Adrienne Hornatko-Munoz was making small talk at her dentist’s office in Damascus, Maryland, when an employee asked her where she would spend her vacation this year. “When I replied, ‘New Mexico,’ she said she’d never been out of the country before. I tried to explain where it was, but she just stared at me blankly,” Hornatko-Munoz says. Here’s a suggestion: Leave a copy of New Mexico Magazine in the waiting room next time you visit.
FRIENDS IN FARAWAY PLACES
Margreet Anceaux writes in to tell us we have fans in the Netherlands. Anceaux works at City Hall in Rotterdam and recently took her new boss out for coffee. She told him about her love for New Mexico and was steeling herself to explain where it is when she got a pleasant surprise. “Oh! Santa Fe,” the boss replied. “Beautiful city. And Taos! I do love New Mexico!” Aw, shucks.
NO ONE IS IMMUNE
Before Melanie Ann Winans moved to Santa Fe from Atlanta, her New Mexico–based cousin filled her in on the “Missing” phenomenon. Winans laughed heartily and said she was glad none of her friends were so dim-witted as to think New Mexico wasn’t part of the United States. Oops: “No sooner had I announced to my Atlanta friends that I would be moving to New Mexico than one of them said, ‘You better make sure your passport is updated.’” Yep. It happens to the best of us.
FROM OUR FACEBOOK FANS
Ray Tafoya: I was working in the southeastern part of the U.S. when I was asked how we celebrate Thanksgiving in New Mexico. With green chile stuffing and red chile gravy, of course!
Jennifer Castro: I spent a summer in Seattle for an internship. I wrote a check to pay for something in a clothing store one day. The cashier looked at my driver’s license and said, “I’ve never seen an ID from Mexico.” Me: “I’m not from Mexico, I’m from New Mexico.” Cashier: “Oh ... (long pause) ... What’s the difference?” Sheri Gonnell: My most recent “Missing” moment? Getting a cell-phone bill of more than $500 for “international” calls made to/from my cell between El Paso and Las Cruces.
Shirley Nordstrom: When my mom was under medical care in Phoenix, the admittance clerk thought New Mexico was Northern Mexico. We tried explaining to her that New Mexico is a state that borders Arizona. We were met with a blank stare and then a statement that they deal with Mexico all the time, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Winifred Gonzales Galarza: I recently downloaded a news app that includes local news. When I accessed New Mexico or Albuquerque news, the Mexican flag would appear at the top. I notified the company, and they said, “That’s because it’s local news.” I never convinced them New Mexico was part of the United States.
Samantha Weisel: When I moved to Delaware and had to get a new driver’s license, I decided to add my husband’s name to my car’s title at the same time. The woman behind the counter sat with my New Mexico license and my New Mexico car title, looking back and forth, before asking, “Is New Mexico a state?” I assured her that it was, and she said, “Are you sure?” I gave a bewildered glance to my shocked husband before answering that I was born and raised there. “Really?!” she said. I guess she believed me, because I got my paperwork sorted, but that moment will live with me forever.
HAVE A “MISSING” MOMENT?
Send it to email@example.com or Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Include your name, hometown, and state. Thanks!