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10 Things You Have To Explain To Out Of Towners

By AmyMurphy 04/16/2014

Albuquerque News

Wait, what do you mean flash flood advisories aren't normal? And no, do not go in the arroyos. 

Green Chile

Green chile does not refer to bell peppers or jalapeños or salsa verde. Green chile is a spicy, green, chile pepper specific to New Mexico and is a fundamental part of our state's culture. New Mexicans' eat it with everything. Go ahead, try a green chile cheeseburger. You won't regret it. 

It's Dry

Even though it's common knowledge that New Mexico is a desert, out of towners often don't realize what this means for their bodies. Stock up on extra-hydrating lotion to avoid cracked knuckles and buy some Kleenex for when you get unexpected nose bleeds from breathing in dry, desert, air.

Water Is Fascinating

Remember that part where I mentioned New Mexico is a desert? Well that means we are perpetually in a drought and water is down right fascinating to us. It doesn't matter if it rains for less than a minute, we will celebrate it. Even small amounts of rain can mean the Rio Grande is a little more full and the Bosque a little less flammable.  


If you're going to live in New Mexico, or spend more than a weekend here, I recommend learning the fundamentals of the Spanish language. Even if you don't understand the Spanglish being spoken all around, you should at least learn how to pronounce the street signs. It'll save you a lot of future embarrassment when asking for directions.

Yes, It Snows In The Desert

The idea that all deserts are hot year-round is a common misconception. New Mexico has seasons, meaning it actually gets cold in the winter and snows in most parts of the state. 

Not Everyone Is Addicted To Meth Or Is An Alien

Despite two of New Mexico's most popular claims to fame, the Roswell Incident and "Breaking Bad," some of us are just normal people. Out of towners are constantly asking if growing up in New Mexico was "just like Breaking Bad". My high school Chemistry teacher made cookies, not meth. 

The Mountains Are Due East

At least, this is true for Albuquerque. If you're ever lost, just look for the mountains, and that's East. Once you have that down, just think of a compass, and the rest of the directions fall into place. 

The Symbols

New Mexico has incorporated many Native American symbols into the state culture, including the Zia on the state flag. Explaining the meaning behind all of the symbols decorating our homes and tattooed on our bodies can be quite the undertaking. 

High Altitude

New Mexico's high altitude doesn't just affect how easily you can run five miles or how big your heart is, it can also mean the difference between a pan full of goop and a pan of fully cooked brownies. 

We're Proud

Photo Courtesy of Rachel Reveles

New Mexicans may refer to our state as the Land of Entrapment, but don't be fooled. We are fiercely proud of our desert with it's pink sunsets, spicy chile, and balloons on the horizon. Once you've lived here, you'll find yourself representing New Mexico everywhere you go, whether or not you even realize it.