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Finally Made it to Albuquerque!  Ilene Springer

Ten Ways People Can Tell You're an Albuquerque Transplant

According to travel and retirement publications, many people are flocking to Albuquerque because of its famous climate, affordability and natural beauty. Although most of these new residents (such as me) have checked out Albuquerque before moving here, many are shocked and confused by what they find once they settle in. What follows are the clues that you are new to Albuquerque. If anyone should write this article, it's me. I just moved here from Malta (south of Sicily) and know that everyone can tell I'm a stranger even if I don't ask a single direction.  They'll know when:

1. Red or green?

Menu from El Pinto--Ilene Springer

You tremble when the waiter (server) asks you if you want "red or green?" And then you say, "I don't like either...is that OK?"

2. Sunrise, sunset...sunrise, sunset...

Ilene Springer

You stop in the middle of traffic to gawk at the sunset--or set your alarm earlier than you need to to gaze at it.  But it is beautiful, you must admit.

3. SE or NE?

Ilene Springer

You get irritated when someone asks you if an address is in SE or NE.  Does that really matter?  Is Albuquerque that big?  What if you had to call 911, would they ask you if the street you're lying on is in SE or NE?

4. Wow--aren't these interesting?

Ilene Springer

You'll do this only once as all new people in Albuquerque do: lean over and touch the fruit of one of these cacti. Read below to see how you're really supposed to do it:

How to eat prickly pear, a.k.a. cactus fruit, a.k.a. tunas


Prickly pears are delicious on the inside but vicious on the outside. Here's how to get past their prickly exterior and into their sweet, succulent so...

read full story >

5. Isn't that pretty.  Did someone win a race or something?

Ilene Springer

You get off your own bike to stop to admire these flowered bicycles located here and there around town.  And then when you take a closer look, you shockingly realize why these ghost bikes are, sadly, really there.

6. Learn Spanish

From ad for Rosetta Stone Language Products

Use your fledgling Spanish to fit into the Hispanic culture here.  Isn't that what they speak in Albuquerque?  Maybe that's why people politely chuckle and answer you in English when you try out your Spanish.

7. Where's the adobe?

Ilene Springer

That looks like wood.  I thought everything was made of that adobe stuff.

8. Bus schedules in Albuquerque

Photos of Homeless\/Vagrants in the City by BruceDunning

You ask the folks who hang around the bus stops when the next bus is coming.  Don't--most of these people are the homeless of Albuquerque and they aren't going anywhere soon.

9. Do they really sell them out on the main street?

Guns for sale on Central Avenue--Ilene Springer

You stop in front of a gun shop and stare with your mouth open.  This usually means you're originally from the East Coast where guns are not sold so openly.  Don't stare too much or you'll be asked if you need some sales assistance.

10. Frequent flyer status

Ilene Springer 

And you thought a Frequent Flyer card had to do with planes!  See below what it really means in Albuquerque:

The Flying Star Cafe all over Albuquerque