You call it the Land of Enchantment, we call it the land of entrapment. New Mexico has its talons in us and every time we think we want to move elsewhere or even go away for a small vacation, it pulls us back in. (We literally cannot survive without green chile.) So when we do go back after a vacation or stop by for a visit, we know right away that we’re right back home in good ol’ Nuevo Mexico thanks to these 33 surefire signs.
1. You flew into ABQ.
2. Your first stop after leaving the Sunport was anywhere that would serve you anything with chile.
3. “Red, green, or Christmas?”
4. “Do you want a Coke?” *hands you a Sprite*
5. Your skin dries out instantly.
6. And you vaguely remember when your lips weren’t cracked all the time…
7. And your hair wasn’t a tangled hot mess.
8. Fast food franchises in faux-adobe buildings. (Panera? KFC? Really?)
9. “Orale, we have a *insert name of popular restaurant or store that we literally never thought would open here* now!!”
10. “Is that a new casino?”
11. If you are a Whataburger fan, you can breathe easy. If you’re an In n’ Out fan, you’re outta luck.
12. “Did you watch the game last night?” “The what?”
13. “Do you want to go to Chipotle?” “….Excuse me?”
14. Hello, juniper allergies; oh, how I’ve missed you.
15. You can’t open your door because a huge pile of tumbleweeds is blocking it.
16. The morning after you get back, you’re definitely going to your favorite greasy spoon for either huevos rancheros, a breakfast burrito, or blue corn pancakes.
17. That one road that was under construction when you left is STILL. BEING. WORKED. ON.
18. And a million other things are now under construction as well.
19. Catching up with friends means a Saturday road trip to the Jemez. Or White Sands.
20. Gassing up at Allsup’s also means running inside for a chimichanga burrito.
21. “Orale, there’s a coyote crossing the road.”
22. “Anyone want to go to Blake’s, man?”
23. If the weather is bad, give it ten. It’ll pass.
24. The rain knows when you’ve just gotten your car washed.
25. Say goodbye to being able to walk barefoot outside ever again.
26. You’ll definitely be teased if your chile tolerance has gone down while you were away.
27. Zia tattoos everywhere.
28. A turn signal is a foreign concept.
29. Land of mañana = nothing gets done on time. Say goodbye to productivity.
30. “Yeah, I know, huh?”
31. No one knows who goes first at a four-way stop.
32. “Anyone want pizza?” “Yeah, let’s get Dion’s, with green on top and green chile ranch.”
33. Glorious sunsets every night.