Numerous observations about the land and culture of New Mexico have become available to me in the two weeks since we arrived here. As close as this state is to Colorado, the people, climate and attitudes are remarkably different from the neighboring state. Those we meet and tell that we are from Colorado always express a love for Colorado but a desire to maintain their separation.
One of the most curious differences concerns the drivers here. On any road, at any time, we see drivers who are driving twenty or thirty miles per hour in excess of the speed limits. Yes, we had speeders in Colorado (and other places where I’ve lived) but not anywhere as many as seen here.
The population is surprisingly friendly and warm. In two days at our new home, we had three neighboring families stop by, introduce themselves and offer assistance with anything we might need. In the nine years at our last house, I never exchanged one syllable of conversation with any of our neighbors, primarily due to any expressions of interest or community.
Also along the lines of friendliness, the generous and extremely cordial people who own this bed-and-breakfast have offered assistance with solutions to our heating woes, their truck to assist in moving our possessions and two space heaters to warm our surroundings until the furnace is replaced. Clearly, this help extends far beyond the realm of lodging but our hosts have been extremely benevolent.
On numerous occasions, we have been told, “Welcome to New Mexico!” The food here is extraordinary, especially that which is labeled “New Mexican.” Geography that surrounds us is quite beautiful, especially Sandia Peak that is visible from our home.
My final observation is minor although curious and slightly amusing. Nowhere have I ever seen turn lanes as long as we have in the Albuquerque area. If you are interested in making either a right or left turn, you can commit to that turn almost a city block before it occurs. Maybe this makes up for the crazy speeders, but it’s really funny that the combination of long turn areas and a consistent prohibition on U-turns makes driving a brand-new experience. In the future, I’ll furnish other curiosities as they occur. Shalom.