New Mexico is frequently confused with our neighbor to the south. In fact, the New Mexico Magazine has a regular column entitled “One Of Our 50 Is Missing” in which readers offer their stories of being told they can’t ship items to a foreign country or that they’ll have to prove they have the proper vaccinations before traveling here.
I’ve often wondered about the impact of our state’s name on our progress — or lack of it — compared to other surrounding states. But that’s a matter for another blog which I’ve already written and will share with you some day.
And New Mexico often gets confused with other locations because of town names like Cuba or Des Moines.
And then there’s Carlsbad. In 2012, a Serbian tennis player was scheduled to play in a tournament in Carlsbad, California. Her travel agent unwittingly booked her a flight to Carlsbad, New Mexico.
The tennis player arrived, rather bewildered by the fact that she hadn’t been able to see the Pacific Ocean when her plane was on approach to the airport. Still not comprehending what had happened, she went to the outside of the airport terminal where she was expecting to be picked up by a pre-arranged VIP ride service — apparently two states to the west. When her ride didn’t show up, she made a rather huffy phone call to her driver.
“I am the only person here,” she said. “How can you not see me?”
At that point, it probably dawned on her that her ride probably wasn’t going to get wherever she was. And she probably realized she wasn’t going to make it in time for the tournament.