Now that I've been here a month, I have a slight grip on what the fuck is happening all around me. Here are a few initial observations/important things.
1. It's a little bit thugged out. And I choose the phrase thugged out carefully because i believe it adequately describes the scene. It's not so much that the city is fucked up and full of crime and poverty, it's more like a normal place, just filled with thugs.
2. But it also is fucked up and full of crime. One of the guys I work with takes his car battery out of his car and brings it up to the office every day so no one will steal his car. It is safe to say i had never heard of such a thing in my life.
3. It's not fucked up in a cool, northern rust-belt crime ridden decaying city type of way. It's more like a sprawling mess with shit (literal and figurative) scattered all about the desert with no rhyme or reason. And there's lots of meth, or at least there's a shit load of meth heads. And they look like grade-a fucking tweakers too.
4. And never in my life, with the slight exception of right off an Indian reservation in northern Minnesota have I seen so many people cross streets with zero regard for the power of the car. I'm not talking about jaywalking downtown, no I'm talking about major roads, three lanes on each side, women walking with their kids in the middle of the road, and sometimes, not even to cross the street, walking in the road with traffic. Sometimes they are pulling their children behind them, sometimes, although I have only seen it once, they are pulling a television set attached to a crude rope-like device.
5. Downtown is where the party is on the weekends. And all the bars clear out into a block and a half stretch and the cops let it go on and get a little bit wild and then the hammer comes down. But how does the hammer come down, yeah, no worries, the cops just ride fucking horses through the crowd. Yeah, no big deal.
6. Said horses shit all over the fucking place and after the drunks have been disperesed to the four corners of el burque, then a group of meth heads wearing hot neon green lands end style jackets and donning the latest bluetooth earpieces come in and shovel the shit away.
7. There is Mexican food, and there is New Mexican Food. These things are so different it would blow a mind. Food is made new Mexican by the addition of green chile. Sounds like a good idea, but it's a good idea taken so too fucking far. The other day I had a blt, so you think, fine, a little green chile on the bread, or perhaps some type of green chile infused mayo or some type of green chile spread. I knew it would come somehow. But, it's no armature hour out here, the bacon was cooked in a pan with green chiles allowing the green chile liquids to enter the bacon. There also is green chile wine.
8. There is an area called the war zone. Now you might think, war zone, oh shit, must be a lot of crime and bad stuff and I should live there. No. Someone told me "dont live up there, that's the war zone." I asked, is there a lot of crime? To which the answer was "no one gets killed or nothing, but my cousin lived there, every night something got set on fire. A car, a dumpster, a tire, every night there was a fire.
9. It's as high up as denver, so it's fucking cold as shit and then hot as hell in the late afternoon and the elevation does a number on my already-dry-as-shit skin and within days I'm going to split open and melt/bleed all over the place like I did back sophomore of high school when dan ollman called me alligator hands.