10 Things You Have to Explain to People Who Aren't From Phoenix

Phoenix isn't quite like other American cities. Sometimes you have to slam on the brakes because there's a coyote or horse in the middle of the road.

Below, find 10 things about Phoenix you'll have to explain to people who aren't from here:

10. What a javelina is

It's not actually a pig; it just looks like one. How to pronounce this Spanish word? It's have-a-leena.

9. Chipotle is not real Mexican food

This is the equivalent of Michael Scott getting an authentic New York slice.

8. Yes, it does get hotter

Whenever it cracks 95 degrees, a newbie will ask, "DOES IT GET HOTTER THAN THIS!?"

Um, yeah, it does. Hot enough to kinda cook a pizza in our parking lot. 

7. What a haboob is

A big dust ball. Spoiler alert: People just call them dust storms.

6. We're not like our elected leaders

Do not assume the average Phoenix resident's views align with David Stringer or Kelly Townsend.

5. How to pronounce things

Mispronouncing names like Prescott, Papago, or Tohono O'odham are rookie mistakes. People even find a way to pronounce Tempe strangely ... and apparently even Baseline.

4. Yes, scorpions are real

If you live here, you're going to find one in your house.

3. Arizonans love their guns.

You heard right – it's legal to take a gun almost everywhere in Arizona, whether it's concealed or strapped to your hip.

2. Which type of cactus you don't want to touch

Not all cacti are created equal. Some are so smooth, you can pet them. Others, like the barb-needle Cylindropuntia fulgida — a.k.a. jumping cholla — you do not want to pal around with.

1. You're going to have to drive

Unless you moved to the center of Phoenix (which you probably haven't) you're going to have to drive — pretty much everywhere.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley
Dillon Rosenblatt was the social media editor at Phoenix New Times from 2016 to 2018. Originally from New Jersey, he is a graduate of Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.