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

The adorable javelina.

The adorable javelina.

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

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

8. Yes, it does get hotter

You'll need 100 SPF for this.

You’ll need 100 SPF for this.

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

Look! A haboob!

Look! A haboob!

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

6. We’re not like our elected leaders

Representative Kelly Townsend Wants to Know What a Furry Is

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

5. How to pronounce things

Sounds more like press kit, than press Scott.

Sounds more like press kit, than press Scott.

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.

Guns are all over.

Guns are all over.

Elizabeth Stuart

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

Don't let these touch you.

Don’t let these touch you.

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

And good luck driving in a haboob or monsoon.

And good luck driving in a haboob or monsoon.

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