A long weekend in Santa Fe, New Mexico -- a handsome small city. I don't know of another place in the nation in which the principal economic engine is the making and selling of arts and crafts. I myself am in the familiar situation: anything I can afford, I don't want, and anything I want, I can't afford. Besides, we're in de-accessioning mode -- a condition which doesn't prevent us from appreciating the astonishingly high level of artistic achievement on display here. Fortunately, there's no cost to hiking in the nearby mountains -- we went to Bandelier National Monument to gasp at the spectacular rock formations and marvel at the Anasazi cliff dwellings. A most enjoyable and worthwhile expedition. The guidebook says that Santa Fe is the product of the melding of three cultures: Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo. I guess, by default, I must be an "Anglo." It's odd to be an Anglo, but not as disorienting as my experience in Salt Lake City, where, as a non-Mormon, I was considered to be a "gentile."
At breakfast in the hotel, a man at the table next to me told the following story to his friends (I was alone at the moment, pretending to inspect the complimentary USA Today). "A Hindu, a Jew, and a Republican are driving in a storm. The car breaks down, they walk to an isolated farmhouse and ask the owner if they can stay the night. 'Sure,' he says, 'but I have only two beds. One of you will have to sleep in the barn.' 'No problem,' says the Hindu, 'I don't mind sleeping in the barn.' But after a half hour, there's knock on the door, and the Hindu says, 'There's a cow in the barn. Cows are sacred. I can't sleep with a cow.' So the Jew says, "Don't worry. I'll sleep in the barn." But after a half hour, there's a knock on the door, and the Jew says, 'There's a pig in the barn. I can't sleep with a pig.' So the Republican says, 'Don't worry, I'll go sleep in the barn.' But after a half hour, there's a knock on the door. It's the cow and the pig."
Actual dialog, captured in the wild.