Things I've learned about the Desert since moving away from the Not-Desert:
1. It is, in fact, as hot as they say.
2. True, it is a dry heat...
3. ...but no, it doesn't make one damn bit of difference.
4. Also, saguaro is not pronounced "sag-waro", ocotillo is not "oka-tillo", and Tucson is not "Tuk-sun". (Although people will know what you mean if you say these things and assume you have good intentions.) (We are nice here.)
5. The sunsets actually are more beautiful out here and the mountains really do turn pink in the evening.
6. If you get prickly pear stickers stuck in you, Scotch tape does not actually remove them. At least not consistently.
7. You can eat prickly pear fruits.
8. And they are very good.
9. But they also have prickers.
10. Rattlesnakes aren't really that big of a deal...
11. ...but killer bees are.
12. It does rain in the desert...
13. ...but not very often. And never in June.
14. If it does rain, people celebrate.
15. It floods more than you'd think.
16. And if it does flood, people leave work to go look at it.
17. They also cross the washes and get fined if they have to get rescued.
18. (And they deserve it.)
19. When it rains, or when rain is on the way, the desert smells different and better than anywhere I've ever been in the rain.
20. When the road sign says "Naranja", you should not actually pronounce it that way.
21. The ATMS will always give you the option to continue your transaction in Spanish. (You should say no...unless you know how to pronounce "Naranja".)
22. Real Mexican food has nothing to do with Chi-Chis. (And you should probably refrain from using the term "chi-chi" while you are dining in one.)
23. Real Mexican tacos often involve fish...
24. ...but they don't look much like tacos.
25. Mexico makes a good daytrip...
26. ...and a better weekend excursion.
27. People are, in fact, outside all the time here...
28. ...but not in the summer.
29. Because it has usually hit 100 degrees by the end of March.
30. (This is the Desert, after all.)