Even Americans in densely populated areas can be confused about distances. I friend of mine worked in Texas (Dallas area) and his boss (NYC, I think. NE definitely) was constantly setting up lunch meetings for him for that day in places like El Paso or Houston.
On the other hand I used to work for a German company and when I was at headquarters I would sometimes pop over to the auxiliary site 40 miles away and two towns over. My German coworkers thought the drive was so long that they got the rest of the day off if they made that trip. It was a nice drive, no traffic, good roads. No turning, even. Just head down the road and turn into the parking lot when you see the building.
eta: I do remember once going to Headquarters in Germany direct from Monterrey, Ca. In Monterrey they have this adobe building/house that I think was the first in the area. Basically, it was special because it was really old, so they made it a museum. Then the hotel I stayed in two days later in Germany was nothing special, heavily remodeled and about 100 years older than the museum building in CA.