I recently took a trip to a strange and wondrous land called New Jersey. You won’t find it on the Trumanverse map. It exists on that other map, to the east of Real-Life Pennsylvania and the south of Real-Life New York.

New Jersey is a strange land of quaint, strange customs as well as futuristic technology. Unlike in the real world, when you refill your gas tank there, you simply park and someone will come out and pour your gas for you. Fascinatingly, gasoline in New Jersey is cheaper than it is in the surrounding area.

While someone pours your gas for you, when you go inside their commerce hut – WaWas, it is called – they do not have someone there to take your order. Instead, you order it in a futuristic touchscreen panel. After which, you can either take your receipt to a counter where they do still have human-persons to collect your money, or alternately you wait and collect the food (prepared by human-persons, without any further direction than what you typed into the touchscreen).

On the whole, both added to my enjoyment of the trip. I was warned by the natives that there might be a wait at the gas pump, but there was none. The food from the commerce hut was tasty – if on the expensive side – and it was a pleasure not to have to deal with people.

I was going to do another entry on this nightmarish land called Real-Life Delaware, which is to Real-Life New Jersey’s south. I never left the car in Delaware, merely driving through the northern tip of it. For which, I paid a whopping $5 for the privilege. Which is all I really have to say about Delaware.

Category: Road

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20 Responses to The Strange Land of The Second Kingdom of Jersey

  1. New Jersey has the second lowest gas taxes in the United States*, hence why the gas is still cheap despite the ban on self-serve. As long as it’s not busy, it’s not the end of the world, but when it is, you’ll wait considerably longer than you would in at a typical self-serve station. And there’s nothing more fun than buying gas in a questionable urban area, hoping that the guy standing there is the attendant and not somebody looking to swipe your cash or CC.

    BTW, Wawa is still more of a Delaware Valley thing than a Hudson Valley thing. They’re commonplace in Philadelphia Metro area with their headquarters in Wawa, PA. Unlike the former Commerce Bank (now TD Bank), Wawa hasn’t exploded in the North of the state with a handful of locations. So far, they’ve opted for going further south into Chesapeak basin.

    I have yet to visit a Wawa. Visitors from NYC Metro come returning from lands with Wawas speaking of how much better they are than the 7-11s that serve as a poor subsitute.

    For which, I paid a whopping $5 for the privilege.

    The toll was implemented because the state blew their initial interstate money on I-95 in Wilmington, and both Maryland and Delaware wanted to have their stretches of I-95 opened sooner (1963) rather than later (1970s and 1980s). The other major highway in Delaware, DE 1 is also tolled too. Of course, when most of your state’s traffic is just passing through without stopping, it makes sense to toll the traffic than to hope and pray that they buy gas.

    *It also helps that the two major roads in the state are tolled…

  2. Peter says:

    Delaware may have high tolls, but there’s no sales tax.

  3. Peter says:

    I would say that the gas stations in New York, on Long Island at least, are about evenly split between self-serve and full-serve. Maybe with a slight edge to self-serve. In Connecticut, by contrast, full-serve is almost nonexistent.

    • That’s one of the things that I’ve noted during my transition from Western Nassau into Central and Eastern Nassau. Over in places like Elmont and Valley Stream, full serve is non-existent, while in say, Merrick or Wantagh, there are plenty of full service stations, and a lot stations have one pump dedicated for full service.

      FWIW, I’ve never used full service in New York as it’s not worth the extra money…

  4. trumwill says:

    Up until a few days ago, I had never seen full-service in my life. In my entire life.

    I knew about Oregon and New Jersey and that they still did it. It’s like hearing there are states that mandate home delivery of milk.

  5. While someone pours your gas for you, when you go inside their commerce hut

    My friend from South Jersey noted that you committed a bit of a faux pas. You should stay with the car, and once the attendant has finished pumping gas, you drive to the spots in front of the store, and then commence ordering. It’s a bit annoying in his eyes to take up a spot while you’re waiting to complete your purchase.

    Up until a few days ago, I had never seen full-service in my life. In my entire life.

    So what do the spoiled [high income] women do where you’ve lived previously? Get their hands dirty and pump their own gas? Hell, I’ve jokingly said that’s the main market for the full serve stations around here.

    • trumwill says:

      My language was unclear. I got the food from the convenience store, then ate it while they were filling the gas. “While” was the wrong word to use there, because it implies your reading of the sentence, when I meant “while…” in the sense of “though…”

      Mom got her son(s) to do it. I was pumping gas from when I was like five years old.

  6. superdestroyer says:

    I managed to beat the attendant to the pump a couple of times while in New Jersey. Considering that modern pumps want a person to insert their credit card, it makes no sense to hand it to someone else to do it. Full service made more sense in the old days with NCR credit card slips.

  7. Mike Hunt Rice says:

    I must admit that Wawas are nice. However, they are rare in North Jersey, while 7-11 is dominant. Quick Check is second. A new Quick Check is nice, while an old one is dumpy, while 7-11 is generally dumpy.

    Speaking of NJ, Time has an excerpt from Double Down: Game Change 2012.

    The excerpt is about my Governor and the VP vetting process.

    • trumwill says:

      I saw that. Given some of what I’d heard about it beforehand, I was expecting worse.

      Romney had nice things to say about Christie, which kind of tells me that either Christie is going to get a lot of establishment support… or that he is toast so Romney can be as nice to him as he wants to be.

  8. I can finally say that I’ve been to a Wawa, and it’s actually pretty cool for a convenience store.

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