One of the major differences between city and country is petrol stations. That’s gas stations, for our US readers. We have two in the town itself, and another two near to it on the highway. Going to get petrol/gas is like a major ordeal. And here’s the reasons why.
1. Not enough pumps.
There are four at the one we go to most often. They have one pump each side, so you can have 8 cars filling up at once.
2. One pump is always broken.
The other half thinks it is on purpose to get people to use the more expensive fuel. But it doesn’t work and often that’s one space without a car in it.
3. People in the country never just fill up their cars.
They have jerry cans and containers and all kinds of fuel containers which they pull out of seemingly nowhere once they have finished filling up the car. So you’re sitting there thinking.. they’re done, yay – and they end up taking another 20 minutes filling things up.
4. The place where you pay is some kind of black hole.
People go in there, and they seem to vanish for a long time. There is only one person taking money and most people do not pay cash.
5. There is nowhere for people to put their cars while they pay.
So the cars stay right in front of the pumps, leaving everyone else to sit in their cars waiting for the black hole to open up and spit out the people in front of them.
6. The people at the back pumps have nowhere to go if the people at the front aren’t ready to go.
There’s no spare room for cars to get past, there’s always cars queuing behind the cars at the back pump and if the car in front isn’t done, nobody can go anywhere.
7. People in the country often tow things behind them.
This can include boats, caravans, trailers full of all kinds of odd things. Horse floats are another wonderful item you often find on the towbar of the car in front of you.
So in general, a trip to the petrol/gas station takes roughly 30 minutes from when you drive into their driveway. You sit there and watch the goings on, which are either amusing or horrifying. Usually this is when the in car mp3 player chooses to play the best songs available on its little memory card and these are the songs I wanted it to play when we were actually driving so I could sing along to them.