I went to a new country this weekend (new for me): South Jersey, the land of Wawa, white pizza, white people, dirt bikes, Tastykakes and a very particular dialect. I went to see RAD who flew in from SF, so I could meet her motherland and her people, and to accompany her to the wedding reception of a childhood friend. I was met at the train station in Philadelphia by Rebecca and her parents, Mr and Mrs. New Jersey State Trooper, retired. Before we even got over the state line, I was introduced to The Wawa, the Jersey Devil and lots of fart stories.
The first thing we did on Saturday, en route to the boardwalk in Ocean City, was stop at “The Wa” cause I needed to pick up a NYT (Sara Varon had an illustration in the OpEd section- so cute!). Regarding The Wa, Mr Devlin had assured me no less than 3 times, “You’ll really like it.” At The Wa, a Wawa employee, upon overhearing that it was my first time at a Wawa, sang its praises and explained her employment choice and the superiority of The Wa over 7/11. FYI, they don’t sell the New York Times at Wawas, although they offer plentiful copies of the Atlantic City Press.
Back in the car, I bit into my first Tastycake, a butterscotch number, an indigenous delicacy. Really quite fresh and delicious, I must admit.
At the boardwalk I was excited upon seeing the first person of color of my trip. I didn’t see anyone else who wasn't very white. When we got pizza there, everyone watched me, amused, as I tried to comprehend what was being barked out about white pizza.
By the time we got to the wedding reception, I was ready for whiskey and getting down. It took about an hour before I was moved to shake it, thanks to 50 Cent. “In da Club” is a great wedding song, by the way.
We spent Sunday afternoon watching a bunch of men and boys on dirtbikes, doing backflips into huge pits of foam scraps. We also got rides on a 4-wheeler. Thrilling, really. Then, as I was chauffeuring RAD, mom and grandma home from the dirtbike extravaganza, Sergeant Devlin passed us on his way to the Home Depot and clocked me going over the speed limit. RAD was subsequently informed that I was no longer allowed to drive. Nothing like a personal wrist slap to make you appreciate parental wrath and understand the paranoia.Yesterday, after a Christian yoga class taught by Rebecca’s mom (pan flute hymns, namaste), I took my second and final trip to The Wa, where, once again, a Wa employee enthusiastically regaled me with The Wa’s virtues and superiority over all other convenience stores. I never did get to the legendary Super Wa. But I do have enough Tastykakes to last me for a few months.