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Thread summary:

New Jersey: tokens, rental car, home, rate increase, job.

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Old 10-18-2007, 09:32 AM
 
25,420 posts, read 24,183,342 times
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Hi...can anybody tell me when it no longer became possible to buy Parkway tokens? I can't remember how recently I used to buy them...it might have been three years ago, maybe...?

But I mean it wouldn't be totally stupid or insane for someone who hasn't lived in NJ for a couple of years to ask about it, right? I mean not stupid and insane enough for someone to get p*ssed at the person for asking?

Here's the deal...I'm back from NJ...I had a great time! I saw my son (multiple times, of course), my sister, my niece, brother, his fiance, my best friend and her family.

Weirdly, fewer trees have changed there (Bergen County) than have changed HERE in southern California...and we have like five percent of the total trees BC has, so...that was bizarre! Definitely a first! That's ok...it's still as gorgeous as ever there. Gosh I had a good time.

But...the very first thing, something happened that showed me what a wimp I've become out here, LOL. Here, people are superficially very nice but it's hard to make friend-friends. But you just won't have much of what appears to be "rudeness" for the typical encounter. Anyway...I got into Newark and picked up my rental car and I started up the Parkway and the very first booth I got to (what is that booth?--before Essex toll plaza, right hitching onto the Parkway) there was nobody manning it, and only the Exact Change Only lane was open. I was like, flock!!! I only had dollars. So I managed to rifle through and find change in the bottom of my purse. It's 70 cents now! That was a surprise too.

But then I was out of change so I didn't know what I was going to do going to the Essex toll booth if there were no people manning any of the lanes. Luckily, there was one "Cash Receipts" lane open. It was very late, 2AM (long story...my plane got sent to refuel at Dulles, something happened there, we waited forever, got in two hours late). I pulled up and handed the man a 5 and said, "Can I buy ten tokens?"

And he said, "No." I mean he literally just said no and that was it. So I thought he just meant I couldn't buy them there...though I was a little taken aback that he didn't explain at all, just the "No."

So I said, "Oh...do you have to go online to buy them now?" because I assumed that things had changed somehow but didn't know how since he didn't explain. I was definitely not snotty or anything because at that point I had no idea that he was going to be so p*ssed at me and I really just didn't know.

Well, his answer now was, "I told you NO! You can't."

I sat there with my mouth open. Finally I managed to say, "Do you mean...did something change? Or do you just mean here...can I go to the next one and buy them?"

And he basically SCREAMED at me, "DIDN'T I JUST SAY NO? I SAID NO. DO YOU UNDERSTAND 'NO'? You can't buy them. Ever!"

I managed to smile at him b/c I try to be polite most of the time (except on citydata! Heh) and said, "Okay...well, thank you."

And he screamed, "JESUS!" and I drove away REALLY quick.

I don't know why but that bothered me for days. I felt horrible about it. There's more to it than this. Going back I pretty much realize I'm never going back to NJ and that some things have changed since I moved. Changed in me. I'm no longer good with the cold. I no longer want to think about how to make a snotty comeback to someone who is screaming at me for no reason...there's a lot of stuff. It's so beautiful there and I was in tears of happiness just driving around and looking, looking, looking, and of course the majority of the people I ran into were nice. But there were other things, weird things, that bother me now which didn't then. Like this I forgot: buying coffee or whatever at Newark Airport and the person won't smile at you or speak to you or say anything UNTIL you drop the tip in the jar, then she's all smiles. You're expected to earn your smile with a tip...that's so backward and bizarre. It's not like that here and I just feel like I've become a wimp and I'm no longer a Jersey girl and it's hard...I've been really emotional and upset b/c now I really don't have a "home" anymore...not there and not here...

Sorry for the super-long post. I don't know if I'll be here at CD much anymore. I no longer have a clear goal, don't know where I want to be and I just don't know...I need to think about all this...it's all really sad and I just feel bad about it...

Thanks for listening.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Somewhere over the Rainbow
625 posts, read 3,264,730 times
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I don't remember buying tokens and I just turned 27!!! Everything is now EZ Pass or cash. EZ Pass is automatic so it's alot easier than digging up change.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:54 AM
 
Location: 3219'03.7"N 10643'55.9"W
7,965 posts, read 16,786,527 times
Reputation: 6912
There is a quote from a song that probably not many have listened to, but it comes from Bob Dylan, the song is "Mississippi":

Every step of the way we walk the line
Your days are numbered, so are mine
Time is pilin' up, we struggle and we scrape
We're all boxed in, nowhere to escape

And....

Well, the emptiness is endless, cold as the clay
You can always come back, but you can't come back all the way
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

The particular place is irrelevant, but the message is clear: when you make the monumental decision to make a move, and I am not talking about Allentown, Scranton, or Newburgh, but a real, geographical and culturally significant move, as you JerZ, and I made, be prepared for the consequences.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:59 AM
 
25,420 posts, read 24,183,342 times
Reputation: 23848
Okay...thanks...

I don't remember exactly how many years ago I used to buy tokens...maybe it's longer ago than I'm thinking? Maybe in that case it really was stupid of me to ask...but the guy couldn't say "Oh, it hasn't been that way for years now" or something? Anything besides "No!" and "I said no!" and "Jesus!"

Or...I guess not...

I never traveled the Parkway very much, but when I did, I clearly remember buying tokens and having to have the money out in my hand as I was slowing down to throw at the toll collector b/c it was always rush-rush-rush with so many cars in front and behind.

This particular time, though, there was no rush, because it was 2AM and I was literally the only car to go through the booth throughout this entire exchange, and certainly nobody else was in the Cash Receipts lane but me.

I just cried all over my husband about this and he explained that, number one, I used to live in BC, where people do seem to be nicer than in the counties going southward (he recalls this as he used to sometimes take the Parkway going to Rte. 3-ish when he worked in Lyndhurst), but also just now being used to service people being way way friendly. He knows how sad I am so he promised to take us to something dorky and autumnal this weekend...that's just the kind of dork I am...so that makes me feel better...

...And in a way, I guess this is kind of funny. "New Jersey made me cry." Oh wouldn't some of the ex-NJ-pats here LOVE to see T-shirts that say that...

I just feel bad because, well...where is home, you know? I feel like an animal that used to live in the beautiful wild, making my own way, and one day I was caught in a trap and someone took me home and I managed to finally escape one day, looked around at the beautiful wild again, took a deep breath, then felt a tummy rumble and said "Hey! Where's the food dish at?"

Sigh.
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:01 AM
 
25,420 posts, read 24,183,342 times
Reputation: 23848
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike0421 View Post
There is a quote from a song that probably not many have listened to, but it comes from Bob Dylan, the song is "Mississippi":

Every step of the way we walk the line
Your days are numbered, so are mine
Time is pilin' up, we struggle and we scrape
We're all boxed in, nowhere to escape

And....

Well, the emptiness is endless, cold as the clay
You can always come back, but you can't come back all the way
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

The particular place is irrelevant, but the message is clear: when you make the monumental decision to make a move, and I am not talking about Allentown, Scranton, or Newburgh, but a real, geographical and culturally significant move, as you JerZ, and I made, be prepared for the consequences.
Hi, Mike. I knew what the consequences *might* be and knew I wasn't prepared for them, but then again, 99% of this move was based on my son's health so I figured, scr*w my own feelings about it. So I understand what you're saying but it's not like I did this frivolously or something. I really and truly thought the west coast and the dry weather, plus being in the proximity of a "solid" family (DH's family) rather than mine where everybody else seemed to be moving, was going to cure my baby but it didn't...he still gets sick a lot and now we know it's not that his ears are clogged or whatever that's causing the delays, he just has delays, period...we didn't know that at the time.

The lyrics above were beautiful, thanks for that.
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:14 AM
 
Location: 3219'03.7"N 10643'55.9"W
7,965 posts, read 16,786,527 times
Reputation: 6912
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerZ View Post
Hi, Mike. I knew what the consequences *might* be and knew I wasn't prepared for them, but then again, 99% of this move was based on my son's health so I figured, scr*w my own feelings about it. So I understand what you're saying but it's not like I did this frivolously or something. I really and truly thought the west coast and the dry weather, plus being in the proximity of a "solid" family (DH's family) rather than mine where everybody else seemed to be moving, was going to cure my baby but it didn't...he still gets sick a lot and now we know it's not that his ears are clogged or whatever that's causing the delays, he just has delays, period...we didn't know that at the time.

The lyrics above were beautiful, thanks for that.
No, when you DM'ed me, I understood, and appreciated your predicament. And I don't have any solution for you, just empathy. I was back there a month ago, and I felt like a stranger in a strange land. Just like in the Shawshank Remdemption, when Brooks was let out of jail, but found out he was institutionalized, (I felt like I had to get back to NM after a week in NJ) I feel the same way now, and not in a good way. Because the lifestyle I've adopted now is completely counter to what I've left behind, and a dichotomy exists, much like yours. I don't know whether to embrace the new, or regale over the past.

Here are the lyrics to the entire song, I've sung them driving around the local roads here juxtaposing the lyrics, thinking about the move I made, and its ramifications.

Bob Dylan: Mississippi (http://bobdylan.com/moderntimes/songs/mississippi.html - broken link)
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:19 AM
 
25,420 posts, read 24,183,342 times
Reputation: 23848
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike0421 View Post
No, when you DM'ed me, I understood, and appreciated your predicament. And I don't have any solution for you, just empathy. I was back there a month ago, and I felt like a stranger in a strange land. Just like in the Shawshank Remdemption, when Brooks was let out of jail, but found out he was institutionalized, (I felt like I had to get back to NM after a week in NJ) I feel the same way now, and not in a good way. Because the lifestyle I've adopted now is completely counter to what I've left behind, and a dichotomy exists, much like yours. I don't know whether to embrace the new, or regale over the past.

Here are the lyrics to the entire song, I've sung them driving around the local roads here juxtaposing the lyrics, thinking about the move I made, and its ramifications.

Bob Dylan: Mississippi (http://bobdylan.com/moderntimes/songs/mississippi.html - broken link)
Oh shoot Mike, I'm sorry, I forgot we had already discussed this and that I had explained about my son. D'oh!

I 100% feel the way you do...it's so...weird. Brooks, was he the man who wound up hanging himself because he could no longer handle the "outside" world? Sorry for the OT, folks.

I really did have a good time except for the things I pointed out...just in case anybody is wondering. For the most part, people were outgoing and friendly as ever...it's just that it's as Mike (and those lyrics) said...you never can "go back" entirely and it's a really weird, displaced feeling.

Thanks, everybody...I'll check back in later...got to get my littlest to school. Sorry this has been so high-drama, it was just a total shock to me, having these particular feelings. Thanks again!
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:53 AM
 
5 posts, read 19,356 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerZ View Post
Hi...can anybody tell me when it no longer became possible to buy Parkway tokens? I can't remember how recently I used to buy them...it might have been three years ago, maybe...?

Thanks for listening.
They stopped selling the rolls of tokens in 1999. You always had to buy a roll of 40 for $10.00.

The tokens were eliminated in order to get people to sign up for the electronic tolls system (ezpass) which was installed in 2000.

I'm sorry the toll collector at Union Plaza was rude.
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:01 AM
 
5 posts, read 19,356 times
Reputation: 12
I edited my post but you're quick - I got my gold badge in 1986, btw.
Just happened to come across the site this morning. Strange, isn't it?
We keep editing posts and no one will know what we're talking about...
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Vermont
5,439 posts, read 14,339,187 times
Reputation: 2609
40 for 10/???? I thought tokens were 35c????
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