A gas at Chevron station in Tacna was less expensive than in California (5-10%). It costed $1.8 - $2.0 per gallon wheras it went always over $2 in Southern California that time (April 2003).
Isn't it strange? As I know California in contrast to Arizona was a producer of oil for gas. Is there something wrong with California's economy -higher taxes or what? Hmm... it maybe more complicated to explain, I suppose.
From Brian (Arizonarat) from Phoenix, Arizona:
Generally, California gas is much more expensive because it is taxed at a higher rate and they do "re-formulate" the fuel to be less polluting. Each state imposes different taxes on their fuel.
It seems that nobody lives in Takna. Streets are empty - no walking people (or dogs :-), one pickup truck every maybe 10 minutes. What a silence! Except close to I-8.
I saw only two older guys in Basque Ethea restaurant. Locals, visitors or maybe ghosts? I don't know.
It seems that they like to grow thujas (thuyas) in Tacna and southern Arizona at all.
Look at my picture please - aren't there thujas trees there?
Hehe, it remains me Greece and southern Italy especially :-).
Difficult to give straight reply - there are various opinions on this matter. It's not a sterile area but I can say: yes it's clean although a little neglected - no garbages or wastes neither along highways nor in other places I stopped.
There were no flies or other "dirty area" insects there at least in April. Although I must underline that it's not so simple to keep the area clean while it's very hot.
Travelling in many countries I noticed various customs referring to serving water to drink in a restaurant.
There are many possibilities:
1. they serve a glass (pot) of drinking water free to each customer,
2. they do it when you ask,
3. they give you a glass of drinking (tap) water but you must pay for it (sometimes quite a lot),
4. they ask you what kind (of mineral water) you want = you must pay for it (sometimes quite a lot)
I like the mode 1 and 2 the best hehe.
Basque Etchea restaurant was number 2 :-) serving cold water with ice cubes on request and free.
In most hot countries water is served cold and with ice cubes, in not so hot areas sometimes the waiter ask whether you want cold one.
Whenever you look for food, gas and/or eating while driving in the USA - look up to find commercials.
There are a lot of commercials "in sky" = on tall poles in the USA. In Tacna as well although only two (of Chevron gas station and Chaparral Motel) - just to be well seen from far distance while driving.
The same in most European countries, btw does this idea derive from the USA? I think so.
Gas stations in Arizona and that one by Chevron in Tacna are self service, fully self service I mean.
So, do not expect somebody from a gas station employees to wash your car windscreen while you are fueling.
It works that way in some (most?) European countries as well. In the USA Ursula was very kind to wash (perfectly!) the car's windscreen (if needed) while I was fueling and... resting. Thank you Ursula :-)
They used to built very wide streets in small southern Arizonian desert towns including Tacna.
Look at my picture: there is a quite wide paved highway in the middle. There are broad unpaved spaces on both sides (schoulders and/or parking lots?), used by cars - there are no pedastrians there hehe. And finally outside there are some ground floor houses and eventually businesses.
It remained me some small towns/villages in... Asian part of Turkey. Am I wrong?
I have never heard that name before my USA trip. It's a company which runs a lot of gas stations at least in all 9 states I was lucky to visit. Hmm... I did know Shell, Texaco, BP and many more (from Poland and Europe) but not that one.
Not my favourite/best gas station chain in the USA but they were everywhere. Are they the biggest in American gas stations market?
It seems that most locals (maybe even all of them) used to drive pickup trucks, usually bigger and older ones. Pick-up truck or shortly pickup is a small vehicle with an open part at the back in which goods (add dogs in the USA hehe) can be carried.
Is it practical in this area?
Rather flat area and no heavy snows there = no need to use heavily working cars.
But there are quite a lot unpaved roads around and if you run a business it's better to have more loading space and there are almost no rains in this area so no need to cover loads. Just my opinion.
It seems that there is too much space to park a car there :-).
But despite the above they do park their pickup trucks correctly, in order - no mess about it like in Turkey for example when everyone park a car like he/she wants!
After visiting Southern California I thought that the USA was a car country. I didn't change my mind till now but I got a few doubts in Tacna:
- there are quite many unpaved streets,
- schoulders are broad but unpaved,
- they didn't use to build roofs for cars at parking lots which seems to be a standart in most European Mediterranean countries - at least in front of even cheap restaurants.
Enlarge my picture and look! What a mess!
It seems that it's typical southern Arizonian mess: a lot of old vihicles, construction materials, machines etc. just in their backyards and frontyards.
Terrible, funny, interesting? What do you think?
Tacna is neither Scottsdale (in Phoenix area, Arizona) nor Santa Monica in California. Simply Tacna is not upscale town rather "downscale" I could say, although who knows...
So, don't expect to see any beautiful houses/residences, luxury stories or anything like this there. Do expect to see terrible or funny or even nice looking mess around their ground floor simple houses and almost no businesses.
It seems that Tacna is not a big business centre :-). The locals used to paint commercials on houses of their businesses (not to be surcharged for commercials tables, I suppose).
This one commercial on my picture is painted on Basque Etchea restaurant. Hmm... it's the most and the only beautiful house in Takna, I think.