Don’t get me wrong, I love living in PA. There is such a wide variety of people and subcultures packed in to a single state. But sometimes when I travel out of state, I realize just how unique (and sometimes weird) PA can be. Here are 9 ways you know you are in Pennsylvania.
1. The Traffic Light Law
Green means go, yellow means slow, and red means stop. Sometimes. Maybe. If you are in Pennsylvania, drivers can legally travel through an intersection with a red light under "certain conditions" pertaining to traffic light sensors.
Your February 5-day weather forecast looks little something like this:
Wednesday through Friday: 70s and sunny
Saturday: Evening thunderstorms and tornadoes
Sunday: Low 40s with snow
3. The Roads
We have potholes big enough to swallow a car. In fact, PA is home to a statepark that is home to a pothole that is 38 feet deep. And if you manage to avoid these, a sinkhole might swallow your car instead.
4. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation
PennDOT doesn’t help you with the pothole situation much. Your usual route to somewhere requires that you swerve like crazy to avoid getting transported to Narnia via a hole in the road. And your alternate routes? They’ve been under construction for the past 5 years.
5. All Terrain
You can drive up a mountain, through an inner city, and in to a cornfield within the driving time of a half hour. (Our Driver’s Handbook has to cover a lot of ground.)
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6. The Amish
Speaking of corn fields, we have a lot of Amish country too. It is not unusual to visit a farmer’s market or a farm to purchase foods from the Amish. Or to see a horse and buggy on the road. (Some stores even have horse stalls for their Amish customers to "park.") And it’s a really neat culture to study (thanks Sociology class).
7. Wawa vs. Sheetz
If you are in Eastern PA, the Sheetz vs. Wawa War has affected you personally in some way. I cannot tell you how many times I have been personally offended by someone who says Sheetz is better than Wawa. Um, clearly you have never had a Wawa hoagie? Or free air for your car tires? The audacity.
Along with Wawa hoagies, we have a wide variety of other culinary delights, such as a Cheese-Wiz soaked Philly Cheesesteak. Or you can get in touch with Pennsylvania’s Dutch roots with a pretzel (soft or hard), or Utz Potato Chips. I also recently had the pleasure of experiencing vinegar on French fries. Potatoes and pretzels not your thing? The Mushroom capital of the world is in Kennett Square, PA and has a Mushroom festival every year. In the mood for some calorie soaked meat? Hamburg PA has a Hamburger festival featuring 100s of vendors serving every kind of burger imaginable. Top it off with Hershey’s chocolate from Hershey, PA or some Turkey Hill Ice Cream. And this is just to name a few.
9. Philadelphia Sports
Along with Cheesesteaks and Liberty, Philadelphia is also cited for having the worst football fans. Pro tip: don’t show up to an Eagles or Flyers game wearing a Steelers or Penguins jersey.
PA is a huge state, and this is in no way a comprehensive list. What is something unique about your state?