Petrol stations usually are great place to make a pause and take a deep breath of some fresh car rejections. If you are hitchhiking, it is of course great to talk to people and get a ride further, Hitchwiki has a page about that.
But petrol stations are more than just getting a ride, you can stop for a coffee or take undercover from the cold or rain attacks. After midnight, expiry date of some products is over and you can try to seduce the cashier to get some nice industrial processed food. Walking a bit further you can often pitch your tent to be the first one on the hitching waiting list the next day. Be careful that if you are not out of sight, Mister Policeman might come with his buddies to see if you are not a dangerous refugee. Explain your situation and of course show a nice passport in order, and you might even finish your night peacefully. Some people will tell you that it is very unsafe to sleep under unlit spots, as they are not video monitored and that theft is common amongst trucks or caravans. The question is, would someone really care about the valuables of a refugee like us ;) ?
A traveler on a petrol station
At least in Europe all petrol stations are the same if not for the logo, people pass by and don't talk to each other, they have no history and no individuality. What can be our role, travelers and hitchhikers, to give history and life to these places? By having a talk to the cashier during the night, cooking some food on the concrete or playing music, the traveler fights against supermodernité (as explained in the article hereunder). This is a really cool article about the relation hitchhikers have with these non-places.