Friday, October 17, 2008

Where have we landed?

It's Biketoberfest this weekend where I live. An annual fall event that brings motorcycle enthusiasts to town in droves. As residents, we're all fairly used to the event. But I was reminded of just how strange it must seem to a visitor yesterday in a most amusing way.

Standing in line at Walgreens. The cashier there is very chatty, but in a good way. The line is several people deep and I'm not paying much attention. Finally I find myself second in line. This is the exchange between Chatty Cashier and Nice Lady in Her 40s in line in front of me.

Cashier: "How'd you like that outfit?" referring to a customer who just left.

NLH40: "I know. Couldn't she have put some clothes on?"

Cashier: "Well you see a lot of that this week."

NLH40: "Yea, I've noticed. What is this event all about? I keep asking people and they just keep saying it's Biketoberfest. But what is Biketoberfest? Is there a reason for it?"

Cashier: "Yea, there's a reason. They all come to town to ride around and get drunk."

NLH40: "We've just moved to the area and I didn't know anything about it. In fact, we move into our house this weekend, so for now we're staying in a hotel on the beach. I think everyone else at our hotel this week is a biker. We weren't sure what was going on when we checked in."

Now, here's where I had to butt in, nosy NativeMom that I am.

NativeMom: "Actually, Biketoberfest is an event created by the Daytona Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau to try and give the local hoteliers and hospitality industry a boost during a typically slow time of year for them."

NLH40: "Well, we're from Tampa and they have Gasparilla there. So I was wondering if Biketoberfest was like Gasparilla?"

Gasparilla is a celebration of the pirate invasion of the TampaBay area. There's a parade and lots of parties, kind of like Mardi Gras.

NativeMom: "Well, Biketoberfest really doesn't have a theme to it or a folklore behind it. But it is more than just a bike party. There's motorcycle races at the speedway and a lot of vendors in town along with local businesses that get into the action. I guess it's just a mini version of the spring event."

NLH40: "There's a spring event?"

Oh Honey, you have nooooo idea!

NativeMom: "Uh . . . yea. This is just a preview of what happens here in March, when Bike Week is two weeks long and brings twice as many people to town. I guess you might as well know now, you've landed in motorcycle mecca."

NLH40: "Oh."

As I left the store, I had to laugh imagining what this poor woman and her husband must have thought when they checked into their hotel and began making preparations for their new home. Gee, everyone here rides a motorcycle? What's that all about?

I hope someone clues her in on a little thing called Speedweeks, not to mention Spring Break. I didn't have the heart to tell her. Welcome home!

No comments: