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Daytona is very fascinating, to say the least. This won’t be another Blackberry story, but it is something worth writing about.

Last night I accompanied a few friends to Daytona because I have nothing better to do with my Friday nights. We got there around 9, which was good timing for the event we were to attend. After a few hours, my female companion and I decided we were hungry and wanted to explore what Daytona had to offer.

What a decision.

As soon as we stepped out of “Wise Guys” we found ourselves on Main St – which by the complete lack of human activity should quite probably be renamed. It looked like a town in the Midwest, or at least how I picture it anyway; the Harley’s, country music, building structures – and I want to say that I saw tumbleweed blow across the street but if I did, I would be lying.

Anyway when we got to A1A we saw a diner on the corner across the street, so we crossed it and attempted to look at the menu. It looked like that Diner in Grease where Sandy and Danny tried to eat in peace until Rizzo and the rest of the Greasers rudely interrupted. It had neon coloured lights, coulourful images on the walls, brightly pictured food items on the stand-alone menu outside, and shiny silver round tables and black stools for eating. The bar was oval-shaped and they were showing wrestling on the television. I’m sure they had a jukebox somewhere in there too.

I saw all of this from outside, all before I saw “the sign” that completely took me off guard – but not until my friend got offended and was ready to storm away. Oh, but I cannot forget the looks of death we were receiving from the folks inside as we stood there looking at the menu.

The sign:


Everyone I have asked thus far suggests it could be gang related. I won’t deny that, but I think they could have put “no violence” to avoid the confusion all together. I will leave you to make your own interpretations. With that said, on to what came next.

There was a Papa Johns not too far and we decided that wings and bread sticks would be delightful choices, but before we could get to Papa Johns we had to pass another pizza shop that was broadcasting “fresh New York style pizza”. They had wings too but my friend was bent on Papa and I wanted bread sticks, so we kept walking.

But before we could finish deciding, we heard a man with a deep down-south-accent telling us that we have made a mistake.

“Our pizza is the best,” he said as he stood on the restaurant porch smoking a cigarette. He threw us off guard a little bit because he came out of nowhere, and after that Diner sign we were somewhat paranoid and slightly afraid to go inside Papa Johns while the competition was watching us. Nonetheless, when we thought he was no longer standing and staring, we made our way inside PJs.

The guy in there was not any less scary. In fact, his accent was even deeper, and he resembled a leprechaun. All the while he had an evil grin on his face and he was not excited about us only ordering bread sticks – considering they were practically closed. We stood there for about 5 minutes waiting on the bread while he veered at our discomfort from the back of the store.

He was a short guy; bald with pasty skin and the bluest eyes ever. His hands were full of veins and they looked very strong and muscular – if that is even possible – as if he had a hard life. He seemed to be trying his best to make conversation by observing the fact that we were both on our phones, and then making a joke about us “calling him.” We both agreed to just smile and nod, wait for the bread sticks, and then get the hell out of there – which is exactly what we did.

Of course when we got outside, the other guy surely was waiting for us to come back. He kept talking about how amazing his pizza is and that we will not regret it. (He also made fun of my bread sticks after he opened the box and looked at them.)

The pizza truly was good – but the fact that I had to leave my box of bread sticks outside on the counter as the manager demanded, was not thrilling. Neither was the fact that he sat with us to watch us eat. He put his foot in his mouth a few times too when he decided to mention that we do not “look like Jamaicans.” He said there are two types of Jamaicans: the black ones and the ones like me. “You don’t look black. You look like you are mixed with something. And you,” he said to my friend, “you look Brazilian. Are you guys sure you are from Jamaica?” I am not sure sir, are you sure you are German/Irish ?

Oh, the ignorance.

Now that we are on the topic of Jamaicans, after we went back to the event my other friends were ready to go and we made our way to someone’s house. When we got there, we were introduced to the most Jamaican Jamaicans we have met outside of Miami. Some of them came from places in Jamaican that I never remembered. Kingstonians (those who are from Kingston) were there too, of course, but for once they were out-numbered.

So we got to have a few good anti-Kingston arguments – something I am not too used to- and we talked about the difference between “country” and “city.” Turns out there are three Kingstons. Kingston city, Kingston Parish, and New Kingston – some of which are not even in Kingston? Yeah, I know. Confusing.

Anyway, Daytona was definitely an experience. Had it not been for the getty at the end of the night, I am not sure I would be fully convinced to ever go back there again.

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