536: Stereotypes Come From Somewhere

Stereotypes are an interesting thing. About 5 months ago I was in Providence with my husband and the friend who the character of Mei is based on. We were eating at a Korean waffle shop and there were three outrageously dressed Asian girls sitting at the next table over. I was really surprised when I realized they were speaking Mandarin, as I'd just assumed they were Korean. I commented on this and my New Yorker friend jumped on me about my horrible assumptions and that they were clearly just all American girls. I struck up a conversation with them and they turned out to be from Mainland China here touristing. My friend felt rather chagrined and wanted to know how I knew they were foreigners. I pointed out that while in New York people run around in flamboyant garb all the time, no one in New England gets all dolled up at 2 pm on a Sunday afternoon.