half a million?

Uh… what happens when you go over that? Since you say you do 690,000 a month…?

Anyway, I know you’re bright, so don’t bother answering me if you don’t want to.

Speaking of diversity, and I know you mean of experiences, not just race, but… Robin and I were talking about the south bay a few days ago. I am always amazed at how Asian it’s gotten over the last 10 years. We were saying how strange it is to have a whole shopping center with only Asian stores and restaurants. All the signs are in Chinese, and of the thousands of people there, maybe three are white. This led to a discussion of how Robin found it odd that none of my friends from high school are Asian when I was obviously surrounded by them. But the truth was that 10-20 years ago, there actually weren’t that many Asians, at least not in Palo Alto. I think you’ll still find mostly white people there still (too much of an old money, prep boy with sweater around shoulders town), yet only 10-30 miles away towards Sunnyvale and San Jose it’s a completely different story.

Is it that Asians tend to stick together? IMO, hell yes. The family friends (mostly Chinese) I hung out with once a month while growing up were from other cities like Fremont and Los Gatos where apparently there were far more Asians around than in Palo Alto. For them, it was perfectly natural to go to Berkely or UCLA and keep hanging out with their Chinese high school buddies. For me, I just saw Berkeley as this huge segregated school, where if I attended I would no longer have any white friends. It probably wouldn’t have been like that, but I was so against the idea of groups sorted by color that I went to Reed. (When I finally got to Reed and Portland in general, once in a while I would freak out from being the only non-white person around…) Anyway, if I think about it and if I ask my friends, I don’t think it’s a conscious decision they make to gravitate towards other Asians (mostly Chinese–Mandarin speaking Chinese from Taiwan, specifically!). It just sort of happens. That’s the scariest part about it! That by default, a minority group continues its segregation and cliqueishness and indirectly its own stereotyping. Is this true for all ethnicities? I tend to think yes.

But is this actually a problem? I mean we all really just want a sense of belonging and a sense of community, and if it’s to be had by hanging out with people with roughly the same experiences as you then you’re bound to end up with people of your own ethnicity, right? I mean there’s a difference from natural segregation to imposed segregation and prejudice, right?

An interesting side effect, tho, of the mass conglomeration of Asian people in Sunnyvale and San Jose is that you end up having the possibility of visiting another country right here in America. Seriously! Well almost. What is definitely true, however, is that the food is amazing.

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