This week’s post by Shuan S. is one of the least understood and documented of Asian Habits. However, it is very true (I did this in a parking lot for about 30 minutes before we finally chose the right pho place to eat at). Check it out to see what I mean.
Asian people enjoy meeting and gathering in many places such as AP classes, computer labs, karaoke bars, association clubs, and Asian restaurants. These places provide a sense of familiarity, connection, and shared interest to Asians. However, no gathering place better defines Asian culture than the average everyday parking lot. Whenever Asian people are done in one place and are not sure where they’re going next, they default to the parking lot. It makes a lot of sense: It is immediately accessible, it’s outdoors, the building manager can’t complain because they’re customers, and it’s free (http://www.asian-central.com/stuffasianpeoplelike/2009/03/20/112-cheapness/).
Just as interesting as this behavior, are the dynamics of these gatherings. Asian people will naturally form a rough circle, with everyone distancing themselves from the people they like least. Standing next to someone means anything from: “I like you” or “I’d like to get to know you,” all the way to “I’m sorry.” Breaking off from the circle implies that you have private matters to discuss in the comfort of three feet away (Indeed, many a romance has begun and ended this way).
If you are ever in a group of Asians, you should not get ambitious and outright recommend the parking lot. It is considered poor form to acknowledge it as a gathering place, as opposed to an intermediate waiting area. Rather, you should wait for a lull in the conversation and say, “Let’s figure out where we’re going now;” perhaps “I’m going to have a smoke,” or “I think they want us out of here.”
As you start to get up and gather your things, they will understand that it’s time to go to the parking lot. Once there, you are not obligated to discuss places to go, smoke or leave the premises, but are free to talk about #94 Jay Chou, #14 Honda Civics, or #25 take pictures.
We here at SAPL hope you enjoyed this week’s post. See you all next week!
Last 5 posts by Peter
- #144 Donnie Yen (Ip Man 3 DVD Release) - April 27th, 2016
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- #141 - The Colbert Report / Conan O'Brien Show - January 23rd, 2014
- #140 Linsanity (The Movie) - January 2nd, 2014