1. The F.O.B: Fresh Off The Boat.
With their frilly Hello Kitty sweaters and pleated mini skirts, you can probably hear them first before noticing their quirky fashion sense. Hear them in hallways, libraries or computer rooms usually speaking an Asian language or two (or a combo of both) with their other F.O.B friends, and most likely not in their inside voices. That’s because their “inside voice” used to have to carry itself in a classroom of 40+ pupils. I know they no longer come in boats, but fresh off the plane is what you say to explain your disheveled appearance to whoever happens to be picking you up from the airport. Note that it’s not about how long it’s been since they’ve migrated into the country (my mother has lived in Australia for 15 years and is still a F.O.B), it’s more about whether they’ve decided to integrate into the local culture or instead continue the lifestyle they had as if they’d never left their home town. Let’s be honest, without F.O.Bs we would never have Chinatown.
2. The TB: Teenie Bopper.
They were born and raised with Nickelodeon and The O.C but for some reason during their teenage years, they’ve bypassed the Seth Cohen look and opted instead for a character out of Dragonball-Z. They wear baggy pants and there’s one look they’re all trying to achieve: The Gangster Look. Big spiky hair with blonde/blue/red highlights are the first tell-tale signs of an Asian TB. The second is the other TBs around them.
3. The Banana.
Yellow on the outside, white on the inside. These are the Asians who usually went to a school with predominantly Caucasian kids and they found no way to fit in other than to push all their Asianness aside until there was nothing Asian left about them except their small eyes. They don’t know how to use chopsticks (or pretend not to), don’t like eating rice and avoid all places where Asians usually hangout. They drink more beer than bubble cup, which I personally think is the biggest loss for Bananas.
4. The Egg.
A reverse of the Asian Banana, the Egg is technically not an Asian, but kind of is too; they’re just white on the outside. They LOVE bubble tea, probably speak Chinese or another Asian language better than a real Asian and they’ll beat any Asian’s chopstick’s ass when it comes to swiping that last dumpling off the table. A rare form of its kind, usually the token egg is in a group of Asians, and is most likely under the spell of Yellow Fever and wished their parents would buy a rice cooker.
5. The Violet Crumble.
This one is for our South Asian brothers and sisters. We realize beneath it all we’re not all that different. Pushy parents, striving for good grades and having a complete disregard for sports (except cricket for you guys) makes us pretty much one in the same at recess. We both can laugh at Russell Peters and make racist jokes to one another without being labeled a racist. Win.
6. The Regular Asian.
This one just fulfills all your Asian stereotypes. Studies hard, wears glasses, plays at least one musical instrument, doesn’t play sports (except badminton), likes taro, red bean and sesame, knows how to order at Yum Cha and only speaks their mother tongue with their parents. Eats hotpot at social gatherings, and likely to have a bubble tea in hand when you meet up with him or her. Has identity crisis issues as he or she doesn’t identify with either being Australian or their ethnic background. Constantly gets asked “where are you really from?” by strangers when overseas and having to answer with another country other than Australia to avoid quizzical looks.
7. The Confused Asian.
Usually they’re straddling being a banana and a regular Asian. They typically have two groups of friends: the Asian group who plays card games at lunch time or their Caucasian group who plays sports in the school oval. They switch between groups every other day and can fit into both relatively well. They don’t know whether they prefer to date Caucasian or Asian although they know their parents want them to go Asian.