OC Answer Man: Why do out-of-staters always ask me if I surf?

It’s a big country, and few outsiders have time to develop nuanced understandings of Orange County. Regional stereotypes are frequently wrong, but people do love them. Surfing is just exotic enough to qualify as a local quirk, while still staying within inlanders’ comfort zones. For instance, taking visitors from landlocked states to the pier to watch surfing is always a hit. But taking them to Little Saigon for lunch and shopping might leave them with blank stares. They weren’t expecting that, and now they’re confused. So don’t mess too much with their presumptions. Just smile and nod when they ask if you surf, even if you can’t swim and don’t live anywhere near the beach.

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