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Café del Mar

When I lived in the boarding school in England, my next door neighbor, namely Adam Cornford, used to blast this music A LOT. And I ended up liking it. For those who are uninformed, "Café del Mar" is actually a pub located in San Antonio. The bar is quite popular among the tourists. This pub releases compilation albums with tracks selected by its own DJ. But the song that I am talking about is not included in any of their "Cafe Del Mar" complication albums (as far as I know).

The song is originally written by Energy 52. The song is easily recognized because there has been many remixes. The main melody of "Cafe Del Mar" is based on "Struggle for Pleasure" by Belgian composer Wim Mertens. Energy 52's song first made number 51 in the UK Singles Chart in 1997, but it also hit the whole Wargrave House (thats the name of one of the boarding house).... HARD!

I swear at least 3 guys had this song blasting even when they were not in their rooms. During the prep time (7pm-9pm are assigned homework time in our school... everybody must do their homework during this time), it was all "Cafe Del Mar." oh by the way, UK has some cool HiFi's.

I don't fancy techno music as I used to when I was around 13-15 yrs old but this song is still on my favorite list. The best part of the music is only 40 seconds out of the 9 minutes but the whole song builds up to that best part like crescendo, and that makes this song a good one.

The song is downloadable form iTune. Just search under "Cafe Del Mar" or "Energy 52." If you just want the best part of the music, there is a remix for that part. IT's about 2 min 44 sec. The original is 9 min 00 sec. ENJOY.

Being sorry

"Oh yeah? I hope you learned a lesson."

That is what I occasionally I want to say to some people who says "sorry" to me.

Now, I'm not claiming that I am a perfect person, nor am I forcing everybody to become perfect. But there is a point where you have to let the person really learn a lesson from their mistakes. What I am starting to feel quite recently is that, people are starting to take lightly the things that come out of their mouths. The everyday phrase, "how are you" is a classic example. How many of you just give the mediocre answer and say "good?" And how many of you say "how are you?" to someone and you don't really care about how they reply to your question? Some people I know don't even answer the question "how are you?" and move onto different conversation.

"Sorry" is another thing that I have noticed that people are just "saying." Make no mistake. I often do this as well; I make the same mistakes. So this writing is not just to blame people but also as a lesson for all of us: the phrase "sorry," isn't just an expression of apology, but an expression of your determination to do something about it in the future.

Allow me to give you couple of cases.
1. BYU is a very crowded school, especially during 11am - 3pm.Thousands of people come and go from class rooms to class rooms. Campus gets really busy every 10 minutes before the hour. Now, we are all trying to get to our class but sometimes we all bump into our old friends: old roommates, old mates from hometown, mission companions, etc. When that happens, we all want to stop and say hello; catch up for a minute or two and get their contact information to hang out later. I see no problem. I do that all the time.

But this doesn't become okay when you stop walking in the middle of the sea of people and start talking to your friends. (Actually, I see boy girl doing this a lot more frequently than any other group of people; boy flirting with girls and girls flattering with what the boys say). Why is that a problem? YOU ARE BLOCKING everybody's way.

Well, we are kind and charitable people. So we walk around these people and move on with our own lives. But recently I'm starting to see more and more of people stopping the middle of overflowed hallway or campus and I'm starting to think that lots of people are starting to lose their manners.

So one day, on purpose, I said "excuse me". They said "oh sorry." I appreciated their “sorry" comment but I don't appreciate their unwillingness to move away from the crowd and move to the corner. That really pissed me off. So that "SORRY" didn’t mean anything to him. It's just a thing that they say to get away from things that they perhaps don't realize doing wrong. How much clearer should I be??? In any case, they weren't really “sorry”. And they will never learn a lesson unless someone directly tells them "Yeah you should be sorry; you are on everybody's way. I hope you learned a lesson." If nobody does, when would they ever learn? Should we send them to Chicago? New York??? These are big and busy cities. There, they should be able to learn a lesson. There must be SOME people bold enough to say "I hope you learned a lesson."

2. Students are busy. "Time is money" is the old adage and we all agree with that. I am very picky with how I spend my time. Every minutes count for me. I try to invest my time during the week so I can relax on the weekend.

Occasionally, I schedule a time to study in a group. What follows inevitably is that some people just happen to be late; there is always one person who comes in late and has everyone wait for few minutes.

If this happens only once or twice, that’s okay; I can tolerate that--even if the person was late 30 minutes. I have a little patient for that. But I do not tolerate (and I am not the only one who do not tolerate this) someone who continuously comes late and says "I'm so sorry. I'll be better next time" and rarely comes on time. I mean, where did the courtesy go? What are these people thinking? Oh and it is especially rude when someone calls on the phone and says “sorry” and tell us that he/she will be late for another 40 minutes. What are they thinking? When do they ever learn to be more courteous? Obviously there has to be someone who has to say "Yeah you should be sorry; you wasted everybody’s time. I hope you learned a lesson." Should we wait till they get the job and get fired few weeks later because they can't keep their appointments? In any case, being late for so many thing can lose you friends, job and money (time=money).

3. Laughter is good. It makes our lives much happier. It uplifts our minds and allows us to have an enjoyable time. But sometimes laughter is taken too far. It becomes “Loud laughter” which don’t necessarily bring a good spirit (it may be bringing some sort of spirit to the person who’s laughing but it definitely doesn’t to some other people who are listening to it). Now, you are born with a loud laughing habit, that’s okay (although I encourage you to change how you laugh). But it’s not okay when you are loud laughing in middle of the night and while many others are trying to sleep.

… What? Am I talking about my roommates? Well maybe; maybe not. Judge me however you want. My point of this story is, when we tell you to be quiet, they tell us “sorry” but they never stop. In Japanese language, telling someone to stop doing something over and over again is called “being an underpaid teacher at fool’s school.” I really do feel like a fool just telling people the same thing over and over again. It is so ridiculous! It is my understanding that "loud laughter" is discouraged in the church. In any case, they are never sorry if they countinue to laugh out loud.

These are but few of the examples. Do you get my point? I mean, when are people really “sorry”? Unless the person has a sober mind, they never are sorry. Someone needs to tell them they aren’t really sorry unless they do something about they said they are sorry about.


Am I making sense or am I wrong?

Compulsive Hoarding

I was watching MSNBC on my computer and watched a segment about the compulsive hoarding. Compulsive hoarding (or so called pathological hoarding) is extreme hoarding behaviour in humans. It involves the collection and/or failure to discard large numbers of objects even when their storage causes significant clutter and impairment to basic living activities. The MSNBC news captured about a story about a pre-middle age woman who just became pregnant for the first time and having a difficult finding a place for her baby even though they moved into the 3 storey house recently.

I had served my mission in Idaho and I happen to see tons of this problem. Out of all of the houses that I had visited, 60% of households had, to some extent, a compulsive hoarding. And to make thinks a little more sharp and crystal clear, out of that 60% of households that I visited on my mission, about 95% of them come from people who are in the middle-class to the boarder-line-of-being-a-poor. People cling to thing (even though they may have not touched the object in months or even years) because many are scared that if they throw those objects away, they are throwing memories or the parts of their bodies.

Evil side of me says this is pathetic. "What a waste of space." This is my first response probably becasue in regions like Japan and some places in Europe, all apartments that American's consider "SMALL" house (or apartments) can be considered really big and big enough for a large family. People who live in a high population density area learn to economize the use of their house spaces. So, my evil side says this is pathetic and they need to learn to throw stuff away. And I partially blame their parents too because usually they are the root of these habits that made them be so inefficient with the use of space.

Now, the angel side of me (of which many of my friends assume that I don't have) makes me sorrowful for those people because throwing stuff away, for them, is very difficult-- it can significantly increase their anxiety level and sometimes lead to the suicide (according to MSNBC). MSNBC suggested that a family or close friends should not encourage the person with compulsive hoarding to throw away stuff but encourage the person to get a counseling. The compulsive hoarding, MSNBC claims, is a serious mental issue that over 7 million Americans suffer from. It must be treated carefully.

What's my point here? well, the fun thing about the facebook note is that I don't have to draw any conclusion. I just wanted to make an observation. What do you guys think? Are you pro or anti? Have you seen people overcome compulsive hoarding? What can we do to help them?


I remember when this came out, I was in a boarding school in UK and I was a 9th grader (Yr10---first year in GCSE) and I probably heard this on the radio 5-6 times on the radio in a day. It was a big hit... apparently it was big in Ireland, Australia, Denmark and Sweden as well as in England. "Freestyler" beczme a big hit throughout Europe and it was the year 2000's biggest-selling single in Europe.

The song came back to me while I went to Carl's Jr. to grab a bite of burger (and as many of you very well know that I rarely eat fast food anymore) and that reminded of my high school days in Eastbounr UK when we used to go to Mr.House or kebab place on the weekend after the rugby game. I remember it being a blast. and made me want to listen to it again.

So I tried to download "freestyler" from iTune... and flip. iTune only sells the stupid remix that ruins the original. So I googled it. It had the free mp3 download site but the site was closed... so I finally found it on youtube and ebay. I didn't want to spend $10 dollars for one song so I downloaded the Music video for the "freestyler" from youtube and I now listen it occasionally. My youthful days returned.

This song is basically techno music; one of the very few techno that rocked my youthful days. The song was also featured in the video game Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2. This song won the Best Nordic Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Nevertheless, the single did spark controversy. The line "Who the **** is Alice, is she from Buckingham Palace?" has never been censored on any radio or video release, and the video featured a lot of product placement by Sony.

Check it out on YouTube.

You can't remember?

I used to be a teaching assistant for Statistics 221. Statistics 221 (which shall be called Stats 221 hereafter) is a class that almost everyone who attends BYU takes. Now when I meet new people, and tell them that I major in Statistics, this is how the conversation usually goes:

Me: "I major in Statistics"
Someone: "Oh yeah I've taken Statistics class!"
Me: "Oh yeah? Was that Stats 221?"
Someone: "hmmm... I don't know... I don't remember... I just remember it was hard"
Me: "Oh man... I could have helped you I used to be a TA and..."
blah blah blah...

My concern is this: "How in the world do you not remember which stats class you took, especially if you found it extremely difficult???" Now I'm not saying that those people who don't remember have been lying to me but I just can't understand how people can't remember the class number they took. I've been in college for almost 4 yrs and I remember every single class I took at BYU (and I remember the class number too!) Moreover, you have to say which stats you are in when you go to testing center to take it! How in the world can you forget it?

If the person really doesnt remember the number, I am only lead to assume that this person either not serious his/her schooling or never went to lecture or the lab.

Am I wrong in saying this? I don't think I am because if I am asked which History, American Heritage, Humanity, or HEPE class I ever took, I can recall it from top of my head. Can you do that? I believe you can. (but I don't I will be able to remember all my religion numbers. I've taken too many religion classes. but if you've only taken ONE stats class, I think you still can remember it)

If you haven't met met (I'm not pointing my finger at anyone) Please don't say "I don't know I don't remember" because I know you can remember it if you try a little harder and I doubt that you are careless about your schooling.

Some things in the world are sooooo strange!! Or am I just too weird????

Friday Night??

I just have to write this somewhere. There are two facts I want to illustrate:

FACT 1: some people on the earth just simply have busier schedules and more daily tasks they need to accomplish than others at a given time or at a given span of time. Nice and straightforward right? Makes sense.

FACT 2: there is a cultural difference in the perception about the days of the week. Generally, in US weekends are for taking a break, especially on Sunday (Christians) and on Friday nights (youngsters who have school). On the other side, some countries like China and Singapore see weekend as days get catch up or stay ahead of their academic or business endeavours. Some people just sees things differently than others. Make sense? Yeah it totally does.

So my complaint is this. If I said I need to study on Friday nights and Saturday nights, don't make fun of me, or tell me that i am anti-social or I study too much. I get annoyed. In fact, I get darn upset.

If I go to school fulltime, have two jobs, and be in charge of the fundraise, of course I would get busy. It just happens by the laws of the nature (example of FACT 1). and I see weekends are my perfect opportunity to catch and try to stay ahead of things (example of FACT 2).

Those who wants to take breaks on weekends can take all the breaks they want. Heck I take break on weekends too. But please please please please don't make fun of me (even jokingly) when I have to spend weekend studying. Please learn to respect that.

If you think I am lame for studying on the weekend and should be going on dates instead, then I'd say I go on dates whenever I want to. I don't have to go on dates every weekend. I'm not that desperate. Please tell me how often I should go on date. Dating is somewhat overrated at BYU anyway.

sigh...That felt good. Now I can go back to studying. Thanks for reading
Written 9:58PM FRIDAY!!


To all my friends who like rice (or who I think like rice),

Have you noticed those dessicant you see in the food packages, especially in the rice products? A desiccant is a hygroscopic substance that induces or sustains a state of dryness (desiccation) in its container. For many products like rice snacks and others, dessicants are useful in that it can lengthen its expiration dates up to 13 months (AFS statistics).

However, dessicants are extremely harmful substances to our body. It can severely damage our digestive system and damage our immune systems if consumed by human. Its effects can be fatal. The companies that sell products with dessicants are required by the law to clearly label it as dessicants and that they are not to be consumed.

Seems like a very reasonable precautions, right? Well, I have some objection to it. I'm not saying that I have the perfect solutions but I have some conflicting ideas about this labelling.

There are lots of things in the world that I don't understand why this is happening. And this is one of them. I has seen this dessicant pack since I was young. I always thought it was a kind reminders but as I grew older, I started to question its effectiveness. And now it has become one of my (but maybe not for you) world's greatest mysteries. My problem is this:


Does that make sense? If you are old enough or if you are smart enough to read English (or whatever your language), you already know you shouldn't eat those dodgy looking chemicals in the food product you have just purchased!

Some packs have pictures on it. They are better than words, but are still on the boarder line. I think if you are smart enough to understand what the picture is trying to say, you already are smart enough to understand that "hazardous" looking white powder in the little pack is dangerous and not good your body. You'll be suprised: lots of kids actually practice common sense.

So I want to suggest to hundreds and thousands of production managers out there: Do something about this. I sure don't have a solution for it but I sure do know that we have a problem. Instead of making sure people who are old enough to read the label not to eat the dessicant, you should focus on more vulnerable infants who can't read and who doesnt understand the pictures. Sure the parents can teach their children not to eat those dessicants, but what kind of security, as the offerers of those products, can you promise??? I'll be excited to know your creative ideas.

$4M marketing idea

To my friends that are tall (or who I remember being tall),

This morning I wake up at usual time 6:30am.

I get out of the bed, do some stretches and head to my bathroom sink for my daily sink ritual: brush my teeth and shave my face. I turn on the water. While I wait for the hot water to come out, I stare at the mirror and think:

"What should I eat for breakfast?"
"Today, I need to do this and that"
"I need a haircut"
"That was a fun dream"

I mean who want a sink that doesn't even fit a cat??

The water is now hot. I grab my shaving cream. I lean over to wash my face. Then I hear a pop on my lower back. It hurts. What kind of pain is this?? Why does this hurt so much?

Luckily the pain goes away after several seconds. Then I become upset; upset that everything in life is so small and not built for tall people.

Am I the only one thinking this? I'm 196cm, about 6'5''. I'm flipping not normal. I know that (especially for an Asian guy) but can't they build sink a little taller and higher? And not just the sinks in the bathroom but also in the kitchen?? What the heck is the problem with the interior designers? Why do they have to make these sinks so low? And now that I come to think of it, all the kitchen and bathroom sinks that I ever had run into during my life, whether it be in Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, England, US, etc, THEY ARE ALL LOW!!!

I mean think about it. If the sink were extra foot taller than all of our current sinks, would the shorter people complain? Yes, the kids has to use taller stools but how about adults? Would they complain? I doubt it. If I stand up straight, I have to bend down 2 to 3 foot depending on the design of the sinks; the sink is at the height of my zippers! How uncomfortable my bending!! How ungraceful my bending!!!!

You may say well "what about the shorter people?" well, alright smarties. Calm down. Let me explain.

If we are suffering 2 to 3 feet, the shorter people can surely suffer 1 more foot!

Another thing. When you wash your face, do you dump your face in the sink, get your face out, and dump your face again until your face becomes clean? I hardly doubt that you do. We wash our face by making a cup shape with both of our hands and fill it will water and apply water to our face, right? Well, won't that make water spill on your sink? won't it make a mess?

Don't you hate wiping the sink or the sink tables especially when you are also wiping shaving creams (with shaved hair), soaps, hair dyes, etc? And you just used the towel to wipe the sink. You don't want to use it to dry our hands so you throw it to your laundry bag. More and more laundries everytime you wash your face. What a mess.

Wouldn't making the sink higher solve that problem? I mean I know the shortest friend I know in college still has to bend over to fash his face and he still makes a mess on his sink table. The less you have to bend, the less mess you make because you are not far frmo the sink. This makes absolute sense. Also, if you make sink higher, aren't you able to store more things underneath the sink like more towels, more hair products, make up products, detergents for bathrooms, etc.

Am I being really dumb, or am I offering a revolutionary, 4 million dollar marketing idea?

It solves prevailing lower back problems in adults, less mess on the sink, and offers more storage room underneath the sink. (Or deeper sink for kitchen which allows people to procastinate washing their dishes because they can pile up higher). Anyone who wants to buy this marketing idea for free???


GDP-- one of the ways for measuring the size of its economy-- of a country is defined as the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. Wheelan speaks of this GDP as one of the indicators of the economical strength. Wheelan likewise spoke of other indicators like health index and cultural index. Health index takes into account child poverty, crime rates. The social index includes measures of divorce rates, drug uses and others. It is also explained that UN uses life expectancy, literacy and many other factors to measure the economic strength.

Charles Wheelan, the author of well respected Naked Economics, describes that these indicators can be used describe to explain country's economic growth, recession and recovery. He calls it "business cycle." One should not place too much weigh only on one of the indicators but try to see the overall effects of individual indicators. I major in statistics and this subjects particularly interests me. In statistical analysis, almost all of the time we create a model function to predict future events or analyze the past events. Measuring economic growth or recession in the country is not an exception in making a model. When creating a model we come up with possible predictor variables to measure the economic welfare. In this case all the indicators Wheelan mentioned become the possible predictor variables. We study the associations between each predictor variables (called collinearity). Statistical analysis allows use to eliminate variables that are not important enough to be in the model. This dropping or adding indicator variables can vary among different nations because each countries are unique and have their own characteristics. Some indicators may not apply directly to the economic welfare. In fact this is exactly what the Bereau of Labor Statistics does to measure the GDP-- take into account make predicotrs into the model.

Additionally, depending on each countries characteristics, statistics has a way of figuring out how to allocate weights to each of these indicators, hence making the welfare measurement more accurate and less biased.

Much Ado about Nothing

William Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing is well-known for incorporating many traditions from the medieval era into the plot. The Provo Theatre Company performed Much Ado about Nothing with slight modification: the plot was in the Year 1918 era.

Though the Provo Theatre Company should be commended for adapting Shakespearean play into 1918 era through technical innuendos like costumes, stage settings, and gestures, there were historical contradictions and inconsistencies to the performance because the many scenes in the plot uniquely typified the fifteenth-century era.

One may feel uncertain about Beatrice demanding Benedick to "kill Claudio," it being "a man's office" to "fight with mine enemy" (4.1.289, 266, 298-99). Does this truly reflect the ordinary response of the people in the early 1900s? It is makes sense that a loyal lady would have such deep compassion for her sweet cousin Hero. We can sincerely show sympathy for Beatrice when she soliloquized: "O that I were a man! [...] O God, that I were a man! [...] O that I were a man for his [Claudio's] sake!" (4.1.303, 306, 317) Hailey Smith, the actor who played Beatrice, bespoke powerfully and beautifully a thirst for vengeance on Hero's calumniator. But Dorothea Kehler, a theatre critic, noted that "the characterization of... Beatrice's insistence on a duel can be explained as traces of medieval customs" (Kehler 11). To which I add: it cannot be explained as traces of late 1910s!

"This is a play about love, war, and Italy," Christopher Clark, the director of the Provo Theatre Company, writes. "I chose an era, 1918 Sicily, that, to me, reflected all three" ("Much Ado About Nothing," 2006). It is true that the history book reflects that there was a war in the country at the time, but we also read that "by late 1917, it was clear... that they were losing the battle" (Boyd 37). Whichever side of the war Don Pedro's army was in, the joyous responses that Leonato and the ladies' of his household displayed when they found out that their old friends were approaching Messina, and that there were only deaths of "few of any sort, and none of fame" (1.1.7), seemed peculiar and unfamiliar, considering that 1918 era carried more traits and traditions that are more familiar to us than the fifteenth-century era (see 1.1.1-29). It would have been more reasonable if the actors sighed for relief but still wondered in their minds what future the country have in store as a consequence of the war, instead of being so happy just to see Don Pedro's army return. The actors' rejoicing in the Act 1 Scene 1, the very opening of the performance, was, quite frankly, unrealistic.

It was interesting to talk with J. Scott Bronson and E. Scott Wells, the actors who played Leonato and Don Pedro. They, being the two oldest actors in the Provo Theatre Company, carried calm, gentle, and mature dispositions around them. I believe their personalities matched well with Leonato and Don Pedro in Much Ado about Nothing, who also displayed maturity, leadership and loyalty to their people. The exposition and the incremental exposition of these two characters over the plot were very well done. Unfortunately, these character traits did not help the play become realistic. Don Pedro's diligent effort, for example, to woo Hero for Claudio did not reflect the traits of people in the nineteenth-century, but rather it was a medieval trait. Kehler wrote that some actions that Don Pedro takes during the play are very unique to the medieval times. "What is not conventional is the willingness of Don Pedro to contravene protocol by courting Hero before he receives her father's permission to do so... [This] characterization of Don Pedro... can be explained as traces of medieval customs." (Kehler 11)

Jesus of Nazareth, who lived far from the land Messina, spoke of unchastity and infidelity in the last days: "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matthew 24:12). Fortunately, history tells us that the virtue of chastity was maintained for several centuries after Christ's Ascension. Juan Vives explained how important it was for Christian women to remain chaste: "the chastity [was] the principal virtue of a woman, and couterpeiseth with all the rest. If she have that, no man will look for any other; and if she lack that, no man will
regard other." (Vives XI) It is questionable, though, that the same level of virtue explained by Vives was maintained until the year 1918. If Jesus' prophecy about many people's love "wax[ing] cold" is to be fulfilled before the His Second Coming, surely we can assume that the value of chastity is more overlooked in 1918 than the medieval times. Granted, we see much of the denigration of that virtue today -- teenage pregnancies are more common than ever, chastity is continually ignored, and less people care about infidelity. Wouldn't any student of humanity think that we would see more similar conditions one hundred years ago than five hundred years ago? And if this is true, why did all the cast react so chaotically and hysterically to Hero's supposed unchastity, even though the chastity possibly was not a big issue to
the people e at the time? It's because the plot told them to do so! Hence the inconsistency in the plot.

One of the actors commented that "Shakespeare's play can be [duplicated] in many different eras." I think he missed the mark. Provo Theater was forcibly bringing the scenes in Much Ado about Nothing into nineteenth-century, while William Shakespeare and the plot itself drew the whole production back into the fifteenth-century; the former trying to integrate, and the later trying to differentiate. There were many instances that the setting made contradictions, and consequently made the plot unrealistic. The performer's comment may sound intelligent to some, but in reality it revealed his lack of research and his know-it-all attitude. If one is to change the play setting into a different era, he must research, study, and verify that the plot would make sense in that era, because over time even the culture, traditions and customs can change dramatically. The Provo Theater Company did not do that. They lacked the understanding of the differences between the 15th century and 19th century. It is crystal clear that they changed the setting simply because they probably would look fancy.

Works Cited

Dorothea Kehler. "Much Ado About Nothing: The Medieval Connection." English Language Notes. June 2004: 11-15.

Much Ado About Nothing. (2006, February). Daily Herald, p.16.

Boyd, Carolyn P. "The Second Battle of Covadonga: The Politics of Commemoration in Modern Spain".History & Memory, Fall 2002: 37-64.

Vives, Juan Luis. "A Very Fruitful and Pleasant Book called Instruction of a Christian Women". London, 1523.

No incentives

There is a clear cut line between things that government can offer and things that government cannot offer for its citizens. Wheelan, the author of the well expected book called Naked Economics uses few examples. One particular example that intrigued me was the example of DMV. Of course, the government has no incentives to increase the number of clerks to hasten the service, nor would they try to it make the place look fancy. Since the government has complete control of DMV, they do not care about providing better service to its customers.

This example story reminds me of problem that I face with the custom agents every time I return to United States for schooling; the lines at the custom--it's too long. They don't care if you were in line for 2 or 3 hours. But what's worse are the custom agents. They never smile. Instead, they yell at all the immigrants and international students who can't fill out the "right form."

Their conducts are usually inhumane. Don't get me wrong because I love studying in United States and I honor the privilege to stay here. But I have to say that the attitudes that some custom agents have absolutely unkind, parsimonious, heartless and even sometimes cruel. So every time I go through custom, I have the worst experience of my life.

United States is not the only country that has terrible custom service lines and custom agents that have the worst attitudes, either. I've lived in England, Switzerland and Singapore. I go in and out of Japan on many occasions. I've also visited many countries in Europe and Asia. And each time I visit each countries, I go through customs and an ordeal with custom agents.

Please note that I am an innocent Japanese citizen and I have never brought anything illegal in or out of the aforementioned countries. But I still get the same type of treatment. I'm stuck in the line for at least a half hour; I get yelled at, glared at, stared at, humiliated at, etc. Of course, every one should be suspected at the custom gates; people aren't as innocent as they look. But they are pushing the line between humiliating people and inspecting people.

Why aren't the custom agents trained, and why aren't the lines made shorter? It's because they don't have any incentives to do so. Everybody has to go through the custom anyway. Having us be in the line for more than half an hour and being humiliated at does not stop us from going through it. It's a law. Sure, their service has changed from filling the form to checking our fingerprints (in some countries) but it's only to their convenience, not ours. They obviously don't care about how we feel, they just want to get the whole thing over with (while having fun humiliating and intimidating us).

I might get arrested for saying these things but this captures and illustrates Wheeler's central messages extremely well. I concede that the custom is a necessary government controlled evil. Other things would simply not work if the government was not in charge of them. They think they are doing us a favor but the effect is of course a reverse: we hate them with passion.

I repeat what I said the beginning: There is a clear cut line between things that government can do and offer and things that government cannot do and offer for its citizens. Yes, the government can issue me a student visa. Yes, they let me in and let me pursue my profession and let me do other things that I enjoy. But no, they cannot offer me good smiles. No, they cannot make the line go faster. No, they cannot offer pleasant experience at the custom gate.