March 30, 2007

St. James's Park, London

On my last day in London, I spent the day wandering around the St. James's Park. I got there at around 9 in the morning. I got a coffee and a hot dog (I was really hungry.) at a snack booth at its entrance. It was a sunny day and I spent my entire day strolling along the pedestrian walk in the park. The park reminds me of the Victoria Park in Hong Kong. I still remember spending time there when I was very young; running one-mile twice a year for the physical education (P.E.) exam; sitting there during my lunch time when I started working. I still have pictures at home that my parents took when I was very young. My dad used to take me and my sisters to the park on weekends.

I ended up walking all the way to the Buckingham Palace inside the Park. As usual, it was packed with tourists outside the gate trying to take a peek at the Queen, who is never in the outer countyard. On my way back to my friend's apartment, I ended up running into the St. Patrick's Day Parade near Picadilly Circus. I stopped for a while and took some pictures.

London, I am missing you already!

DANGER! Life's falling apart!

This is another warning sign I saw at Reculver. Look at the sign. I love the graphical depiction of it. Not only is the guy going to plunge to death, the rock behind him is also breaking into halves. With his head reaching the ground first, he is definitely going to die. The sign was actually post on the top of the cliff. I wonder how the guy at the bottom of the cliff can figure out that the cliff may break into pieces.

Hmmm...maybe I should bring a parachute wherever I go. Maybe I should start practicing my 50-meter short-distance run. Hope I can deft the gravity if the rock and still escape without any injuries.

Isn't that just like our life, every one wants to have certainties, wants to have insurance against the unknown. I am going to deft the norms and try everything I want in my life.

Warning Signs

I saw this sign when I was walking along the Reculver's coastal path with my teacher. I got to take a picture of it because I just love the line "Slippery rocks with deep voids". Does that make you feel that every decision you make in your life is basically the same as walking on slippery rocks with deep voids?

There is no certainty in life.

If you are lucky, you can reach the other end safely even though you are stepping on the slippery rocks.

If you are a bit unlucky, you may fall while you are walking on the slippery rocks. However, you won't be falling into the deep voids between the rocks.

If you are really unlucky, you are going to fall through the cracks of the slippery rocks and plunge into the sea.

Just take a moment to think about the philosophy of life. You can summarize it with that sign.

The Peep Show and the British Comedy

I saw that the two characters on the British BBC Comedy "The Peep Show" are on a number of posters in the London tube stations promoting the Apple. The Peep Show is one of my favorite BBC comedy I have seen this year. My colleague introduced the show to me and I just couldn't help laughing after watching the 1st episode.

Some of you have heard me talk about my British colleague at work. I think it's so funny that the two characters, Mark (the guy on wheelchair) and Jeremy in the show, are pretty close reflection of our actual personality in our real life. I can totally see myself wanting to kill Jeremy if I had to live with him. On the other hand, I am 100% sure that my colleague would be like Jeremy if we ever stayed in the same apartment. I am totally the neurotic guy like Mark, who is crazy about relationship, work, and everything; while my colleague is an identical twin to Jeremy, who hangs around and getting the booze and the ladies.

Life isn't fair, isn't it?

By the way, I really want to get a copy of the Apple poster. If anyone of you knows how to get one, let me know!

London Underground

I love the public transport system in London. It's so easy to get around and you can get from point A to point B by bus or underground. They also installed the new Oyster card system, which is similar to the Octopus card system in Hong Kong. Basically, you can just touch your Oyster card whenever you board the tube or bus. It is so easy to use and I have been using that in Hong Kong since 1997 or so. I think it's one of the best innovations in the world. It helps us reduce the spare change that we have to keep in our pocket.

Anyway, one of the bad things about the London underground is that it always has some signal problems that cause delays in certain lines. In addition, for some reason, they have to shut down several lines on the weekend for maintenance work. I somehow wonder why they can't do the repair work at night. After trying out various underground or subway systems in the world, I still give London Underground a positive rating!

Of course, I still think that that Japanese subway and the Hong Kong MTR are the best. Once you try it once, you just wonder why the rest of the world can't build something like that to reduce the number of cars on the road. I am a big proponent of the public transport system!

Train Stations in Europe

This is a picture that I took at the Victor Station in London. I love going to the big train stations in Europe. I still remember the Central Station in Amsterdam when I visited there 7 years ago. It's the architectural design of it makes me feel that I am in a different time period and I am really leaving somewhere to go to another place. I don't get the same feeling whenever I go to the airports.

I think it has to do with the fact that it's a lot easier and more common for people to travel around nowadays than before. Therefore, you don't see people crying at every single train station or airport. Also, the new airport just makes you feel so cold and isolated. You just don't feel the atmosphere that you are leaving a place for good to go to another place. It may also have to do with the fact that I watch way too many Hollywood movies!

Canterbury, Reculver, and Maidstone

During my second day in London, I took the SE rail to go to see my high school teacher in Maidstone. It happened that she was on a term break when I was there. So, I got to hang out with her for a day. She picked me up at the Barming train station and took me to Canterbury to see the cathedral. I have heard of Canterbury before I have never been there before. Of the 2 times I have been to England before, I only got to go to Cambridge, London, and Maidstone. It was the 1st time that I got to see other parts of England as well.

Canterbury is a nice little town in the Southeastern part of England. I won't bore you with the history of it but my teacher did give me a detailed background of the Canterbury Catherdal on our way there. You can see the rest of the pictures I took there on my online album.

We walked around Canterbury for an hour and stopped by the Rupert Bear Museum there. I had no idea what it was but my teacher told me that it was a popular cartoon character in England. Every British kid has heard of it. It's like Big Bird or Cookie Monster in the Sesame Street. We also stopped by to visit a very old hospital there. I was excited to see the countryside of England. It's absolutely beautiful, tranquil, and peaceful. I think I won't mind getting a place there as a vacation house.

After going to Canterbury, my teacher took me to Reculver. It was along the coastline of SE England. It has a breath-taking view along the coastal walk. You got to see the wind power generator standing in the middle of the English Channel. We walked around for about an hour before we headed home for dinner.

I was lucky enough for a second day in a row that someone did gourmet home cooking for me. My teacher was doing the cooking this time and the dinner was so tasty. I still vividly remember how good a cook she is. I love the paella that she made when we were back in Hong Kong. We also had a good chat at the dinner and we were shocked that we have known one another for 12 years. A lot happened between then and now and I am very thankful that she always stands by me when I need her. She helped me a lot when I was having a hard time in high school and when I first moved to North Carolina and then Kentucky for Pharmacy School. Without her help, I probably won't be here at this point in my life.

Thank you Sally! You are the best!

Fire Extinguisher

I took this picture outside my friend's apartment in London. I just found it interesting that they used a honk as fire alarm. I wonder what would happen in case of a real fire. Would you still have time to read the pamphlet behind it and hold the air honk? I guess when you see smoking or a fire, you would be freaking out and trying to run down the stairs as soon as possible, rather than trying to locate the honk and read the notice sheet behind it.

Bravo! I guess that's the British way of fire safety!

London, I love it!

I love London!

I really have to scream out loud how much I love the city after I have been there for 3 times. Even though everyone around me hates London, I still think that it's one of the best cities in the world. People complains about the weather there all the time. Interestingly, I have been there 3 times and everything I was there, the weather was fantastic.

This time, I got to stay with a very good friend of mine from college in London. She has been working there in the past 3 years for the US Army and she is loving it. I am so glad that I got to see her for the 1st time in 3+ years. We used to hang out a lot when I was in college. I still remember the purple Dodge Neon I drove and we went to many places with our group of friends.

I met up with my friend at the Starbucks outside the Westminster tube station shortly after I landed at Gatwick. Luckily, I still remember how to get around in London so it's not such a big hassle for me to find my way around. Finally at 9:30a.m., she came! I couldn't believe that after being in London for 3 years, she looked so posh and good! I couldn't help but complimenting how good she looked! We sat down for a little while to catch up before I walked her back to her office. We had so much fun in our conversation. We were both shocked to learn that everyone we used to hang out with is married and has kids. She and I were the old single people around. Let me put it this way. She is a bit more fortunate than I am because she is dating a great guy in London. I got to meet him when we had dinner my first night there. I am so happy for her!

I walked around the Oxford Street and the Regent Street during the day and I really had a great time. London is definitely a city that I wouldn't mind living in. I just miss the pace of living in a big city. You can tell that people in London move a lot faster than people in San Francisco. Also, gosh, the Brits know how to dress well. Everyone looks so stylish on the street. I especially like the fact that the streets don't smell like urine. That's one thing I hate about San Francisco. Every morning when you walk on the street, you smell urine. Every time after the rain, you smell urine. The Mayor should definitely do something to resolve the homeless situation in the city. It's just so unhygienic when the only thing you remember is the smell of urine in the city.

I went home that night and bought a cake from a bakery shop on Regent Street for dessert. My friend did a FANTASTIC job of cooking both two types of curry. It was the first time that I actually got to taste her REAL home cooking. Also, she got me hooked on the bread and pate thing. Now, I can't live without some good bread and pate. That's all I need for a meal.

My friend's boyfriend came by and so did some of her friends. We had a great time hanging out in her nice apartment in downtown London. I wish I could afford a place like that in San Francisco. Anyway, I wasn't jealous at all and I am very happy that she got to where she is now.

Anyway, before the dinner was ready. Her friends were trying to use EZ sniper to get a Rugby jersey off eBay. So, we got a few laughs about people frantically bidding on eBay to get what they want. Her friend did end up getting the jersey that he wanted for 30 pounds! I guess EZ sniper works for him.

Shortly after lunch, I felt so tired that I retreated back to my room. However, I didn't realize that I actually felt asleep until the next morning. When I woke up, my friend told me that her buddies dropped by to see me sleeping like a baby. I guess I was exhausted after a long flight and a fun day in London.

Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, London and I

As some of you know, I got a chance to visit London during my trip back to Hong Kong. I was not planning to go to London because of the high airfare from Hong Kong to there. However, when I found out that my friend's girlfriend is working as a flight attendant for a new discount airline called Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, I decided to take advantage of the discount program for staff and got a round trip ticket to London Gatwick for HK$ 1,000 (about US$ 130) excluding tax.

I was a bit hesitate to fly with Oasis Hong Kong Airlines since I have not flown with them or heard anything from my friends about them before. To my great surprise, I had a very pleasant trip to and from Hong Kong. The ground staff members and the flight attendants were very polite. In addition, they do have individual TV monitor for each seat. Overall, the plane is very clean. Yes, you may complain that you don't get a free drink and your midnight cup noodles. However, they do give you one drink and one meal before you land. I actually like this arrangement a lot better because the lights won't be on and off all the time inside the cabin and people won't be going back and forth for their cup noodles and hot water. I just wanted to get a good sleep once I got on the plane. Therefore, I like their services a lot and I will definitely fly with them again when I got to London next time. I can't wait for them to expand their services to Oakland, CA later this year. I heard that they are going to fly to Vancouver, Canada starting in June.

Anyway, I am happy that Hong Kong got a second International airline besides Cathay Pacific with great quality services.

Kidney Dialysis and Mum

It's been quite a few weeks since I last updated the blog. Things have been absolutely crazy in the past few weeks. Before I have the time to write down every single thing happened, I have to admit that the biggest incident is the fact that my mum

I went home to see my mum and find out that she has started the kidney dialysis in January without telling me. It was a big shock to me because I wasn't expecting her to start the dialysis without telling me. Even worse, I didn't find out until the day before she got admitted to the hospital again for a 24-hr long dialysis. I knew that she was going to go on dialysis when I went home but I just didn't expect that the dialysis treatment has begun back in January.

I remember when she told me about the news on a Friday afternoon, I was strolling on the street after having a lunch gathering with my old colleagues. When I asked her whether she had time to catch dim sum the next day, she told me that she was not available. After a couple of more conversations, she finally told me that she was going to go to the hospital for dialysis the next day.

Knowing that my mum has already begun the dialysis process made me feel very sad. I know that it's very common these days for people to undergo dialysis. However, I felt distressed when it actually happened to my mum. Once she starts the dialysis process, she won't be able to discontinue it. Her health will only be stabilized or do downhill from this point forward. It's no possible for her kidneys to start functioning properly all of a sudden.

To make the matter worse, my sister told me that my mum isn't compatible with the dialysis machine in the hospital because of the thickness of her abdominal layer. Therefore, she has to start doing it manually at home for 3 times each day at the end of April. I just can't imagine her being very mobilized when it happens. She probably has to be bed-ridden for most of the time. There is also a danger of infection when she does the dialysis by herself at home.

My god-sister suggested taking my mum back to mainland China for a kidney transplant. However, my father and sisters have rejected the idea because of the potential risks involved in the process. I also happen to know some other people who have had kidney transplant in Chain. There are both positive and negative cases. Since I am a pessimistic person, I tend to think about things that could possible go wrong.

Now, we only have two options left: One is to let her do the dialysis 3-times a day at home. The other is to look for a possible match among our siblings. We know that it's highly unlikely for her to get a kidney transplant in Hong Kong if she just gets on the transplant waiting list. Given her background and age, she is highly unlikely to get high priority on the transplant list.

March 09, 2007

Hong Kong and the United Kindgom

H&M and Madonna in Hong Kong

One of the things I noticed about the positive economic climate in Hong Kong is the opening of many new flagships store in the downtown area. Yesterday, while I was on my way to get my US Visa, I saw that every single newspaper and billboard on the street are being covered by the H&M Grand Opening promotion. They are opening their 1st store in Hong Kong. Basically you can see the same advertising campaign for the retailer at every corner of the town. Well, Madonna is designing some of the products for H&M and they are on sale at reasonable price (at least the retailer thinks so because you can see the price tag for each item that Madonna is wearing). I have not seen such a dramatic advertising campaign to blanket the entire city in San Francisco. Somehow I have to give credits to the ad agencies in Hong Kong to be so creative that they use every single space possible to market their goods. For example, I was in the subway station yesterday and DHL is advertising their services by turning the entire station into the DHL yellow and red color. You can even see that the handrails of the escalator have been covered with advertising materials too.

Well, I am 355 million less rich!

With the high hopes that I would win the Mega Millions lottery, I spent $10 on Friday to try my luck to get the 264 million jackpot. After checking out the draw results at 8:00p.m. ET, I was disappointed that I didn't win the ticket. However, when I later found out that no one had a winning ticket and the jackpot would be up to 355 million, I was super-hyped. I was thinking that God must have really wanted me to win the jackpot so that he raised it up to 355 million. I tried it again on Tuesday right before my departure. This time, since I was so certain that I was going to win, I only bet 5 dollars.

Well, I checked the results after I had the farewell drinks with my colleagues. Guess what....I DID NOT WIN THE LOTTERY! I couldn't believe that someone just took away 355 million from my imaginary bank account.

Who should I spend to to request to have the money transfer back to my account?

What the heck! 38 Sterling Pounds for a pocket notebook

Yesterday after I finished applying for my US H-1B Visa, I kept walking on the street to see what's new in downtown Central. I saw that they have put up a new Harvey Nichols store in Landmark. I was a bit surprised because Harvey Nichols used to be in Hong Kong about 15 or so years ago but they closed down after being in business for just a couple of years. Therefore, I am surprised to see that they have decided to open a flagship store in Hong Kong, especially putting it in Landmark. I wonder how much the rent would be.

Well, I did take the opportunity to walk around the store to see what's new. Of course, I could barely afford anything in there. One of the things that I noticed was a pocket note book that they were selling in store. The tiny pocket book is made by Smythson of Bond Street and it costs a whopping HK$500. I checked on the publisher's website and found that it actually costs 38 pounds in UK. Holy Cow! I mean, I touched that little pocket book in the store. It's nice but it's not something that I would pay 500 dollars for, no matter how rich I become. That little book costs more per ounce than your Blackberry or so.

This is the description of the pocket book from the company's website:

* Lightweight, pocket-sized and ideal as a traveler's companion for notes of memorable places and journeys.

* Pages are ruled and printed with headings 'Place', 'Notes' and 'Date.

*Bound with 64 leaves of feint ruled Smythson pale blue Featherweight paper.
• 5 1/2" x 3 1/2" (14cm x 9cm).

If I were that rich to afford the little pocket book, would I actually spend the money to buy it?

March 08, 2007

I am home!

After an almost 15 hour flight, I finally went home tonight. The flight was actually not as bad as I expected, despite the fact the United Airlines put on in a middle seat (I mentioned 40 times before that I only wanted an aisle seat.) Even worse, they charged me US$50 for overweight luggage. It was the first time ever in my life that I got charged for luggage fees. Anyway, I was very exhausted at the airport that I didn't bother to switch some of my items from the heavier one to the lighter luggage.

Anyway, I am glad to be home. I am heading to the US Consulate to get my work VISA in the morning. Wish me luck!

March 07, 2007

A Perfect Way to Say GoodBye

Last night, our team went out to get a drink to send off my colleague and I, who are both leaving the firm this week. We went to an Irish bar callled Phoenix on 19th and Valencia in San Francisco. When we got there at around 8, my departing colleague was already a bit drunk. Anyway, within 1/2 hour and a few beers, we were all feeling tipsy. We laughed about things happened at work, our girls, and other random things. I was very happy for my colleague because he was really happy that he is leaving our firm. It's a relief for him that he can finally move on and pursue something that he is intersted in.

I enjoyed the night a lot, particularly of the fact that we chatted so much about things outside of work. You can't really ask for more when you sit down and chat with mates about girls, stupid things etc. We also ended up chatting with the pretty bartender at the end of the night, which made things a lot for entertaining.

Honestly, I am actually very happy to be away for at least 2 weeks. I finally have a chance to do some traveling for the 1st time since 2004. I am very looking forward to my trip to London and Edinburgh. Hopefully, I will have a memorable time there.

In the past five months, I learned many things from my teammates at work and made some good friends. I saw some of my teammates left, argued with some of them, made peace again with some of them. Overall, when I look back, I think it's an entertaining roller-coaster ride. There were days that I just didn't want to show up and days that I just wanted to conquer the world. I am happy that it's all over by now.

Davey, Isaac, and Luke, thanks for making the last 5 months a very special experience in my life.

March 06, 2007

Life is....Stranger than Fiction

An excerpt from the movie:
"As Harold took a bite of Bavarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be okay. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And fortunately when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or a subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort....

We must all remember the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are, in fact, here for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea is strange but I also know that it just so happens to be true."

March 05, 2007

Show me some respect at work!

Today I had a conversation with my boss at the end of the day about my future within the company. I have honestly told him that I would leave the company if things aren't really picking up the steam in our team. One of my colleagues quitted his job today so only me and another colleague are in the team. Basically two of us have to help move the team to the next stage without having to ask for additional resources.

This afternoon, I was stuffing and gluing the envelops at work for 2 straight hours because we needed to send our monthly earnings to our clients. It was fun to start with but towards the end of it, I felt very disrespected. On one hand, I had got 6 papercuts within 2 hours while I tried to glue all the envelopes. What's tipped me off wasn't the fact that one of my colleagues was messing with me and ended up hitting my fact with an envelope. I wasn't angry about that at all. What I was really angry was the fact that I didn't get the respect I needed at work.

I have been doing some case studies with another colleague of mine in the marketing team and so far it has been alright. My colleague is known to give special preference and treatments to the ladies in our office. One of the sales ladies came by and was in the process of making some changes to the case studies. When I inquired about what's going on, my colleague simply just said "Don't worry about it." You have to understand that I was the one proposing the idea of making case studies and actually did most of the work for it. I couldn't believe that my colleauge would negotiate making changes on the case study with a sales staff without looping me in. I feel so disrespected because I was the one doing part of the work for it. Anyway, at that moment, I knew that my decision to be away was very correct. I couldn't stand being there for any time longer. If people don't learn to show some respect to their colleageus, I am sure that one day they will realize that they are making a big mistake in life.

Learn how to show some respect to your colleague at work.

$3900 for a Meal Delivery. What's wrong with our society?

This morning, I was reading and found the story that that famous rap singer, Kayne West has spenjt US$3900 to have a meal delivered from England to New York. The bill does not include the travel and accommodation for the restaurant's head chef, who will accompany the meal from England to New York, to ensure that it maintains its top-notch quality and taste. The meal included onion bhajees, chapati breads, biryanis, pappadums, a specially prepared fish dish and vegetables on the side.

I am very dumbfounded by the fact that someone would spend $3900 to have a meal of eight delivered across the Atlantic Ocean. Kayne West is a singer who is all about changing our world. Would he spend the money better to help the people in need? What's wrong with our captialistic society? Are we all out of our mind to get what we want?

You cam read the complete story at

March 04, 2007

Go Heels!

It was quite a day for me today. I woke up in the morning and drove down to Milbrae to have dim sum lunch with my high school friends. While we were having lunch, a person named Jonathan was making comic characters from ballons for the kids in the restaurant. You know, the kid of ballon maker that can bend the long narrow ballon into any shape they want and make it into an animal or so. My friends were looking at the ballon maker for a long time before he approached our table. I ended up deciding to get one for Jess since she really wanted one. Jonathan made a very adorable pink monkey with his ballons. One of my friends took a picture of it. If I can get a hold of it, I will post the picture here. You will see how cute the monkey looks like. It looks exactly like Curious George.

After that, I gave my colleague a buzz because we were supposed to grab brunch today. However, my friends had planned the dinner a week ago so I really wanted to hang out with them. I left a message for my colleague and I sat at Union Square to start reading the book titled "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints." I read for about an hour or so before wandered into the Nike store to grab a discounted UNC jacket. I knew UNC were playing Duke at that time but I was too lazy to drive to Marina to join other UNC alumni to watch the game. I did have a good feeling that UNC was going to win the game and indeed, we beat Duke 86-72. It was the 1st time in 11 years that UNC swept both victories against Duke in a season.

I went home shortly after browsing at the local Gap store and the Niketown. I finished the movie "Flushed Away." Maybe I was expecting too much from the animination because I never find any of the animated movies to be particularly interesting. I am hoping to see the Zodiac before I fly home on Wednesday morning. I finally got my tickets to London and Scotland sorted out. I am very excited that I got to get away from the city and everything around here. I haven't been away since January 2006 and I am dying to leave everything here behind me.

After the movie, I texted my colleague to see whether he wanted to grab a bite or not. Unfortunately, he has eaten wit his roommate. Now, I am debating whether I should get the Thai food in my neighborhood again. However, I have been eating Thai in the last few days and I am a bit sick of it at the moment. Well, I'll see what I feel like getting after I finish reserving my airport shuttle to SFO on Wednesdsay.

March 02, 2007

Johny Cash - Hurt


I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

You are beatuiful!

Last night, I went to my friend buddy's house in Sunset to have dinner with him and his girl. We ended up ordering some Chinese take-out and ate at his place. He has an amazing 52" projector in his place. So, it's awesome to see an action movie like Bourne Supremacy projected onto a big wall.

Anyway, after I finished the movie, I took the Muni Metro N-Judah line home. It turned out to be such a memorable ride. An African American guy in his mid-thirties went on board and started yelling "Where should I start? Where did I leave off last time?" He kept saying "You know Jack, Jack Nicholson...the CIA..the Central Intelligence Agency...the Central Intelligence Agency..the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States.....You can't handle the truth..the truth will set you free." He repeated that at least 3-4 times during the train ride. When the train approached the Powell station, he started singing "You're beautiful" by James Blunt. All the girls in the train couldn't help laughing. He just kept repeating the same line over and over again..."You're a crowded place..." He finally got off the train at the Civic Center station.

I had a great time with my buddy and his girl. It's a very chill and relaxing life.

Most disturbing comedy of all time - Borat

Today, I finally got the chance to watch the movie "Borat" at home. Despite the fact that the movie was a huge success in America, grossing over 123 million, I found myself heavily dismay by the story and the plot of the movie. I am sad to learn that our society has come to worship and laugh at things that are discriminatory and wrong.

Here are a few things that I found to be most disturbing about the movie:

1) Religion: Regardless whether you are a Christian or an atheist, the segment that Borat made fun of the church gathering is highly unacceptable. I believe that each person should has his own rights to choose what religion he/she believes in and to make fun of that in the public domain is not just politically incorrect, but it shows that our society has not moved forward at all.

2) College Education/Fraternities: I don't care whether you are in a fraternity or not. The scene portray by Borat during the hitchhiking trip to California only shows how ridiculous the American education has become. Is that what our next generate are all like? Getting drunk, discriminating against women, and serving no other purposes in life? If that's what the American tertiary education is about, I would definitely not send my kids to school at the University of South Carolina. I am surprised that the school does not issue any stronger statement regarding the portray of their students in the movie.

3) Women's Rights/Feminists: I have no problem people being feminists or not. As a sociologist, I believe that each person has his/her own belief systems and the historical feminist movement was to break away from the inequalities that has ingrained in our society. I couldn't believe that people actually find it funny to ridicule people who are striving for equal rights and opportunities in this country.

4) Mental Disability: Mental disability should not be a subject of jokes, regardless of the context of it. I couldn't not believe that people actually find it funny to laugh at people who are retarded. It's outrageous and I think those who laugh at them are the retarded ones.

5) African American Movement: I don't find it funny at all by the way that Borat tried to imitate the speaking style of African Americans. He made it seem like that all the African Americans are uneducated and speak in an uncivilized way. The style, language, tone that they use are reflections of their particular lifestyle and cultural impact. The way that Borat portrayed it in the movie would only sustain the discriminatory image that people have about African Americans in this country.

Overall, I am surprised to learn that the movie actually got nominated for Oscar and won award at the Golden Globe.

Is our society moving backward or am I just in the wrong country?