My Birthday: The Hottest Day in the World

So much for being the hottest day in the world (according to the news). It's storming outside and I'm sure the flood's going to drown me in my office on the third floor. It's probably God's way of saying: "Happy Birthday to you my son."

It's my birthday today. I'm really surprised people remembered. People I whom I didn't think would remember, remembered. Now I have to devise a strategy to find out their birthdates without them knowing that I don't know theirs. Don't worry Trish, I remember yours perfectly.

This morning I woke at 6 something a.m. to herald a new day. I went back to sleep and reset my alarm a for a few minutes later. I woke again to herald the same morning, only feeling a little more tired. I was going to visit Nestle's Chocolate and Ice Cream factory in SS13. Yippee! I was on assignment to snap cover shots for their new newsletter. I arrive at their HQ on time. My boss and client got there 20 minutes later. We hop into one car. I was elected official navigator was given the road map to the factory. The factory was in Rembau, Negeri Sembilan. Not Section 13, PJ.

The one hour ride was fun. We talked about everything. Well, ... we talked mainly about appropriate fashion for women. We lamented how girls today under-dress, revealing parts of their body where the sun don't shine. Believe me, though I'm a guy, I have to agree that sometimes sisters tend to under-dress, leaving not much to man's imagination. Fabric famine, I call it. 150 kmp/h later, we arrive at Rembau.

As quasi-photographer, I practice snapping shots with my boss' new Nikon digicam. A foreign delegation arrive at the factory for a briefing session on Nestle's products and a site visit.The small town of Rembau is where all your Milo, Ice-Cream and Chocolate products are produced. Later we were given white lab coats (the ones you see on ER, Dynamo detergent advertisements and Dexter's Laboratory), ear plugs, and shower caps to prevent our hair from flying into someone's future Kit Kat.

The workers in Nestle's chocolate factory breathe 2% of Oxygen, 97% percent of Chocolate-air and 1% of evaporated drool. The chocolate fragrance is so inviting. We felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. Only difference was the factory was so bl**dy noisy due to all the heavy machinery. I saw how Kit Kat was formed.

In the beginning the assembly lines were formless and empty and then someone said let there be a machine that produces wafers coated with a layer of choc and roasted under high pressure and heat. And so it was. Then on the second day, someone said let there be another machine that slices the coated wafers into oblong cubes, dipping it into another layer of chocolate. Let there also be a factory worker to take dominion over the quality control of the processed pieces. And it was so, the second day. And finally someone decided to create a machine that wraps and seals the Kit Kats.

You get the pix. But really, there's a whole complicated process behind the simple chocolate bar (which melts in your hands and mouth) which I dare not write about.


One year ago in Australia, it was my birthday (my b'day seems to happen on the same date every year. Coincidence?). My cousin Aaron and I decide to go a guitar festival in Franskton, a location in the Zone 2 part of Melbourne (that really means far, far from the city). We arrive at this guitar fair where bodacious guitars are modelled and sold at reasonable prices. Being one with an innate Ringgit Malaysia-Aussie dollar converter, nothing seemed reasonable. Except, for the FREE WINE advertised on their A5 leaflet.

Me: Eh got free wine.

Aaron: Really ah?

So I boldly walk up to the lady at the counter ...

Me: Excuse me, where can I get my FREE WINE?

Lady at the Counter: Excuse me?

Me: Yeah, the FREE WINE.

Lady at the Counter: I'm sorry, the wines are not free.

I flip the leaflet out of my pouch to prove my eligiblity for the free wine as advertised, only to realise that the leaflet read:


Smilling, I leave the counter in embarrasement. And cousin Aaron laughs. We make an early exit after watching a few live performances. My aunt and uncle get us after church and we head off to the Frankston seaside before lunch.

In Melbourne, some beaches are meant for the half-nude. Frankston didn't have any of them (unlike St Kilda's). But, lo and behold I caught a Kodak moment. An Indian aunty, fully clad in a red sari, chilling on the beach. She must be either from India or Brickfields. Talk about sense of fashion for the right ocassion. Though a misfit, I must acknowledge her loyalty to traditional wear. She didn't feel a tinge of awkwardness, and neither did I. After all, who made the biggest boo boo that day?!

We have Vietnamese for lunch. I like Vietnamese. Australian servings are bigger and better. Worth the cash. I look out the window to observe Vietnamese life in Melbourne and within moments, I burst out snickering at the signboard on a Vietnamese Butcher: "Phuoc Dat Butcher". Though it probably means something nice in Vietnamese (and perhaps sacred), it sounded like an English curse on your local butcher. Sincerely Vietnamese name or Aussie pun? Wouldn't really know. Reminded me of SOFA KING's tagline: "Our prices are SOFA KING low". (If you get it, good. If you don't, don't try.) I take a photo of the signage and plan to give it to my aunt who'd then mail it to ROVE LIVE - an aussie show that showcases bloops and blunders in Aussie Life.


Well, this year, I'm not sure what's in store. I'm a year older, wiser and poorer. Would I end my singlehood? Would I strike oil and be the richest man on my condo? Would I win that Ford LYNX RS 2.0 from the Caltex competition? I don't know. Though I'm pregnant with wishes and dreams, I'm reminded about how everything is within the hands of my Maker. He formed me, He grows me, and He loves me. And my goal in life is to honour Him. Everything else are just details in the shadow of this life goal.

Chill, I'm still young.



DavidLee said…
"Phuoc Dat Butcher"


DavidLee said…
Oh, Blessed Birthday. HAHAHAHA

kev... said…
Ha haa.. David! thanks for commenting! Hey I love your blog. Good reads, neat photos. Having you comment on my blog is like having Michael Jordan sign my basketball (if I can still find it). HAve a blessed Easter!
DavidLee said…
Thanks man. Ah, I don't deserve much credit. I like your content too. Glad that you made the option to comment available to NON-blogspot users. Would be more than willing to leave a comment that way.


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