“My first loaf turned out like a rock,” shared the 62-year-old. “The yeast didn’t ferment well.” He fought to overcome the challenges and soon “found baking interesting and fell in love with it”. Though he now knows how to make all sorts of breads and even pizza dough from scratch, Lim confessed that he was “very negative” about baking at first because it was tough.
“You have to get everything just right – the right amount of water, yeast and flour, the right temperature. You have to factor in even climate changes. So, if you take what you learn in Europe and apply it here, it would be different.” He fought to overcome the challenges and soon “found baking interesting and fell in love with it”.
His may seem like the usual account of a baking novice made good but Lim did not go to Europe to learn to bake. He went there to save his life. Lim was 50 years old and desperate. He had been addicted to heroin for much of his adult years and it had ruined his life. He was about 25 when an old army buddy introduced him to the drug. “I thought I was strong enough. I was just playing with it and thought there was nothing wrong, that if I wanted to, I could stop.”
“In the beginning, I borrowed. Then, I started to steal from them.” Within a month of his first puff, he was hooked. His lifestyle spiralled downwards. “When you get into this sort of addiction, it leads to clubbing, womanising, gambling, because all these types of people are in this type of environment.”
The drugs made him spacey and the former electronics salesman became unreliable at work, often showing up late or not even bothering to show up. Financing his expensive addiction soon took up all his time and attention. “When I needed money, I would take it from my sisters, my mother, my father. In the beginning, I borrowed. Then, I started to steal from them.”
Read more on Ah Hock in Salt & Light article.
Ah Hock Testimony in Salt and Light