MIKE Yalden's life is about to change - and it has taken a pretty drastic turn already. It doesn't happen to many of us, but 54-year-old Hong Kong resident Mr Yalden is about to get his 15 minutes of fame - thanks to a pair of shoes he was wearing. The shoes in question were a pair of Rockport shoes which he grabbed at 5.46 am in a hotel in Kobe, the day the earthquake struck. Mr Yalden fought his way down the hotel stairs injuring his leg and back and holding his briefcase over his head for protection. He spent the next day reading the South China Morning Post and plotting escape from the devastation. Taxis were out of the question, as were all other forms of transport. He finally determined he was going to have to walk out of there. As he walked, he was rocked by aftershocks and joined by a trail of Kobe refugees seeking shelter and comfort in the shattered land. Parched with thirst, he eventually found his way to safety and left Japan to return to the territory. Before long, Rockport was on the blower. They wanted him to feature in an advert demonstrating the strength of their shoes. His name would be on billboards across the US, the biggest of which would be in New York's Times Square, and he is being flown to the US where he will be interviewed on radio and TV. Maybe Andy Warhol was right. We all get our 15 minutes. The question is: Do we want it? Consider Mr Yalden's own words: 'I hope that I can soon sleep through the night without waking, listening and waiting for the tremors to start. I hope that I can stop holding my breath when my metal presses cause my office to vibrate. 'Most of all I hope I never forget the empathy of strangers in adversity and respond in a like manner whenever the occasion arises.' Mutt on menu AUSTRALIA, its politicians tell us, is an Asian country. This is quite a U-turn for a nation that once popularised the phrase 'Two Wong's don't make a white' referring to Asian immigrants gracing Australia with their presence. Cultural insensitivity Down Under is today a thing of the past - almost. We were fascinated to receive from Ian Johnston an advert from the Observatory Hotel in Sydney, which is trying to market itself as a the destination of choice for Asian guests. The line on the advertisement reads: 'Catering for individual tastes is what we do best.' That's all well and good. Unfortunately, to illustrate that they specialise in catering for Asian tastes they have a photo of a poodle being carried by a waiter on a serving tray.That's right, these Asian guys eat dogs. Glad to see there are no more cultural stereotypes in the land of Oz. Bard of beer IT is a testament to the utter banality of the current Carlsberg advertisements that they have moved a reader to poetry. Alix Burrell was suitably incensed by the now famous advert in which a bunch of clods eulogise about women's legs, but the latest ad has got on her goat. In an apparent attempt to show the caring side of the average Carlsberg lager lout, the latest ad features another gaggle of the gormless sounding off about how much they like the night. One of them starts going on about the attractions of a mysterious woman. In reaction, his cultured colleague belches and the lads all laugh, relishing the joys of their cliched masculinity. Ms Burrell sees straight through it and penned her own version of the advert in poem form. I love the darkness, love the night, Carlsberg Man, all bark, no bite, Talk of passion, football, cars, Flashing lights and Wan Chai bars. One day the ads will get it right, Carlsberg makes men belch with might, This Carlsberg macho stuff an art, Next ad perhaps they'll get to fart. Not exactly Keats, but it does the job, unlike Carlsberg. Table tackle THERE are many, many intellectuals in America studying the cultural phenomena of Asia and counted among their ranks is Wahida Karmally, MS, RD, Director of Nutrition, Irving Centre for Clinical Research, Columbian Presbyterian Medical Centre, New York. This illustrious intellectual has these words of wisdom on the subject of chopsticks. 'Use chopsticks when eating Chinese food - or any food, when possible. Chopsticks are harder to use than a fork, so you eat more slowly and are likely to be satisfied sooner, even though you've eaten less. Also: Chopsticks leave much of the fattening sauce behind.' It is baffling to even begin to understand what made an otherwise intelligent person serve up such tripe.