James “ARCHER” Price in Iraq next to a Bongo used to drive around Baghdad lo-pro
“Welcome to the Middle East, now throw your shit in the Bongo; I don’t have all day”
These were the first words I heard after a grueling 18 hour flight half way around the world for my first gig Security Contracting overseas. Besides immediately being annoyed by this little troll-looking shit with stains on his shirt and dirty sneakers, I didn’t know what the hell a “Bongo” was.
So after a “Hey Yoda, what the fuck is a bongo?” he begrudgingly pointed at what looked like a minivan that had been shrunk, had the rear 2/3 chopped off, then had a pickup bed from an old Datson PU welded to the back of the front 1/3. After tossing my bags in the bed and squeezing in between Yoda and another new hire, all I could think was “You are not in Kansas anymore young man”.
NOTE: Not all the guys going wanted their pictures posted (due to their jobs) so we blocked them out
After 7 months of waiting, saving and getting gear ready, I jumped on a plane last week for the trip of a lifetime. Being semi-employed for months and generally bored with life and restless in Australia, hearing about Death Valley Magazine’s DVM Expeditions maiden trip to Cambodia was the sort of thing that would probably keep my mind off my various first world problems and dilemmas.
Landing in Phnom Penh International Airport on Tuesday 4 March and heading on my way out of the visa application area, I was held up and vigorously questioned about my passport and visa. (“Where you live? Where you go? Why come to Cambodia? Where you live?”) I figured maybe I’d have to have an even more vigorous chat in a closed room when a second immigration officer came over and smiled at me.
Suddenly my passport and plane ticket stub were given back and I beat feet to baggage reclaim and past the howling tuk tuk drivers and forex kiosks until, with some relief, I spotted Thomas D Moore, survivalist, ex- military contractor, U.S Army Pathfinder and star of the hit survival reality show “Dude, You’re Screwed!” and another guy on the DVM Expeditions tour, Mike, waiting for me.
We traveled by tuk tuk, a motorbike or scooter hitched to a four seat passenger trailer, to where James Price, ex- military contractor and editor in chief of Death Valley Magazine, was holed up with our fixer, Vanessa and New Yorker Maurice, the third man joining us on the Expedition.
James Price, Thomas Moore, our local fixer Vanessa and all of the guys going on the DVM Expeditions Cambodia #01