Adams’ Pants and I went on a trip. A not so secret mission to finish a little something called Wok the Dog.
Adam’s Pants was not Adam’s pants when I accidentally conceived Wok the Dog 16 years ago, Adam was as young as I was, and probably thinking about things like girls, March Madness and how to sneak out at night without getting caught. Adam’s Pants was still unconscious and unconceived when Wok the Dog grew up and ask me to raise it as a real progeny instead as the stray dog I feed occasionally.
This is the first time Adam’s Pants and I have been on a mission together. Heck, lets be honest, Adam’s Pants and I barely knew each other before I unceremoniously stuffed it into my backpack and send it into the belly of the plane for the land of waffles and chocolate.
In 141 days, Adam’s Pants and I redeemed 160,000 airline miles for 4 continents, 12 countries, 34 cities; logged 141 hours on buses and trains, slept in 54 different beds. Together, we shot 96 gigs of digital stills / video and 42 rolls of film.
In Dire Dawa, Adam’s Pants and I paid less than $4 a night, in a hotel on top of a bar across from the train station. A giant from Djibouti slept down the hall from us. We had a cold bucket shower that night in a dodgy bathroom. We meet the hotel owner over breakfast and he drove us all over town, showing us markets and butcher shops. The most expensive bed Adam’s Pants and I had was $50 and it was the most miserable time we had in the 141 days. Turns out, resorts (or anything resembling a resort) full of tourists, gringos, foreigners…whatever you like to call them…is not for us.
Adam’s Pants gets angry because I like to go out dancing with Uniqlo Jeans, or Blue Silk Chole Skirt and not him. But Adam’s Pants is always glad that it is Uniqlo Jeans or Black Helmut Lang Dress who are attending meetings and not him. Adam’s Pants laughed with glee when Uniqlo Jean was singed in a careless space heater accident. Upon learning the incident on Facebook, Adam immediately messaged, wondering if his pants are all right. There was another freak accident involving a wood burning stove and Smart Wool Socks, which Adam’s Pants also witnessed.
Along the way, there were mystery bug bits, snail farms, good art, bad art, Surreal Art, sold out silent auction, salt flats, sun rise at geysers and ancient Inca ruins. We stood at the Cape of Good Hope and though, Good Hope indeed. We felt tiny trapped in a metal cage with 10 feet tall waves crashing down near by, waiting for Great White Sharks to come play. Adam’s Pants loved mountain biking down all 65 KM of the Death Road while I only liked the first 22km (paved) and we nearly got into a fight. We love riding on the back of motos and Adam’s Pants thinks I should get my motorcycle license, I agree.
We breathed underwater, rode the waves in two different oceans and felt like gods. We feed hyena raw meat from our mouths, played Iron Chef for Matt and ate everything everywhere we went; including soft cuddly guinea pigs, lama, and alpacas. Your pet is not safe near Adam’s Pants, or for that matter, Adam.
We witnessed the translation of international guilt into bottomless aid money in Kigali; encountered both hostile tribes, friendly tribes and saw a 27-year-old boy jump over 8 bulls and become a man. Near the Somalian boarder, Adam’s Pants wanted to buy a camel but I didn’t know what we would do with it in our New York apartment so I dissuaded him of the notion.
There was a robbery homicide in the middle of the night. Adam’s Pants was thoroughly searched. Despite of its many hidden pockets, it was made to be pick pocket proof and not robbery proof (Hey Adam, there is an idea for you)! Adam’s Pants felt bad for having not protected me better but I reassured him there was nothing he could have done.
We trekked for days in the Andes and rafted down class 5 rapids in the source of the Nile. We made friends with a cycling legend and had a reunion with fellow Mongol Rally vets. Adam’s Pants was green with envy when he learned about the rally and is demanding to go on The Rickshaw Run next year. We played colonialist in a rented villa ($85 per night split 4 ways) with Bridget, Kenta and Meg. Adam’s Pants fell in love with Meg when she strapped on a headlamp, kitchen knife in hand and marched straight into the garden to hack down a banana leaf for the King Fish roast.
Having spent our teenage years watching National Geographic Channel ad nauseum, Adam’s Pants and I were able to name all the animals in the Masai Mara menagerie (who says you can’t learn anything from TV) and were in awe of creation. At 4200m, -15ºC, we stood beneath a million and one stars in the Southern Hemisphere and realized that all of this — is for us.
Adam’s pants and I made a few big decisions together and a million small ones.
We’ve circumnavigated the world yet again and it has been a wonder. Sure there were some hairy moments but that is part of living, the risk we take to feel alive. Adam’s Pants sustain some minor injuries: a lost button, a broken hook and eye, and a tiny hole on the left knee. We have lots of tales to tell and a few we should keep to ourselves.
What about the mission?!
Adam’s Pants is eager to tell you that we’ve finally finished the shooting portion of Wok the Dog. A total of 16 years, 40 countries, 5 continents later, Wok the Dog is ready to be finalized, packaged and sent off to publishers. I, however, am a little more cautious. I will wait to see the film first before I make any proclamation on the success or failure of our mission. I wouldn’t want to temp fate.
It would’ve never been this good, this incredible, if it had not been for all of you, our angles, our friends. New or old, if you are reading this, it means that you are special to me (and Adam’s Pants), and if we’ve communicated via email, Facebook, Skype or telepathy, you are doubly special. Adam’s Pants wanted to name you all by name but I told him this email is long enough and no one has the patience for another 1000 words. So…thank you for being you, and being our angles.
* Adam is a friend and the CEO of Clothing Art. P^3 is a Pick Pocket Proof Pants, designed by Adam himself. The women’s version was still en-route to NYC when I had to leave so Adam sent me off with the men’s version. A girl name Charlie in a pair of men’s trousers…
** For those of you who are frequent travelers and are obsessed with airport codes, here it is: JFK-BRU // BRU-ADD // DRW-ADD // ADD-KGL // EBB-AMS-JFK // JFK-LHR-NBO // MOM-ZNZ // DAR-JBN-DUR//CPT-JNB-EZE // CUZ-LIM // UIO-MIA-LGA