When I drove up to do the recon, there was a three-man detachment already in the country, in situ. They had a wooden hut that they lived in. They were withdrawing to Siem Reap, which was to the west, no, sorry, east. We took over the hut and we shovelled us all into that. They had an individual room each, so we put three blokes in each room, got bunk beds in there.
Each troop had its own cook, so he started cooking three meat and three veg every day. Trying to source local food was tough because the quality was pretty off, in fact. Just across from us was a butchers' that used to bring that buffalo in and butcher them, meat, fresh. Lot of the meat had worms in it, so he was essentially cooking ration packs, big ten mans, which was fine.
Then the UN wanted to switch us all to live food, and that's when they brought in an Australian catering company to deliver live food to us. That was atrocious. That came in in about the seventh month of the op, it'd be around there. They'd drive the food up from Phnom Penh, ostensively. Well, that was a 20, 24 hour run to drive that road, even longer, probably 32 to get to us.
I remember the first truck, when it arrived, they'd stacked the meat on top, then ice, ice, meat, then veggies underneath. The meat was just dribbling through. We were attached to the Dutch Marine battalion as a supporting force, so they'd receive our food and give us our portion. Well, the Dutch wouldn't take the food, they'd put it in the pit and burn it. Then the Dutch battalion commander said, "Well, don't worry Australia. We'll feed youse," so we stayed on Dutch Marines which was okay.