Archive for April, 2012

In The Joint: Every Inmate Sees Himself As A MAN!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 28, 2012 by doingtimeabroad

April, 23

We had a plan for today; like every other community in dire need of whatever they deemed an essential. And our plan was that by 8AM today, everyone in the pavilion Will assemble in the gym hall for a shout, catcalls, raise as much noise as we can until our demands are met. And what is such demand that will cause all the sleepers to rise that early. 

The demand isn’t about our freedom but a basic necessity for survival: WATER, AQUA!!!

For days now water has been coming sporadically, one can only get enough for the day’s usage like the Biblical Manna. When water comes, only those with electric water pump are lucky enough to fill their tanks, and those of  their friends. For sometime now, I was lucky enough to get water, but lately it changes as the table turns. My cell rarely get enough. 

Without water so much will be disrupted; my daily workout in the gym, cleaning and cooking, toilet usage and just about anything and everything.
When it comes, we are lucky if the colour is clear enough to see the bottom of the white containers, most times it comes in hues of colours; I have seen yellow water, orange, choco coloured water, one close to green tea and some like urine. Matter-of-factly; we have drank sh*t water here, pity those who don’t boil theirs before drinking. They flippin don’t know what they are drowning in. 

We can’t really complain about the food as we don’t know where it comes from, if the cooks are blind with dripping noses and whatever they throw into the concoctions they prepare for us. Sometimes they come stale and rotten, as inmates we’ve got no choice but to scavenged and perform whatsoever magic to change the taste and make them edible. 

But water; the mere fact that there’s none drives one nuts, it brings about confusion and aggravated moods among inmates. At such moment, we tend to live on the edge as on a time-bomb; anything could set us off. 

Such was the setting-off this morning, woke up pretty early after a night of “Drink to freedom” for a mate who was acquitted after 14 Months in the joint. Sat outside by the wailing for a better signal as I needed to download some songs;)

Back in for a quickie (Nap, not the other quickie,lol 😉

Heard the announcement, calling on all to assemble in the gym hall, was flippin knackered to get up. Laid back, until I heard my mates coming in one after the other and all the words from their mouths were fight, wood, knife, clinic and they mentioned two names. Then, I knew something has gone wrong. 

Delegation were sent up to the admin to discuss how the water issue will be solved amicably with any disturbances; it was agreed that a water tanker will be sent down and each cell will come out with 20 buckets or containers. 

Now the near-death experience by one the old school here in the joint sort of marred the joy of having water. 
He was the one who went about last night to call for the early morning meeting. 

But he never get to see the water and wasn’t there to contribute a thing as he always does, despite being one of the old hands in the joint.

He was stabbed with a nail-like metal on the back of his neck, which went in pretty deep and probably touched a nerve as he dropped on the floor shaking; from witnesses, he couldn’t move half part of his body. The lad who did this quickly handed himself to the cop on duty. 

And since then, one side of his body is still not functional. One thing I have learned in the joint; is to be careful with the younger lads, they might be fathers as many will tell you, but they don’t have anything to live for or anything to make them want to leave here alive. When making decisions, they rarely think of the consequences. “People doubt everyone and everything… except their own ignorance”……that was the case of the old timer, who wouldn’t forfeit $20, but took to abuse the lad and treat him like a dog; even as the lad ran into the church in session, was still beating him with a plank of wood. Hope he recovers fully.

Saw the lad when I went up yesterday (Tues, Apr 24, 2012) to meet up with my Consul. He was smiling, he looked fairly satisfied, but on the other hand, the old fella will do all within his connection in the centre to get him. The fact that he’s here for years, he will pull strings and make sure the lad is put down; and it will be hard and fatal. Brawls and Fights in the joint doesn’t end in punches thrown, but ends when Blood are drawn and sacrifices of the highest type made. “He who fights and run away, lives to fight another day”……guess Bob Marley said that! 

Each visit from my Consul, bring new friends wannabe; isn’t pathetic when you have something, people will come to you but when they have, they will run from you. Well, I’m learning not to be too kind, many wanted vitamins “For Free”, bluntly told them, I paid for them. The embassy is not Salvation Army, lately neither Salvation shops gives anything for free; at least a token is demanded for those used clothes;)

It’s like I’m getting the flu, gotta go on a massive attack and recover ASAP, can’t afford to be sick, it’s bloody annoying and expensive.  

Yesterday saw the king being dethroned; Barcelona FC and Chelsea FC; I’m not a Chelsea fan, but 90 percent of the inmates here and in the prison population are all out for Barcelona. Took a good piss at them and also won 3 packs of milk for my cats; but wouldn’t be pursuing the bets, if they honour it, ok, if not let be. Such things could lead to brawl; one reason I don’t bet and gamble. 

Wed, 25th! Water crisis is driving me nuts. But gotta workout and with the flu in season; but this time around it is more of sore throat, glad I had Looseners sent to me and my consul got me some Vitamin C, thus I’m fully prepared for El Señor Flu…Bring it on! 

Fcuk a Duck!!! The whole pavilion is hit by the flu big time. Nightly strong cough can be heard when it’s all still at night, wheezing coughs, sneezing and daily many spitting on the floor and coughing without covering their mouth; guess it’s time I start walking around with a muzzle over my mouth like those Chinese folks. 

In the pavilion, decisions were taken on how best we can handle the water crisis; we’ve decided that each inmates contributes $2, so that a water tank could be purchased and place outside the pavilion, till date nothing has happened. The lads will rather buy a joint than pay for tank!

Back in my cell, things are falling apart as the lads are becoming too daft and difficult to live with; unwashed utensils, dishes and dirty kitchen. Apparently, that’s the way they live at home, so they can’t accept or see the need for changes. It’s all about #Tolerance and #Endurance; which I have abundant of it.

Our lives goes on as we toil from dusk to dawn to make ends meet. Many families on the outside depends on income from their locked spouses and fathers; so businesses and competition is very high among inmate and gangs; fighting to control whatever is profitable and worth selling. I have seen someone hawks real knives and lives on the profits made such sales. 

Our Lives are lived, One day at a time and it’s hope and faith that keeps and takes us to the next day.  


Life In The Joint: Bloody Friday, The 13th and Inmates Losing their Minds due to the pressure

Posted in Uncategorized on April 22, 2012 by doingtimeabroad

Last week was a hectic one, one with a sort of mixed feelings of joy and sadness. But in all things as the Holy Book says; Give thanks for all situations.

The surprise visit by our Consul at the beginning of last week, brought smiles on my lips, as she came with my package from home with all my needed stuffs. But it also created anxiety and tension between me and few greedy fellas who always want but will never give a cent out; such are the lives of greedy criminals. They see your stuffs, at the moment, they’re your friends. But when they have theirs, the looks on their faces tells you; Don’t even think of it before you say the word.

Workout has been haphazardly as I had to stopped workout on two occasions to go upstairs; first my consul’s Monthly visit (that one is ok) and then the flippin Shrinks sent for me for what they called evaluation. Can’t believe the sort of questions I was asked. Like to share some of them here;

Quest #1: Do I feel comfortable in my cell? Yea sure I feel very OK! And superb like I’m in penthouse with Barbies! living with nine other inmates in a cell built for six inmates; isn’t that comfortable enough as in the word C O M F O R T!

Drinking coloured water; apparently the best way to drink the water after boiling and having cooled, simply add a spoonful of cool-aid to mask the colour and give it a hint of whatsoever flavour one desired (How do I feel about that)

Also on the food; don’t blame them as I see, it’s a norm in Panama; those on the bottom of the ladder of life rarely eat good and well. So why should prisoners be any better. I actually asked one of them, why does the cops at security refused peanut butter from entering during visit as that’s the only thing I often ask my mates to buy for me; on that she had no answer!

Another question that I answered with a question;

They asked, if I read, study or follow any educational or vocational programme; one which I answered by asking if the authorities has provided any programme for us (she said, they’re working on programmes to bring education to all inmates; that’ll be when thine Kingdom come).

She asked about my embassy or home government (if they provide us with programme), to that, I responded, as a prisoner in Panama, I had expected the Panamanian government to punish and rehabilitate me and others and get us ready for our return to the society.

Also reminded her that, how can one read or study when one is busy searching for what he will eat, for water to bath and drink. And  noises from one’s chatterbox-like inmates and from daily blast of Salsa and vallenato.

Reminded her of the congested cells; the pavilion was built for 216 Inmates at a time, but today we are more than 500 muddled in here (even sardines are packed with oil to keep them fresh). The facilities can’t hold us any longer; leaked sewage, over population of rodents, roaches and all sorts of creepy stuffs crawling over one’s body. Some inmates have woken up next to scorpion and gigantic spiders; such seen on natural geography channel. She didn’t have any solution for that. Hope her Government will one day see the harm they had caused. The Panamanian prison system is known to be a breeding ground for gangs and hardcore criminals; especially among the Nationals; we the foreigners will do our time and be sent back home, but their citizens will graduate from these school of hard knock with loaded and reloaded experience on how to improved on what they did before coming here. Isn’t that a vicious circle that can’t be broken!

The meeting with the shrinks went good, wonder what others discussed with them as many others were called up before me and many more will be called. Hope they all make known of our plights to the authorities.

Got some of my supplements, but need all to keep me going with my workout. Those with solid connections gets all they want with a click of fingers. I have lost money in trying to get things through via via; at the end of the day, they will agree to reimburse me, but in peanuts. So gotta be patient and stick to having stuffs sent from home to me.

The centre has been buzzing with the wrangling of prison’s life; dealing and hustling to make ends meet. It’s the survival of the fittest or the most connected;).

The inmates sleeping in the gym hall are encroaching into the space meant for workout; leaving us with little or no space, workout time is from 7am to 1pm each day, but the gym is so cramped now and some inmates are stashing some of the equipment in their cells; not nice having your cell mate keeping a dumbbell under his bed, but then what can one do. Gotta do my best with my workout routine as it’s the only way to move one’s body and keeps one’s health in check.

Friday the 13th; kinda creepy day….. Woke up to the sound of guns, thought another escape. Sooner we got the low down. Pavilion 15 next door to ours, but under the administration of our sister prison; La joyita. Was the scene of the drive-by;), it’s a known fact that within the national inmates population, there are all sorts of weapons and even grenade; all to be use when needed. Like in the case of Friday the 13th, the lads needed to liquidate someone.

The reason; best known to the one who pulled the trigger, but as we have come to know them, anything could be the cause; Mal Palabra (wrong word at the wrong time and wrong place; as in this case) or It could be a gang job from the street that need to be done on the inside, jealous lover as in the case of the village people in Pavilion 2 when a jealous gay lover killed his rival; won’t that make good episode in CSI Miami series?)

It’s so funny as the inmates in that pavilion are all new, they were brought in from another pavilion, while the former inhabitants were taken to theirs; now the question in my mind and in the mind of any right-thinking fella would be; How the fcuk did they get the gun in, within such a short period of time? And the answer will always be; The Corrupt system! They will bring in anything illegal, things that will be used to harm, but won’t let in vitamins and food that are badly needed. Many sickness amongst us are illness that vitamins and proper nutritions would have prevented. But nobody give a damn about inmates.

Through the week, parties are celebrated, some lads have been on the bender for days now; drinking from dawn till dusk, one is left to wonder what they are celebrating; well I did asked and they told me it’s “Alegre”; meaning, they are drinking for “Happiness”. I will rather drink for a moment; when my thought wonders aback into memory lane; reminiscing the past glories and good times lost! Maybe listening to some powerful tenors or my classic playlist;), I rather not drink; maybe will take a little for the stomach sake when I eventually make my wine; grapes and apple! Ain’t bad. I did Irish coffee, wasn’t bad as my friends tried and liked it. One gotta do his time with a pinch of excitement or else you’re doomed; leaving this place forever broken like my released Jamaican mate, he left here distorted and doubt if he could be fixed.

Talking of excitement; I guess the stress of being locked up can be very hard on some people. Few guys I had looked upon as decent seems to be the opposite; seeing the aggression in their moods and the mood swings; I initially thought it’s the stress but sooner I found out that the late night walks and hovering from one dealer’s cell to another is to purchased dosage of what keeps them excited and going; a fuel for the go! Too bad, as prisons were meant to be a place of punishment and correction or rehabilitation, but damn it if anyone is ever punished or rehabilitated; this place is more or less like a summer boot-camp for men. Ones sent out by the wives to go sort their heads;)

If I’m to leave here with all that is boiling on the inside of me, damn, I will be a menace to the society at large; punching everyone that speaks bad of me or a threat to my company. But one thing I have learned so far; “Anger management”, which many here are yet to figure out what it is. To my Jamaican inmate pals; it’s a song by “Movado” (A Jamaican Dancehall DJ) !!!;)

I have learned to turn every fiery situations into laugh; even when sarcasm is thrown at me. But setting a boundary is also important. We can joke about ourselves, but no family! Period!

So far, we’re living in peace among ourselves except for few fracas after too much of moonshine or liquor; then men begins to act like Babies; A Mexican lad who trains with me when he wakes up early from his late-night binged drinking been walking around with heavy eyes, after receiving heavy punches from another fella; now gotta watch his back.
Also debtors being hustled by their creditors for unpaid promises. I ventured into the food business with my lousy mate; I’m flippin bankrupt as chicken (KFC styled with my secret recipe) were mostly sold on credit and the lousy lad didn’t even know whom he sold to, what a good business partner; I’m wondering whoever entrusted him with 500+ kilo of Angel Dust! The lad can’t write, read or add up numbers, but he knew the number of keys he had in his boat and he knows all types of guns; such are my pals.

Isn’t nice to be a good leader for once; I introduced herbal tea to some fat-fighter zealots who wants to loss weight but can’t help munching fried pork skin; now they come to me for herbal tea prescription;) and they seems to like it.

Flippin easy to loss weight; indulge in our No-one-knows-the-alcohol-percent moonshine; two things will happen, loss weight and look like a dead-man-walking with sunk eyes socket or end in the unstaffed clinic with toxic liver!

I guess, we all gotta do something to help with the time and the stress of being cramped in here like sardines.

It’s 01:15:49 on Sun, Apr 15, 2012, my sick inmate is on it again; lately, he’s been playing with the stray white cat, which many don’t like. Sometimes I care for it, but after I saw what he did to the in-house cats, I always sent him out. Flippin don’t know what he was doing with the cat. The cat urinated on his body (wondering if he wanted to find out if cat’s urine glows in darkness); little did he know that he is allergic to cat; his eyes are swollen and his whole body looked like someone who was thrown into a chemical waste, red and swollen.

How lucky he was, in my package that came, I have anti-allergic pills, gave him some. Hope by tomorrow he gets better. This should serve as a warning and lesson; that he should stay off those cats and I’m glad as he won’t go near the newly born kittens.

Talking of kittens, the mother cat had two kittens, got pictures on my twitter; @DoingTimeAbroad and now her daughter also gave birth to two beautiful kittens; seen three generations since my incarceration;)! Now she is “La Gata Abuela”; the Grandmother Cat”,  hope the kittens will live as their life expectancy inside here could be liken to ours; anything can happen! It’s a jungle.

So much could happen in one week, but just one thing keeps us going and believing; HOPE!!!

Sunday; Weekend nearly and officially over, it was la fiesta till you can’t stand on your feet anymore. I guess the fiesta was in celebration as Monday will be visit-day! The visit day is like our Pay-day; everything you’ll think of comes in on that day; fortnightly! Legal and illegal (depending on how smart and artful whoever will bring them in is).

My lousy lil mate got the first batch of my brew (homemade wine) (Moonshine) out for his mates; who were on the bender from dawn till dusk. Music, chatting, drinking, smoking and those that need something of higher realm will take occasionally walk to sniff and snort, then back to drink. There were proper dancing; Salsa like ones seen in Cali Salsa’s Classes. Most should have thought of taking choreographic as profession instead flying keys in boats;)

My twisted compatriot was taken to the hospital after playing with the white stray cat and developed some allergic reaction; damn serious ones and scary like a cast of Undead!

We heard he’s admitted, but he later came back with a prescription to buy his drugs; such is the way our host treats foreign prisoners. If he doesn’t have the money to buy the drugs, he’s left for fate to deal with him and be ravaged by whatever disease he’s got. On the back of every sound inmate here is the desire to live hygienic and leave here sane and sound.

As the last of the music fades away, so also the merriment, one after the other the pulled themselves to their cells to hit the concrete slabs call “Bed”, others to hammocks hanging around the top of the cells like Batmen taking a nap before hitting the streets for some heroic call of duty.

Once one is lucky to have a bed; the beginning of one’s misery. The bed is solid concrete build to last forever. The connected ones are lucky to have proper and comfortable mattresses, but with the ply of foam; such as mine, I woke up each morning with sore and ache back and joints. Once you’re awake, you don’t just jump and scream good morning mates; but first keep yours eyes open and make a quick check of which of your limps or joint is fcuked up real good before moving them. It’s like the check one does in his car before turning on the ignition. Gotta do that every blessed morning, to be sure I’m up fit and whole;)

I’m lucky to have two pillows, many will use whatever they find as pillows. All the books in the library are gone for such purposes; the library only exist in our minds as the library is now an active cell with some old fellas.

Monday The 16th of April; came and gone!

Another visit day and loads of food in the pavilion. This is the only day my cats feast on whatever leftovers brought to them. After this day, their bowls will become a dumping ground for cigarettes butt, even some flippin drunk weirdos urinates in their bowl. On visit days, it’s like a market in here, so much to be sold; as inmates hawk around with all sort of stuffs; flip flops, shorts, white underwear (when the colour to wash them is coloured), white bedsheets, white ankle-sockings (every clothe items brought in by families has to be white or they won’t be allowed in; but they forgot that the water isn’t white enough to keep the white in the clothes forever white).

We’re in dire need of shower curtain for our toilet as the one now is hanging on a thread of hope; but the flippin cops won’t let my mate’s spouse to bring one in, even after she explained to them. If she had had a pack of coke or weed, guess they will let those in. Gotta hope and depend on my consul to get me one.
Meant to get this online on Monday night, but the signal went loco as always. Hope it’ll strong enough to upload this now.

Our lives continues as we battle with all elements and forces within and without us for our survivals.

Many are coming and many will go, but all one pray for is to walk out on his feet and not be carried out in a body bag.

An article on BBC web site talks about the mortality rate in Latin American Prisons as been the highest in the world; Panama is no exception. One’s survivals depends on many factors; humility, respect, cliché, gangs, your mates, greed and finally; Never stick your nose in other’s businesses!

And a word for those that have ears;

A food for thought;

Never look down or underestimate anybody when you are in the slammer; not even the cops will do that as they know what an inmate is capable of doing. Every man (small, big, young or old) who has made it into this school of hard knock life is well man enough to do the unthinkable!

Mental deterioration; it’s becoming apparent that many of the inmates here are becoming sick and losing the ability to function and fend for themselves. My twisted inmates have us doing almost everything for him. He looks so ragged and rough, a make over will do him loads of good.

Now is a Jamaican inmate who once lived in the States; the one that has my Easter card on his neck as a pendant. When he came in here, he was always seen with the Bible; told me, he want to rewrite the Bible and correct certain things that ain’t right. Well, didn’t take him serious then. But so much is coming out of the closet about him. He did time in mental institutions in America and in his country Jamaica. For many years he has been on psychotic drugs; but nobody knew about it.

He’s a fun guy, his signature is his Deep Bass voice; think the Late Barry White walking down the passage selling a top up card and shouting; Mas Movil (Barry White’s voice)….that’s what he’s know for. Nobody knew that lurking inside of him was a man waiting to exhale, he love using Biblical words when talking to anyone and always get the lads confused.

From his cell mates, his problems started when he fell back on weed and liquor; smoking and Drinking to help with the Stress, little did his drinking mates knew that his brain can’t handle it.

He believes he can fly, took his clothes off, climbed to the top of the cells and was about acting out his beliefs; flying. Did see him tried walking through the walls, he asked me if I could. Well, told him to take the lead, once he goes through I’ll be behind him. He’s flipped!

We just gave him a tablet of the medication used by my compatriot, hope it calms him down. And my compatriot is roaming around, talking and laughing at what fun he only sees or feels. Hope he finds his redemption.

Such is our ordeals here, medical history of inmates are never taken and classified, not even test are done to check inmates state of mind or our well-being. It’s always at the 11th hour when death comes knocking that the system will “try” to do something; but in the real sense, ain’t doing nothing.

He’s not the first and neither will he be the last. The pressure of being caged in without recreation, activities to help stimulate mind and body is devastating on inmates.

Hope after us, some day in the future help will come to the thousands slammed up here.

Now gotta search for El señal; it’s like precious stone, very rare! Even with 4G phones, one struggle to get a good signal, hope the wailing wall will be of help now. This piece is long due! Wanted to have it online on Friday 13TH! A gloomy day in the lives of inmates in pavilion 15! Terror and horror resides within us, but our desires to survive keeps us going.

No matter how dark the tunnel is, at the end of such tunnel is an opening with a ray of light that brings HOPE!!!

LIFE: When Survival Depends On Others.

Posted in Uncategorized on April 8, 2012 by doingtimeabroad

“We are the most alive and the closest to the meaning of our existence when we are most vulnerable, when experience has humbled us and has cured the arrogance which, like a form of deafness, prevents us from hearing the lessons that the world teaches” – Dean Koonte in “Seize The Night”

As Prisoners, in cramped and congested cell built for six inmates at a time, most are cramped with sixteen inmates and more, glad mine is nine as one is gone for good; the bad blood among us. And since he left, life is bit smooth as we’re now getting to know ourselves after living together for more than a year. Blimey!!!

But life is not all that a sweet symphony, but a bitter one, filled with ironies! Even the authorities who got us all thrown in here knows that in such a condition as these; Our lives and survival depends on each other. Thus, the next man standing or sitting can as well determine your total existence and also one’s dramatic exit and extinction. It is a don’t-have-any choice situation; certain fate can be chosen, but not one like this; when you become the government’s property and one of a government whose major preoccupation is to see the numbers of people incarcerated rises on daily basis as they make money from aids (From the West) by the numbers of inmates behindbars.

Such a fate as ours, is thrown at you and you are forced to accept it, love it or loathes it, that fate is yours till the day you walk out alive or taken out in a body bag; still and lifeless .

A mate once told me, how he had a big uncle who was banged up in the slammer back in his country, he became a big bully due to his size; but was done by this little fella he always bullied; when was he done? Easy; while he was in cloud Nine, deep dead asleep! Such is the most dreadful thing that can happen inside the slammer. That’s why most and everyone changes cells when they are at loggerheads with their cellmates. And one sleeps but never asleep; doubts if any attends the REM/Deep sleep Phase as part of your must constantly alert to the environs (Just read that the sense of hearing doesn’t sleep, when every other sleeps, pretty good to know)!

Thus, as inmates sharing a cell with many individuals with different individualistic behaviours, one’s life is in the hand of his God or whatever he believes in. And definitely in the hands and minds of one’s cell mates. Pretty rewarding to be at peace with all men. Make peace with all men; one of the 8 Beatitudes; Blessed are the peacemakers

I have heard tale of how a cell mate was bought over with money and promises of protection; if only he will spike the drink of his cell mate. And he did it to save his own head. Thus, is our lives in here.

It’s 00:27:53 on Thu, Mar 22, 2012, sitting outside by the wailing wall; hope I get answers in the form of a good signal as the signal in my cell can’t help me tonight with what I have to do.

Sitting outside with me, are a team of all night gamers; beat the time by playing board games. And my ever-curious pal who is so surprise at what smartphones can do. He just discovered the google voice search, can’t hide the grinning on his face. He’s so happy to have discover and know that, you can just say a word and your phone will respond and do the search without you getting to type a letter. Over heard him calling my name for a search on me,lol! guess he won’t sleep tonight as he has discovered his own piece of Ireland (from the advert discover your piece of Ireland)lol! Well, I discovered mine after I down a pint of proper Guinness Stout; not when I’m using the virtual assistant on my phone.
And he seems to forget that in here, we try to keep the phones quiet as much as one can. He should be happy that there ain’t police presence in our midst as it used to be in time past.
Even the once that make their way in here, will even ask to use our phones to place calls to their mistresses or spouses if they have any.

Feeling much better, glad I had some medication to relieved the symptoms of flu, pathetic when you don’t have and can’t afford to buy one; then, have to wait for the flu to finish its work on your body. Now, my Canadian pal picked up the flu, made him a cuppa tea; though he doesn’t deserve it, but can’t deny a sick man a cup of tea. Will get him paracetamol in the morning.

Two days after our monthly visit by our consul, it was a needed one as we all waited eagerly for her; like our lives depended on her visit. Literally, our lives and fates depends partly on her as she comes with up-to-date information regarding the state of affairs of our cases. Lately, the report hasn’t been a good one, but as prisoners; we are full of hopes and dreams. Everything else can be taken from us, but not our dreams and hopes (they are so dear to us); do hear my cellmates talk of what they will do and cars they will buy when they get out. Flippin dullards.

We were waiting for our extra-groceries, which we are allowed to do once every three months; though it ain’t much, but it’s better than nothing, like they say “Half bread is better than None”. Many inmates here will kill to have a visit from their embassies or consulates, not many are fortunate to have people think of them, when they are the scumbag of the society.

Personally, I was striped bared as I wasn’t having anything; had to use my toiletries knowing what time it was (Hard times), glad she came when we needed her most. (actually, I’m listening to Katie Melua and what came up now is; Just when I needed you Most); what a flippin coincidence, beautiful song. Guess that’s me, I left my family when they needed me most and my spouse with couple of weeks into her what became my little dotting Angel. Glad for the strength and the bond that has kept us through this far; ain’t love, but friendship. We have grown to become best friends; distance and time has made us see why we love each other so bad and why we need to stick it through the second part of the “I do”; “Through Thin” and this is that Lean and thinnest moment of my life and she had resolved and made up her mind to stand by me through it all. What more can one man ask for; Love and you have it.

The news regarding our repatriation isn’t one that put smiles on our lips, but grimace. The new generation of politicians back home are giving in to pressure from Brussels and Uncle Sam; the once most liberal nation in the world is becoming conservative in about everything. At the end of the day, every single law signed into bill in the house comes back to the lowest caste in the ladder of the society; Prisoners. With no other choices or humanitarian consideration, we’re about to be abandoned and forgotten. Left for fate and destiny to deal with us. I hope it won’t get to that.

I hope, in all the political wrangling, a second thought will be taken to get us home and closer to our loved ones. Kinda drives one nutters when you see your fellow inmates walk out for visit and sometimes get to see them cuddle their loved ones fortnightly and there’s even special days for kids and the whole family. It boils deep into one’s heart, you dream and hope for that day, you can do same.

It’s 01:47:08, all dark and I’m alone out here, thinking, gotta go in, if not; there might be rumours that I was up all night kerb crawling,lol!
The Truth doesn’t make any good story behindbars, but lies and rumours make a very good news and if we are to print papers; flippin rumours will sell faster.

And for other more vicious and deadly reasons, I have to leave for me cell; we have killed Gigantic Spiders and Scorpions in this pavilion. Thus, wouldn’t want to be the first to be bitten or stung by one of them poisonous creepy fellas; No Clinic and No Medication.

Mr. Discover Ireland is gone, guess he won’t sleep tonight as he will be busy dictating to his smartphone. He is like a child opening his new toy for the first time; fascinated by what he sees and can’t stop experimenting until he figures out how it works. Glad he has something to keep him busy; flippin loves phones, but to watch youtube videos and listen to music. Good for him.

The only fella walking around is the lil Ladee who is busy jumping from cell to cell until the wee hours or dawn, doing what he loves and knows how to do best (You-know-what); will call him our “Night Nurse”, Like President Mugabe called the female British Diplomat; whom he accused of running around his opposition camps.

Whatever the lad does is taking care of him; eat good, get his fags and fcuks, since being here, have seen the lad changed mates more than Lady Gaga changes costumes in her videos. He does the 3-way Love affair (Elton John’s song), Secret Lovers, Night Nurse, and even Pay As You Go (PAYG), and also Favours (guess that’s for goodwill to help save mankind from the draught of inactivity of the Mojo). Asi es La vida Loca. Good for him, as it helps him with his time. Everybody does something to help with their time. Better than others who spends all day living others lives; gossiping and wanting ills to befall others. Wankers!

My released cell mate who was locked up for more than four years on “suspicion” was all into gossiping and eavesdropping on other’s businesses and then tell to whoever will listen to him. Glad he’s gone, hope he doesn’t come back again.

Survival is doing whatever you deem fit and able to indulge in to help with one’s time. Wanna loose weight and you don’t like exercises, then indulge in the hard stuff; Moonshine, not the wine dingy, but proper distilled sh*t. Sooner than you think, you’ll be like Victoria Beckham and her size zero crews.

One of our numerous distillers, who indulges in daily fiesta with his brew can be seen with watery eyes and the drink is taking a toll on his health as he’s shrinking by each day; drinks and poor nutrition. He looks like a ghost of his past, hope the bottle doesn’t take him down. The crack and dope heads are also getting their shots and beaten when they can’t come up with money. I have seen grown-ass men take beatings like kids for money owed.

On Tuesday, when we went upstairs for our visit, met one of the would-be escapees. He was in comfort, but now, he will be Paying to get transferred from the Panamanians pavilion to the maximum security pavilion for foreigners. He told us of daily fights, loud music both secular and religious (none giving in as both wants to heard, even outside their pavilion), of how inmates walks around with knives in their pants. And how edgy life is among the locals.

I wouldn’t know if he regretted doing what he did as he tries putting up a smiling and brave face; (in Jail, one need a mask to hide one’s true emotion; happiness could raise eyebrows and envy, while sorrowful and bitter emotions might tell or be misinterpreted as a form of weakness and at the same time, someone will want to glory in another’s sorrow or downfall)

Recently, there’s has been rumours among the inmates that me and my fellow compatriots ain’t getting repatriated; to many, it’s a cause to rejoice. I wouldn’t know or see any reason to rejoice in another man’s ills, well, not in a prison where everyone is trying to snoop into each other’s affair. They do this out of boredom; nothing to do with their miserable lives. I have come to understand the way life is lived among people of these sorts; Don’t give them anything to talk about, and if/when they start, I fired back to belittled them and silence them, once and for all.

Many amongst will speak or act out of inferiority complex, men chivalry, macho and to be considered a man when they are actually wimps and Sissies;)

One need an Ocean-like of patience to live among most of the inmates here. Glad I’ve learned to surround myself with shields to take and rebound all thrown at me.

This blog is coming up a bit late; damn lazy and sometimes just lost it. But the words must go out.

They say; “The Pen is mightier than the sword”, but in this era; it will be said that “Never underestimate the power of social media”

We have seen from the “Arab Spring Revolutions” how social media helped toppled Dictators with a shot being fired by the Masses!!!

Thus, I’ll write and share my daily experiences and life behind bars; it might be a guide to someone from falling into this bottomless pit; no matter how many are brought in, there’s always a room for one more.

Semana Santa; The Holy Week

Posted in Uncategorized on April 8, 2012 by doingtimeabroad

#Semana #Santa or #Holy #Week; we joined the rest of #Christendom in celebrating #Easter. How went down here; the food came on #Friday, no meat but scanty mix sea food. You don’t need to see the shrimps and whatever is meaty inside the sauce, but it sure has the aroma of seafood. Who knows, maybe the sprayed some stuffs that smells like seafood in the sauce and brought it to us. But many dined on it as it was our last supper.

We did improvised as always by adding canned fish (supposed to be sardine or tuna, but ain’t either, whatever it is, nadie sabes; but smells like fish) and ate it with white rice.

It beggars belief to see how the mixture of oddities here will want to portray themselves as the faithfuls; well occasionally! Many abstained from eating meat and were crossed with me when I did push-ups before my shower on Friday. Well, I gave them words that they will forever remember even when I’m long gone.

Their #Christianity is based on how often one attends mass or services on Sundays, misa (prayers and rosary), Easter and Christmas and any type of religious holidays; but they seems to forget about the #GoldenRule; Love your neighbour as yourself. Told one, when you fail in one, you’ve flippin failed in the other nine. The dude wasn’t happy, they loathes the truth and love their hypocrisy lives.

So far, so good! The pavilion is calm, no groceries till Monday when things will come back to normal. So we’re on the edge of surviving and living on what scanty we have left. Have been eating flours in different forms; cooked and fried dumplings, it same flour and I’m flippin tired. So also is plantain, the sight of it turns my stomach, nothing for a change. Can’t even go near the prison rice as its sickening.

Being a Holy week, had expected bit of decency among my fellow Crime-travellers; God has done His job, now they are doing theirs. Dope, booze and Smoke fills the air simultaneously as the intimate inmates share some gay time in blissful atmosphere of la estrella, what more can a man do; locked up and left for fate and destiny to decide their fate. Such is our la vive Les miserables.

It’s Saturday, still another 24hours to go, gotta be a very long boring day. But glad I could sleep out my hunger.

My sick compatriot; one moment he look and sound normal (normal like everyone of us, as one can’t tell what is normal when you’re locked up, everyone is acting in way, which compared to life outside; we’re all lunatics). And the next moment, he flips and talks in languages of “Angels” as he puts it. Many still believe, he’s not back from his walkabout! Hope he comes back soon. He’s been far too gone. He just called me and gave me the Westside sign with his fingers, but also reminded me that “W” is his surname; hope he’s not being a stuntman. But he’s got loads of enemies; mostly among the smokers as he rushes people to smoke and pass him their fags. So funny when you watch him beg for fags, hope he comes back. Earlier, he offered me food, well, I was hungry, but won’t eat from him no matter how enticing it looked.

His medications are to calm him for a moment, but won’t cure him of his illness; if there’s a true cure for madness, how will the pharmaceutical company’s bosses lined their pocket and keep their fat bank account “robust”? It’s a cool way to keep the circle and the chain going. Keep them on it and we make Dem drugs to keep them on; thus, they’ll always come back to buy more.

Been sitting by the wailing wall as the signal is splendid, but inmates who can’t keep to themselves won’t let me be, I enjoyed my Irish coffee with my fellow blogger, one that shouldn’t be here; very talented guy. Pray it goes well with him.
Now, comes Gringo loco; an American here for as long as I have been here, his case seems to be going no where. He said something that sends a message home. “it cost the government nothing to keep us all locked up here”, “there are many here who don’t like Blacks, Latinos, Chinese, but are forced to live along each other side by side”! Of a truth, he is right! The government throws us into this bottomless pit and we are left to fend and savage for our survival; not even the sick are taken care of. Like Gringo-Loco rightly put it; never has there been a death caused by illnesses that could’ve been treated and is announced on TV the way it happened; inmates died of drug overdose, the government won’t say that. The lad that died of Asthma; they never made mention of that. Every deaths is reported as AIDS-RELATED illness! Such are the lies of our Host government. Gringo is one of the lively and sane but occasionally loses his sanity when he has to do it; self-mutilation, acts up with the cops as he knows and is fighting for his rights, not as a prisoner but as a human being.

Back home, my family are doing wonderfully, loads of learning and growing; with such comes loads of reasoning as questions upon questions kept pouring forth; “But, Daddy, you’re taking a long time”…..that’s from my 5yrs old boy. But my lil girl is tired of waiting, hers is more like “How can I believe you again, you won’t come soon”. How I wish I have answers to their questions; little do they know that so much around me now is in the hands of fate and certain people to decide.

Such is our lives; “Bitter Sweet symphony”……..

[Reminds me of #TheVerve – Bitter sweet symphony;

Trying to make ends meet, you’re a slave to the money then you die
I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places where all the veins meet……..
but I’m here in my mold , I am here in my mold,
But I’m a million different people from one day to the next
I can’t change my mold, no, no, no, no, no.

Well, I’ve never prayed,
But tonight I’m on my knees, yeah
I need to hear some sounds that recognise the pain in me, yeah
I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind , I feel free now
But the airwaves are clean and there’s nobody singing to me now]

I see me and my fellow crime-travellers in this song. So much are we muddled in that many can’t find their way out in the maze of life, life itself is a puzzle; much is needed to fix these great disorientated puzzles of ours.

Time they say, heals old wounds, but time also reopens old wounds. Will time help us or be against us? We are left to battle our fate and destiny in any way we can; it’s “Survival of the fittest, smartest and whose got the fattest Bank account”…… that can buy one’s way out of here; Freedom For the highest bidder.