Archive for August, 2012

Falling down is how we grow, Staying down is how we die.

Posted in Uncategorized on August 28, 2012 by doingtimeabroad

Mistakes are painful, but as time goes by, it becomes a collection of experiences called Lessons!

“No matter how much pleasure some things give you at the time, they need to be thought through. Otherwise, the laughter may turn to tears, handcuffs, and very difficult stares from men you’ve never met” | Live inside The Slammer
[Chris Matyszczyk,; 2012]  

Calls coming in from the sister prison La Joyita of a Mundial (apparently, we christened such search “Mundial” as there are enough cops to start war with inmates and enough time to search and find whatsoever they are looking for) with more than 300 cops, armed with Metal detectors; 9 pistols were recovered, smartphones, laptops, tablets (flippin rich and techno cons), knives (that’s old school), polvo blanco and weed in kilos (these two are needed to stay high, no inmate want to be seen staying Low;)|, and loads of what they deemed not suitable for inmates; dvd’s, television, and electrical appliances (the latter; don’t know why they are taking away the only things that makes life behindbars comfy for us)??????

We don’t get food, medicines, water (comes when the Donkey behind the water pump done with wanking; could be midnight, 3AM and sometimes after days of waiting) and some inmates are struggling with bed space or floor space; just a clean spot to lay their heads. Now they are taking those little comforts away from us. 

But their major concerns are taking away the little privileges (not even a privilege as we pay to get those electrical appliances in by same corrupt cops) that corruption has afforded us. 

Like the saying goes “where there’s corruption, money talks”; all of those seized items got into the population through the cops and wardens; flippin cat and mouse game or like my friend put it; Monkey Business. We pay them, they bring them in, we hide them and they come back looking for same things they brought in. What will a normal person call that; Guess; “Hide and Seek”! 

They’ve taught us, that trust does not exist within the four walls of the system. Not even among the ones who’re under our payroll. It’s Jungle all the way. Once goods and money exchanged hands; you guys are back on different grounds. You’ve gotta watch your back. 

The Art of Social Media is changing lives in “The Joint”, Many has gotten their hands on money, thus, could afford the extra luxury of owning top of the range smartphones, designers labels, proper kitchen appliances, and finally those with love for the bottle; are getting proper brew from the street. Seen good old whisky in the hands of some inmates; signs of good living. 
With the wealth comes the urge to own the latest gadgets; despite being behindbars and knowing fully well that at the wink of an eye, one can loose it everything. Guess, it’s man’s basic instinct to show off with his latest toys.

Now the gadgets; smartphones, tablets and whatsoever adverts that comes on TV;), then comes the hunger to be heard, connected and explore the www! And many who have tasted it can’t comprehend the massive cyber world, as they file up to me daily for assistance, thus giving me the unofficial privilege to pry into their innards; some could be disgusting. 

Little do they know, the internet is a well of information; good and bad. It’s left for each one to choose, but my mates are busy downloading tons of gigabytes of xxx clips. A lad brought his phone to help set-up some stuffs. All I found on his image and video folders are nothing but porn; keeps them going. Others are jumping on the bandwagon of video chat; so they can see live pu**y and loads of flesh from their girls. Helps then with their conjugal in their bunk. 

One of my compatriots got a BB; given to him by an inmate who was released, seeing all the icons in his instant messengers folder (google talk, yahoo msgr, AIM, ICQ, MSN, twitter, FB, Myspace), Dude wants me to get them all working, wonder what he wants to do with all of them. Guess one of his girls had asked him for twitter. Now he wants all up and running. Then he will be back to me at every other minutes, complaining why his sound is mute or why his phone can’t store a porno clip of 30MB when he wouldn’t want to buy a flippin external memory chip……Pheeeeeeeeew!. Flippin annoying! But got money to snort and smoke all night…good for him; living la vida loca.  

Little will people outside know how inmates loves shopping; we don’t get catalogues mailed to us, but thanks for Panama TV stations; they love bombarding the masses with consumer products, can’t watch a. Programme without annoying adverts crawling over the screen. They find all ways to sell the viewers something. I’m left to wonder if there’s no watchdog monitoring the loads of bullshit adverts of products that promise heaven on earth; weightloss in 1week after drinking Dr. Ming’s tea; that got many of the chicharon-eating inmates scrambling to order these tea.

The annoying adverts, are those little mascot running around the screen when chuck Norris is kicking some sh*t out of the bad guys;). 

I guess, there’s inmate who’s clued to his TV set all day, writing down names of products as they come up on screen. Someone who is so serious about losing weight bought a cream that’s always advertised and promised to help the user sheds some fats….Ya right!! 

Many are jumping on Dr. Ming’s tea to achieve that slim look; all from TV! They believe drinking and still munching all their Chicharon. (Deep-Fried pig skin) and fried white rice + One cup of fat-burning Dr. Ming’s Tea, they will loose those love handles and their gut fat.  Guess we’re doing our time, one way or the other.

The net has been very helpful; communication wise and getting useful informations on my workout routine; fitness forums and loads updates on the world’s affairs. News; how can one live without knowing what is happening around him? Hope my BB survives this coming Mundial. And the phones serves as torchlight when the lights are out  

A new Month; and so much lies ahead for me and my fellows Crime-travellers. Our daily lives are worthy of a good and entertaining soap; now that the masses are hungry for reality shows. If cameras are installed around the pavilion, and people sit back all day watching us go about our daily day to day activities; what a fun it will be too see inmates really do their time in diverse ways. 

We finally had our tubes laid down from another pavilion so we can get water like the Nationals do. From what I gathered, it will be highly and strictly rationed. Who knows how long we have to wait to take turn. 

Yesterday, we were officially #489 #Inmates in a pavilion that was build for #216 at a particular time. Everything in the pavilion is crashing from pressure, congestion and abuses. Hope the pressure doesn’t get into the inmates as it’ll be. Devastating, it won’t be vented on the authorities but rather it will be against each other as we strives to stay afloat this sunken ship of a pavilion. 

Our hope for a better tomorrow, keeps us alive for that tomorrow, even when we fully know that when it comes, there won’t be anything to make it better than the day before it. But as humans, we live each day adapting to what the day brings. 

Each time one falls sick and is taken away, he gives out orders as to what should be done; in case he doesn’t make it back, such is our lives. I believe in most developed nations, medicare for inmates is taken seriously as they want the inmates alive to do their time. But not in Panama and most Latin American countries, once you’ve been sentenced, if you drop dead right in the presence of the judge, it’s minus one from the lot. They don’t give a Fcuk who survives from these dungeons, thus, we strive to live through and come out alive at all cost and by all means. 

So resolved to sell their souls to the guards and cops; they call them #Sapos (Frogs) or Snitches… The cops tends to know what goes on inside the pavilion when they don’t have any presence inside and among us; someone is their mouthpiece and their seeing eyes. 

Our revolves on what the day has in stock for us, with each new day comes its own problems. So we tend to live #CarpeDiem; live for the moment as none knows what the next second or minutes got for us. The reason inmates don’t postponed or procrastinate an attack, once they see an opening, they strike like a Black Mamba,  once that opportunity is lost, you could become the stricken and at the receiving end of the double edged knife or blade. 

The system is deteriorating at a very fast pace; everything is falling apart; No water for weeks, energy is not constant, and the sewage system is clogged and many are so sick with flu and popping in antibiotics (who knows what else they are infected with). 

#AUGUST 2012: 

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.” -Albert Einstein 

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – St. Francis of Assisi 

Roughly two weeks since our water crisis began, we have been bathing with water fetch from the fields outside the patio area; it rains, water is pocket of stagnant water on patches of the field; with our containers we fetch as much as we can. Some boil it before drinking, the die-hards just add Clorox and drink it that way. To bathe with it; allow it to settle, filter and add Clorox to it. Now you have a ready to use water. 

We’re grateful for the rain; some days, we have all tanks filled  with rain water to take us through couple of days before our incessant drought. 

My birthday came up and gone: the 3rd behindbars, not many last this long on the inside. It takes a lot for one to live through life behindbars in country like #Panama; constantly watching one’s back. Since we won the right to have our cells open 24hrs (after several deaths when we were locked up). Many cells are still on locks (fear of reprisals and pay back)! Do my best to keep a good relationship with others and avoid the crazy ones. 

I had thought of disappointment on the day as my moonshine wasn’t ready for distillation; went up to a mate who distills his stuff with my lads. He lend me a gallon; to return when I have mine distilled. Another mate bought a gallon for me, got some pack of juice, the lads cooked #Sancocho (Colombian soup; damn rich). And we had our day. 

The lads surprised me with a real birthday cake; baked by the caterers next door to ours, had gotten a friend made me a cake with raison and a hint of moonshine to give it some boost. 

It was music, booze and food all night and we respected the rules;  by 1AM, all dogs to their bunks. My group of buddies are clean from other substances exception of moonshine and food; they eat anything. 

Hit the gym next day after my Birthday, only for a mate to tell me he had a terrible dream about me: that I was overdosed! I’ve resolved to live through this phase of my life and come out stronger. After hearing about our compatriots who died inside here, it brings some chills, one took his life and the other from negligence as he didn’t get medical attention. When one so close to you tells of such terrifying dream, gotta be watchful and keep check on my health and my relationship with other within the pavilion. One never know who is thinking and planning ills towards him, not until it comes down. 

Lately, it’s been clashes and battles of the Batty or for Batty, every now and then, noises are heard in the wee hours after all night of  binged drinking and snorting; screams of who owns who. Had always thought we were properties of the Panamanian govt; not until I heard; Este Culo es Mio (this ass is mine), well, it came from one of the cleaned-shaven lad who is experimenting with his sexuality. Like many others, who finally discovered that after downing lethal amount of our Prison brew and snorting or blowing, they find the other lads attractive and wants to touch or be touched. Such is the life many finds themselves inside hear. 

The smallish Ladee has to make money to survive, jumps from one partner to another as soon as the old one leaves. Doesn’t take him a day to jump ships, guess he’s got loads queuing to tap his little flat ass. He’s a fun guy, like every other one, they kinda add some spice and life to the centre. Imagine life without them, it will be flippin boring. 

My feline family had a new member to their family; from a distance, one will think, it’s a squirrel, but if it walks, meeeow and acts like a. Cat; it’s surely a cat and a little kitten. Very beautiful. Left to wonder if the mother mated with a squirrel; well, strange things can happen in this place, see some weirdos fingering my female cats. Glad the cats got claws and sharp teeth;) 

It’s Sun 26 Aug 2012 and weekend is almost over. Many are doing what they do best on any given Sunday; drinking, snorting, blowing, gambling, gossiping (ladies, didn’t know, there were men who could equally hold an interesting gossip sessions like women) and others are busy cooking and eating. Then, the rest of us that are addicted to our cyber world, are clued to our smartphones for news, porn or anything to keep us going. 

The past weeks has seen many inmates released and also many being thrown in for the first time to face an unknown future; not knowing what awaits them as they start with their time. Little do they know, it will be a lengthy one. guess they should take it “One day at a time”.    

This Month has been one of the hardest on us, water crisis, and then the Electricity issues, lights can go off for hours. The tubes we all contributed and paid for, that was laid through the Locals pavilion was destroyed by those crack-head locals, thus, ruin our chances of getting water when they get. But thank God for the rains, it’s been raining ON and OFF; and with our ingenious improvisation we could harness the rain water, which is damn too cold to bathe with. But it’s better than walking around sticky and stinky. 

It’s 23:09:07 on Sun 26 Aug 2012: lately fruits of all sorts have been finding their way into the pavilion, some are damn exotic and colourful. But, like always, the prices are cut-throat, not many can afford them, but those with dutchie can well afford. Finally got me 2 pineapples for my wine..  Hope to make the best from a recipe found online and won’t be selling it that cheap as I’m putting in my best into the preparation. 

I’m by the wailing wall and our gamblers are busy whiling away time. Others are busy drinking in different corners of the pavilion. The weekend is almost over, but the lads won’t abate, not until the last drop of moonshine.  

By 2AM, the gamblers finally fold up their tables for the night, one desperate one, stayed back to scavenged the floor for any fallen note or coin; guess to help with his dirty habit. 
Such is our life and doing time behindbars; one got to keep himself busy at all time. 

Like the old saying, “Once there’s life, there’s hope”! But what’s a Prisoner’s #Hope?