Archive for December, 2013

Clash Of Silicone Titis (Las Furia De Las Tetas Silicones)

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on December 24, 2013 by doingtimeabroad

To preserve a man alive in the midst of so many chances and hostilities, is as great a miracle as to create him. ~Jeremy Taylor

 

Tues 10 Dec 2013

In prison, one’s survival instinct is awaken to learn to notice things, to read the truth that people hid behind their eyes and fake smiles. #PrisonCurious

 

The day began like any other day on the inside, life on the inside is like a vicious circle that is unbreakable. One’s life is based on the same routine, same people and on the same haunting thoughts. #CircleOfLife

 

Breakfast was black beans, and a cup of green tea! Then the gym, which was fully packed with inmates, the cops won’t let people outside. At this time of the year, there’s so much tension on the inside; cops are scare of inmates escaping, thus, the extra measures to control movements in and out of the pavilions. Right now, only those working on diverse projects in the centre are allowed outside and with identity card. It’s going to be a difficult moment.

 

Made it to the gym and finally get to workout; an all-rounder, very intensive and felt knackered.

 

Back in the cell, the much-awaited rain we have been waiting for finally came pouring. Enough water, filled up my drinking tank and all gallons. Needed some eggs for lunch, but none in the pavilion, lunch that came on the cart was meagre; shredded chicken skins and bones, without its flesh, who knows what happened to the flesh. Had the beans and some white rice. Filling and enough to send me to an afternoon nap.

 

Got data plans on all my sim cards but none seems to be working; getting signal is becoming very difficult, our used-to be best spot is now deserted as others are seeking alternative spots.

Bit quiet all evening, some Brazilians inmates were supposed to be released, but they have been waiting for transportation. They were told to pay $300 before they will be taken out; friggin made me wonder if someone had called taxi for them, instead of the usual police car. Fucking corruption that has eaten deep into the heart of the system.

 

My mates are busy distilling everyday, they prefer the liquor while I rather stick to my mild wine; using all blend of fruits and spices to make a perfect fruit wine/cider or #moonshine, or #Chicha as the locals calls it here. And they all serves their purposes; getting one pissed! Hope to distil a gallon for gin with juniper, cinnamon, orange peels, black pepper and cloves! Will be a wicked brew 😉

 

Pockets of meetings amongst inmates; lots of tension brewing on the inside. Sooner or later something will happen.

 

Had a late night shower around 1am….. Before hitting my concrete bed! Started with a new novel; A Game of thrones ;-)…….interesting, as the lads here are always talking about the series, which our blockbuster man rents out along with other pirated films. Rather read the novel first before watching the series 😉

 

Wed 11 Dec 2013

My mate cleaning today got me up when he switched on the cell’s light around 6.30am! Friggin weirdo, tried getting back to sleep, not with the lights on. When he finished, I turned off the light and finally got an hour sleep.

 

Finally up for my day; grilled 2 greasy sausages that came on the breakfast cart, made hot chocolate for breakfast. With a cup of green tea and lemon for my workout. Had decided to stay off weights and hit patio for bouts of cardio out in the sun. Upon entering the gym, it was full with inmates, heard it’s zero-movement, as the cops won’t let nobody out, not even the boxers and older inmates who are always out walking every morning.

 

Would jump rope all morning, but no friggin space in the gym, thus, decided to hit my #Back and #Shoulders mixing #Abs in-between my rest period. Though in pains from yesterday’s workout, but it was rewarding.

 

Another fight this morning, same American-panamanian inmate had punched the polish-Canadian sikh (#PapaNoel or #Santa), the young lad, didn’t adhere to my warning, that he should never lay his hands on the old fella. He punch the old man so hard and so bad, that the man’s left eyes sealed up for good; the left part of his face was swollen. The old man look like someone who was hit by a runaway train. Hope nothing serious behind the swollen face.

 

Both were taken out; well there’s no dispute on what will happen next, old man taken to hospital in the city and the young lad is chained up under the admin building, where disturbing local inmates are kept. Being there will definitely show him what prison look like in Panama. He’s now amongst his fellow countrymen; who are vicious and savage like him. Hope and pray he survives there. Back here, he was living very large, rapping and recording his vibes, smoke weed everyday, drink and party with some friends. Where he is now, doubt if he will have such luxury anymore.

 

23:38:14

Papa Noel hasn’t return from hospital, likely, he’s been admitted to spend the night there. Probably the Canadian embassy knows about his condition now (apparently, he hold dual citizenship)!

 

The other parties who fought over money transfer issue were battling who to throw out of the pavilion today. The lad that gave his fight to his stronger cellmate, happen to work upstairs and has a strong link with the director; after going upstairs and worked his contact. Directive was sent for his enemy to be transferred to Pavilion 8, but our leadership resented it, that if someone should be sent out, both of them should be thrown out. Guess the case will die-off that way. But those two will definitely become sworn enemies; never to cross that invisible line, battle line that has been drawn the day they threw their first punches on each other.

 

When Papa Noel returns from hospice, I heard he will be sent to pavilion 16 in La joyita, which will be better for him, he wouldn’t need to be climbing up and down to access his bed, as his bed is currently on top of one the cells. And the young lad, might spend months under the admin building as punishment before being sent to one of the pavilions housing the local inmates; there his battles for survival will begin!

There was a meeting today and this one raises lots of questions; the cops are stopping vegetables and fruits from coming in. It’s likely, those bringing them in, must have hid drugs inside their goods, and once caught, that line will be closed indefinitely! Hope they reach an accord to keep the line open. If vegetables and fruit which are sold at exorbitant prices are stopped, then that will be it.

 

An old-school Jamaican inmate from pavilion 8 was sent here today; being an old school there and thrown out. He must have done something unforgivable….. From intel, heard he pulled knife on a Latino, too bad for him as he’s beginning life afresh here, sleeping on the floor, when he had bed back in Pav8! Too bad for him!

 

23:50:25!

In bed with a book as it’ll be an early day tomorrow; our headcount will be an early one.

 

Clash of the titis (Tetas) + Video 😉

Thu 12 Dec 2013

My day to clean and fill the tanks if water comes, the first to rise was the lad waiting for his release papers since October. Others followed suits, while I lay on my bed waiting for the coast to clear. Finally got up and start with my morning rituals, water came just before our PA system went up with the announcement that the cops are around. Phones and whatever needed to be stash were stashed in their respective hideouts. Filled some tanks before the pump was turned off.

 

Dressed up for a quick burst of cardio outside while others were still yawning from the early wake-up call. Did some lapse round the field and loads of good stretches. The headcount went well as we were counted just once and all accounted for. Back in, and water came up again, filled some tanks and made a breakfast of oatmeal, which I ate with the bread that came on the breakfast cart and cornmeal!

 

Out in the gym, which was too early for me, and the gym was as well scanty as some of the lads had gone back to their sleep; lazy prisoners! Prisons sometimes makes people lazy, well, prison such as this where there’s no programmes to help the inmates prepare for the new life they will face on the outside after years of incarceration. If one definitely want to change, he has to work out his redemption!

 

Talked to the cop, who let me out for another round of cardio outside in the field alongside the boxers who are now organising their unit to get a permit from the director, so they can always be out every day.

 

Back in and did some bouts of #HIIT workouts; jump rope, push-ups, inclined/declined chest with flat-bench! End my time at the gym with hanging leg raise and cable crunches. Our cable is wearing out, soon we can use the pulley and cable anymore and friggin cops won’t allow cables in.

 

Back in, and starving and nothing to eat; had my the last of my black beans on the stove, but opted for Banana and some more oatmeal (leftover from breakfast) with some instant milk. Proper shower which sent me to sleep! Napped for about 2 hours as I was really worn-out; woke up early and been up all day, while others went back to sleep after the early headcount.

 

Both lunch and dinner were rubbish, but later had my black beans with beef bought a mate; the lad made my day! Did credited some eggs which will be my breakfast tomorrow.

 

During my few hours napping, the pavilion were thrilled to an end-of-year proper show; sort of a gladiator brawl. And it brought my prediction to true; when our young shemale was hauled in, the older one didn’t look so please and happy with a new and younger contender; as she was the centre of attraction from all the other men without tits ;-). And I noticed her unwelcoming attitude; this is my turf! Told my mates; two Queers, actual meant two Queens can’t reign in one kingdom! One must bow-out! And that’s what happened today while I napped to be restored.

 

Did told couple of my mates, that those two bitches will battle one day for the throne. And that one day was today, so bad, how I missed it! When I woke up, I was told; #BreakingNews in the pavilion, that the two tetas (Titis) fought! Initially, had thought, its one of our jokes. But the lads were dead serious. After asking around, damn, they fought bitches fight.

 

Lately, our old shemale has not been seeing more of outside as she locks herself in her bunk all day and rarely venture outside at night when others are sleeping. Unlike those days, she  ruled the pavilion day and night. But since our new young and vibrant shemale with #DDCups came in, things changed! All the lads jumped ship, even the old shemale cellmate who used to be her true-mate also jumped ship, leaving his old ladee mate to the new and younger one. Our old Queen, must have been nursing this for a long time and waiting for the moment she will strike back at her fierce and sexier joint-smoking competition, who seems to be stealing the hearts of all her admirers 😉

 

Today’s problem began when the new shemale went to our old queen’s castle to asked a debtor for payment; wonder what business transaction they had! Our old queen told her, she needed permission from her before coming into her castle, and the young, new ladee responded; she didn’t come for her. Then came the typical bitches name-calling things, followed by proper punches; then most lads knew, despite the ttis and hormones therapies they had undergone to make them look more of the gentler sex, that man’s savage instinct roared out from them as they engaged in proper fight. but finally fell back to what they want to be; Ladies; then came hair-pulling and finally stripping of clothes. Our old Queen had her pyjamas (a see-through lingerie) on, while our young princess had her pink top just covering her DDCups and a pink short. From all I heard and video which I now have in my possession; the lads allowed them to get into their fights (in prison, once you begin a fight, the nothing-to-do inmates will allow you have your battle without interruption).

 

From the video which many recorded with their smartphones; they were allowed to engaged in their fight before the lads jumped in to save them from harming what makes them different from us; #Tetas ;-). Clothes were stripped and loads of hair pulled, which gave some sex-starved inmates opportunity to caressed all four cups of silicon-filled titis. From the video, one of the lads was smiling after he must had his feel and fill of our princess tits! #Good4Him!

 

00:12:48!

Just went around to pick up a toilet paper, you never know what black beans (my lunch and dinner) might do late at night. What I have won’t be enough if nature calls.

 

At the beginning of our passage, our young princess is having la fiestas with some queer lads. Apparently, she sleeps in another part of the pavilion, thus, she has been locked out and will be spending the night with one of those lads. They are smoking joints and drinking cocktails made with our potent liquor (one good thing with our liquor, you can make 1001 different cocktails with that potent stuff to reduce the potency); and the main patron is the lad who has tried his hands on all sorts of businesses. At a time he was selling everything one could find in #DIY stores, and I nicknamed him #DoItCentre which is a DIY store in Panama. Then he went to food, lottery and finally groceries and also paints; as many are in need of paints to beautify their cells for christmas. Thus, our princesa is celebrating her victory at today’s clash of titis, she was probably crowned the champion as she delivered more powerful punches on our Queen who was more of a #ChuckNorris, throwing her skinny legs into thin air, glad she had a her tanga on and also tucked her third leg between her legs as the lads were waiting for that moment when it will show up! Didn’t though!

 

On the other part of the pavilion; the B side, our old Queen is all dressed up, hanging out with her group, seems she has found a new love as that is the only cell she visits. Lately, I heard she is been depressed and troubled, on that front, she is not alone, many of us are depressed and trouble, but we all have our ways of handling those demons; Everyman has his way!

 

From all I heard about the two tetas; there are underlying and old wounds between both of them which hasn’t healed. Christmas is fast approaching, both will be hustling for good and wealthy clients. Not just wealthy clients, inmates who will be ready to throw their prison-money into the drain for their open-secret services. I know a lad who paid 40 bucks for a quickie blow-job from our old queen. And this happened right beside where I sat searching for signal to get online. When they lad was done, he calmly walked away in the darkness, knowing fully well, I knew what shady biz took place there.

 

Like every other fight fought within the walls of the pavilion; an invisible battle line has been drawn between those two. And from all indications, they will live to fight another day and that’s what our young princessa said; she will teach the old witch a lesson…. Didn’t know our queen was that ugly to be labelled a witch ;-), anyway, it’s girly talk and friggin entertaining from what I saw on the video! The lads were jumping with joy and savouring the moment as many saw what they hadn’t seen in a long while #SiliconTits

 

From all I heard, they were many videos recorded from different angles, wouldn’t mind combing through the pavilion for them.

 

Hope to wake early to search for signal, maybe around 5am. Hope I will be able to do that.

 

Just had a cup of green tea with painkillers; my aching back and sciatica nerves are in flames!

 

Picked up a novel as I lay back and wait for sleep that is eluding me. Hope it comes soon!

 

07:41:50! Fri 13 Dec 2013

 

Been up as early as 6am, quickly did my morning rituals and made me a cup of green tea before climbing up to the signal spot; where I tried in vain to get online. Tired of trying, now sitting at my mate’s penthouse-cell on top of a cell. What can a man do? Better get a book and read!

 

The two Jamaicans who should be leaving today, are fully ready; shower!

 

Seeing some lads running outside got me down to my cell, put on my training shoes to hit outside, but the cop on duty won’t let me out. So decided to hit the gym which was too early for me. But did a good all-rounder to end my workout for the week. Did a very good and rewarding workout. Finally talked to the cop who let me out, did some lapse on the field and stretches. Knackered and worn-out, finally called it quit and back in for a quick shower. And a had oatmeal + Banana.

 

Our princesa called by, the lads in the cell were praising her for yesterday’s fight. Such an irony, normal people tends to loathes fight or anything that’s negative, but not prisoners, since we are left with nothing to do, any brawl is a bit of entertainment for us; be it a bloody confrontation that might lead to one’s demise or verbal confrontation and name-calling. All these are what keeps the lads entertained and all adds up to doing time!

 

The two Jamaicans finally left today, there were catcalls from all corners of the pavilion as they walked out of the pavilion for the last time; their backs against us as they walked the long walk of freedom. One of them was the well known rasta who doesn’t ask or beg more than a dollar. He welcomes every new inmate by begging for a dollar. Prison can reduce a man to nothing, which remind me of Doc. a man of his height who found himself amongst the so-called scumbags of society, is reduced to sleeping like a pauper.

 

While the lads walked out, there were many catcalls that they should not return to the slammer again. Hope they won’t come back! Well, that’s if there’s something out there for them to do???

 

21:15:27

I heard from another Jamaican that the lads called from immigration that they arrived and they are with another Jamaican who was released about two months ago, but still waiting for Panama to buy him his ticket back home.

 

The evening has been a dull one, no music like always, earlier today, the lads who partied with our princess were called up and appeared before the police chief who gave them a stern warning on noise pollution; guess someone must have snitched or rat them out, by reporting them to the cops. They were told, if they do it again, they will be transferred to live with the locals. The same is applicable to every one of us.

 

Finally saw the pictures of the Canadian inmate with #187 tattooed on his back; the lads who did him, were out to scarred him for life, or probably kill him. He had many stab wounds on different parts of his body, and a large scar on his face that was stitched up. And all happened because of debts incurred from his die-hard habit.

 

Meanwhile, in our pavilion, I also had a brief chat with his compatriot the Canadian-Polish sikh, whose face look like someone hit by a runaway train. Left me to wonder what the lad had in mind when he punched the old quiet man and hit his head against our concrete wall. From what I heard, the lad befriended Santa, sold his bed space to him and both became good pals. He also told old Santa about his life; his woman whom he had a daughter is now seeing another man, and his little girl died.

Apparently, the lad was deported from America to Panama after doing 10years in the slammer for drug-smuggling (from Mexico into The US), though the American embassy had told him his deportation is illegal as his father his an American and mother panamanian and he was born in the American zone when the Americans were in Panama. I did asked him if all his tattoos were prison tattoos; he has tattoos all over his body, belly and back, even his neck! He denied it, but hearing from his close pals that he did 10yrs in the slammer now answer my question about his tattoos! 

 

From sources close to them, they said, both parties were having heated argument, when Santa brought the lad’s dead child issue up, telling him that his wife’s new man killed his daughter. That got the young boiled up! But despite his being younger than Santa, I heard he attacked Santa from behind when Santa was having conversation with someone. What a fucking coward he is! Well, that’s the way and life of the latinos, they can’t fight like real men; mano-a-mano! Always with weapons! Thus, one is always on guard and armed!

 

The fatal cowardly act left Santa with a not-so-good-looking face. The lad has been very naughty with our peace-loving Santa, thus, no Christmas gift from Santa for him. And Santa has made lots of enemies as many didn’t expect those words from him; if it’s true, that he made the said statement. Which, brings me to everything about prison; lies lives within and amongst us. Where else will one find lies and liars outside of courthouses………of course Prisons!

 

Though Santa also had fought with Gringo loco, and gringo loco is not his fan, he wished the lad had finished Santa! This has got me thinking, if Gringo loco was not behind all that happened; since Santa called him a paedophile, which made Gringo flipped his chair and threw old-man’s punches at Santa, Gringo could as well as pushed the lad to attack Santa. Gringo and the lad became very close recently, smokes together and always sat to chattering. This is prison, anything can happen, one’s enemy can be an invisible one, hiding behind the scene, while pulling strings like what happened to our ex-president; some one from amongst us had pulled some strings and punched some buttons and had a local hired-hand battered his face; that he is now wired up, and left him drinking with straw, friggin living on liquid food!

 

Santa, after showing me his battered face, told me he was sent back from hospital as they couldn’t operate on his face as it was swollen. He was told to be brought back on Monday, I hope they do come for him. He was not given nothing, not even painkillers to help with the pains. Did took some pictures of his battered face which I will upload to my twitter and Facebook! #PrisonViolence

 

Relatively quiet, should be having an early night as it’s my general cleaning day tomorrow. Signal is a bit hard tonight.

 

Sat 14 Dec 2013

Look like nobody wants to get up,  probably we are all waiting for the gushes of water from the pump before anyone moves. Finally around 8am, the water came rushing, then everyone made their way out of their beds. Being my day for the general cleaning! I got up and about taking things outside.

 

Nobody cared to help, which I prefer as it would have been noisy, took my time, with my music and a cup of hot chocolate, did my cleaning; washing the cell, toilet and shower-room. Finished and had everything inside, before taking a power nap.

 

Woke up to music blasting from the gifted boom-box to one of my cellmates. My cellmate who can’t handle himself of drinking is at it again, drinking with music (#Vallenato), he will such drink himself to stupor like mayor #RobFord of #Toronto 😉

 

The cop on duty is bit ok, allows inmates in batches outside for couple of minutes exercises.

 

16:53:22

It #December, though the summer months are supposed to be the most festive months, but for latinos, December is the month it all comes down; from day 1 to the last day of the month, it’s all fiesta, fiestas and more of las fiestas!

Despite the strict warning, the pavilion is alive with what keeps it alive and functioning; the burger stand is up with hot grill as the two lads are doling out batch after batch of hot burgers for the burger faithfuls. Around the passages and in cells are pocket of parties going on with music and drinks and whatever they can smoke or snort to keep the high going.

 

Others are busy in the gym hall which is turned into a proper casino in the evening; dices and cards are moving from hands to tables. At the back of the cells, no matter place to light up one’s joint, groups of inmates are busy burning away their time passing from hand to hand flaming hand-rolled joints. What more can one expect in a place where all goes.

 

Haven’t seen much of our queer queen since the night of her debut fight with our princesa! She is probably cooling off her ass and getting ready for her nightly night nurse services to her faithful clients. From intel, many are throwing lines to our princesa, but she is taking her time to study and understand how things goes in and around here. She broke the first rule; sleeping out on the night of her debut battle with our queen. Soon she will find warmth in some cells where the lads will be willing to pay for what she will offer.

 

My cell ain’t left out in the fun, my mate has his mates around to drink with him as they listen to vallenatoes and music from different parts of Latin America. He did played a number of #JulioIglesias #Hey and that moved me…. Beautiful song! Cooking pasta (nicked by the lads from kitchen and sold at a dollar a pack) with tilapia fillet. At least something better, healthier and different tonight.

 

Despite the festive mood, the pavilion is a bit quiet tonight, the lads are busy but keeping it on the low side due to strict warning from above.

 

Left my signal spot earlier for an earlier night, but steaming hot down in my cell as the lads are working round the clock to stock up for Christmas demands, which is always high.

 

Two of my cellmates ended the night in drunken stupor as they drank away their sorrows which they will definitely relived the next day.

 

Sun 15 Dec 2013 

 

My proper rest day, so long it’s not my day to clean. Up early to use the loo, but couldn’t get back to sleep. A cup of tea, would’ve love coffee, but none in the cell and ain’t ready to buy the watery black hot liquid they call coffee in the pavilion. Rather brew mine…….;-)

 

Few contributed for me to make a proper oatmeal; peanuts, oats, milk, while I added cerevita and cinnamon, wasn’t bad as we all had a proper hot breakfast.

 

Shaved my hair for a new look, my hair which is the last thing on my mind has always been a thing of concern for the lads. Thing about prisoners and priorities, some are more concern with how they look physically than how they should look on the inside.

 

Las fiestas from last night seemed to have continued into today. And the toll of last night drinking is not far from me as one of my cellmate who drank like #RobFord of Toronto is still battling his hangover; vomiting anything he tries to take in, his mates has gotten him all cures for hangover, but none seem to be working as he’s sitting close to the toilet waiting to puke! #Good4Him

 

Took a much-needed power nap, as I spent most part of the day reading on my bed; deep into #AGameOfThrone

 

Part of what came on the lunch cart was lentil soup, had that with some boiled eggs from breakfast, wasn’t bad! Filling and healthier than the half-cooked white rice!

 

Whatever came in as dinner didn’t interest me as I had more of leftover oatmeal from breakfast.

 

Atop our cells, where fiestas are in full swing, groups of inmates on top of their cells and those living down below in the cells aren’t left out in the Sunday’s fiesta.

 

21:43:49

One of my cellmate’s cousin who’s new here, is probably running on Duracell battery, they have been drinking all evening and he’s been entertaining them with talks from the streets, since he’s still fresh. Others are silent but listening to his never-ending stories; lad will make a good storyteller. That’s gives me an idea, we should be having evenings with story-telling, with malefactors like him thrilling us with tales of their escapades with the law and conquests of women; would be wicked!  We won’t be short of stories! #JustSaying. 😉

 

 

Despite the burst of rainfall earlier this evening, the pavilion remains hot, definitely need another shower before sleeping tonight.

 

Upstairs all evening, but signal is friggin hard to get, might as well go down to my cell. Our revellers are still busy burning the night away; music, drinks, joints and white lines for those willing to clean those lines with their nostrils.

 

 

Mon 16 Dec 2013

Up to use the loo, and back to sleep, which I couldn’t as my mind kept wandering afar to things I dearly want to forget; the beginning of all things! Struggled to focus and get some sleep as I definitely need it, but it wouldn’t just come easy. Finally got to close my eyes, but someone got up and switch on the light, which robbed me of that much-needed sleep. Switched on #Coldplay, listened while I lay still checking all my joints for aches; and it’s still my lower back, despite the improvisation I made by putting a pillow under my lower back, still feel the aches.

 

Finally up around 8ish, made me a cuppa of tea and warm up the minced meat from last night’s dinner and had it with crackers that came on the breakfast cart this morning. Better than eating the crackers alone with the coloured water they called chocolisto 😉

 

Hit the gym which was packed with inmates despite the cop on duty being nice enough to allow us out. Did squats and hit shoulders, taking it easy with squats as my back is not prime for heavy workouts.

 

Halfway into my workout, the door was officially thrown open for patio, which got the lads scrambling to pick a spot outside. The footballers were first to hit the field, others took to jogging and the lazy ones kept up with their never-ending chattering. Outside, behind our locked gate, the locals came with wheelbarrows filled with whole defrosted chicken, were selling to the lads. The cops wouldn’t allowed them in, as we all knew the chicken were all nicked from the kitchen. Apparently, that’s supposed to be our meal for today. But some, bad eggs amongst us are collaborating with the locals to steal and resell them among the population. Finally rounded up and hit outside, did some brisk-walking and jogged for a while until the whistle went off, which ended our patio.

 

In the cell, friggin starving, rushed some rice and added peanut butter as there was nothing to go with it. Helped the worms, and also filled me and replenished my needed energy. Bit of rainfall and water from pipes linked to pavilion 8 came rushing at same time. Proper shower and washed my gym wears.

 

Crashed in my bed as I was friggin knackered! The quick nap was all I needed to get rejuvenated. The lads were busy cooking as what came on the lunch wasn’t one of their likes; Lentils. Sometimes one gets tired of the food here, as it’s the same thing every day on the food cart. When dinner came in, I went for the salad, little did I know that what creepy lurks in those juicy vegetables. Without my good eyesight, I would eaten maggots that were crawling in between the sliced vegetables; left me to wonder, how many had eaten without checking or knowing what’s inside. Had to chuck all into the bin. A friend finally gave me soup made with ox feet, wasn’t bad, had that with white rice. Which is enough for me today. All I need now is chilled water as the cell and pavilion is blazing hot. Sweating and my T shirt is soaked, used to wear a Tee for two days before washing, but with the weather this way, I barely wear them for a full day before throwing them into my dirty laundry bag. If it’s black, I wear it into the gym, and do the washing after. But with light and brighter colours, just have to discard them until my next washing.

 

22:49:41

Several of the lads are still on their benders, someone did tell me today; “it’s December, stop training” lol ;-), if there was no gym, I’ll definitely improvise with tanks of water and push-ups! Glad we have our crude equipment which serves the purposes they are needed for.  My workout routines really help with time in here and with depression, many of my training partners attest to the latter fact; of how our regular workout regimens is helping them hold themselves together and it also help them control their rages as we tend to put all the rages and angers on the irons 😉

 

Well, maybe not all, some inmates who can’t grow naturally or too weak to train heavy are jumping on the roid-wagons; injecting to grow, and the effects can be seen through their #RoidRage #RR 😉

 

Left to sit with others waiting on signal and behold a lad who got slammed day with me. It’s been a journey of hope and fate; many had gone by way of freedom, others, nature has taken them. #CircleOfLife. We sat reminiscing on how we met on that death-hold called transitional jail. He’s waiting to be extradited, but might waive it and finished his time, as conditions in Mexican prisons are far worse than what we see here; stabbing, rapes and all sorts of atrocities are part of doing time! For both of us, the horizon is still far from here and now; more years left to be done if we don’t get repatriated.

 

From our conversation, we came into the now and on one of their major player, who was more or less the breadwinner for all the Mexicans here. The old man was extradited to the #US after years fighting his extradition and also fattening the bank accounts of Panamanian lawyers who promised to get him out and did nothing. After hearing the lad’s version of story about the old man, damn! He must have been a whale, he’s what the yanks calls #Kingpin! A quick search on google on his name, brought thousands of search results. Little did most of us know about the man, but the yanks sure did have an encyclopedia about him.

 

The old man was nicknamed #ElAbuelo #TheGrandfather, and from the lad who was at the old man’s service during his stay here; the man spent closed to US$2M to buy his way out. But the money went into these scamming lawyers and at the end; the Feds came for him and others! Behind and within the walls of prisons, anything and everything uttered by an inmate should be taken with a pinch of salt! But there’s always an element of truth when one reads between the lines!

 

After reading all about the old man, one can easily believe he’s worth more than that amount; he owns #GolfResort and #Hotels on one of Mexico’s vacation coast! Thus, he was definitely a big player, and from all his indictments and his age; the yanks will bury him! Doubt if he will see daylight in Mexico again! #ElAbuelo is gone and taken out, to the Feds, that’s one hell-of-a-fish taken from the ocean!

 

Had enough of late night storytelling, finally had the lad transferred some workout videos to me via #Bluetooth; lad friggin love downloading stuffs. Made to believe, he spends his data downloading anything video ;-)….. And it all helps with doing time!

 

Down to my cell and rush a cold shower around 1am…. Before retiring to me bunk and my book for the night. After some pages, found that I couldn’t keep my eyes open enough. And my reading lamp is very bad, need a new one soon.

 

Succumbed to nature……zzzzzzzzzzzZzZZzzz!

 

Tue 17 Dec 2013

On the 17 day of Christmas, Santa sent in our little bitch that was kicked out of his cell after he splattered and couldn’t hold his shit together. The lad came visiting with his new-found love from pavilion 8; and he sure look robust, guess there aren’t much patrons and also no fiver there, the latter being our $5 polvo Blanca! Which was killing the lad, as he rarely eats or sleeps, but snorts like a donkey to keep him going. Nice he was kicked out as that saved him. And it seems many broken and wayward inmates sent to pavilion 8 do get to find their redemption there, as one old snort and heavy debtor has turned pastor after been sent to Pav8! #Good4Them!

 

My day started after taking an early leak around 6am… And the always-forgetting lad got up to use the loo and had to do the cleaning! Switched on the light and left it on after his cleaning; which kept me up, had to switch it off by 6:25am, but then, others were beginning to rise for the day and with noise and my singing inmate started his rounds of singing and name-calling! Friggin annoying! Some has set a pot of water + ginger on the stove, the flavour finally got me up after some stretches to know where hurts on my body! One has to do that every morning to make such you wake up in one piece!

 

Made me a cup of ginger/green tea and also cooked oatmeal which was my breakfast before hitting gym. Got out right on time to pick up equipment from my mate who was rounding up. But always stay back to socialise, wondering where he planned going after workout, when we’ve all the time in the world within our small world to socialise and resocialise with others. I believe the gym is meant for workout and not discussing sissy stuffs 😉

 

It was during my workout that our little bitch came visiting, guess she must have gone to our Queen; he old night-nurse buddy! When he walked in, his name was on all lips and whistle were from every corner as the lads welcomed her in with her partner. Bet our Queen did tell him of the clash with our new princess; proper bitches talk -)

 

Back to my workout; Hit short burst of chest and arms today and loads of rope-jumping! Rounded up with Dumbbell squats and lounges, will be off from normal squats as my back is too sore for that. A friend lend me his belt which was very helpful. Do need to get a proper 6inches belt and a synthetic one will be better!

 

The cops allowed some out, but won’t allow me, kept saying it will rain, but it never rained! Was even too knackered to go out…… Called it quit and left for my cell!

 

Lucky me, water was running when I came in, enough as I filled the tanks and had a proper shower. Had my leftover oatmeal and a banana before hitting my bed for a power nap, couldn’t get any, but relaxing was more of all I needed as my body was friggin too sore from today’s workout! #FeelGood though!

 

Lunch and dinner all rubbish, and not after last night maggot on the salad that I really wanted to eat. Now I’m more scare of eating from the cart! But, like they say, a beggar has no choice!

 

Took the lentils that came on the dinner cart, had that for my dinner, might drink milk with oats later tonight before sleeping! Bought some herbs; cilantron, spring-onions and parsley….. Will use them for omelette in the morning 😉

 

So much talk about our Christmas and 31St dinner; it’s been our custom to allow families to drop food at the gate and they are brought in for their respective wards. But this time around, the people in the store are changing everything, they want inmates to preorder at their fixed price which is exorbitant. Many are murmuring, but we can’t do anything about it, the people running the grocery business in the prison are out to make profit from inmates and are collaborating with inmates within the pavilions working with them. Everyone is out to hustle, and it doesn’t matter whose and how many toes they stepped on! it’s all business as usual! And it’s prison’s business #MonkeyBusiness!

 

Hustler/ n: US. informal {a person who tries to make money or gain an advantage from every situation, often by immoral or dishonest means}

 

And no where other than behind the walls of prisons will one find real hustlers, everyone is out to hustle the other for whatever there be! Dishonesty is a norm here!

 

20:57:52

Up at the signal spot while the lads are busy distilling in the cell, until Christmas it will be brewing and distilling in the pavilion. Others are trying to smuggled in the real stuffs; beer, rum, whiskey and fags! Last week, a consignment of would-be Christmas gifts for the locals were seized by cops and the smugglers arrested; whiskeys, beer, playstations, DVD-players, DVDs and CD’s, fags and one thing they don’t forget and can’t leave without; #Knives! Proper Rambo-kind-of knives were seized along with the other gifts.

 

Notwithstanding, others will be trying to smuggle those things in and they will definitely

 Succeed with corrupt cops and wardens who will help them bring those things in.

 

For us, if better things comes in, the well-to-do will opt for it, but that wouldn’t stop the lads for brewing and distilling to meet up with local demands within the pavilion and international demands from other pavilions! I have set up three tanks of wine, which sets me back about 30 bucks and when ready and I not taken during search should fetch me 30-40 bucks in profit if sold on cash and not credit! #PrisonBusiness 😉

 

Some lads are gearing up for Christmas with decorations in their cells; lights and painted papers! Yet to see a Christmas tree here 😉

 

Stumbled on my cellmate’s stash; lad had a well-sharpen knife hidden between pages of a lifestyle magazine I gave to him. It’s typical of all prisoners to have something of defence; you never know when you will need it badly. Earlier this week, a lad once threatened me that he had a knife, and I told him he should look around him; everything around us becomes a weapon when the time arises; scraps of metals, containers of bin, cooking oil, boiling coffee and tea which has become a vibrant business here, claw hammer in my cell and the weight room which I have access to…. Sent some shivers through his cowardly spine! Such is life and our lives! Always ready and be prepared for the unknown!

 

“If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.” #AGameOfThrones #Homicide #Murder #Warfare #Assassin

 

Different roads sometimes lead to the same destination……… Had a chat with Doc the other day in the gym, since he took up resistance exercises he seems to be doing pretty well. I shared a story of an American newscaster whom I read in one of my fitness magazine, the lad recovered from cancer and takes to proper fitness routine. Well, Doc seems to be enjoying the workouts, but going light as he’s not too fit for intensive workout routines. Like others waiting to be extradited, his days are numbered, who knows what his lawyers are doing. Like others, panamanian lawyers knows the outcome from the outset, but they just want to swindle the inmate of his money and at the end won’t do nada! #La vida!

 

‘Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.’ …… Does Prison time really change a man?

 

So far, so good! Waking up to a new day is blessing for every inmate slammed up in conditions they once read of or seen on TV’s documentaries; but then, it’s the survival of the would-be fittest and luckiest!

 

#PrisonCurious: slammed in for the first time, really brings about tryst, changes and adaptations to many. Some will try and do things for the first time in their lives, things they had never thought they will do. I have seen inmates, who had never drank alcohol before downed their sorrows on cups after cups of our potent distils and moonshine. Others take to joints or snorting which are in abundance in this part of the world. Some will find solaces and love in the hands of other inmates who are willing to share body and emotions to fill the void and vacuum prison time has wrought them and many for the very first time; everything they say has its first time! Sometimes the first time can also be the last……… #LifeBehindBars #DeadInPrison

 

“Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realise how unnecessary many things are.” – Seneca

 

Faith is not without worry or care, but faith is fear that has said a prayer. ~Author Unknown

 

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. – Henry Ford

Behind Bars: A Voice From Solitary Confinement

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on December 23, 2013 by doingtimeabroad

“Each morning wakes the potential for disaster.  Each morning starts with anger before the anxiety,” – Cesar Francisco Villa

When we talk of the Security Housing Unit (SHU) and the affects the conditions have on the psyche, it’s not a simple construction one can wrap his or her mind around.  Understanding the treatment of Pelican Bay inmates takes some getting used to. Understanding this sickness that runs rampant in the minds of prison officials leaves knots in the pit of bellies.
Nothing can really prepare you for entering the SHU. It’s a world unto itself where cold, quiet and emptiness come together seeping into your bones, then eventually the mind.

The first week I told myself:  It isn’t that bad, I could do this.  The second week, I stood outside in my underwear shivering as I was pelted with hail and rain.  By the third week, I found myself squatting in a corner of the yard, filing fingernails down over coarse concrete walls.  My sense of human decency dissipating with each day.  

At the end of the first year, my feet and hands began to split open from the cold.  I bled over my clothes, my food, between my sheets.  Band-aids were not allowed, even confiscated when found.

My sense of normalcy began to wane after just 3 years of confinement.  Now I was asking myself, can I do this?  Not sure about anything anymore.

Though I didn’t realize it at the time—looking back now—the unraveling must’ve begun then.  My psyche had changed—I would never be the same.  The ability to hold a single good thought left me, as easily as if it was a simple shift of wind sifting over tired, battered bones.

There’s a definite split in personality when good turns to evil.  The darkness that looms above is thick, heavy and suffocating.  A snap so sharp, the echo is deafening.  A sound so loud you expect to find blood leaking from your ears at the bleakest moment.

The waking is the most traumatic.  From the moment your bare feet graze the rugged stone floor, your face begins to sag, knuckles tighten—flashing pale in the pitch of early morning.  The slightest slip in a quiet dawn can set a SHU personality into a tailspin:  If the sink water is not warm enough, the toilet flushes too loud, the drop of a soap dish, a cup … In an instant your bare teeth, shake with rage.  Your heart hammers against ribs, lodges in your throat.  You are capable of killing anything at this moment.  Flash attack; a beating, any violent outburst that will release rage.
This would be the time it’s best to hold rigid.  Take a deep breath.  Try to convince yourself there’s an ounce of good left in you.  This is not a portrait you wish anyone to see.  And then a gull screeches passing outside—another tailspin and you’re checking your ears for blood.
And this is a good day.

Eleven years has passed since I entered the SHU on gang validation.  This year I’ll be 52-years-old.  My cognitive skills over this past decade has taken an odd turn.  The deterioration is discernible. When I first arrived I was attentive and if you’ll excuse the expression, bright-eyed.  I thought I could beat “this thing” whatever “this thing” was.  I confess—I was ignorant.

Today, I could be found at my cell front.  My fingers stuffed through the perforated metal door—I hang limp—a mechanism forged of heavy gauge.  My head angled in a daze.  My mind lost in a dense fog of nothingness.  I’m withering away—I know it—and I no longer care.  

Hopelessness is a virus I hide under my tongue like some magic pebble, as if the shiny stone could assist in organizing thoughts; decipher warbled language from convicts without stones without tongues in a cellblock of grunts and floods of ignorance.  Concentration is an abstract invention for those with half a mind if half a mind is a terrible thing to waste.  And someone screams behind me, “waste not want not.”  But what’s to waste when all you are is a virus that no one’s allowed to touch.
Funny … when I think of validation, I remember Fridays after work—cashing my paycheck—handing over a parking ticket to the bankteller, asking to be validated and I thought, how cool is this: validation for free!

Yes, this is me—the ignorant one. Today, wasting what’s left of the other half.
If I were to imagine life outside of Pelican Bay, outside of the SHU—I’d have to imagine a hospital.  And between me and you, I don’t like hospitals.  I don’t like the stench of sanitized sheets, industrial strength ammonia.  Gowns that open from the back.  Polka dots and paper slippers.  Looney tunes in looney beds, leather straps and leather masks.  Shocks and shots and broken ribs.

The truth is we’re all broken in our own way.  We’ve been undone, unwound.  The inside of our plastic skulls—raked and routed.  A composition of cracks and fissures where nothing will ever be the same again. – Cesar Francisco Villa. 

[51 years old inmate, For eleven years, he has been held in solitary confinement in the SHU, subject to an indefinite term in solitary because, he says, he isn’t a gang member. “To be considered an inactive gang member (eligible for release), you must turn over gang information.  But if you are not a member, what do you have to turn in? Nothing,”]
“It seems that the necessary thing to do is not to fear mistakes, to plunge in, to do the best that one can, hoping to learn enough from blunders to correct them eventually.” – Abraham Maslow

Fifth Christmas In The Slammer, Africa Greatest Gone; But We Are Hopeful!

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on December 23, 2013 by doingtimeabroad

“It is ironic that the programme in prison, with its minimal diet and physical activity, promotes long life and youthfulness.” – Nelson Mandela

The prison system in a country like Panama where upon locked up and incarcerated, the government or the Prison authorities has no involvement in the lives and well-being of inmates.

It takes self-determination for an inmate to achieve youthfulness and good health after years of incarceration. Many will leave looking fitter than when they first got in, some will leave with physical and emotional scars incurred from act of violence and daily mental torments of what he sees and experienced on the inside. While few will leave in body-bags, dead cold, after taken their last breathe within the walls of the Prison; either from acts of violence or through negligence from the authorities who has refused to attend to sick inmates. Thus, leaving them to withered and die a painful death, one they struggled and fought for another chance to relived their lives once again, but knowing fully well that their time is over.

 

They say, in death a man’s life flashes before him, he sees and perceived things other wouldn’t. His seventh senses opens doorways into other realms.

 

#Wow…. Another. #Christmas approaching in the slammer and the fifth! And no sign of going home soon.

 

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” – Søren Kierkgaard

 

Tue 3 Dec 2013

Had an early night yesterday due to flu and persistent cough; took diverse medication to help with the symptoms, which did helped. Tried reading but could keep my eyes opened enough to do that. Woke up around 2am to use the loo, and couldn’t get back to sleep; best time to read and listen to music as thoughts after thoughts flips through me subconsciously. Getting back to sleep was another difficult process, stayed up till 5ish, finally got to close my eyes till around 9am when the noises became unbearable.

 

Up with my morning rituals and hot cup of green/ginger tea! Made me hot oatmeal/cornmeal, wasn’t a bad combo. Had a bit before heading out to our jammed packed gym. The cop still not letting people outside, finally allowed the boxers out today. As always gym was full and packed. But got my way to what I wanted to do; #Arms day!

 

Went heavy with #HIIT arms and #ABS! I felt much better, had thought I won’t make it out today, seems the medication did helped! Felt rejuvenated and with enough zeal to carry on with my exercises, jumped rope which was the closest to hitting patio for a quick run. Abs was basically hang leg and knee raise

 

Tensed in my cell; verbal confrontation with our Dick-sucking inmate, lad is freaking dirty, uses bowls and utensils and wouldn’t wash, wouldn’t buy washing soap either, his fellow country men are cowards as they prefer talking behind him. But had to tell him to his face to clean up the kitchen area after each use and also when he squirts in the toilet, he should clean up and also wash the toilet brush! Lad didn’t like it, but better the truth than keep it in my heart.

 

20:42:20… Electricity restored after an hour-long of blackout in the prison complex; friggin set the cops helter-skelter as they scrambled available cars to strategy points around the perimeters. They are walking around with torchlight checking all the metal bars and wire fences if there has been any escape attempt. In pavilion, that will be difficult as most of the lads are too relaxed and there’re loads of snitches or turn-coats here, who will relay any movement to cops before it happen!

 

During the blackout, the lads went about what they do best; catcalling and in the heat of the moment, some open secrets were let out. An inmate was seen leaving our ladee of the night and night nurse’s cell around 3am this morning! Since none went in with him, none knew what he did inside with our old shemale! But many knew what he must or could have done with a man with tits and in need of dough to stay on ;-)! Whatever happened between the young lad and our night nurse leaves a massive question mark on everyone’s mind!

 

That and more jibes kept the lad busy while we wait for energy to be restored. As soon as it was restored, frying, cooking and baking started with strong smells of oil, and whatever the lads are cooking filling the air. Then, comes the cops with torchlight to check all the nooks and crannies outside the pavilion. The check was for any escape attempt by inmates. Didn’t see them around the locals pavilion, just the foreigner’s.

 

20:57:08 

The cough is still persistent and more phlegm with every bout of cough, not me alone, seems to be everywhere in the pavilion. It’s becoming like an orchestra, from one corner to another. Hope it’s not something serious, let’s just hope it’s a flu thing. The two lads that had #Tuberculosis #TB started with incessant cough, then came the blood, before alarm was raised and they were wheeled out. They’re both back into the population, one is said to be #HIV positive. Guess, he is not alone, as there are many who are walking with the virus and the prison authorities ain’t doing anything about their conditions. They are left to die-out gradually; like the Colombian lad here and a Jamaican in pavilion 8; who were both denied medication and attention but left to die in the population.

 

Upstairs at the signal spot, no sign of signal, but another network seems to be getting signal, which mean I’ll be forced to change my sim card, thus a new number. Only problem now, where will I get the sim card?

 

Wed 4 Dec 2013

Up as early as 4am, just couldn’t sleep, guess wondering thoughts kept me up, decided to do some reading. Finally got some sleep around 6am.

 

Breakfast was yesterday’s beans + today’s boiled eggs. My cellmates ain’t too keen about eggs, so had some for me before hitting gyms an hour later. Like always, the gym was packed full, but didn’t stopped from having a good-ass workout. Decided to try something different #GermanVolumeTraining #GVT; bouts of 10reps of 10sets for #Chest, was freakin excruciating and exhausting, but rewarding as I left knackered but rejuvenated. Bouts of abs and rope jumps and lounges sealed my gym time by 1pm when lunch of lentils soup and half-cooked white rice came in.

 

Back in, gasping for breathe, had a chilled freshly pressed lemon drink with mucho hielos 😉 #Refreshing! Before munching on tuna and rice; tuna bought from the kitchen lads.

 

Five freshers were hauled in to the full reception of the lads and a surprise warmth embrace from la princesa; our new young shemale, freakin got the lads shivering as they didn’t know what they should be expecting, maybe a big dude will show up later and demand someone asses! Lucky lads, anything sexual are always consensual; for the benefits of both parties!

 

They were warmly received by their compatriots who quickly made places for them to feel a bit at home despite thousands of miles faraway from what home is or was! One Venezuelan was so lucky, his compatriot had a well-laid bed for him, with television and fan, I didn’t get that on my first day, the cold floor was my bed and all for about 10 months. Lucky smooth criminal!

 

Day has been very dull, which has prompted a surge and spike in the numbers of green tables set up for gambling. Two freakin addicts couldn’t wait for the gym space, lads were busy gambling away their time in the gym equipment’s storage room, had to screamed at them to get out, but they were damned too deep in their game to hear me. All evening at different spots on the passages, the lads are busy with diverse games; dice, poker, and whatever they can wager on. Everything adds up to what help with time as there ain’t much to do!

 

Signal is fluctuating between all the four mobile networks, one really need to have all four sim cards and data plan in them to keep up with our signal woes. I’m beginning to lose interest, I rather stick to reading and writing! And some afternoon nap to make up for my nightly vigils.

 

It’s 00:11:31 on Thu 5 Dec 2013!

Earlier on Wednesday’s evening, it was announced that our Thursday’s headcount will be an early one, around 6.30am, which got eyes rolling and mouths talking, maybe another round of surprise/impromptu search or are the cops embarking on an early headcount now!

 

Whichever way, we are always ready and prepared for their next move. Always trying to be a step ahead of them.

 

Meanwhile, earlier on Wednesday, a compatriot told me, our last compatriot who was repatriated to one of the island is in again and apparently, his story was on the island’s papers. Damned, seems the lad just love been on the inside, did quite a handful of time back in NL and here with us, and now back home. He didn’t even spend time with family, pathetic! Well, such is life and the path he has chosen!

 

Just had another shower as the cell is freakin boiling with heat, the lads just finished with distilling, which sent out vapours and heat into our enclosure-of-a-cell.

 

The little lad is still hovering around the pavilion, I think he’s into something shady, probably someone owes him as he came in with a bag filled with electronic gadgets and also a new knife he has made from scrap metal! He wouldn’t tell anyone, as he thinks, it’s his war to fight. Some days ago, I did eavesdrop on the old man telling him, if anyone should kill another inmate, he should be expecting 10yrs added to his sentence! Guess, he was warning him, as the lad has been making threats on what he will do with his debtor! His life, his battle!

 

Talking of debts, I’m owing the milkman $6; milk nicked from the kitchen and sold in the pavilion and my vegetable-grocer-cellmate $30! Will definitely pay them off, bit by bits and someone is owing me $15 from my wine sales, also got 3 would-be buyers, but they want to pay cash, thus, waiting for western union numbers before coming to me. Business in prison like business on the outside world, is done in trust and good faith! One must be credit-worthy to purchase on credit! If not, it all ends up in brawls and fatal confrontation. Which happened some nights ago, a debtor whose creditor went as far as giving him a sleep space above his cell revolted against his master; it was a freakin funny scene, the lad has always endured his punches and disgrace, but just couldn’t take it any longer, as he yelled at his creditor that he shouldn’t hit him again. His creditor was surprised, being the first time, he sensed something new and wild is coming; lad cowardly left and went down, with that, he definitely knows his money is on a runaway train! Adios! #PrisonBusiness

 

00:29:43

Gotta try and get some sleep….. Gonna be an early day!

 

Couldn’t get any friggin sleep till around 3am….. What a fucking #PrisonWorld.

 

Thursday 28 Nov 2013

The whistle and blast of our PA system as the cops made an early roll-call for our weekly headcount. Freakin too early for most of us, but then, this is prison.

 

Phones and what need to be hidden was stashed as we don’t trust cops and they don’t trust us. Out for the count, which went well, and all in, but another call as someone was left sleeping inside during the first round of count. This second round had me dressed up for a quick burst of jogging outside and savoured the early morning sun.

 

Back in, made me a quick breakfast of custard before hitting the gym for what’s supposed to be my shoulder day. But got called up for consular visit, wasn’t the consul but a pastor from #Epafras, the Christian organisation from Holland that sends ministers to Dutch detainees outside Holland. Had to stopped my training for the brief visit. Went fine, as we talked of and about everything. We had what little gift he brought for us; #Newspapers, #KleneDrop and heartfelt personal conversation!

 

Rushed in to catch up with my workout, but too starving; had a cup of cold chocolate-milk drink with cornflakes and left for a quick bout of exercises outside. The cop that took over seems to be a nice fella, did some lapse outside and good stretches before the sun drove me in.

 

Came in at the right time, water was running, the lads wouldn’t move an inch, took up the job of filling up the tanks and had a proper shower. Tried taking a quick nap which many did and didn’t turn up for training today. But disturbed by a crazy inmate; though a man with a large heart. 

 

Got an email from a Canadian mate who was repatriated after years; lad is finally free, after four and half years; time done there and time done in Panama. Lucky chap!

 

Scanning through the #Christmas edition of  #GezantUitNederland, the magazine from #Epafras sent to #Dutch detainees overseas;

It’s depressing what most prisoners go through in the name of criminal justice. After reading of other Dutch detainees elsewhere, our condition is bit better than most. But at the end we have one fear in common; Prisoners #Healthcare!

 

An excerpt from the magazine……..

 

Overleden Gevangenen. (p15)

…… In landen als Azie, Afrika en Zuid en Midden-Amerika is de situatie vaak zorgelijk. De hygiëne en toegang tot medische voorzieningen is problematisch en levert gavaar op voor de gezondheid……….’Alleen in Lima (Peru) [sic] zijn tussen 2004 en eind 2012, elf Nederlanders in detentie overleden.

 

The above didn’t state the mortality of other nationalities, just those of the Dutch detainees in Peru. Eleven deaths between 2004 and end of 2012! All added up with those of other nationalities and local inmates, who knows what the picture will look like. We all face the same dilemma of getting access to medicare when the needs arises. In my pavilion alone, and in the past 4yrs, we have had 9 inmates taken out in bodybags and all died from sicknesses that could have been treated or prevented but out of sheer negligence, they are left to die. Well, that is just the number from one pavilion, there are more from the other two pavilions housing foreign inmates in the centre and much more within the local inmates which make up the majority of prisoners in the centre. Deaths in the centre is probably seen as one-mouth or one-man less, thus, one less problem for the system. 

 

That apart, on the bright side of life and what lightens our moods at a time like this and knowing how tough it is on the inside, but one survived the ordeals of life on the inside throughout the year; Two young Jamaicans who both did 5yrs+ each are having their farewell party today (20:19:03 on Thu 5 Dec 2013)…. Others are just drinking and listening to music as it’s the end of the year. Even then, at the back of our minds, we all know, something, anything could happen at any moment. But from now till 1st of January, it’ll be festive in the pavilion and in the centre as inmates goes on the benders to celebrate the end of the year.

 

Both lads should be leaving for immigration tomorrow or on Monday, or whenever there’s transportation to take them their, where they might spend weeks waiting for their papers to be processed before being deported to their homeland. Not many survive the jungle, most who did, left broken and hard to fixed! Some will live with the mental scar of time done here, others might seek help, but at large, the scar will still be there.

 

Friggin hot in the cell, the lads ain’t distilling today, but loads of cooking and many people watching some friggin soaps has turned the cell to a sauna. Should get another shower and will definitely hit my slab of concrete early tonight.

 

#BreakingNews! #RIPPNelsonMandela! A prisoner, protester, pioneer, peacemaker, president, and an embodiment of humanity. A great son of Africa and a true man of peace!

 

Fri 6 Dec 2013

Another weekend before our fortnightly visit. December, the last month of the year is always tensed on the inside, so many things that has been put forward for reasons best known to who wants to get it done are all completed this month. Those procrastination could be businesses, liquidation or payback, escape plans, or getting one’s life straightened out. Thus, December comes with loads of hidden things. It’s the month most inmates become more alert and basic instinct of survival is most active at this period.

 

My day started as always, up with aching back, but resolved to hit the gym as always. I’m dry on my stock, no milk and neither dinero to purchase any now, won’t want to go credit, though got a debtor who’s yet to pay, can’t fucking kill him if he doesn’t have. But that’s not the case with most inmates; most will kill for a dollar! #PrisonViolence

 

A Canadian inmate, who boldly tattooed #187  (American police code for murder/homicide) on his back on canvas of skulls and flames. An old-school gangster who doesn’t know age and time has taken toll on him, and doesn’t seem to see or believe that either. This bloke had build up huge amount of debts from purchase of marijuana from the lads here, that at one point he fought with his main dealer and supplier. He finally sneaked out and with help of his embassy, got transferred to pavilion 16 (one of the three pavilions for foreigners in the two prisons), but pavilion 16 is specifically reserved for the elderly and terminally ill inmates; and he’s none 😉

 

When he left, all his creditors including my grocer-cellmate were always on the phone trying to reach him for their debts, but as we all know, their money is gone with the wind! #BadDebts

 

The bloke continued with his habit, but this time around with the locals who are housed in a pavilion close to theirs. From intel coming from there, he had accumulated so much debts that he couldn’t pay. The local dealers stormed the pavilion and fatally plunged him several times with their battle-ready knives, the bloke was rushed to the clinic in the centre, but was later transferred to the hospital in the city for some quickie stitches. Like others before him, this is just the beginning of his battles and war with the locals, they won’t stop until they have drawn the last of his blood and breathe! He will definitely pay his debts with his life! Well, that’s his lot, behind bars, Everyman has his cross to bear.

 

Gym was scanty, had expected a packed full gym like always, but it seems the lads are yet to recover from the early wake-up call of Thursday’s headcount. My legs and butt were aching from the lounges I did on Thursday. But didn’t stopped me from having an all-rounder body workouts and 30 minutes of running and stretches outside under the afternoon blazing sun. Done with my weekly workout, taking Saturday and Sunday off to recuperate and be ready for Monday, which I may begin with chest or squat; the latter which I haven’t been doing due to my lower back pain #Sciatica, but I did some sets today, but with a highly secure belt. Felt I can go back to squat but very light, no challenges as most always do here. We can keep the challenge for benchpress where I’m much better and prepared for. Guess challenges brings out the best in a man. 

 

Had a short power nap after my shower and lunch of oatmeal + chocolate milk drink! When I woke up, had my already-cooked black beans with chicken that came on the lunch cart. For dinner, the milk will serve with cornflakes and oats! Too stint to feast on meat now! Maybe I should go vegan like Jay Z just did on his 44th birthday 😉

 

21:27:59 …. Right in front of my cell, another bout of hot physical brawl between two inmates and guess what is the bone of contention? The friggin root of all evil or better said, the reason most of us are here; #Money!

 

Money transfer went #AWOL or gambling debt won’t be paid. One of the lads gambled his way into debts, and promised the other, he’ll have his family send money via money transfer, till the moment of physical confrontation, money hasn’t been confirmed; thus, the creditor who wouldn’t stand a chance with his debtor, had his stronger cellmate confronts his debtor. That’s prison justice, you have an issue with someone stronger, get someone of his calibre to match him!

 

Most prison fight barely last more than 1 minute, but within that time frame, something fatal could happen to either of the warring parties or bystanders, the latter who aren’t there to stop the fight but as spectators watching gladiators battle their ways to freedom or death. And that was the case during tonight’s fight. The cause of this fight and what will draw a line between the lads; gambling!

 

When money is involved, there’s always an invisible line drawn between the warring factions; lines that wouldn’t be crossed!

 

Meanwhile, earlier on Friday morning/noon, a cop and two wardens walked in with the pavilion’s vice president. As soon as they came, whistles went off to sound alarm of foreign and enemy’s presence in our midst. They didn’t come for another round of search but to pick an inmate out of the population. When the inmates was hauled out, many were surprised as he is the last person that will be having problems with anyone. The lad help us with getting money from our loved ones, he used to live in the city with his spouse, and many inmates here will want their families to remit money to them to meet their daily needs or feed their insatiable habits. Thus, the lad saw the opportunity and was making 10% for every transaction, and always make sure everyone get their money, unlike some who will wait for punches before payment is made.

 

Cops coming for him is a bit out of the picture as he doesn’t look like someone doing any other illegal transaction here, well, he does bring in anything you have on the street and wants to bring in; electronics, telephones and sport supplements.

 

From intel coming in, he’s locked up with the locals in pavilion 7, which has become maximum security; the old Mexican who was extradited to The US was kept there until he was taken out. With this young lad, nobody knows what he has done and why they came for him. But whoever snitched on him, doesn’t know what collateral damages is all about; his removal from the pavilion will cripple many things, inmates won’t be getting money and bringing things in will become a highly risk business, as dealing with wardens and cops is to dicy!

 

Sat 7 Dec 2013

General cleaning in the cell, had to wake up early and removed my stuffs, having strong migraines as I didn’t catch enough sleep. Back to sleep to get enough sleep, but just couldn’t as I needed to do some cleaning of mine. Up and done!

 

Spent most of the day in the cell; reading and listening to music from a borrowed radio, which helps with the stress of life on the inside. The door was thrown open for an hour patio; many went out to savoured the freshness of the sun and quality air. I did went out briefly but was just too weak to hang outside, needed some sleep to get myself together. And that’s what I did, despite the noise from the lads, I did sleep, guess I’m now used to it.

 

Another physical brawl on Saturday, but this time from two ailing old inmates who can’t just stand each other and happen to live in the same cell. One is our gringo loco, a Vietnam veteran, old-school prisoner, probably a die-hard prisoner who has been to the verge of hell and back, and still kicking. His opponent is our new Polish-Canadian sikh, who apparently still cling to his rosary; can’t let go of his polish catholic for his new-found religion. Old gringo didn’t take the brawl lightly, took it to a different level, heard the polish-Canadian sihk called gringo an old man, forgetting that his hair and beard are all white as snow; which hhhas earned him the nickname #PapaNoel and #Santa ;-). After verbally bashing gringo, calling him a paedophile (??), gringo flipped him over from his chair and battered him with rounds of hot old-man’s punches. None of them will be thrown out, the cops are all tired of #ElGringo, old man got nothing to lose. But did say after the fight, motherfucker wanted to see whose God is stronger….. Showed him, mine is stronger! Typical conservative American spirit! At the end, they are both two old lads who have crossed paths like the rest of us. Thus, they must learn to live, agree and disagree like we all do. But watching them fight was the funniest thing ever, which sent many laughing till their belly aches. Apparently, the Canadian-Polish old lad has started distilling, he believes he will invent #Vodka, we told him the lads will stick to what they know and what will make them drunk! Period! 

 

Different parts and corners of the pavilion are flickering with flames of candles which the lads had set up for whatever celebration they were doing. And it goes with certain music and downing litres of liquor. Got a Jamaican inmate wondering what it was all about, told him, prison is full of surprises and that’s just one of those surprises. Lad is new, told him he should expect more of these ssurprises; like the shemale which he has never seen before. #BienvenidoElIntraMundo

 

The pavilion is so hot, probably from heat emitting from our bodies and the blazing sun. We are waiting for rain to bring some freshness and cool air in. Doubt if that will happen soon.

 

Stayed up in search of signal, but nothing tonight, called it quit as I headed down, after my mates were done with distilling and baking the cell. The lads are set and ready for Christmas with about 50lbs of sugar to set 5 tanks of mash for distillation as demand is growing even as Christmas draws near.

 

Sun 8 Dec 2013.

Woke up early to use the loo, but couldn’t get back to sleep as I watched others get up and about their morning rituals. Finally got to closed my eyes around 8am for another hour. Tea with bread and peanut butter was my breakfast as I was friggin starving, made oatmeal which I’m having for lunch.

 

It’s #Mothersday in Panama, everything on television is all about mother’s day. Tomorrow is another visit day, but not a family visit. Family visit will be on the 23rd of December; when kids and other members of the family are allowed to come in.

 

More intel coming from our intel-source; there’s lots of tales going around that the director has been frolicking with the wife of the lad who was abruptly taken out to maximum security without any fore-knowledge. The lad was dealing directly with the boss-man, want anything in? He’s the man to handle the job. The lad on the inside, his wife on the outside and the boss-man; the only one who can be on the inside and outside whenever he wants. A business bond was forged between the lad, his wife and the boss-man. Money comes from different parts of the world to the lad’s wife who handover it to the boss-man who later brings it in to the lad and the lad pays out to the appropiate inmate. Same goes with  phones, sport supplements, sport shoes and anything legal that won’t be allowed in.

 

Being picked up and locked up in maximum security beggars belief, after such a bond and friendship with the boss-man. Some say, the directive came from someone higher than the boss-man, others thought something fishy is going on; either the lad who was waiting for his release date had finally find out about the Boss-man flings with his wife. Whatever is going on, he should know by now. Or the other side of his stories, that he’s free, he arranged for the cops to come and get him out in a big way as there are many who will want him down. Well, whichever version is true, wish him well, he was a nice guy as he helped us got almost all we have in! Wondering who will take over his line of business as he’s gone! 

 

16:00:33

What a long day! My daily workouts does help with time, can’t wait to get back to training. It’s fiesta in most of the cells as the lads are revelling and celebrating mother’s day. Some had the guitarist played some tunes as they record to send to their loved ones.

 

Took another shower as I have been sweating all day, and there’s no water in the cell, not even for toilet usage! Had to use some of my reserve gallons. Hope there will be some tomorrow! If not, will be forced to buy from the local, thus, breaking our new unwritten rule of “Not buying water from the locals”

 

20:29:07

Dinner tonight was pathetic, thus, many are starving. We just made spaghetti with eggs, much better than nothing. It was an impromptu meal, called for by a mate, which everyone contributed in one way or the other; eggs, spaghetti, fresh tomato, onions, pack concentrated tomato and two volunteered to cook; wasn’t bad! 😉

 

The fights earlier this evening sent the lads back to their revelling, as such as become a common sight in the pavilion; but one of the lads left vowing to draw some blood, hope he doesn’t.

 

Tomorrow, there will be better food from outside after the visit. Hope not types that will cause diarrhoea 😉

 

Tonight is still young as the lads are busy feasting with music and smokes of joints filling the air with stench of sweat and our overflowing sewage! Life goes on!

 

Came in around 1:00am; Last man standing, as others were dead-asleep when I came in, well exception of a cellmate who has fallen in love with a woman twice his age and can’t drop his phone! Spends all day talking to this mystery lady! Well, we’ve got different ways of doing time!

 

Mon 9 Dec 2013

Our visit day and public holiday in Panama as they mark mother’s day. Those with friends and families around town and willing to visit them here, will be getting ready to file out on their yellow Tees. Lately, my sleeping pattern has become erratic; barely get enough sleep, up to use the loo, can’t friggin get back to sleep as mind and soul wanders into distance places where the body can’t go. Glad I can control them and do something positive at that moment; reading! Which has really help me!

 

I hate to wake up to an early brawl with anyone, and that just what happened today, up but sat on my bed as I stretched out my crooked bones and knackered joints while the lads were filling water. Told one of the lads to fill up a gallon, but another, who when angry throws things around told the lad not to. And he also refused to fill it up, I confronted him and in anger he throw away the tanks, friggin man who acts like a child, told him he should learn how to talk and stop throwing things around when someone is talking to him; apparently, he’s the boxer in the cell and the others are scare of him. Well, told him my mind, he shouldn’t be scare of me, but a bit of respect will do and same from me. “He should friggin learn to open his mouth and talk” and stop throwing tantrums like a kid whose mum won’t buy him toys. Others laughed it off, but deep within me, I know the lad needs help, he does this throwing of things around whenever he gets into argument with anyone, which we all think is very childish!

 

Glad he left the cell as it was becoming hot! It ended well though!

 

The gym was scanty as many were out for visit, but many stacked up weights for themselves, thus leaving me with nothing. But made my way to a light squats sessions and abs, couldn’t go out as it drizzled. But the workout was worth the time spent in the gym.

 

Back in from workout, to food brought in by my mates who went on visit; they sure love their carbs; white rice, cassava and chickens! Had my chicken with the leftover pasta from yesterday’s night, needed my carbs after such an intensive workout today.

 

My mates’s new cousin has been on the benders since last night and he ain’t ready to drop his cup, the lad is barely two weeks here and is already flying to the 9th heavens, found a good drinking partner. Good for them!

 

Took a power nap and woke up to the lad distilling, finally get to talk to the my cellmate who loves throwing things around when angry. Being the oldest amongst the younger inmates, told him he should learn to control his tantrums, learn to talk and express himself as it’s much understandable than throwing things everywhere. The old man chipped in, that when he throws things around and destroys them, he will always replace them, thus, costing him unplanned expenses! Hope he changes his ways. Nice fella though! Happy that we made up, even the crazy one that fought with me, they tend to see me as one who will stand up for them if anyone take on them and that I will do! Prison has turned us to #BandOfBrothers! #BrotherhoodOfCrooks

 

Have gotten a new chip from another network, everyone is jumping into that bandwagon, hope it goes fine, as being offline is definitely being cut off from the world. Can’t communicate with my loved ones, no news update…..dammed!

 

It’s 01:48:34 on Tue 10 Dec 2013! Sitting on the edge of my concrete bed, guesss the nap I had earlier yesterday will keep me up a bit longer. Should do some reading before I snooze off! There’s a friggin cricket in the cell, lucky chap, should’ve fry it up and make me a burger like the #NYC restaurant selling #CricketBurger 😉

 

Life Behind Bars;

As we live, we live with our lives hidden behind shades of hues of emotions, one can never be completely open about one’s emotions in prison; some sees a depressed and oppressed inmate as weak. But deep down inside, he only knows his burdens! But one thing that abounds here is #HOPE! That only is what keeps us going despite all the turmoil and despairs on the inside! 

 

“You can’t let other people tell you who you are. You have to decide that for yourself.”

 

“For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair”~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh …. #LockUp

Life Behind Bars: Becoming El Pueblito (The Little Village)

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on December 5, 2013 by doingtimeabroad

Thu 21 Nov 2013

After spending hours searching for signal; not knowing that my data plan expired today (20th November), had bought a 15-day plan. Finally retired to my little world. On entering my cell my mate had full signal with radio playing to keep the signal; shared his wifi access with me, thus, I was able to get online. Him, being an early bird called it a night, not me, as I definitely need to make good use of this one-off opportunity and that was what I did. I stayed up till around 5am and did all I could; news updates, updated my apps, was able to download three versions of offline Bibles and rushed out all my tweets from drafts. Chat with Schat in real-time which we rarely don’t do since the signal issue started.

 

Finally slumped down as I gave in to nature; friggin can’t resist when it calls.

 

Knew my sleep will be short, tried forcing myself to get more hours but not when the lads are up. Finally up and tagged along with them. Breakfast was oatmeal +Bread and cuppa coffee before hitting gym which was packed full. Damned cop is still been difficult with us, won’t let inmates outside to train, only the boxers are allowed very early in the morning; not me, can’t make it that early, if I have to, then I must sacrifice my late-nights for an early mornings. Hummmmmmm!

 

In the gym, tried keeping myself in one piece as I drilled myself to #HIIT #Hardcore #Arms workout; was joined by a #Jamaican lad who is counting his days; lad got less that 20 days to go, but he sure will spend another month at immigration, waiting for his deportation papers to be prepared; how efficient is the system, done his time completely, but those lazy-assses civil servants are laying about sipping coffee and chattering, not working efficiently to see that inmates leaves when they’re supposed to leave.

 

Yesterday and today has seen loads of stuffs come into the pavilion; mostly meats, pizzas (love to dine on it, but way above my league now) and vegetables which are always expensive. The meats are sold twice the sticker-prices, while the vegetables are sold at the grocers discretion, but they are usually expensive.

 

Amongst what came in were #Marshmallows, a lad is selling a piece for .50ct, can’t fucking believe someone here will order such, next he should get stuffs for #Campfire; that will make our day, as we will all sit around and sing some campfire songs 😉

 

Very hot in the pavilion, had to take another shower in the evening to cool down. We now have water to take us through Saturday, seems our new President and his team has made our water problem their top priority, hope they will also put a stop on the locals coming into our pavilion for good.

 

No signal, but got enough to keep me busy; downloaded news, articles and other stuffs which I downloaded when my friend hooked me on his wifi.

 

Called it a night around 2ish, will be working out later in the morning.

 

Fri 22 Nov 2013

Woke up, but needed more sleep which I know I can’t get as the lads are up and about their daily rantings and chattering.

 

One of the older lads in the cell was out boxing with our boxer mate, old dude couldn’t take the drills, came in and slumped on the floor of the cell before rushing into the toilet to throw-up; was nauseating. He should start be walking and build up some energy before going into rigorous exercises. Friggin learned some lessons today.

 

The gym was full as always, but made out space, where I warmed up before starting with weights on the bench, good bench presses, inclined and declined. Finished with some cardio; rope-jumping, and some hanging leg raise for abs. Was worth the time and pains.

 

Another weekend before our fortnightly visit, and more stuffs were hauled in today; more meats and supermarket-packed fishes, more pizzas. The pavilion is gradually turning into #ElPueblito (#TheLittleVillage); hawkers are pushing their goods; foods of all sorts, clothes, slippers, football jerseys (mostly, #BarcelonaFC and #RealMadridFC), those two teams has the most fans here. Everyday is business as usual in the pavilion. There’s always something to sell and buy. When there’s no money, and with good credit rating you can always buy all you want. But if you don’t meet up with payment, then comes the insults and threats. Can’t afford, let it slide……my policy!

 

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, the three mates that were involved in last night scuffle were released today; whoever their lawyer was, must have pulled all the strings to get them out fast as they haven’t been here for long. I guess they’ll all be watching their backs as they made threats of killing each other when they get out; the latinos don’t joke when they make such threats against each other.

 

21:12:36

Mr. Marshmallows is hawking his sugary puffs, wondering who will buy marshmallows here, when they lads got options of buying fried foods, joints and lines of maryjane.

 

A mate told me earlier today, King Willem Alexander of #TheNetherlands is in #Colombia, yet to read that, guess he’s making a tour of South America and finally a visit to his Queen homeland #Argentina.

 

21:28:06

The food dealers are still frying and selling, our lives here is all about survival and to many; survival is eating, eating and more munching of whatever you can. Got a cellmate who friggin annoys me with his eating habit, he cooks for his friends who will buy whatever comes in, and my mate is all about cooking and eating which has ballooned him into a little fatling and lad hates exercises. Did tell him once, he should be careful, our mobility here is quite restricted and we barely move.

 

Can’t friggin find credit to buy, all they are selling are those of different network. I’m out of credit, thus no data and my mate’s data just finished. Which mean I’m having an early night or leaving the spot early;  might not sleep as the cell is blazing hot from distillation of our potent liquor by my cellmates.

 

The lads are busy distilling their mash, piling up their stock in preparation for Christmas, when the demand will be very high. Moreover, keeping one’s mash or moonshine is risky as we could have impromptu searches at any time, which could have all taken. And that will be a great loss.

 

Downstairs, my cell was very hot, but then, what can I do? Nothing as we all have same rights, but some definitely do abuse those rights. Our returned mate, who was released and re-arrested on a new offence, has built a mammoth shanty-bunk on the top of our cell and used plywood to seal all air outlet; thus, we are virtually trapped inside the cell, forced to breathe our recycled air, while he gets fresh air from the top and open.

 

Waited for the lads to round-up before taking my second shower of the day and straight to my bed. Stayed up all night reading, until one of the younger lads walked in with my mate’s phone and he had signal and wifi on; thus, I was back online, quickly run through some stuffs and downloaded news articles for offline reading. His data also finished on him as we were cut off, had to keep myself with what I have downloaded. Not the early night I had hoped for, but it’s always worth the time; busy doing something positive. Moreover, it’s Saturday, my day off from the gym. Thus, I can afford to stay up and sleep later, Which I did!

 

Sat 23 Nov 2013

Our general cleaning was finally done, after waiting for three Saturdays for water. While the lad was cleaning, decided to get more sleep time. Woke up to breakfast of hot chocolate drink, bread and a slice of cheese. Our PA system was up as patio was announced; we have not had patio in a long time, it’s either you pay the cop on duty or buy him a drink before he let’s you outside. Others are just too difficult, won’t accept anything. Couldn’t resist going out, dressed up and out I went; did some stretching and running, walk and more running. But it was a short-lived one; the patio was for an hour, which the lads didn’t like, they wanted more time, so did I. But, that was it.

 

Inside the gym hall, still drenched in my sweats, picked up a dumbbell and did some swings and goblet squats, more abdominal and cardio; finally one exercise for every body part. Felt friggin satisfied and pumped 😉 and that was to be Saturday, one of my two days off from workout; just couldn’t resist the urge to get my body moving; at least it’s becoming a positive addiction #Exercise #Fitness

 

Every day on the inside is survival, just as patio was over, our ambulance service was called up (wheelbarrows used by grocers) to picked up another fallen inmate; a Venezuelan inmate who had a serious and fatal heart attack, Doc was called up, who administered #CPR, revived the man and later had him hooked on his oxygen machine. While he was busy with the inmate, another was wheeled out; hope it’s not getting too much for Doc. The two men were laid side by side on two wheelbarrows while we wait for the cops to come over and take them out. They were taken out after waiting for hours, but were sent back to wait till Monday. Who knows what will happen to them. Hope they make it through the weekend. 

 

Finally, we are finding solution to our water problem; the new direction had pipe laid to Pav8 which do have constant water. So we do get water once a day through them, whenever their water runs! Since they are foreigners like us, hope someone will not destroy the pipelines.

Water came up today, but there won’t be any tomorrow Sunday, thus, we all queued up with tanks and fetched enough to take us through Sunday; we’re also counting and hoping it will rain anytime this weekend. The local water-dealers inmates won”t be happy with the new development; No good for business!

 

Did some mini-cleaning, washed my trainers and shaved; the beard was turning me into a bit of savage-wild man, after the shave and a proper shower, I sure look a bit normal.

 

Today is fish day, yesterday, along with beef and pork meat that came in, were some packs of frozen fishes; my friend got a pack, though at a cut-throat price, but it’s worth the price as we don’t get to treat ourselves to fish-meals. Maybe canned sardines and tuna if they are counted as fishes, tuna is okay but friggin expensive, sardine is fucking salty and not for me, I rather do eggs, much cheaper and good source of protein 😉

 

My mates who were once fishermen, decided to fish bales of coke smelled the fishes, and ok it, they love fishes like some folks love their porn videos 😉

 

I have seasoned and busy with frying them now, so many mouths are waiting for these few fishes, it will be a miracle to feed all these mouths with my three fishes and fried plantain; they call it #Patacones! It will definitely be a miracle if I can get these fishes to go around, and my mate who bought them was dreaming of eating a proper meal today; too bad for him. Gotta make sure everyone have a bite of it. Such is our life, once you live together, very hard to eat alone. Well, exceptions of my #Muesli and #Protein whenever I have them, I always sing that I can share everything, but these two… Please, they don’t come easy. At the end, they still get to it.

 

#Saturday, always 1001 reasons to revel and make noise; the lads above A6 gotten themselves a new home-theatre set, since last night, they have been busy belting out all sorts of Latino classics, and A7 won’t be beaten, the #Jamaican lad and a good mate is taking us through the #Caribbean, sampling all the flavours and colours of the islands through his drum and bass rythmns; Dancehall, Root reggae, Bashment, reggae mixtapes and hardcore raps. Other parts of the pavilion ain’t letting down their guards either, it business as usual…. Music, moonshine, liquor, joints and MaryJane are all going from hand to mouths and to noses.

 

20:58:02

Seems our signal is down today, many are gathered around the spot with phones in their outstretched hands waiting for a sign. Others aren’t bothered, they rather down their sorrows in their moonshine, liquor or whatever will help with the mood swings that comes with the pressure of live in the slammer. Did sell 2ltrs of my #RedWine today to a lad who has always wanted it for free, forced to buy it after tasting from others and he sure loved it.

 

22:06:06

A TV channel is running marathon of old #JamesBond films back to back, sort of made my evening after our fish + fried plantain dinner earlier in the evening. No signal definitely means early night to my bunk. Music and drink-fuelled catcalls from different parts of the pavilion; we’re living the best of our lives. When prison are in the hands of inmates; this is what happens, lawlessness and total chaos. Despite the booze and noises, we all try to keep our sanity. Seems a lad has beaten all his rivals and competition to hook up with our new #Shemale mate, they’re always hanging around and about at different corners chattering; tonight he took her to the top of his cell, where they are together smoking and chatting, will only wish them a lasting one, if they can..as #LoveBehindBars rarely last; the competition is friggin intense

 

22:59:01

Our time-keeper has just blew his whistle; meaning is time to round up and heads to one’s sleep-space. Guess, our shemale should be on her way, and others living in the gym-hall, old library and old church. Then, it’ll be time to walk around and talk to the ones in the main building to wind-down with music and noises.

 

Gotta catch another shower, friggin hot and sweating; wonder why our cell is so hot. Guess I know the answer, we’re friggin sealed in by our mate’s mammoth structure upstairs. 

 

The night was busy as our day, music and noises from revelling inmates who can’t sleep and won’t allow others to sleep. Had to use my earplugs after a very long time; hate using as it sealed off every sound, not a good thing in prison where violence can erupt at any moment. But did sleep only to be awaken at intervals from my lower-backache.

 

Sun 24 Nov 2013

Up for the day, weekend is almost over, our non-stop revellers are still on their last leg of a long weekend bender.

 

Breakfast was a cuppa green tea with slices of ginger (actually gonna make ginger wine, got enough to try a first batch).

 

Sundays definitely my rest day, not in the mood to drink as my mates are downing bottles of moonshine and distil. And definitely not much to do today. Prepared the ginger/raisins mash for the wine, sugar added and everything set. Set it aside to cool down, by Monday, should be able to add some yeast to begin the fermentation process. Hope it comes out good as many are interested. Friggin need money to get supplements and proper food.

 

23:13:29

Few more minutes and weekend is over, those going out for visit tomorrow had gotten themselves ready for tomorrow; hairs shaven and styled, yellow T-shirts (our prison uniform) are all readied, empty bowls that were used to bring in food on last visit are washed and packed to be exchanged for new ones. Others have had our artisans to make gifts for their loved ones; mostly armbands, the sculptors who used to make pens, and carved figures are all freed. Thus, no more special gifts, loved ones will do with our prison-designed armbands which the financial proceeds helps fuelled the creator’s coke addiction.

 

Do hope we have water tomorrow, will be hitting the gym, while the rest are out for their visit.

 

Whistle has gone off since 10pm, but our die-hards revellers and I’m also listening to some ballads from a borrowed Bluetooth speaker; #JulioIglesias #MarcoAntonioSolis #EltonJohn #AmyWinehouse and #Adele 😉

 

Hope my cellmate has got signal, need to use his wifi. Still haven’t got any credit to buy and top up my phone; friggin crazy without credit and data. 

11 Tips to Help Manage Anxiety

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama on December 5, 2013 by doingtimeabroad

 

If your mind were a diesel engine, anxiety would be the leaded gas that was accidentally poured in and responsible for all the burps and stutters.

 

Even more so than depression, I think, anxiety is the big disabler in my life, with a capital D. That is why I try to nip my anxiety in its early symptoms. That doesn’t always happen, of course, but here are some techniques I try, and seem to work for me. Who knows, maybe they’ll work for you too!

 

1. Recognize the reptilian brain.

 

My therapist friend Elvira Aletta gives a brilliant neuropsychology lesson in one of her posts where she explains the two parts of our brain: the primitive part containing the amygdala — which is responsible for generating and processing our fear and other primal emotions — and our frontal lobes: the neo-cortex or the newest part of our brain, which is sophisticated, educated, and is able to apply a bit of logic to the message of raw fear that our reptilian brain generates.

 

Why is this helpful? When I feel that knot in my stomach that comes with a message that I am unloved by the world, I try to envision a Harvard professor, or some intellectual creature whacking a reptile on the head with the a book, saying something like “Would you just evolve, you overly dramatic creature?”

 

 

2. Exaggerate your greatest fear.

 

I know this doesn’t seem like a good idea, but truly it works. I learned it from a fellow Beyond Blue reader who explained on a combox: “Tell your fear to someone else and make sure to be as dramatic as possible, with very descriptive words and emotions. Then, when you’ve told every detail you can think of, start over again. Tell the entire, dramatic story, again with very elaborate descriptions. By the third or fourth time, it becomes a bit silly.”

 

My friend Mike and I do this all the time. He will tell me how he is afraid he has diabetes, and that his leg will have to be amputated, and then he won’t be able to drive a car with one leg, and because of that his wife with leave him, and he will be a single, lonely old man with one leg. Funny stuff, right?

 

3. Distract yourself.

 

For the last two months I have been under the very clear direction of my doctor to “distract, don’t think.” My thinking–even though I thought I was doing the right thing by using cognitive-behavioral techniques–was making things worse. So she told me to stay away from the self-help books and to work on a word puzzle or watch a movie instead, and to surround myself with people as much as possible. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for cognitive-behavioral techniques and mindfulness. But when I reach a point of disabling anxiety, it’s more beneficial for me to try to get out of my head as much as possible.

 

4. Write twin letters.

 

Former Fresh Living blogger Holly Lebowitz Rossi offers a smart strategy for anxiety in her post about cold feet: “Compose a love letter to your object of feet-chill [or fear]. Celebrate all of the reasons you fell in love with him/her/it in the first place. List everything positive you can think of, and nothing negative. Now write a missive. Vent all of your worries about the situation, and try to make a case against moving forward. I’ll bet you can’t come up with a single true deal-breaker, but giving your worries some air will feel good.

 

5. Sweat.

 

I have found only one full-proof immediate solution to anxiety. And that is exercise.

 

Bike. Walk. Swim. Run. I don’t care what you do, as long as you get that ticker of yours working hard. You don’t have to be training for an Ironman to feel the antidepressant effect of exercise. Even picking the weeds and watering the flowers has been shown to boost moods. Aerobic exercise can be as effective at relieving mild and moderate depression as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac and Zoloft).

 

In his comprehensive book, “The Depression Cure,” clinical psychologist Stephen Ilardi writes: “Exercise changes the brain. It increases the activity level of important brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin…. Exercise also increases the brain’s production of a key growth hormone called BDNF. Because levels of this hormone plummet in depression, some parts of the brain start to shrink over time, and learning and memory are impaired. But exercise reverses this trend, protecting the brain in a way nothing else can.”

 

6. Watch the movie.

 

In his blog, “Psychotherapy and Mindfulness,” psychologist Elisha Goldstein explains that we can practice mindfulness and experience some relief from anxiety by procuring some distance from our thoughts, so that we learn to watch them as we would a movie (in my case, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”). That way, we can sit back with our bag of popcorn and be entertained. Most importantly, we must try to let go of judgments. That’s a tad hard for a Catholic girl that tends to think like the Vatican: dividing every thought, emotion, and behavior into two categories, which are “good” and “deserving of eternal damnation.”

 

7. Eat super mood foods.

 

Unfortunately, anxiety is usually the first clue that I should, once again, analyze my diet: to make sure I’m not drinking too much caffeine, not ingesting too much processed flour, and not bingeing on sweets. If I’m honest with myself, I’ve usually committed a misdemeanor in one of those areas. So I go back to power foods. What are they? Elizabeth Somer, author of “Food and Mood” and “Eating Your Way to Happiness” mentions these: nuts, soy, milk and yogurt, dark green leafies, dark orange vegetables, broth soups, legumes, citrus, wheat germ, tart cherries, and berries.

 

8. Return to the breath.

 

Here’s a confession: the only way I know how to meditate is by counting my breaths. I merely say “one” as I inhale and exhale, and then say “two” with my next breath. It’s like swimming laps. I can’t tune into all the chatter inside my brain because I don’t want to mess up my counting.

 

When I bring attention to my breathing–and remember to breathe from my diaphragm, not my chest–I am able to calm myself down a notch, or at least control my hysteria (so that I can wait five minutes before bursting into tears, which means I avoid the public cry session, which is preferred).

 

9. Break the day into minutes.

 

One cognitive adjustment that helps relieve anxiety is reminding myself that I don’t have to think about 2:45 pm when I pick up the kids from school and how I will be able to cope with the noise and chaos when I’m feeling this way, or about the boundary issue I have with a friend–whether or not I’m strong enough to continue putting myself first in that relationship. All I have to worry about is the very second before me. If I am successful at breaking my time down that way, I usually discover that everything is fine for the moment.

 

10. Use visual anchors.

 

My therapist looks up to the clouds. They calm her down in traffic or whenever she feels anxious. For me it’s the water. I don’t now if it’s because I’m a Pisces (fish), but the water has always calmed me down in the same way as Xanax, and since I don’t take the latter (as a recovering alcoholic, I try to stay away from sedatives), I need to rely on the former. So I just downloaded some “ocean waves” that I can listen to on my iPod when I feel that familiar knot in my stomach. I also have a medal of St. Therese that I grab when I become scared, a kind of blankie to make me feel safe in an anxious world.

 

11. Repeat a mantra

 

My mantras are very simple: “I am okay” or “I am enough.” But one Beyond Blue reader recites what she calls a “metta meditation.” She claims that it slowly changes the way she responds to things in her day. She says to herself:

 

May I be filled with loving kindness

May I be happy, and healthy

May I accept myself in the moment right as I am

May all sentient beings, be at peace, and free from suffering.

And if all else fails… laugh.

 

As I described in my post, “9 Ways Humor Can Heal,” flexing your funny bone does much more than relieving any crushing anxiety. It lowers your immune system, diminishes both physical and psychological pain, fights viruses and foreign cells, heals wounds, and builds community. You have no doubt experienced a moment when you were crippled by anxiety until someone made you laugh outloud, and in doing so anxiety lost its hold over you. Why not laugh all the time, then?

 

By THERESE J. BORCHARD

Associate Editor

 

11 Tips to Help Manage Anxiety

 

[Culled from the web]

Bustling And Hustling In The Slammer.

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama, Doing Time Overseas!!!, Living Behind Bars in Panama, Prison Life with tags , , , , , , on December 3, 2013 by doingtimeabroad

In prison, one is expected to see a lot, hear much, witnessed diverse atrocities but survival depends on one’s ability to say little and even then; #Controlled!

“The things people say of a man do not alter a man. He is what he is. Public opinion is of no value whatsoever. Even if people employ actual violence, they are not to be violent in turn. That would be to fall to the same low level. After all, even in prison, a man can be quite free. His soul can be free. His personality can be untroubled. He can be at peace. And, above all things, they are not to interfere with other people or judge them in any way. Personality is a very mysterious thing. A man cannot always be estimated by what he does. He may keep the law, and yet be worthless. He may break the law, and yet be fine. He may be bad, without ever doing anything bad. He may commit a sin against society, and yet realise through that sin his true perfection.” ~ Oscar Wilde (The Soul of Man under Socialism)

Wed 27 Nov 2013
Didn’t get much of sleep today, one of my cell mate woke up early for another hearing, seems the lad has two cases. So much in our little world, if one doesn’t tell you his life, you won’t know a sh!t about that fella.

It was supposed to be a zero-movement as there’s our yearly mundial search going on, we got the intel, that we should be expecting battalions of cops soon. Likely ours will be on Thursday’s morning; we were told yesterday that our Thursday weekly headcount will be early in the morning, thus, it’s definitely going to be a search; got all my stuffs ready.

The school roll-call came and up we went, lots of activities in the centre, one gotta be careful, you never know whose got a price on your head. And that’s exactly what happened to our ex-president, a price was set on his head, according to him, spent 19 days in hospital where he was operated on; screws and bolts to keep his jaws together. According to him, being the president of a pavilion, he can walk to and fro our pavilion to the admin block without warden escorts. On this dark day, he walked alone as normal, from out of the thin air came a local inmate from no where and asked him his name; as soon as he confirmed it, the lad landed a massive blow on his face and that knocked him out. He went straight down, while his attacker disappeared to where he came from. He laid there bleeding before others who saw what happened came to see how bad he was, not to help him.

Thus, being a busy day today; got my eyes working 360 degrees. At school, nothing much to do, but boring as I was knackered and needed my sleep and was also starving. Some classes had fiesta to celebrate the last day at school. All said and done, back to the pavilion, where some lads were playing football outside, others were locked up inside the pavilion. My guess, the footballers must have tipped the cop on duty to let them out.

Still starving, my mates offered me rice and sauce, no chicken as I wasn’t counted when they cooked it; was ok to calmed the worms. Tried to catch some minutes of sleep-time, but my singing cellmate won’t let me; lads sings whatever comes in his head, can’t help it, maybe it’s his way of doing time. Lad went to court, was told to expect decision within two weeks, came back and packed up his meagre belongings into a red bag; it’s roughly a year-plus, the lad is still waiting for friggin court decision, maybe the judge is fcuking dead! For now, he wakes as early as 6am and start singing; warned him several times, but can’t help it. Pray he leaves here in one piece and one mind, unlike my released compatriot and a Jamaican who went berserk from the stress of live behind bars.

19:12:46
Didn’t workout today, and not feeling too well, guess my #BP is on the high side, should get around to see Doc, haven’t seen him in days. Hope he’s well, though the pavilion might look small, but with so much people in such a an enclosed space, one can go days without seeing certain people; everyone sometimes has got his cross to bear.

Will be having fried plantain for Dinner with ketchup, maybe 3 fried eggs…… Well, just plantain and my pikante sauce; mix of ketchup, mayonnaise, chili pepper, oregano and vinegar. T’was a good deep for my patacones, which my mates joined me.

Lately, hadn’t been staying much on my signal post as I don’t have data plan. Thus, early to my bed, where I either read, write or play some phone games!

Thu 28 Nov 2013
My day for our daily cleaning; weekdays, just toilet and shower room. Also our headcount day, and from intel, we’ve heard that we will be stormed for the annual mundial-search. Just as finished with my cleaning, our PA system cracked ON that they are here, we should be filing out. All my bits had been stashed last night, fast as a hare, we stashed the remaining stuffs, crazy thing; whenever there’s search or headcount, that’s when some inmates want to shit. My mates queued up to use the shit-hole, all set and ready.

As we all filed out, one cell member was asked to stay back and watch as the cops search each cell; damned cops with light-fingers could be quick at nicking inmates bits and pieces.

Outside we were striped search, asked to squat with pants drawn down. Some the young cops sort of look scare and nervous, probably first time experience, soon they will graduate from police academy and become corrupt like others.

Our two shemales were the last to be frisked, like always, the lads were all on their legs to see what will come out of their pants when they squat. But, the cops saved them for what would have been a free #Showtime for the lads who were catcalling and waiting to see their pants drawn down and squat down. We all know what will dangle down between their two legs;  friggin frankfurters 😉

From 7am, held outside while the cops went in ransacking, throwing and turning whatever need be turned. Moonshine and mashes for distillation were brought out and emptied on the grass outside. Phones and other stuffs were seized and taken away. Used the opportunity to savoured the early morning sun as I walked, stretch and did some squat-jumps, lounges and other body-weight exercises. Helped me take my mind from the search and the cops around us.

After all said and done, they had all they wanted. We were filed in and recounted. Back to the cell, my mate who stayed behind is a veteran in this prison business; he knows what to do during the search. And he sure did what he had to do, which helped kept all our stuffs intact. Good a thing, my alarm-setting mate didn’t set up his alarm today as it would have given away our stash as it happened before.

As soon as I confirmed all is ok, head out for my workout, didn’t workout yesterday. Thus, can’t afford to miss today’s. Picked up my gym box, which is an empty milk crate, contain all my gym stuffs. Hitting #Back and #Biceps, few people in the gym, as many didn’t get enough sleep and breakfast,friggin lazy prisoners. It was #HIIT throughout and was rewarding as I’m feeling knackered and sleepy now; 22:09:17 on Thu 28 Nov 2013.

Fri 29 Nov 2013
#Weekend again, and the lads are about what they do best on weekends; revelling and whiling away time. Those who had their stuffs taken during yesterday’s search are probably making connection to get new ones ASAP! Hence, more business for the cops, as they are the ones who will bring them in.

Woke up today feeling less pain on my back, but deep down, friggin pain is there as it seems to numbs my leg, this has caused me to stay off #Squats for now, maybe when I get a belt, I might go back to squats, for now, I stick to light #Deadlift and #Coblet squats and #Powerclean.
Breakfast was a piece of banana with 2 packs of peanut butter and a cup of green tea/ginger! Serious cough in the pavilion and I’m affected, got no medication for it, will see how long goes before think otherwise. Probably cold from the rain water, well, will wait and see.

Workout was fantastic, but couldn’t get hold of the Olympic bar for a proper chest workout, used the smaller one and had a wonderful #Chest and #Triceps and good #Abs day! HIIT!

The new set of cops on duty are so hard on us, won’t allow people outside to workout in the field; the centre is very hot since the last 6 escapes from La Joyita.

Three inmates were hauled in today, and one happened to be a cousin to one of my cellmate. Prison; it’s such a place you can meet anybody, there are fathers and sons; father, wife and kids; uncles, nephews and cousins, all slammed up for lousy offences. Anyway, such is the path chosen!

I’m definitely worn-out from today’s workout, since I got in, haven’t gone out of the cell, been confined to the cell, the most I have ventured out; picked up some fresh parsley and coriander, and the ice-man, so hot in here, cold water is the only way to keep one cool. Glad ice are allowed in.

22:48:41…on my concrete-of-a-bed, should be sleeping early as I’m proper-knackered. One of my cellmates been drinking this evening, finally called it a day and left for his sleep space. Hope he doesn’t vomit as he’s fun of doing it after going on a bender.

Some reading before slumping off with strong backache and cough that later kept me up all night, had to make a cup of tea around 4am to help. Friggin need some honey now, helps with cough.

Sat 30 Nov 2013
Been up; ON and OFF all night, after the cup of tea and some painkillers pills, back to bed. Slept through the general cleaning. Finally got up for my breakfast, which was more or less my #Brunch, as it was around 11am.

Breakfast was black beans and ripen plantain which I cooked yesterday, which nobody wants to eat with me. Warmed it up and had it with boiled eggs that came on the breakfast cart with a cup of cinnamon + lemon tea, wasn’t bad!

Time to wash and change my curtains and also clean my bunk; friggin dirty as the lads are fun of always pulling my curtains, friggin don’t know why???

Glad we have enough water today, it was a strenuous wash, but glad I did it, next step will be setting up a new curtain I have in storage, paid our hand-sew tailor to cut and stitch it to fit my bunk; which he did a perfect job!

But my mate who’s supposed to help with setting it up is fucking drunk, lad has been on the benders since last night, after a cousin dropped by from the streets, well, this cousin ain’t here to visit, but to do some quality prison-time. He was welcomed with our potent-lethal liquor; lad is also a #ManOfTheBottle 😉

This handy-mate and another cellmate has been on the bender since yesterday, invited me, I declined, also asked for a bit of my brew, also refused them as they are still owing me 15 bucks from the last sales. They started the day on the bottle, with music, sing-along, and drumming on my pasta pot, friggin noisy, nobody dares caution them. Did speak out, but fell on deaf ears, once a man is under the influence of any substance, pretty hard to get him to listen. Thus, I let them be and to their ordeals.

One of the two lads had too much of his distil, he also distills, the lad is our glutton who eats at every turns he makes in the cell, lad walks out of the cell and back in, friggin looking for something to eat. Fcuking annoying, but then, he cooks for his friends from another cells, thus, he’s always with food. Lad can stock food in 3 different bowls, to be consumed at different time. And he friggin doesn’t workout or take part in any sport activities; pity him!

His mates bought him OX’s lungs to prepare with patacones (fried green plantain), but he is fucking pissed and mashed up to be able to do anything now. He vomited all over the toilet, on our water tanks, on himself, and then slumps on one of the beds in the cell. The lad whose bed he slumped in had to clean up after him. His mates came around for their food, but nothing for them today, they friggin gotta learn how to cook and make something for themselves tonight.

The lad has been sleeping all day, and his drinking partner, left for another water-hole with his new cousin, where they were both drinking. And he’s shouting and singing, well, I heard he has returned and slumped into his bed, couldn’t eat the soup I cooked and left some for them. They are just too mashed up to hold a spoon. Glad they ain’t violent when they are drunk and they should be happy that, this pavilion is not like the locals, who will rape them after they passed out from their binged-drinking sessions. The locals are known for that; if an inmate drinks and passes out, groups of inmates will jump on the drunk inmate and sexually assault the inmate. Many young and new inmates in the past been taken to hospital with serious bleeding from their ‘O’….!

Thus, my mates should be thankful, any sexual favours here are always consensual; either for cash or food or for love as some has been 😉
For love?.. I had thought the Dominican inmate who got married to his lawyer did love his released Jamaican ladee; the Jamaican has been sending him money and buying him phones and top-up cards. But lad went lastminute.com and hitched up with his local lawyer, probably for the benefits attached to marrying a local; reduced time and early release! Smart guy! Wondering if his Jamaican flame knows about this new venture of his. That lass can be caliente when he wants to fight; friggin will fight like a proper B*Tch! Hope words don’t get around to him wherever he is!

21:27:35 Sat 30 Nov 2013
The evening is filled with aromas of different food; chicken on the grill, cakes and bread in ovens, soups on stoves for all those on the benders tonight, and more cooking! The distillers are busy with their distillation process to bring out the perfect but potent finished products for the never-ending consumers.

My dead-drunk mate was supposed to distil today and I had wanted to help him make #Gin with #Juniper berries and other secret ingredients; but doubt if he will be sober to handle the equipment tonight. Thus, will wait till he’s ready!

22:03:26
Just got down to my cell, needed some ice on a pack of nicked-tuna I bought from one of the lads working in the kitchen; if you can’t beat them, friggin join them. I prefer the tuna to all other things they nicked and sell among the population. Tuna is preferably my best #Protein source in here for now.

Last time I had a mate’s girlfriend bought me a container of #NitroTech protein, she handed it over to a warden to bring it in, the light-fingers warden brought less than a kilo from a pot of 5lbs (2.7kg), friggin feel like skinning his fat one-pack belly alive. That incident sets me back about 100 bucks; what I paid for the protein and 20 bucks to the crooked warden. He wouldn’t show his face as I’m looking to ask him what happened to the rest of my protein. Bet, he only does this to foreigners as he won’t dare it with his fellow locals who will knife him with a shank.

Anyway, my tuna is safe, might make some pasta tomorrow; self-catering is the only way we can get around the rubbish-of-prison-food.

Back in the cell, 3 lads are down and sleeping from the all-day benders they have been on from morning. What more will people expect from and of them? Nothing useful to do all day, and lots of litres of liquor and moonshine, so, let the party begins and when it begins with them, they just friggin don’t know how to step on the break and put a stop to it; it’s like a runaway train #Unstoppable 😉

Signal ain’t at his best, forced to buy new sim cards as the signal keeps fluctuating from one network to another; the lads are all working with sim cards from the 4 mobile providers in Panama. As soon as someone discovers that a network is working, everyone switches to that network. Bit hard for me when all my stuffs are set-up on a specific number, have to start all the login processes over and over again. Sometimes I’m not friggin bothered!

On my way upstairs from the cell, our two shemales were standing at different points on the passage. The old-school one is dressed to kill with a top showing off her tits and chatting with the young lad whose sex-partner was extradited to US some weeks ago. Guess the old man has taken the young lad to place of no-return, now he definitely wants to get-it-going with our old shemale. Well, she ain’t gonna give him free like the old-ass was doing; feeding, paying and fending for his young ass. This time around, with our aging shemale, it’s strictly business, Pay-Ass-You-Go #PAYG! Wish him luck;-) …. Our old shemale always dress up at nights, never during the day, she is definitely ‘the lady of the nigh’…. Things she did on the streets, she taken them into prison…… At night, she dresses hot and hangs around dark corners in the passage chattering with the lads. Ain’t different from them street corner’s hookers…..which she and our young new shemale were before their vacations in the slammer 😉

The new pot-smoking young shemale is busy with another lad in another spot, the lad wouldn’t give her any breathing space, which many lads in the pavilion had taken note of and they ain’t happy; first come, first served! And she is a bit polite; calls everyone #MiAmor (My Love) 😉 . Well, they are both compatible; friggin smoke pot like chimneys! #Good4Them! Asi es la vida! 

Boxing is on TV now, got the lads sitting and glued to their TV sets, much better and bit calm now. But our hardcore revellers are still on their gallons of distils and moonshine; they won’t call it quit, not until fight break out. 

01:25:45 Sun 1 Dec 2013
Waooooooh! Another #December in the slammer, my fifth and #Christmas will be the fifth in the joint! How times flies, and how easy to throw away and waste fruitful years.

Back in bed, the lads drinking above A6 seems to have had too much of juice; heard some loud brawl and stampedes, hope it doesn’t involved one of my cellmates who habitually lives with them; lads eat and does everything with them, only come down here to shower, sh!t and sleep! They have adopted him, but when those lads like others have had little too much, they could become extremely violent. Well later today, we’ll have the lowdown of what happened some minutes ago.

Trying to catch some sleep, damned knackered and tired……..zzzzzzzzzz!

11:16:02 Sun 1 Dec 2013 
Slept without curtains around my bed, my mate who was supposed was dead drunk like his drinking-partner. They all woke before me, but kept the light off as it will disturb me, but not my singing cellmate who is always singing only-God-knows what song!

Breakfast was hot chocolate/milk and two sandwiches with fried eggs. While the drunks battling their hangovers had egg-soup, hope it helps as I need this lad to fix my curtain.
I’m having serious cough, each bout of cough comes with chest pain and a lot of phlegm; hope it’s nothing serious.

14:13:00
Cold, cough and body ache all combined knocked me off, I’m like my mates who had an all-night bender; been sleeping on and off, just woke up. The bad thing about drinking is not how you will get home, especially if you are in jail, you’re home already. But the bad-side of alcohol is the next day’s hangover, which makes one want to swear that he’ll never taste a drop of alcohol again. My mate who is supposed to help me put up my curtain, is totally wasted, he is not fit for purpose and definitely not for the job that I needed him for. His mates are laughing at him; saying his battery juice has run dry. Last night, intoxicated, he was everywhere and his voice was all over the pavilion. Heard he was like a fly around our young new shemale, at that moment he thought he was prince handsome 😉

Thus, I might as well sleep in the open; my bunk is laid naked without the curtains. It’s ok, since there’s nothing to hide and no orgies going on in my bunk. There are bunks that are sealed like proper submarine or military bunkers, left to wonder if they don’t feel claustrophobic inside the cubicle, with curtains there’s freedom of opening and closing, but with cartons and cardboards glued together and painted over; one becomes a prisoner inside prison. Those living on top bunks like mine have hammock built above the concrete bed where they dangle like bats. Could be very dangerous when the prison-made ropes breaks, many had gone to the clinic after falling from hammocks.

Got an email from an English mate who was my former cellmate back in El Renacer, got repatriated November 2011 and have spent almost two years back in England, but on weekend permission release; will soon be due for an early release. Lucky chap!

20:12:19
Busy day in the pavilion, inmates are burning candles at both ends to get time going; gamblers are busy in the gym hall, those hunting for signal are busy with their phones at the spot, our chefs are busy doling out baked, fried and cooked delicacies for those who are too lazy to cook. Others are indulging in whatever gives them pleasure and while away time in the joint.

In my cell, our two drunks finally got back to life and functioning properly. Finally got my curtain done after the lad had gotten enough soup and nap after nap. Sieved a part of my brew; both the red wine and the ginger wine. Sold two litres of the red, but the ginger which is my first attempt seems to have won many hearts as many are keen on buying a litre or two. Will need some dough to make enough for the christmas period as demand for our moonshine or distil is always high during that period.

Listening to collections of my time-classical as we sipped from my Ginger/raisins wine! Not bad after a hard week.

Finally hit my concrete-slab-of-a-bed with the cough getting worse; every bouts of cough sent pains through my chest and lower back, not a good sign, and also feeling feverish. Kept me awake throughout the night. My pharmacist-cellmate who first had flu and cough couldn’t sleep as well, was feeling very hot despite his fan on top speed.

Mon 2 Dec 2013
Finally get to sleep around 8ish till 10am, when I finally gave up the sleep and prepared for gym. Breakfast of hot oatmeal; kept me up in the gym, was choking in the gym, the cop won’t let nobody out, not even the boxers were allowed outside. Every piece of equipment was occupied and used up, had to improvised with my push-ups bars and also did some pull-ups, finally got an Olympic bar, did some sets of deadlifts and hack-squats before the flu really set in. Just about when it struck 1pm, the door was thrown open for an hour outside.

Outside, used the opportunity to stretched out my tired muscles and joints, walked and did some running to keep my heart-beat up. Was rewarding, but the afternoon sun was scorching and blazing hot. Back in, then I felt the flu sinking deep in me. Shower took extra time, and electricity been out all day. Only to be restored around 6pm, thus, till now 18:57:06…. Dinner hasn’t come in. Heard the blackout was all over the prison complex.

If dinner doesn’t come in, nobody will say or do anything. But the locals will definitely get something to eat or else, all hell will break loose.
Right now, I need soup, something hot and liquid to eat, my mates are making soup, hope I get a bit as I’m too weak or sick to cook. And my lower back is not helping matters; that will set back on my workout.

Earlier on in the day; the pavilion was set ablaze
With the presence of the local shemale who made an August visit to see her trans-buddies; what a hot reunion and those three tits-bearing dudes freaking love their joints. They made a pot with their patrons inside the pavilion and enjoyed their fiery joints. If or when they eventually achieved their heart desires and have their sex-reassignment done; they will be known as pot-smoking ladees! The lads were all over them to feed their lust and what they have been denied, some went as far as touching the local butt who was giggling from the influence of crispy; #Skunk weed!

I have popped in some over-the-counter pills to contained the symptoms of the flu, but cough seems to wait for something stronger, have it now for 4 days+….. Had thought it came from bathing and drinking from rain water, which my mate said, should be the cause. If it stays longer, I should give a cry for help. For now, will use all remedies I could search and find.

It’s Mon 2 Dec 2013! Christmas is around the corner, just learned that a compatriot from one of the islands will be going soon, lad is waiting for date. Too bad, they from the islands have the chance to be repatriated but we from mainland #Nederland #Europe are always turned down and had our repatriation #WOTS rejected. Doesn’t sound or look fair, but that’s man-made judicial system; favours one and the other not!

Just placed order for #Ginger, my first try at #GingerWine wasn’t disappointing, those who tasted it loved it and I think it will be a hit this Christmas, thus, gotta up my production and make more. Will also need more gallons of Welch’s grape juice for #RedWine, that’s always a hit for the elderly inmates who prefers mild alcohol to our potent distil which is the younger inmates and the locals favourite as it get one pissed instantly. And I definitely hope to sell on cash, don’t want to start wielding knives or a 2×4 blunt wood at inmates who wouldn’t want to pay me. Reminds me of my mate upstairs who have a baseball bat beside his bed; everyone is armed, waiting for the unexpected! Surprising, cops didn’t take it during search as they believed it’s meant for sport, not knowing what harm and havoc it could caused when used at the right time. #SelfDefence 
As for me, I see everything as weapons to be used when necessary and when the needs arises.
The week has just began, fresh and still pregnant with loads for us, hope I get better by tomorrow, working out helps with my day and speed up the days, if I have to stay in because of the flu, then, should do more reading and writing.

Following the news of #PaulWalker, what a young aspiring and daredevil of an actor, taken too soon #RIPPaulWalker #TheGoodDieYoung.
Our dinner finally came in around 8pm; which many passed, definitely something nobody wants to eat. Guess the food was rushed! Many cooked late also as lunches couldn’t be made due to the blackout.

Have taken all medications to help with the flu symptoms, for the cough, a home-made remedies of Honey/lemon would’ve been a cure, but no honey at hand, hope the pills will help. Going to the clinic is out of the picture, the lad at the infirmary in charge of that is making business out of it. Thus, I’ll rather stick to self-medication.

Lately, our water crisis seemed to have been solved, once a day water from pipe connected to pavilion 8! That has really put the locals off business, barely see them around here with tanks of water.

First week of December; the atmosphere has changed as many are preparing for Christmas, some are hustling to raise cash for Christmas gifts for their kids. Despite been locked up, many still feel the burden of fatherhood and want to owned up to that responsibility of being a father.

There are rumours of mass repatriation early next year; many amongst the Latin American countries whose countries had signed agreements to have them back will be benefiting from such, also some Europeans, exception of us, the Dutch nationals whose government has repeatedly rejected our repatriation request. If anything changes now, it wouldn’t be a big deal as we’ve resolved of doing our time here. Lately, and back home in Nederland, there’re surges in numbers of programmes that want to talk about our situation here; some are making plans of coming down to film us. What an irony, how much money will be spent to create and raise awareness of our situation, when the government is crying cost-cutting and austerity measures are in place. #Food4Thought!

Life in the slammer is lived looking everything with scepticism looking beneath the obvious to get the true meaning. Thus, we life for today but with hope for tomorrow! #PrisonLife