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