Valentine’s Day In Prison.
Valentine’s week is here, not much as in preparation for the day in the pavilion; maybe our surviving shemale will have some surprises for the lads, you never know! But doubt if our trans neighbours across the wire fences in pavilion two won’t be preparing for lovers day in prison, they are know to take life damn too serious; carnivals, Christmas, and even their petty prison love which can become bloody and fatal.
“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou
MON, FEB 10, 2014
Woke up to another week in the slammer, lots to do. After four years in the slammer, I have learn to take each day, each moment at a time; work myself through whatever hurdles or obstacles presenting itself at any given moment.
Woke up early to make use of the uncongested internet around 5am before others will rise; funny thing about prisoners in Panama, many are doing their time on their bunks; sleeping away their lives. Have always read of prisons being a place where inmates are under strict conditions. But over here, everyone does as it pleases, despite our unwritten rules, which are supposed to be a guide to our lives within the wall of these building.
Signal is always at its best on the early hours of the day, but as soon as all the phones, routers are set firing in search of signal, the competition to get online becomes tensed.
Breakfast is whatever comes on the cart or sometimes a cup of tea before hitting the gym. Today was packed with inmates feeling charged after a long weekend. A mate is dressed waiting to picked up for his release, doubt if they will come for him today. We went on #Back and #Biceps today, #HIIT and full #Hardcore, the cop was friendly, allowing inmates outside to run and workout in the field; but in batches, co-ordinated by our vice president.
Lately, water hasn’t been a problem as it used to be, we’ve been able to strike a deal with pavilion 8; a tube links us to their water system, whenever theirs is turned on, we get a bit for ourselves; at least, enough for each day, but our reserves are always filled and stored away for that moment of drought!
Not much for the day, couldn’t nap, despite being knackered and not getting enough sleep at night, due to my late nights and early rising. Hopefully, I’ll have an early night tonight.
Food is the same sh!t on the cart, salty, half-cooked rice, salad with maggots, salty nuggets or fat-laden minced meat; a lad once feasted on the minced meat, and had to be wheeled out to the clinic as he developed food poisoning. I always let that pass; not for anything else, but the fat in it, it comes warm, but once left to cool down, everything becomes hardened from the greasy fat.
Signal is a bit slow, but allowed me to do some reading; news, sports and lots more. Finally left upstairs to have a good night rest as I was tired.
TUE, FEB 11, 2014
Woke up late today, slept late last night, despite wanting to sleep early. Couldn’t get online as it was jammed, but was able to chat with Schat briefly before heading to the gym; bit late today, but got enough for a full metal cardio workout; Chest, triceps, woodchopper, power and clean, and hanging leg raise and rounded it up with hanging leg raise for the abs.
My English mate placed a bet on a french Canadian, that he can’t benchpressed 200lbs, well, the Canadian hasn’t done anything in the gym before; but he tried 155lbs….. Seeing his lift, I told them, he could do it if he trains daily for days….. They had a set date for Monday. The lad wants to train with me before that day.
Back in, rushed my brunch of cereal and peanut butter and a cup of chilled gatorade.
Showered and wash up before hitting my bunk for a quick power nap; struggled to get some sleep, but couldn’t as the lads were in their talking mood.
Left for upstairs, signal is still slow; the pavilion became quiet as many were glued to their TV sets; watching one novela (soap) after the other #ComandoElite, and #LosTresCaines; one common theme with all the novelas or soaps on TV in Latin America, is the amount of gun violence, their lives is all about gun, guns and more firepower. Men don’t fight mano-a-mano! #Weaklings!
Spent few hours upstairs, but nature wouldn’t allow me. Had to call it a day and down to my cell for the much-needed sleep. Late though, but early for me. Finally crashed around 1am.
WED, FEB 12, 2014
Woke up around 5am, even before the bin man got up to emptying the buckets hanging on each cell door’s. Signal was superb at that time of the morning, downloaded videos Schat sent me via whatsapp; not the types to wank on though…. But videos of my kids skating on ice; shared them with my mates.
Working online and tweeting my saved tweets, set a pot of water on the stove for an early cup of coffee; while in the cell, had one eye on my phone as there are some lurking shadows that are swift in their movement, that was the case of my neighbour who left his cell by 3am for his group’s daily prayers; someone nicked his Samsung note… Lad just fixed the broken screen and wanted to fling it to me for 400 quid, no money, but told him to keep it as I was interested; fingers are pointing to some lads around his mates. Whichever, the phone is gone, hope his God visits the one that nicked His faithful’s phone while he was praying.
As darkness make way for the light of the day, many were rising from their slumbers, which they wished they could get more hours of sleep, to face whatever the day has for them. Not going back to bed, whatever hours I had was enough, dressed up to hit the gym, also praying the cop on duty will let me out. He did let me out on the fields; many were out jogging, walking and others were chatting as they drank their early coffee. Life for today just began, the day is pregnant with loads for us. Should be waking early if I’m to make it outside for an early jog and yoga on the grasses outside, thus, early to bed! Gonna be friggin difficult!
Did some good rounds of #HIIT on the field; mixing short burst of fast sprints with normal jogging, ended with stretches and yoga to ease with sciatica pain.
Hit the gym as it was still scanty, many were still snoring. Shoulders and arms, had a good workout… The English mate who placed a bet on the french Canadian to benchpress 200lbs on Monday, challenged me to benchpress 135lb x 35reps…. Accepted the challenge, did it and he owes me $20…. Good amount to get me some needed groceries; some people are just born gamblers.
Took the french Canadian through some training session; on lifting techniques, placed $10 on him to benchpress 200lbs x 5reps on Monday, hope my training helps him, as many are in doubt that he can do it.
Rounded up my workout with abs…. Hanging leg raise and crunches.
While in the gym, the lady (Govt official) in charge of all repatriation came around to speak with us, panama’s government is busy with repatriating as many foreigners as they can. After we spoke to her, she insisted that Panama is through with the Dutch detainees, but our problem hangs on the Den Haag’s refusal to accept our repatriation???? That’s the big unanswerable question, why the minister of justice wouldn’t want us back home!
But, later found out that, there’s been a respond from the minister of justice back home regarding our repatriation case. But we can’t download the pdf file as there’s no signal to connect online. Hope it’s something positive, should be time we get out of this jungle.
Whatever will be the outcome of this new development, it won’t take away our hope ‘the only constant in the midst of our uncertainties’
Becoming very hot in the pavilion; loads of cooking, and overcrowding as more and more are hauled in, while none is leaving. Tried catching some sleep time, couldn’t with the noise in the cell and the heat. Did some reading as I lay on my bed, better than lying there thinking or getting engaged in idle arguments with the lads who are always looking for whose balls they will break; sometimes, when there’s nothing to talk about, sarcasm comes into play, and loads of idle talks which sometimes goes over the top and flares up anger; thus, to avoid such messy situation, simply keep out of sight. Glad I can find solace in my books.
Couldn’t go upstairs as I was knackered and in need of my sleep, did some reading before nature called.
THU, FEB 13, 2014
Woke up around 4am, went out and got online, the line was free as I was the only one up and out at that time. Stayed up for an hour, before returning to me bed and get another hour and half of sleep. Got up around 6.30am to do my cleaning, being my turn for our daily wash of the toilet and shower room; pot of water for coffee and the cops showed up for our once-in-a-week headcount.
Outside, many took to the field; jogging, walking, while others continued from where they stopped yesterday in their chatting and lousy men talk; whatever each choose to do, helps with doing time.
Had a good quick cardio workout outside, though brief, but was fantastic. Back in, set up the bench for chest, but had to attend to water in the cell, as water was running and being my cleaning day, but not enough water for today. It only came in the morning, and we are down to one tank left; that will end up in the toilet. Glad I have some reserves (there’s always a back-up plan).
Back to the gym, before leaving, set a pot of ox-tail for what will be our soup; jointly bought ox-tail with two other cellmates. Street prices was $9, but in here, we paid $18, always twice the value #PrisonBusiness
The gym was almost empty as the lads had all gone back to their sleep; lazy asses! Prisoners here, hate been woken up from their sleep; we so cherish our sleep; who’s to blame? Guess the authorities; locked grown-ass men up with nothing to do, other than sleep, eat, drink, smoke, frolicking, fight and stab each other and start all over again with same routines till they either withered away or released to come back and continue from where they stopped 😉
Had enough for my chest workout, was a swift one and was good enough for today. Definitely do need my supplements, hope for some soon. The thieving pot-bellied warden who was paid to bring in amino and protein, cut our stuffs and brought half of what was given to him. That’s what one should expect in prison business, always double-crossing. We haven’t seen him for about two months now. The rest of the supplements are history!
Very hot today, the cell is grilling, but upstairs is windy, it’s 10:54:41 PM…. Been upstairs watching highlights of the winter Olympic; at least something other than novela and Panama news which is always filled with violence, and if something better comes up like the Olympics; there’ll be a steady marched of adverts on the screen margin disturbing one’s view; bombarding viewers with ads.
Should be heading downstairs as signal is very low tonight. Need a good sleep as I will be up early tomorrow.
FRI, FEB 14, 2014
St. Valentine’s day; decided to take the day off from workout, woken early to get online, but no signal access. Back to sleep, which didn’t come by easily, did some reading; #CocaineTrain by Stephen Smith; a journey in search of one’s man grandfather, and also a brief history of #LaViolencia in #Colombia; covered some pages before nature finally took hold of me.
Being lover’s day or friendship day, prisoners ain’t left out in the love business; our surviving shemale, was dressed up as a true queen of the hive, in pink outfit, displaying out melon-size DD cups for those that will savour the beauty of it. Got me wondering what our newbies will be thinking, as many are from interior parts of Colombia and I doubt if they have come across men with such amount of boobs 😉 soon they will get use to it and some will crave for the comfort of it.
Outside in the patio; few were outside working out, the gym was busy, but many decided to take a longer weekend. Outside, across our yard in pavilion 2; where all the shemales and Panama homosexuals are housed, the lads and lasses were all out in their full glory; many adorned in glittering latex bikinis, pink shorts, flowers adorned their well-done hair; these are the real Valentine’s people; with drinks, joints and el polvo; their night today will be a memorable one.
Inmates from the local pavilions were sending their courier services to buy distil and moonshine from our pavilion; they seems to have confidence in us, and no trust amongst themselves.
The ladees in pavilion 2 will definitely be having fun-filled night; there was rumour making rounds in the pavilion, that a lad who went missing for days, actual went #AWOL into Pav2 to have some good time. He must have sure had his kind of good time, hope he got himself protected!
For some of us, it’s fiesta as usual, music and whatever will help with the mood is on and it’s going to be an all-night affairs.
My #whatsapp just stopped working, and a friggin message from the developer says it’s obsolete, I have to update the app; since signal went bad, I’m not bothered about updating my apps; almost all of my apps are due for updates. With out poor signal, that won’t be possible, gotta use them the way they are until things improves, if they will ever be!
With the state of things now, I will need a wifi connection to update my whatsapp, but who connect me to his?
Chat with Schat via other instant messenger; it’s always good to have an alternative; how I miss her and my musketeers. They can’t wait to have me back home, we don’t talk much about it, but we know we want it soon; my fate, like those of many Dutch detainees outside the #EU, hangs on the Dutch Justice Minister.
Decided to hit bed early as I might need to wake up early on Saturday morning to try my luck on downloading whatsapp. And was also knackered, really needed the early night rest.
SAT, FEB 15, 2014.
Woke up exactly 3:30am to use the loo, done and kit up. Left for upstairs to try my luck at the signal spot, was surprise to hear music and inmates chattering as they kept on with cups from hands to mouth; passing one cup around. Later found out, there were two groups of revellers; one group on top of A16 and the other on top of cell A17, but how do they enjoy their music as they were in close proximity of each other; listening to different music on high volume, despite the odd hour of the day. Hope the leadership will get to see them, doubt that happening.
Upstairs, the signal was at its best, allowed me to download and update whatsapp, as for the more than 56 apps that need update, ain’t bothered so long they are working; whatever patches to fix bugs will wait for now.
Left for my cell after the update and few tweets, the lads were still snoring and farting; the latter which had become part of us, gases build up from the food we eat, and the lads always cook their rice half-cook. Well, my many cups of tea each day helps with flatulence.
Was able to get an hour of sleep before water started running, the lad doing the weekly general cleaning was called from his bunk upstairs on top of our cell. Got up, made a cup of tea and dressed up for workout; Saturday is supposed to be a free day, but since I took yesterday off, and felt rejuvenated, decided to hit outside for a quick spin on the tracks. Had a good run, but in pains from my sciatica nerves, need some strong painkillers.
Spent an hour on the grass stretching and manoeuvring my joints and lower back, the cop finally called in the set that were out for another batch to come out. Was worth it!
Decided to hit the gym for an all-rounder workout; touched every fibre of muscles on my body, started with power-clean and military shoulder press, rows, pull-ups, bench press, biceps curls and cable pull-down and kickback to hit the triceps. Rounded up with hanging leg/knee raise and rope jump to sweat it all out. The gym was scanty as many decided to have a longer weekend and in preparation for Monday’s fortnightly visit.
Lately, there’s been stories and rumours of juicing and increase uses of steroids in the population. A cubano who was once here briefly, left and is back again; apparently, trains very good. Think he did juiced on the street, told me, our little Chinese lads are all juicing, but don’t know how to train. He was pretty fast in taking note of the lads. Many are actually juicing, but lacks knowledge of training techniques. Got me wondering, of what use the roids when they can’t train. Some come into the gym doing the same exercises each day. I’ve decided to let them be, without correcting anyone; everyone has got reasons why he left his bed to the gym.
Back in and starving, made me a pot of oatmeal with peanut butter + cinnamon. Was filling and a much-needed nutrients after an intensive workout session. Topped it up with banana! Our milkman has got us waiting, well, those of us that depend on his milk, which are usually nicked from the kitchen; it seems that portal has been closed or extra secured. He’s owing me two bags of milk which had been paid for. For those having visit, they don’t have to worry as they get milk on every visit.
It’s Saturday and weekend; fiestas as usual in the pavilion, many are drinking, feasting and having some gay time with their mates. What more should one expect in such a place like this; slammed men, in their prime together, give them freedom of movement, knowledge to brew and distil alcohol, opened portals to smuggled in what can’t be made within their domain; guess one should expect total madness, but we are able to contain it and turn it into fun. Which at the moment seems to drown our sorrows and brings about such an euphoria which helps with the anxiety, fears and uncertainties of being locked up.
Looking around the pavilion, one will see lots of new faces, just this week, we had about 10 new inmates hauled in to begin their part of our uncertain journey. Many are trying to adapt and adjust into their new world and what will become their new home for the time being. Some with contacts to send money are buying sleep-spaces, bunks or building their little shacks on top of the overcrowded cells. Above all, they are trying to fit in comfortably into our world as they wait for their fate!
SUN, FEB 16, 2014
Got up early, but ain’t bothered to check out for signal, felt so knackered; went back to sleep. Finally got up when water and the noise both began at once. Laid on my bed listening to some gospel collections as the lads hustled themselves through their morning rituals. Finally got about my day, had the rest of my yesterday’s oatmeal for breakfast after my morning rituals. Took a quick cold shower and back to bed, guess my yesterday’s workout is telling on my body and not having the proper supplements to support my intense workouts ain’t helping either.
Got two coconuts for my mate who cooked coconut rice, but the sauce made with canned sardine was not the right complement for the rice, but without money, we can’t afford chicken that came in and going for $15 a piece. Had mine with peanut butter, wasn’t bad at all.
3:34:03 PM, SUN, FEB 16, 2014!
Upstairs for about 3hrs and no sign of signal, likely I might stay up late tonight or wake up very early to get online and get my stuffs done.
Some lads are still busy with their fiestas, and with the music and drinks comes their drunken catcalls, if only they can keep it a bit quiet, which they can’t, as it won’t be fun without them hearing themselves howl like wolves. So long it keeps the peace, and not physical brawl, it’s all good.
One of my cellmates wants to visit a friend of his in pavilion 8 (the second pavilion housing foreign inmates), after asking permission from the cop on duty, the cop directed him to our second in command who in turn demanded $20, just to see his mates. Well, I told him to get his mates on instant messengers and get on with their gossips. It’s all business, someone gotta hustle another to feed his demons; we trample on each other to get to the top, not different from the outside world.
Once read that the only force that works well and accurate in the underworld is the force of gravity; no matter who high one has risen, it brings you back to the ground. And prison is where you find many whom gravitational force has taken down, well with help of cops duh!
‘Life as a whole doles out the good and the bad at us; sometimes, individually we are not strong enough to come back after a setback, but with help from others we can brave the storms of life and have our comeback’
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” ~ Maya Angelou
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~ Maya Angelou