Panama; Tourist And Banking Haven.
Monday, 21 April 2014
Finally the holidays is over here in panamá and but for us on the other side of the world, we are on a forced holidays, but the forced break from our daily clanking of irons and weights and other activities in the gym, shows that certain activities outside could also affects us; glad we’re back to what’s normal. Our lives begins and goes on.
The other side of this tourist and banking haven; Panama!
Meanwhile, no day goes by without the mention of the two dutch missing students. They have been missing since 1st of April, and as the days goes, hope of finding them alive diminishes. A compatriot of mine who is also following the news, told me, there was a British tourist who went missing and never been found around the same spot the two dutch student went missing.
The dutch government has sent expert police to work hand in hand with Panamanian lousy cops; hope they local cops here will be transparent in their dealings with the dutch; every unturned stones turned and cctv videos viewed, every details checked! Still praying, they are found alive!
Now, back to our lives and our journey; The short bouts of diarrhoea that started yesterday ended early this morning around 3:30am. Back to bed and slept very well and deep. Up by 7:30am, warmed up yesterday’s coffee a mate made last night and took it upstairs to our signal spot. Bit empty upstairs, guess the lads are sleeping out. Signal wasn’t at its best, but enough to chat and shoot some tweets. Bank holiday in Europe, schat at home with the kids, bit handful for her, but hanging on strong as she as always been.
Left to get ready for my daily bouts of exercises, my last day in the gym was last week’s Wednesday; quite a long time off, needed it to recuperate from my sore back and sciatica pain. Feeling better, but not planning to go heavy.
Made enough oatmeal with cinnamon and fresh ginger for the cell. Couple of spoons and left for my workouts. The gym was packed and full, the last day the gym was open, was on Thursday, guess many just want to cover up for the missed days.
Got couple of light weights, began with yoga stretches and light warm ups; push-ups, and body weight lunges, squats and pull-ups. These was something my body really needed to wake up from the long hiatus it been since last week Wednesday.
My training partners joined me gradually, put them through all I have been doing; All-body #HIIT workouts. A local whose got permit to move around has been training with me since last week, later joined us, put him through some exercises and power-clean lift; quick to learn. Rounded up my workouts with abs exercises; wood chopper, hanging leg raise and cable crunches. Enough for the day.
Back in, enough water for the day, all tanks filled. And the rain is coming, drizzled a bit today. Hope it will be like this everyday. Rushed the leftover of my oatmeal, showered and did my laundry. Had proper shower.
Doors was opened for patio around 4pm, my cell was empty as the lads all went out except the grocer who stayed behind to keep an eye on his wares. Tried napping, was too tired to sleep! Went upstairs which was cooler than my grilling cell.
Had the chance to chat with my little girl, how I miss her, we had a daddy and daughter talk; she is growing rapidly and learning quite a lot and learning good things. Can’t wait to be back home! Like kids her age, she is learning quite a lot with computers and up to date with tech trends and to the surprise of schat 😉
Had to let her sleep as she will be back to school tomorrow.
Seems the rain is coming, the few minutes drizzles earlier today and the cooler breeze all evening is a signal that the weather is changing; something we earnestly need as our water is not what we can bank on. With the rains, comes cooler cells, but then, there’s a price to pay; patio will be a thing we only get to use when there’s no rain. Not too keen about it, as in most cases, it’s opened after my training and after I have showered; meaning, I can’t get to do any outdoors activities, except sunbathing.
Spent all evening upstairs, signal wasn’t constant, but enough to check one or two things.
Stayed up a bit late; reading news articles and later playing #CandyCrushSaga 😉
When I finally got down, I was the #LastManStanding, others in the cell were in cloud 9! A cup of water and popped in aspirin before retiring to my bed, continue with reading until nature called.
Tuesday 22 Apr. 2014
Another early day for me, woke up about 5:25am, decided to stay up, set a pot of water for an early brew of green/hibiscus tea, which I took upstairs with me; an early morning has become a ritual for me, kickstarts me for the day, sometimes I go for ol Joe, but prefer tea.
Good signal as there weren’t much phones or routers running at that time. Did what I had to do before sun rise and before the pavilion rises to another day of wranglings, hustling and bustling; perfect timing!
Made it to the gym, which was packed for a while, but later a bit free as the most early gym rats left. Though more came in, but then, I was deep into my chest and triceps workouts. My training partners came in, one after the other; some were busy fetching water which was running in some cells.
Splendid workout, and then in for a bowl of museli + banana + cinnamon, filling and what I really needed then, as I was starving. Showered and cleaned. The lads cooked rice (stable food here) and ox lungs; mine was left on my bed.
Went upstairs as it was too hot downstairs, breezy and windy; not bad, signs of oncoming rain season.
My pharmacist-cellmate who went out for his fortnightly conjugal visit with his missus came back with more rice and stewed beef; about going bad, he tried salvaging it by warming. Later had a bit and that was it for my day, in the evening had the last of my yesterday’s chilli soup.
Four new inmates were hauled in, amongst them, one that was kicked out from pavilion 8 after getting into fight with other inmates; heard the lad is in for homicide. The system here is something else, someone fights in our pavilion, he’s thrown to pavilion 8, another fights there, he’s sent here; what difference does it make? They still gonna get back to being who they are. What the system does is recycle us among the pavilions until one finally lands with the local which is unbearable.
Tuesday, 23 Apr. 2014
Another early day for me, up to my spot to catch the first wave of signal which wasn’t bad, started a new download; #TinieTempah #Demonstration, hope enough signal to download all files, might take days.
Prepared enough oatmeal (oats + cornmeal + raisins + cinnamon) for the cell, but at the end of the day had to dump it in the bin as the lads didn’t eat them, made them understand that will be my last mass production, especially breakfast. I can cook hot meals and share but breakfast, not anymore. If I had walked around the pavilion screaming and inviting people to come have breakfast with me, I know many would’ve turned up. Well, it’s lesson learned.
Gym was crowded, but was able to do my workout, swift and done with in no time; Chest and loads of crossfit workouts targeting whole body, rounded up with abs.
Still hot and humid in the cells, though upstairs is a bit breezy, hope the rains come soon. The lad didn’t give us water all day, but we have enough to take us through the day and I have my reserves, full and waiting.
These days, barely knows what comes on the food cart, though my mates collect whatever comes and only those that are edible; not everything on those carts are edible, some will send one to the toilet right after eating.
Seems the pavilion is seeing its gambling season now, the lads are up, rolling, shuffling, while money exchange hands, and smokes from fags fills the air. These ones are ready to spend all night on the green table and sleep during the day. They always keep things on the low, no noise, even when there’s heated verbal brawl, what I hear are men grumbling in deep and angry voice; they tend to abide with our zero-tolerance rule.
While some of do all that needs to be done during daylight, there are other inmates who are nocturnal like our feline friends. The night is their day, our shemale is one of those who will herbinate all day and dress up for the night. Who knows what she does 😉
Wednesday, 24 Apr. 2014
Supposed to be school day, up and to my signal spot; signal was good. My download is going slow but steady; 21% so far! Might not like all the tracks in the cd, but there are few hits I have seen on the music channel and would love to have them in my workout playlist.
Spent time with schat on chat, and later left to prepared for today’s training. Dressed up and armed with my kits box, then comes our PA system to life, with names of those going up to school. Finally came my name, ruining my day’s workout.
Changed into our conspicuous yelling yellow T-shirt, and off to school. We were kept at first check while the cops sort out some locals; finally let us through. Local inmates and foreign inmates are not mixed, thus, extra care is taking when moving inmates around the centre.
Was able to buy a picnic park of Heinz product (2x ketchup, Mustard, and Relish) and all for $18, inside he pavilion, each bottle will go for $10, friggin reaping and ripping us. Also got 2x bottle of lemon juice ($3.50 each), which sells at $8 inside our pavilion. If the lads doing that business finds out that I buy things on my way to school, they won’t be happy as I’m cutting them off 😉
But then, who gives a fcuk….. we’re all bustling and hustling, one thing I have found out here in the course of my incarceration; there’s no friends or whatsoever here. one of our grocers is a good pal, used to be my original training partner and I shared all my supplements with him. Since he took up the job of buying stuffs for us from upstairs, he’s friggin ripping us open. After I bought the permasan cheese for 16 bucks, asked him how much he can get it for me; said 20 bucks, making friggin 4 bucks from me! That’s friendship in prison!
Anyway, glad I found a way of getting my things.
In school, seems to be doing great, spanish and in other fields, but damn too basic and friggin nationalistic; been taught everything about panamá even to the meaning of their national anthem. I’m there for my time reduction, hope it comes good.
One of the locals from pav5 proposed a deal for me, asked if I want a piece; treintaocho /38…..apparently, that’s a piece! said, they’ve got loads of guns in their pavilion, if I need one he could get me for a grand! Have heard there are some in ours, but since nobody has use it, we wouldn’t know. Pray it doesn’t come to them using it. Our truces and peace remains and keeps us in-check.
Back from school with my bags of groceries, mouths were asking where I got them and what I paid, friggin won’t tell them as they never talk.
Not feeling fine, stomach upset and less sleep; down a sachet of Andrews salt, showered and hit my pillows. Few hours later, was feeling superb! Sometimes sleep is the best medicine!
The heat and humidity in the cell drove me out, upstairs bit better, as always, breeze from the mountain keeps it cool.
Planning to wake up early, thus, an early night! Some reading before crashing for the night.
Thursday 24 Apr. 2014
Up around 4:30am to use the loo, then came the much-awaited rain, filled 4 tanks, but the first run was very dirty as the water cleaned up the pipes and the roof of the pavilion. Left for my signal spot, signal was perfect, continued with my downloads; which was done before the headcount, 95% when the whistle went off, but stayed and completed it. Ran down and stashed my phones, dressed up and bounced outside.
The field was still wet from the early morning rain, but good enough to do some brisk-walking, lunges, push-ups and lots of stretching, before hitting the bars for dips and inverse rows. Good warm up that loosened my static muscles before hitting the weight room.
Workout was swift, but intensive; all-body #HIIT #Crossfit circuit. Done and out before the local who trains with me came. When he finally got in, set up a programme for him before going in.
Back in, enough water; yesterday we didn’t have water, and we went down to one tank as of this morning. But water came while I was in the gym and the lads filled up every empty container. Rushed a bowl of muesli + walnuts + peanut butter + gatorade and hit the shower.
Tried napping, but had to round up what I was cooking; ox foot, made soup with it which we ate with white rice. Better than what comes on the prison food cart.
20:39:03 upstairs all evening; stench of our drainage, seems our sewage system is blocked; behind the cells is flooded with sewage water. If nothing is done asap! Will be terrible as it will affect the toilets and bathrooms. Hope we get it unblocked.
Bit quiet, probably the stench had driven them to their holes, and signal isn’t at its best. Maybe I should retire to my hole also for the night.
Downstairs, 3 of the lads had bought fried chicken, made sauce and boiled rice for a late night dinner; passed! Took another shower, the cell is so hot, that even water in tanks are friggin too warm. After shower, took a walk to the back of the cells, but the stench of our sewage was oozing strongly. Back and to be bed.
Friday, 25 Apr. 2014
It’s another #weekend! Woke up late, around 7am, been up around 4am, but to use the loo and back to sleep. Opt for coffee today, brew a fresh and strong one, should be buying a pack for myself. Drank it with leftover bread from yesterday’s breakfast, our bread eater forgot it. Peanut butter on it was all I needed. Took the coffee upstairs with me.
Upstairs by the signal spot, deserted, and signal is slow. Wanted to take today off training, but can’t! Will hit the gym and take Saturday and Sunday off!
Downstairs, got dressed for workout, the gym was packed, but made out something for myself, got into #workoutmode #HIIT #Hardcore Chest and abs. Done right on time when the catholic priest walked in for his weekly mass with inmates; he hasn’t been here in the past three Fridays, thus, some gym rats fell for it. Too bad, had a good workout and will hang up my towel for weekend and recuperate for Monday, which will be less packed, as it’s our fortnightly visit and many will be out for the visit.
Back in, no water, though drizzling outside, what we got from the rain water is still like the first run of yesterday, still dirty, cleaning up the pipes and the roof. Once the rain starts properly, we will be having clean water.
Used the rainwater for my laundries and mixed it for my shower; colder than our tap water which is warm because of our hot cell.
Had a bowl of museli; now my postworkout meal, need protein powder , should try and get a container.
Upstairs, signal look frustrating, but cooler than our cell. Thus, just sat and enjoy the weather.
Noises from a corner of the pavilion, two well-fed lads decided to take it out on each others; money and weed. Apparently, the two were best of friends before this physical brawl which got many other inmates become Spielberg as they started recording with their phones. That’s what social media and smartphones does to prisoners, keep themselves entertain in whatever way they can. While some wanted to stop the fight, many will rather have them fight till one drop death. They finally got tired, and one came upstairs, the other followed suits, hope they don’t get started as it’s all metals, water pipes and water tanks upstairs.
They won’t like starting round two up here, they better get down to where they came from; much safer. Well, I think they realised that, as they engaged in heated words of name-calling, but no punches thrown. Guess, many were not happy as the fight didn’t continue as they had wanted it to be.
Starving, went downstairs to cook pasta and my home-made pesto. My mate is distilling, but set my pot on the stove and went on with my cooking. Made the pesto; grated permasan cheese, parsley, coriander, spiced-olive oil, fresh garlics and peanuts (mashed into pieces). Was what I needed, filling and nutritious! The lads are probably waiting for our KFC lad to fry some chicken, which they will buy, re-cook and eat with boiled rice like they did yesterday. Apparently, there was no KFC as no chicken crossed the road today from the kitchen to thieving inmates working in the kitchen. So my mates had to do with sardines.
Water finally came……. all our tanks filled, meaning we will have our saturday’s general cleaning tomorrow.
Had the last of my pasta, and a cup of my red wine, the lad that cooks for my mate upstairs, been drinking and blowing joint all day; not fit for purpose! My mate had to get someone else to do the cooking. Gave me some, but can’t eat anything tonight as I have past my dinner time, will do it for brunch. Feel like doing some Olympic lifts tomorrow morning; once I’m up early, will round up and head out for a quick burst of workout.
No signal this evening on our network, hope nothing fishy is going on. Will have to hit my bed very early to rise early and get online.
There’s proper rhuma in the pavilion, did distil half a tank of my mash today; added ginger, juniper berries, black pepper and to give the end-product a distinctive taste, wasn’t bad when the lad was done. My mate distilled a full tank and is already selling to his clients who buys on credit. On diverse spots in the pavilion, music, dancing, chatting, smokes and drinks fills the space, space that we barely have. Having read of people who live in close proximity breathing each other’s bacteria, I bet we are breathing and eating eacg other’s shit here. More reason, one have to take care of his health and wellbeing.
Reminds me of inmates who waited all day to be taken to the clinic, finally taken out around 4pm, only to find the staffs closing for the day. Few were attended to, others were told to come back on Saturday; doubt if the cops will come for them.
Intel coming in…… after the fight earlier today, a lad who is a friend to one of the fighters was involved in another case. Last night, while they were drinking and snorting lines upon lines of maryjane, the lad who was thrown out of pavilion 8, nicked a phone from a cellmate who was involved with a now-released compatriot of mine. This pot-bellied fella has been proposing the lad for a shagging session; apparently, he fills like shagging after much drinking and snortin; what a life! Doing time and have the best of times!
Well, the young lad has chosen to pitch his tent with our queen; our shemale, they had their drinking, snorting and frolicking session all night yesterday! Doubt if our shemale knew the lad nicked a Samsung galaxy S3. But as of today when it all came to light, the president suggested that our shemale be thrown out as the lad, but to the disapproval of many beneficiaries of our shemale nightly service. Well, the lad been chucked out, probably to the hyenas; the locals who feast on him, pavilion 8 won’t accept him as he was thrown out from there. Hope he survives the ordeals, probably living with the locals will be what he wanted.
21:54:54! Seems mixtures of joints and liquor is getting the lads past cloud 9, those at the back of the cells are singing along with whatever song comes up on the boom-box and I can hear crude instruments which ain’t coming from the original music; clapping of hard prison palms, empty plastic bottles of gatorade are filled with tiny stones and are shaken along with the rythmn of the music; salsa and vallenato. Fucking don’t know how they will shake that to the tunes of Rick Ross or Guns N Roses 😉
Did sell 600ml of my wine for $4, not bad…. told my drinking/eating mate not to touch it as I won’t be happy with him. he has finished the pineapple one, him alone. Apparently, the lad wants something to help grow his mojo….got me #lmao!
Told me, he’s got a lil weiner, want something like mandingo…. told him, stop eating and lose some weights; that’s one step to having a good size. Told him, he must have a body proportional to his mojo. Can’t have a little mojo and big frame body and pot bellied. He’s young, but friggin too lazy to pick up weights. He’s doing his time with food; takes a nap, wake up and eat, walk around and back in to eat. His life is around food and food alone. I’m trying to get him to workout with me, but friggin too lazy. His mate bought the 600ml of my wine.
Monday is visit day, last one was a family one, but this will be a normal one. Many are gearing up for the less than an hour moment with their missus or hired skirts #Escort! 😉
While the rest of us retired to our sleep spaces, some were beginning their weekend rhuma, down in the cell was hot like oven, no option, had to sleep as I needed my sleep.
Saturday, 26 Apr. 2014
Woke up by 2:30 to use the loo, two of my mates were drinking and in the company of their phone-girlfriends; what more can a man do. Upstairs and on the passages were pockets of inmates gathered together, snorting, drinking and doing their time.
Climbed upstairs to my signal spot, signal was better and also better time to chat with schat who was up and about. The lads kept their music on till 6am, and nobody will talk to them about the noise pollution and disturbance they caused. Some are actually above our unwritten rules.
Been our general cleaning day, rushed down to catch some nap, won’t be training today.
Slept for a while, by 8am, the lads were up, moving things, had to wake up and got my stuffs out and there ended my much-needed sleep.
Went back upstairs with a book to keep me busy, rained a bit, hope it will rain more, as no water today. Had cup of hot chocolate by my mate upstairs, was starving, needed proper food.
Downstairs, the lads were cooking coconut rice, and ox-foot soup. Rushed for a quick shower and made me a brunch of avocado, chopped fresh parsley and added my chilli-oil and a scoop of the steaming coconut rice; filling and nutritious. Downed it all with a chilled cup of my ginger/cinnamon/grape juice wine 😉
No workout today and Sunday, will head back to the gym on Monday with passion and full force.
Took a power nap, seems the rats has build a city in the gap between my mate’s board upstairs and my cardboard that I used to sealed the top of my bunk. The air from the fan is stench of rat’s urine; should break everything down and put up new ones; will set me back about 50 bucks, need the dough for that asap! Surviving prison is not just about how armed you are, but also involved keeping the ultimate hygiene, eating healthy; we live and breathe billions of bacteria and viruses that any outbreak can be disastrous.
While napping, another round of fight was going on, but very brutal and bloodied, involving one the pavilion’s bully; one of the few with an active gang. Uses his gangs to threaten his debtors, and his boys nicks and he stands behind them.
The pressure is on him, as I heard he was drinking and snorting his own products (seems, to have forgotten rule of business; never get high on your products), in the past, never knew him to drink or smoke, but from what I heard; he has finished doing time for one case, and the prosecutors got him more time for another case. That’s not good business and also not good for his mind; it has driven him mental. He’s becoming more aggressive, and from my intel, he being one of the biggest street pharmacist here is actually in debt as he owing other inmates loads of money; about three grand! Hummmmmmmmm!
He accused a sworn enemies of his of nicking his dope while he was stoned-drunk last night; but witnesses and even his right-hand man, said the accused was sleeping when they were drinking. But, he went in and battered the lad’s face, threatened to stab and kill him. The president met him to calm things down, he insisted the lad must pay him; he’s probably heard the lad has money, so he’s looking for a way to rob him. When the president left, he went back for a second round of fight with the lad. The lad for fear of his life, went out and reported to the police; the cop on duty radioed his boss who came in. And that set our alarm system off; we scrambled to our stashes and buried whatever shouldn’t be found if there’s a search.
When the police came, the big bully was still threatened the lad and in front of the two cops. Upon hearing the threats, the cops armed with tear gas, sprayed him a handful, cuffed him and hauled him out. Many hope that will be the end of his reign of terror in the pavilion, and his leaving will also be the end of his gangs.
We hope, he won’t be brought back, as he seems to be connected with the cops; who are the ones that supply him with his products.
The lad who he battered his face is sleeping away his life and fear; who knows what the remnants of the gang are planning next. One’s life on the edge and on guard 24/7!
Back to what’s normal, drinking and music goes on for those not involve in any fracas, while others are gathered at the signal spot with heads bowed like unto religious worship.
21:49:28 watching live-boxing upstairs with some lads, others are watching baseball. Sports on television are another pastimes that keeps us going. Something has to get us going, or one could drop dead from boredom. Glad I salvaged lots of books from the library when it was destroyed and schat has been helping me by sending books. The best is online resources; been able to download e-books and magazines has been very helpful with doing time.
One of the most important books that has been very useful since I was hauled in here, is #TheBookOfHealth (A medical encyclopedia for everyone). The day our library was destroyed, I found it in the bin outside, took it and dried it, and since then, it has never left my bedside. Once lend it to a sick Canadian who’s having the early signs of parkison’s syndrome and early signs of Alzheimer’s. He confided in me, that he’s probably will be repatriated after five years due to medical reasons; so happy for him. Was scared he might not make it out of here alive, and he’s well above 65yrs old!
Downstairs to shower and sleep, #Dexter was on tv, didn’t finished the series when it was on, surprised they still show it. And it was the part I wanted to see; where his sister caught him in the church killing Travis! Hope they should the final.
Showered and hit my bed!
Sunday 27 Apr. 2014 and 03:47:22
Been up since 2AM battling with mosquitoes who don’t know how to quit. The prison was cut of from the national power grid; total blackout, the cell was hot as oven. Had to use a magazine as fan, heard movements on the passages, too risky to walk as many had been drinking and snorting and it’s blindly dark, any crazy thing could happen. Thus, stayed put in my bed till energy was restored. Should be climbing upstairs to get this publish, hope there will be signal.
It’s Sunday, thus, my rest day, there will be lots of hours to sleep and recover; if only there’s no impromptu search later today. We don’t know what the big bully might be doing; hope he’s not singing and ratting us out. When an inmate is forcefully removed, they tend to think the cops are their friends; rat and sings of what is going on inside, another reason we don’t allow people who don’t share same stash with you to know what and where your stash is. The same bully was the one who kicked the Chinese out of the cell he shared with them after they accused him of nicking their ipad during a search, while he stayed behind to monitor the cops (one cell member always stay behind during search to watch the cops, as they themselves are thieves on uniforms; licence to steal).
Despite my fan on its fullest, it’s still friggin hot in here. Better dress up and climb upstairs for fresh air.
Our sewage man and 24/7 snort came asking my pharmacist-cellmate to sell him asthma inhaler; a local sold it to my mate for $5 and my mate wants 10 bucks for it. The lad is probably having one of his asthma attacks and really need the inhaler, but my mate ain’t giving him as the chance of paying is zero! He want cash in hand, but the asthmatic inmate doesn’t have the cash now, promised to pay later in the day; no way, he ain’t gonna pay no dime!
He’s paid handsomely by the pavilion for his cleaning job, and also washes cells for the lazy ones and get paid; but end up using his money on dope, forgetting that he need his real lifesaving medication first. I think the heat that came during the blackout must have triggered his asthmatic attack.
Well, left him at my door to his fate, but locked the door after me. I know my cell mate won’t budge, the lad need money to replace his archaic HTC Inspire that was taken during the search. Doing business in prison, one have to been hard, mean and brutal or else one will end up locked up and broke. Tried it and didn’t go well; especially when it’s perishable goods, you are forced to sell on credit which you might end up not been paid. The same asthmatic lad once bought a pie I baked and sold and till date hasn’t paid. Others had started with fun and fair; elaborate businesses, some with partners, but at the end, either a fallout or ran into debts, which ends up with creditor harassing his debtors, either with sticks or knives.
Business behind bars is at one’s own risk! And that’s why I prefer my moonshine business; my wine gets better with age, but loses comes when there is a search; one can lose all. The scents gives it away, friggin smells like a brewery 😉 no search, the wine and distill can stand forever and gets better.
Flashes of lightening and thundering from the mountains, hope it will rain as we ain’t sure of water today; yesterday there was none and are bare! Though got my reserves!
Gotta get this up, signal is a bit ok!
Whilst you’re holding on to what has passed and who you’ve been. You’re unable to grow into the next moment and what you could become!
#PrisonExperience #PrisonCurious! #Lockup #Gevangenis #Panama #Netherlands #Nederland #PrisonViolence #SurvivingPrison #Prison #Jail