Scott's Life in Bangkwang Prison - Thailand

A Typical Day in My Life

 September 2007 - A Good Day!

The guard strikes the bell six times.  It's the official start to the day - 6am!  But in truth there are twenty two of us in this room and it's what is known as a "24 hour room" - meaning that someone is doing something all through the night, either watching football, writing, praying or just plain abusing themselves in the toilet area!

But 6am is the wake up call, which means that first of all the Thai's turn the TV up loud and start to pack up their beds (blankets sewn together).  Myself - I like a lie in until about 6.20am ready for the door to be unlocked at 6.30 ish.  The two people either side of me always make this hard work with them packing their beds up with not an inch to spare.  The large bolts to the barn are drawn, its time to move.

First job of the day is to bring out the homemade table and chairs for morning coffee.  There are three of us Brits who use this space with the open sewage all around us - some mornings it is f**king unbearable - but the biscuit tin is still bought out!  There are a few grunts of "Good Morning", then silence.  Everyone of us is thinking the same, what will today bring - e-mail, parcel or letter and if your on a roll maybe a visit!  After about half an hour of this the talking starts, all of us talking of our hopes for the day.

About 8am and its breakfast time.  I buy noodles with red pork - this is about as close to Thai food as I get!

With breakfast finished it's the "Ice Wait".  We buy blocks of ice each day for our coolers.  Around us are all of the huts, it's best described as a busy market place with everybody running around going about their work, either fetching water (this is mainly done by the Thai's for 200 bhat a month for the foreigners - it's either that or river water in the main baths - trust me it's money well spent!), buying your veg and meat for the days meal or running around trying to find the "Bookie" if you've won - or staying away if you loose!

It's 10am and the lookout for the postman begins.  The postman's back and it's only 11.30am - not bad today!  I've had a great letter from my Mum and photo's of my nephew and neice.  I've a nice big smile on my face while I am making my lunch, BBQ chicken and rice.  No visit today but made up with the photo's and Mum's letter.

After lunch I go down to the 'sweatshop' to check on some stuff I'm doing for my brother.  Some of the Thai lads paint banners and flags to raise money, they have no family for support and the 'boss' himself has already done fifteen years here.  For the Thai's that is not much, maybe about eight more years then home.  They've done the E and  H wrong!  They agree to redo them at half price and now that we are talking money he understands English very well!

The e-mails are called, not lucky today.  This really pisses me off as it's all pot luck with e-mails and so a lot of people have given up with them.

Parcels are called.  Lucky - I got one!  A great lad called Angus, from Hartlepool, sends me a box most weeks with newspapers and magazines.  A bloke who has a bar in Pattaya also saves them for me and sends them in.  Him and Angus have been doing this for me for over a year - great people - thank you both.  Today it's got better, two tins of baked beans!  Skinheads on a raft in the morning!  I have read the newspapers and have read about the explosions in London and Glasgow Airport - wonder if they will get 30 years?

At about 2.30pm I shower.  The main baths are like troughs with the water being pumped in from the river outside - it's dirty and smelly so I don't use it!  I pay 200 bhat a month and have a private tub filled up from mains water.  On a hot day it's good cool water over my head with a bucket - with it getting up to 36 degrees it's neded.

3.30pm - time to go to sleep!  Again the mats are rolled out with not an inch to spare.  On one side I have a Monk from Nepal in for 3.5kg of heroin!  A young Thai lad in for murder on the other side.  They are OK and the three of us have learnt to live in a space of about six feet by nine feet.  There is no switch for the strip lights which are on for twenty four hours - it's these and a lot of writing which have played a part in me now having to wear glasses!  The only time  I get involved with the room is Saturday and Sunday when there's money (chips/tokens) to be made from the English Premiership!  I spend a lot of time writing home and for my web site.

At about 9pm I'm head down to start all over again - trust me it's the same everyday - only twenty seven and a half years left.

Copyright Scott Hurford 2007 - All Rights Reserved