Family & Friends Update - October 2006
As promised I can now bring you up to date on Scott's situation.
Five weeks ago Scott was moved from Rayong Prison to Bangkwang Central Prison (The Bangkok Hilton) in Nonthaburi, a northern province of Bangkok. He was visited by family two weeks after his move and was found to be looking very fit and tanned and settling in very well. Courtesy of the prison barber - who's only tools are a cut throat razor - he was sporting a very fetching skinhead. He assured them that the style was his own choice in preparation for the Thai summer which can be extremely hot.
In Bangkwang there are 300 other Western/Australian prisoners which has really made a difference to Scott - in the two previous prisons he has been in he was the only English speaking person there - including most of the prison staff. He finally has people around him who he can natter to all he wants. Although it was witnessed by his visitors that he has become pretty fluent in Thai! He is currently in Building No: 4 but has requested a transfer to Building No: 6 (a high percentage of British prisoners are in this building) he will find out in the coming months whether his request will be granted. Uria has remained in Rayong where she now has a job. She will be visiting Scott once a month and in time they will look into the possibility of her moving to Bangkok - at the moment they do not want to rush into anything. As Scott said he is going nowhere for a long time so they can now do things properly without making hasty descisions.
Scott is spending his days in the yard making new friends and learning all about his fellow inmates. They are mostly older than him and see him as the "young boy on the block". They are looking out for him - showing him the ropes and offering what advice they can. He is now able to buy his food from the prison shop and cook it himself, he has become an expert in chicken & chips much to the amusement of the foreign people around him. His visitors were taking in Kentucky & McDonalds which he was sharing with his friends - some of who last ate a burger four years ago. He is also able to get most of his requirements from the prison shop with the exception of Cheddar cheese - the British prisoners are craving Cheddar! His visitors were sent on a mission to find as much Cheddar as they could - not an easy task in Thailand - so that he could use it as currency in there (they have not taken his spirit away from him!)
Scott also has two new fluffy friends - he has two kittens who he calls Archie & Daisy. He thinks the world of them and spends a lot of time stroking them and playing with them - again to the amusement of those around him who do not always see cats in quite the same way as the British. He is unable to buy cat food at the shop (surprisingly) so buys dried fish from a Thai prisoner who prepares it for others - there was uproar the first time they saw him feeding it to his cats! His visitors were again sent on a mission to find cat food - this proved to be impossible so tins of tuna were sent in instead. Any future visitors are requested to take dried cat food from the UK.
There is a small group of British women living in Bangkok who visit the British prisoners. They take in treats and offer moral support to the prisoners - many of who go for years between family visits. They have struck up friendships with a couple of English restaurant owners in Bangkok who often send in with them plates of typically British dinners - it may be cold by the time they get it but to those inside they are like Christmas dinners. Scott received his first visit from one of them whilst his visitors were there and it made his day to think that they were not forgotten - it also made his day when the lady in question thought he was 21!
Scott was pleased to hear that people are signing the petition which has been set up in his name to lobby the British Government to support his application for a Royal Pardon. As he said - we keep hearing that we are part of Europe and that we must fall in line with the rest of Europe, the rest of the European countries offer this support so why not the British. If you have not yet signed his petition please have a look at it, 1,000 signatures are required so everyone counts.
Scott loves receiving letters, they really do make a difference to his day. He wants to hear what everyone is up to - it may seem trivial to the writer but not to Scott. He is not always able to answer but please don't let that deter you, please keep writing.
Christmas will soon be upon us, when writing out your Christmas cards please remember Scott - the last date for posting cards to Thailand is December 8th.
The next planned family visit is for February if anyone wants to send him anything.
I will keep you updated.
Thanking you for your support.
Copyright Scott Hurford 2007 - All Rights Reserved