Don't really know why I put this under Humour 'cos it wasn't funny at the time. Guess when I look back it is now.
After a long and arduous IT contract with the National Crime Squad I decided to take a break and ride a Harley through Cajun country and then down the Native Americans (Indians) Trail of Tears.
Done my research with Lonely Planet and had several grand in bank so off I pops... Manchester to Atlanta .. Atlanta to Houston. Texas is a big fuck off place so I want to rent me Harley. No fucking chance. I have thousands in the bank but only debit card access to it. No fucking Visa or Mastercard credit, which Lonely Planet failed to point was a necessity for renting anything in the good old US of A.
So equipped with my backpack, helmet and throw overs I find myself in a backpackers hostel on the outskirts of Houston. Place is a dump.
No tourist shit so time to get a train to Lafayette in Cajun Country. Hostel was brilliant. Live music. Cajun girls. Food and drink to match.
The girls seemed to love my accent
Unfortunately that was my downfall. Fell for this ginger haired cajun girl that could dance my feet off
I should have know better. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Cajuns is even worse. After a brief fling I left and set up in a small apartment near to the ex. Big mistake!!! Came home one evening to find her rifling through my papers and thought nothing of it until a month later I get woken by Border Patrol (Immigration) at gun point.
Lets be right here, I had overstayed my 90 days green card entry visa to the US but was supporting myself on my UK pension and not working illegally.
So the guards with guns pointed in my face told me to pack and get ready to leave. Oh did I not mention packing is only hand luggage.. so my apartment furnished at my expense and other possessions has all to be left behind. But i am a law enforcement officer i protested and showed them my NCS ID to no avail. Pack your shit and lets go. We will have you on a flight out in a few days.
So off I goes at gunpoint from my comfy apartment in Lafayette to Baton Rouge Detention Centre. The induction procedure in these places all over so not to bore you I will only describe it here the once.
You are marched up to the reception desk in handcuffs. (The foot shackles come later)
- Your possessions get signed over
- You are marched to the showers
- Forced to strip down
- Hosed over with cold water
- Doused with de-lousing powder
- Given prison/detention centre uniform to wear
- Led to your 'bed'
- After that it's upto you.
Now Baton Rouge was something else. because I was white european I was segregated from the Latinos awaiting deportation. I had to have my own cell so I found myself in Max security segregation, basically solitary confinement.
But only a few days according to what the Border Guards told me. So a full seven days later with no phone calls, showers, cigarettes or contact with other human beings I get collected by Border Guards and told I am on my way to plane.
No such fucking luck.
The van drove straight past the New Orleans airport to their central detention centre, you know... the one that got flooded on film with Katrina. Oh and by the way the foot shackles are in use by now.
So I get 'processed' again and put on the immigration wing/floor of NO Central Jail. I am the only European there, the rest are Latinos. Put in a cell with 7 other 'convicts' none of whom speak English and my Spanish is the equivalent of Fawlty Towers Manuel's English. Never mind lets put a brave face on this, at least I have human contact.
By this time my prison uniform is bright blue. This shows I am different from other prison inmates/murderers because theirs is bright red and I am just a lowly illegal immigrant.
- I lose track here as days passed into weeks then weeks into months.
- I do remember getting pissed off with the chow (food) queue. The Mexican gang members used to send one unfortunate to save places in the queue. When I eventually kicked off with these small brown fuckers pushing in front of me in the queue all hell let loose. After that I got my own cell.
- A mate whinging because the guards confiscated the weed he sent me in an envelope.
- One shave a week and you have to take a dump in front of off the inmates because there are no cubicles.
- The fucking UK consulate is worse than useless so I am on my own doing some serious time waiting for a plane out.
- I asked for access to my laptop, which was in my possessions, to help the Latinos get some computer literacy. Thats against prison rules I was told. So show me the prison rules.......
Next day marched of to some hick town outside of NO and resettled with a convicted murderer.
- No sleep.
- Next night moved again.....
- and again etc.
Back in Houston marched onto plane Guantanamo style, full handcuffs to large leather belt, chains down to feet and shackles.
The old dear they sat me next to had a wee dicky fit. Her impression of me was compounded when I asked the stewardess for a beer once we were off the ground. The poor wee lass took one look at me and said in her sweetest voice.."But Sir You are not allowed alcohol on this flight". The old dear next to me nearly passed out thinking about me beheading her then raping and beheading all her children.
Landed in Heathrow and led into a side room by Immigration Service in UK. Not in the least interested the way I had just been beasted by the US Govt. over last three months as long as I hadn't committed any crimes.
So that's my story.. bits and pieces come back to me.. like learning Spanish as I was playing Gin Rummy during the afternoon lockdown, kicking up after the Howard Stern Show was switched off half way through, and believe it or not there are folks worse off than you e.g. Burmese sailor jumped ship to seek asylum and was in his third year in NO edtention center.
My advice now if you are planning to visit US
- Do NOT sign one of those on board visa waivers. You are fucked
- Get a proper visa before travelling
- Don't overstay
- Don't fuck with Cajun girls
All that being said I did have a brilliant time.
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