It was through a mutual friend called Kieran from my Thai school, where I met a charming older man called Harry. Kieran is a lovely Irish man, based in Australia. He would visit Thailand on occasion, I met him in a Thai class and he heard about my book. He mentioned Harry and set up a meeting.
Harry would frequently visit Thailand and visit foreign inmates inside ‘The Bangkok Hilton.’ We met in Nana for a coffee, got on well, then took the BTS to MO Chit. Then after a short taxi ride, we arrived at the notorious ‘Bangkok Hilton.’
Upon arrival at the Prison, we met an attractive lady called Pat. She took copies of our passports and off we went. After securing our belongings in a tiny locker, we proceeded through security and out into a yard area where several inmates were already talking to their Thai wives, friends and family.
Mitchell was sat waiting as I approached a little nervously. I’d never met any inmate before in any prison. Harry was first to pick up the phone and talk as I sat back on a bench and waited.
I watched as they conversed and noticed the occasional glance back at me from Mitchell. Even sitting down, he was tall. I was eventually invited over, took the phone from Harry and said hello.
Mitchell was one of the most charming men I’d even met. It was like too friends meeting in Starbucks.
He opened to me instantly, answered all my questions, offered more and suggested I wrote a list of further questions for my next visit. In the short time we had, he spoke openly and freely and I instantly warmed to him.
Towering, as he did, over the rest of the inmates and obviously of a superior intelligence, I mentioned he seemed out of place in his present predicament. He laughed loudly, sat back and replied.
“Yeah mate, but what you gonna do?”