People often ask me what was the worst thing about being extradited to America and spending three years in prison there:

Was it being taken on a private jet, blindfolded and shackled?

Was it being stripped naked and being held in an empty freezing cell for three days?

Was it the two years you spent in solitary confinement at a Supermax prison?

I say no, it was something worse than all of these things: Hersheys chocolate.

Yes, the worst thing about being extradited to America was having to eat Hersheys ‘chocolate’ for three years, a fate worse than death for a chocoholic. I say ‘chocolate’ because I don’t actually classify Hersheys as chocolate. God knows what it is but it sure is not chocolate.

Hersheys was the ‘best’ (I am not joking) of the ‘chocolates’ available via the prison commissary order system. So every week I would buy a packet of Hersheys Miniatures for $2.29.

At precisely 5pm every day, after the last meal of the day, I would make some tea with the warm tap water from the sink. Then I would sit down and eat three Hersheys Miniatures.

Psychologists say that there are five stages of trauma: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

The first time my body went into shock and I began to convulse and wretch. My body was in denial: “Babar, how could you do this to me?”

The second time I became angry, “How could anyone dare call this thing ‘chocolate’?” The third time it tasted a bit better. Then a bit better. And then…

I actually began to like it. 😦

Yes. After three years of eating Hersheys, I actually began to like it. But in my case, after my stage of acceptance came the stage of depression.

When I began to like Hersheys is when I became depressed and realised that I need to come home back to Britain.

Dreams of having Green and Blacks 70% dark chocolate intravenously fed into my veins through a drip in London spurred me on in my DARKest moments and gave me hope in my DARKest hours.

Conflict resolution experts say that having an alternative explanation as to why people act the way they do, helps you to empathise with them.

So next time you are angry or upset with Americans over anything that is happening in the world, spare them a thought. After all, how can you blame a people that has been nourished on Hersheys?

The story of why I was in prison can be found here.

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