Ashleen is one of the most remarkable people I’ve met. The day I stalked and snapped a picture with Ronaldinho, is also the day I added one new person to my circle of friends. How we met is very interesting. I don’t remember the exact details of how she managed to get close to Ronaldinho his entourage, but that did lead to us exchanging numbers and meeting up again afterwards. Anyway, Ashleen spent a couple of hours with them. So, here is when I first saw her… it was by the elevator after I took my  pictures with Ronaldinho, Maycon appeared with a group of other people.

When Maycon just walked by me, I realized he hadn’t seen me yet. I said his name, smiling the entire time. He was pretty sure it might be next to impossible for me to get a picture with Ronaldinho, but I knew I would succeed. Before I left for the hotel, I told Maycon he to keep his phone close. Why? Because I wasn’t leaving that hotel without a picture! One I set my mind to something, I make it happen. Maycon, super SURPRISED, yelled:

(I just looked at him and smiled. Maybe he thought I wasn’t serious about getting that picture)
Maycon: “This is amazing.”
Me: “I got my picture!”

Maycon was so amazed, repeated it so many times in the elevator. At that moment I knew why Chinese people think foreigners are loud, LOL!  I guess he really didn’t think I would make it up there. Beside him in the elevator was this really nice young woman with glasses. He introduced us to one another, but I forgot her name immediately afterwards. Not to be rude, but I just did. I was still half basking in the glory of the ugly pictures I took with Ronaldinho.

They were on their way to some stadium somewhere. I think it was to sign some autographs or something. Rumor had it a ticket cost 350 RMB. Here’s the conversion.  I didn’t plan on going, but Ashleen came up to me in front of the hotel. “Hey, are you going to that school or gym he’s going to now?” I nodded. Why not? I managed to get up to his hotel floor, I’ll manage to get in there for free as well. She continued, “OK, let’s share a cab.”

In the cab on the way to the gym or wherever R10 was going, Ashleen and I had some interesting conversations.

I immediately fell in love with her bubbly demeanor. She just has this way about her that draws you in. Of all the people I’ve met in my entire life, I can honestly say it’s refreshing to meet someone who’s genuine. We remained friends even after that day. One thing I like that she said to me is: “Wow! You sneak up, wait five minutes and get a picture. I sit with his brother and his entourage for two hours watching some MMA fight, and I never saw him ONCE! You’re so much cooler than me now!” You know what made me like her even more? She said to me, “You know… if Ronaldinho sees you there at the venue, he might think you’re a stalker, LOL!” I laughed so hard!

I told her in life you have to take chances! CARPE DIEM, people! We managed to get into the venue, but it was so crowded. One of the things I wouldn’t be able to handle, is the way people FREAK OUT when they see him. I would so NOT be able to handle all the screaming, the pushing, the grabbing. Boy, would I love to sit down with him and ask him about the crazy things fans girls did to grab his attention. I only like the spotlight when I shine it on myself and say, “HEY PEOPLE! LOOK AT ME! SCREAM FOR ME!” That will never happen, though.

Ashleen disappeared from sight. She went over to one of the people in his entourage. The girl was on a mission to secure an autograph for her boyfriend.

I will never forget the day I took a picture with R10, because that’s the day I met her. A couple of weeks later, I contacted her because I was going through a hard time. I am a loner, but being so far away from family (all alone) can take its toll. When I contacted her to confide in her, she was absolutely amazing. We met a couple of times, had many long talks, and I found out she is very interesting. We both share a passion for writing. She has an interesting family history that she really would like to immortalize by writing a memoir. It’s not something she wants to do for commercial gain, more to capture important (and very interesting) family history. If she’ll let me, I would gladly read it.

I’m not the only recipient of her kindness. She’s warm and extremely helpful with everyone she meets. I am very happy to know her and call her my friend. In a world full of “fakeness,” it is refreshing to meet someone who is GENUINE!