Today, on my way to Pattaya from Bangkok. I met a guy in the bus, named Alex Conte Lartelier. At first, he looked like a chain smoker, middle-aged American. Soon he started talking and asked me about where I am from, why I am here etc. to which I gave my responses.

Later, he told me he is here because he has been deported from the USA for 10 years, where he was living with his family for around 25 years. He was a boxer at a young age. Now he is not having enough money and is having a very hard time. He is selling small sketches that he draws.

He said he is just trying to pass 7 more years out of US so that he can again go back and live with his wife and kids. From the beginning, I was skeptical about him.

While talking at one point he said, “but the good part is that the wheel is turning, one day I was at the top and now at the bottom. But the wheel is turning”. While giving his sketch to me, he signed his name and asked me to YouTube search him and I will find his boxing fight videos. He also asked me to save his contact number. While saving the number in the phone, he said he can’t see properly so asked me to save and he spelled the name. Following my skeptical thoughts, I asked if you can’t see so clearly then how to do a sketch so well. He replied by showing me a big lens and said I have to wear this while painting. He said he can’t see well now because of the boxing  and pointed towards his eyes. As I was not sure how true his story was. As soon as I checked into my hotel, I did search YouTube. Found he actually was a Pro Boxer some time back.

I felt bad that how much insecure I have become, that I can’t trust the story of an old man. I was amazed to see how much his life has changed, some day a boxing star and now trying to make a living by selling sketches. So he has to wear lenses while sketching. I do not really understand the art in paintings and sketched much. But some of his work was really outstanding, attaching the sketch he gifted me and a video of his fight from YouTube.

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Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking

 

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