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Operation Flamingo Transport: How a Reddit friendship led to a trip overseas

The world is at our fingertips with today’s technology, but what do you do when you find a product you love that’s not available online — or even in your country?

Little did one woman know, social media would prove more convenient than free shipping and handling.

One Reddit user from North Carolina, Mackensie Speights, wrote on the site that her girlfriend wanted a pink flamingo handbag from Topshop. The problem? It’s only available in London.

“I’ve contacted everyone from said store but no one can help get it shipped to me ... ” she wrote on Reddit. “My girlfriend has been in a really tough place lately and being able to surprise her with something she thinks is absolutely impossible to get would put the biggest smile on her face.”

Lucky for Speights, a kind stranger agreed to help.

“I also will be in NYC this weekend,” another Reddit user wrote. “...[H]appy to save you some money on shipping and bring it with me.”

Sticking to his word, the kind stranger posted a photo of the prized purse saying “Operation Flamingo Transport has begun.”

And the flamingo had a few adventures before coming to America. They visited the House of Parliament, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London. The two even snagged a cold one before cleaning up around the house.

Before parting ways with the flamingo in New York, that stranger, who goes by the name altbeer on Reddit, ate well. The unlikely duo enjoyed a bagel and shared a turkey sandwich at Katz's Delicatessen.

Altbeer certainly went above and beyond the call of duty. "I don't even know his name," Speights added.

And, of course, the act of random kindness made the bag all the more special. "I think I'm going to present it to my girlfriend as a "scrapbook" of the flamingo's travels… [it’s] gone from just a handbag to something she’ll never forget.”

The trouble is, Speight’s girlfriend is out of town until next week, and apparently she uses Reddit too. “I’m hoping she doesn’t see it until she gets back!”

Either way, the reveal is likely to have her hopping on one leg.

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