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I Let Strangers Take My Instagram Photos in a Foreign City

May 17, 2017


What makes a city? It's the people.




Long- story short, I'm not legal drinking age in America and I couldn't get into a speak-easy bar. Not wanting to be the token party-pooper, I just left my friends at the scene and decided to walk back to my hotel room at 8:30pm on a young Friday night. One of my friends just told me to explore the city but mind you, I never travelled anywhere by myself before. Comprehensive, I thought taking a 7 minute walk back to my hotel would give me enough time to foresee the potential night ahead. 

While pondering, 7 minutes passed and... I also accidentally walked passed my hotel. That's all it took to realize that hey, I'm going to make the best out of this night in San Francisco and no one could stop me. 




I've always wondered what it's like to be in a city where no one knows your name. So I did exactly that. I promised myself that through out the night, I will introduce myself as Kylie ( Fun fact: It's my actual middle name but I never use it) and talk to local people who also look a bit lonely or just down for a conversation! I wanted to take it a step further. I asked them to help me capture the moment by snagging a (hopefully) Instagram worthy picture of me when we first met. In essence, I was asking them to capture the moment we shared together.




I shit you not, these turned out way better than I expected. The first time I pulled this off was when I was exploring the Apple store in downtown San Francisco. The store was designed to perfection. They had a glass staircase leading to the second floor where they kept the 'Genius Bar' (the only bar I got into that night) Essentially, it was an open space to discuss about technology and apple products amongst experts and enthusiasts. BUT BACK TO THE GLASS STAIRCASE. I needed to capture how cool these looked so I took a deep breath and approached the nearest person to me.


Me: "Hi my name is Kylie, What's yours?"

This girl looked at me like a deer in headlights.  

Me: *Takes second breath*

Me: Could you help me take a picture here?"

Her: "Yeah! Can you take one of me after?"


ME: 💃

 How. fucking. beautiful. was. that. 

Shoutout to you Sherry, we followed each other on Instagram after and she gave me the confidence to do it again....

 and again...

 and AGAIN! 

 I met a lot of cool people from from San Francisco that night. I learned that it bothers locals if outsiders say, "San Fran" or "Frisco". I learned that strangers are willing to take #ootd insta-worthy pics of you. Most importantly, I learned that everyone gets a little bit lonely sometimes and that's okay. By opening myself up to conversations, I was able to make strangers into friends and an unfortunate night into something unforgettable. 


I want to thank Sherry, Candy, Wanda, Kim, Reggie, Joy, Kyle and all the other people that let me into their lives for a night!


*SIDE STORY: So I the next morning I grabbed a coffee at Starbucks and I ran into a guy I met the night before. He approached me but I did not respond since he addressed me as Kylie. A few moments later, the barista called out, "GRANDE ICED GREEN TEA LEMONADE FOR ANDREA". I anxiously grabbed my drink and said SORRY I HAVE TO GO IT WAS NICE MEETING YOU. His facial expression was a mixture of confusion, heart break, and astonishment. I was no longer the anonymous girl who asked the people of San Francisco to take IG- worthy photos of her. 


Till' next time, you'll soon be hearing from Andrea again. 







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