Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Better Late Than Never

In my last post, written a month ago, I promised a report on Transfusion in Sydney. This is one of the big events in the Aussie tranny calendar, so it would have been rude not to go. So I went.

Of course, I was limited in terms of outfit because my stuff still hadn't arrived from the UK, but I eventually settled on a sequined minidress that I just happened to have with me, and spent a happy afternoon scouring Wollongong for accessories.

Letty (see previous post) offered to drive me up to Sydney, and back, thus alleviating the need for me to take the train. And Letty was going to be en-femme all weekend, so I decided that the time had come for a new adventure and followed suit. By some standards 30 hours is not that long, but it's the longest sustained time I've spent as Rachel. And in the Aussie heat it was long enough as well.

So, we drove up to Sydney, and Letty showed me the sights of Newtown - loads of little shops and cafes, many of teh former selling gorgeous vintage clothing, which I resisted (aside from one skirt which I tried with a view to buying, but which didn't fit). After lunch in one of the aforementioned cafes we headed for our hotel so that we could change for the evening. Since so many girls were staying at the same place we were having pre-event drinkies on the roof, so we needed to get ready fairly briskly. After all, it takes forever to look as good as we do, doesn't it :-)

So here I am at the hotel:

Hotel Balcony

I changed. I headed for the roof. Somehow I failed to find it and, much to my embarassement got stuck in a fire-escape stairwell. Fortunately a quick call on my mobile alerted Letty to my whereabouts and she opened the door to the roof and let me out. A good start to the evening.

Up on the roof:

Waldorf Roof

The venue laid on a bus for us, so transport was easy. The return was either the bus (at an appropriate time) or taxi.

Transfusion - it was fun. Great to meet so many Aussie t-girls in one place. The music was OK (as good as you get at any tranny event in the UK), the drag act was typical of its genre and the food was average. But I danced like nobody was watching, and chatted to the usual interesting cross-section of people that inhabit the tranniesphere. I'm going again next year.

So, the event drew to a close, and the club (ARQ), was opened up to 'real' people, mostly muscular and (seemingly) shirtless gay men. Not my thing to be fiar, but I decided that the night was still young and that I'd hang about and get a taxi back, rather than taking the bus back to the hotel. Eventually I tired of the club, and met up with a couple of other girls (and a partner) in a next-door venue, The Taxi Club. This is closer to a pub or cocktail bar than ARQ (similar to The Philbeach, say, but without the hotel bit), so it was easier to sit and chat. And it was fascinating watching the few tranny-chaser's eyes follow every girl that walked past.

It was 2am by now, and I decided to head back to the hotel. Now, I knew its name, and knew it was nearby. It was a Waldorf (still is), so I reasoned that it wouldn't be too hard a destination to find.

I was wrong.

I'd headed out of The Taxi Club alone, knowing that I could pick up a cab outside. But none of the drivers I stopped knew where the hotel was. And, I realised, neitehr did I. I knew its name, but not what street it was on; Sydney is a foreign city to me still, and I was, to put it mildly, a bit buggered. Eventually a nice couple used their mobile internet to look up the address for me (thank you, if you ever read this), so I had a street to give the next driver. But still they seemed reluctant to try and find it. A lot of them obviously spoke little english, that was clear; getting a taxi at gone 2am in Sydney was proving harder that I thought it would be. And, for the first time when I was out as Rachel, I could feel my confidence slipping. I was basically alone in a strange city and I was en-femme; I won't say I felt scared but I did feel a little vulnerable and was staring to consider what options I had.

At that point a driver puleld up who did know where I needed to go, and I was rescued. He opined that it may not have been geographical ignorance that he other drivers displayed but the simple fact that they didn't want 'one of you' in their cab. Transphobia, or geographical ignorance? Who knows. Anyway, I was saved, and returned to the hotel by about 3am, ready for sleep.

And up bright and early so that Letty and I could head into Sydney city centre for breakfast. Which we ate at a pavement cafe, before heading to the glorious Queen Victoria Building for some shopping and sight-seeing. I didn't buy anything femme, but did get a card-game from the local games shop. Which I haven't played yet.

And here I am in the QVB:

Queen Victoria Building

And then back to Wollongong, where I was genuinly glad to throw off the trappings of Rachel, and slob out in male-mode.

Thanks to Letty for being my escort, guide and chauffeuse for the weekend.

I was back in Sydney a fortnight later, with my family this time*, as we went to see 'Priscilla: The Musical'. See it. I have spoken. That is all.

Oh, and our stuff turned up from the UK a couple of days after Transfusion. It's only when you unpack things that you realise how much of your wardrobe is taken up by each persona; in my case Rachel takes up more than twice the space of my bloke self. For clothes that are worn less than 5% of my time. Daft, really.

Anyway, have a good Christmas, and I'll probably be back in the New Year. At present I'm in a 'not bothered aboout trannying' phase, but the urge will return I'm sure, and I'll be ready when it does :-)

*And me 'en-bloke'.


sophie h said...

Happy Christmas Rachel.


LucyTolliday said...

...and a happy new year. :)

Some great pictures.

Matt said...

"And we always get lost in the Western Suburbs."

Satnav is one of the few bits of technology that I think actually *improved* my life. We never argue while driving any more. At least, not about directions :) Occasionally we even unite in criticism of the satnav and it's foolish idea to head for Junction 27 instead of 26.