Phew what a busy few weeks. I have been very busy lately but the best thing about being busy is it makes you value the time you have at your disposal so I never complain about being busy. As I am sure many of you recall, we launched our business Priscilla’s Services recently and I have been very busy with the marketing of this business. I also went on a business trip to Durban and Cape Town (a round trip of something like 3 000 kms) but I also had a chance to get out dressed three times in a six day period. Let me tell me about my escapades.
We launched our business and have been busy getting marketing collateral up and running. We also needed to build up some stock for our clothing rental business. We were very lucky to have some people donate some stock to us and an opportunity to buy some very good quality second hand stock also presented itself. I therefore spent a few days and nights meeting people in parking lots, transferring suitcases and boxes from one car to another… I can only wonder what people watching must have thought.
I was then busy getting our name out there. I have been busy on social media platforms telling people about who we are and what we do, without being too spammy. Talk about a delicate line to tread.
Then something wonderful happened. We got two clients. One wanted a storage solution and the other wanted us to purchase some clothes for her. Sadly this coincided with me needing to be away for three days so my wife had to handle the shopping on her own. We did some research found out what our client was looking for and did our best to meet expectations. We delivered everything on time and pretty much on budget. So I think she was happy.
I left for my business trip on the Monday morning and flew to Durban. After a long business lunch I went to a pharmacy, bought some nail polish to match the false nails I had brought with me (not forgetting nail polish remover and cotton wool) and some other odds and ends I needed and I then got to my hotel. I was staying in Umhlanga Rocks (effectively a suburb of the Durban metropolis) as it is very convenient for getting to and from the airport. I have stayed there before and I am happy to report that, as I had done all my own bookings this time, I was staying in a relatively anonymous and easily exited Holiday Inn. Lesson learned! After checking in I got dressed and even had time to take a few photographs before having to leave for my meeting with my new friend, Sam. I wont bore you with all the details of what I wore, but I will share a few pictures to give you the idea.
Even though we are heading into winter in the southern hemisphere, Durban is a sub tropical paradise. Winter is very mild and I was very comfortable with my chosen outfit. In fact I was a bit warm and chose to take the jacket off for much of the evening.
I had met Sam online, on one of the social media platforms I was using to promote our service. I asked where would be a good (and safe) place for me to visit and she very kindly offered to meet for a drink.
I arrived at the appointed beach front hotel and after a short wait Sam arrived. We chatted about all sorts of things. She has fourteen year old twins and getting insights from her regarding parenting was quite helpful. We seemed to have a similar world view and I heartily enjoyed meeting her. It was lovely to sit and drink cocktails with a very nice companion and listen to the waves crashing on the beach just a few meters away. After a long chat and a few drinks we left as it was time to get home. I had an early flight to Cape Town and she had to get to work early in the morning.
I arrived in a cold and wet Cape Town the next morning. Cape Town lacks Durban’s sub tropical climate and winter, whilst less severe than in Johannesburg, is a real thing. After my business meeting I had time to run to a pharmacy for more false nails. Sadly they only had red ones in stock so I did not buy any. I got to my hotel (yes, another Holiday Inn, in fact the same hotel I stayed at on my last trip to Cape Town) checked in and started getting ready. I did not really have anywhere to go as I had made no plans to meet anyone but I decided to reprise my trip to Beefcakes as I had had so much fun the last time I was there. I showered, shaved and dressed (more warmly than in Durban) and again had time to take some photographs (I am getting quite good at the whole makeup routine and it is taking much less time than it used to). Again, rather than describing my outfit, I will just share some pictures.
I had some time to kill before the show started at Beefcakes, so I stopped at a nearby shopping mall to get some presents for my daughters. I found some cute accessory packs for the Sylvanians that they collect at toy shop and got them each a pack. I was very happy when the shop assistant who processed my payment greeted me as ‘ma’am’. Not sure how long the illusion lasted, but it was a nice experience. Having bought my gifts I headed towards Beefcakes.
It was much easier for me to find the venue this time round as I knew where it was and I went inside. Took the seat offered to me and ordered a cocktail. The cocktail arrived and I settled in for a spot of people watching while I waited for the show to start. I looked over at the table in front of me. BAM! I saw him. My work colleague, who had traveled independently and with whom I was due to spend the whole of the next day with, was sitting at the next table, facing me. I was gobsmacked. What was he doing here? I mean really? Beefcakes? Why did he come to Beefcakes of all places? I know him relatively well and he seems to be more than slightly homophobic. This was the last place I expected him to be. Fortunately he was talking to the person he was with and had not noticed me. My options scrolled in front of me rapidly. Leave too abruptly and it would look odd. Stay and he would definitely spot me. I have been to Beefcakes Cape Town on a Tuesday night before and I know the drag queen’s routine. She engages with the audience, asks your name and where you are from ribs you gently and so on. If I stayed he may not recognise my face, but my voice would almost certainly out me. So, I finished my drink as quickly as seemed acceptable, whilst looking furiously at my phone. I banged out a message (to my wife) and then slipped a R50 note under my glass. I stood up and left. As I was leaving my waiter came up to me. I apologised saying I had received a text and that I had to leave urgently and couldn’t stay for the show. The adrenalin was pumping but I slipped out without incident and drove to my hotel.
The next day was spent in the company of my colleague. In one of our meetings another person asked what he had done the previous night and he sheepishly admitted to being at Beefcakes. He said he had used a false name and that he was embarrassed at being there but that the lady he was with had needed to see some man flesh as she is divorced. I am not sure I believe him, but we teased him gently and he certainly didn’t seem to have seen a blonde transgender person their let alone have realised that it was me. Talk about a close call. But once again it just goes to show, people see what they expect to see. I think that even if he had noticed the statuesque blonde, he would not have put her and me together.
After a successful day in Cape Town I returned home rather tired. I had a few days at work to look forward to before the weekend, when there was lumo and uv themed Drab to Fab (our local transgender and crossdressing community) party at Trouble.
I wanted to go to the party for a few reasons. Of course I wanted to see all my friends again, but I also wanted to see if I could meet some new girls and tell them about Priscilla’s. My wife sadly had to work, then Hilton (the amazing owner of Trouble) said that he would be happy for me to formally advertise Priscilla’s at Trouble. I scrambled around like a mad thing. We had ordered some marketing collateral printed but it was not ready. So I took the files that had been mailed to us and got busy with them. I cut, pasted, cropped and generally edited and somehow manged to get an animated and automated presentation together. I had no idea what file format to use and hoped for the best. I then printed 50 copies of a make shift pamphlet on my colour printer (not exactly cost effective but an opportunity is an opportunity).
On Friday night I took my in-laws and eldest daughter to the airport and when I returned we photographed the various products we have available for hire and then laundered all of it. Wigs, dresses, outfits and shoes all needed attention. It was quite a job. But we got it all done by 11 pm. On Saturday morning we hung the laundry out to dry and then had a number of family related errands to run. So we went to do these and whilst we were out we stopped off for lunch. I needed some luminous pink nails for the party that night and we found some at a pharmacy. We returned home and started combing out the wigs we had washed the previous day. I then started the work of cropping the photographs to present the products as well as I could. I was not happy with the pictures as the lighting was far from ideal but I did my best.
Our youngest daughter was exhausted after a busy day so she went to bed early. I immediately got ready as quickly as I could. I showered, shaved and got dressed. I had initially planned on wearing a luminous pink fancy dress wig we own but after putting it all together it just felt wrong, so I went for my normal hair with a luminous pink hair extension that we have. I think the outfit was ok. Not my best, but not too bad. Again some pictures speak a thousand words.
I felt bad about leaving my wife at home doing some work whilst I was out but she insisted. I arrived at Trouble and soon made an idiot of myself. One of my friends who sometimes went to Trouble has been living some distance away for some time and I have not seen her for nearly a year. One of the waitresses came up to me and said hello in a brief moment I thought the waitress was my friend I greeted her effusively, hugged her and said I had missed her. Then I realised it wasn’t the person I thought it was. Awkward! Anyway I gave her a decent tip so I hope she forgives me… She probably won’t forget me!
I had put our little presentation on a flash drive and I handed it to Hilton sadly the file format was not recognised by the media player so it could not play. I took the drive home and have since rectified the problem. Hilton has kindly agreed to play the video at Trouble for me in the coming weeks, but you can see it here if you are interested. The party was fantastic as always and I made a few new friends and also met a Facebook friend in person for the first time.
I got home at about 1-45 am. I was up by eight and we were busy finalising the catalogue, packing our stock and generally finishing up. That night I went and picked up my daughter and her grandparents from the airport and thus ended a very eventful and busy few days.
It was great to get out and about en femme for three days in such a short period. It also helps that it is taking me less than 2 hours to get ready each time. Whilst the process is fun two hours is just too long. I was wondering if anyone else has had a close call like I had in Cape Town? let me know in the comments.