At the end of July I had to visit Cape Town on business. Again. Business travel is often seen as a perk but for me it is quite a chore. I prefer traveling with people I like and doing what I like, but it is a necessary evil and I do try and make the most of the experience. This means when traveling internationally I make sure I have time to sight see. When traveling locally I try to make the time to meet old and new friends and of course to dress if I can.
This latest trip to Cape Town involved three client meetings over two days and I thus had an opportunity to dress in the evening. I felt no need to reprise the Beefcakes thing and actually felt like a change of pace. I also thought to would be fun to meet some other trans friends in Cape Town and get to know them better.
Tracy, an online friend said that she was free to meet for drinks or dinner. I was keen to have some company and I really didn’t know her very well so it would be great to get to know her better (our online interactions had been superficial to say the least). I had no concerns about what to wear. As some may readers may know, I was unable to get photographs of the outfit I wore for the inaugural Priscilla’s outing and as the weather was cool, but warmer than Johannesburg, I decided to wear the same outfit again and actually see how it looked on me.
I packed my bags for the trip and as per usual my professional wardrobe was a tiny fraction of the size of my personal wardrobe. Men really can and do travel much lighter than women. I arrived in Cape Town and apart from some confusion regarding the location of my first meeting had a very successful first day. I arrived at my hotel and was a little disappointed to find out that my room was on a wing of the hotel that would necessitate me walking right past the reception desk, previously I had been able to enter and exit by walking parallel to the reception desk. Anyway being less nervous than I was last year I was not to be deterred. I bathed, shaved, dressed and did my makeup, all whilst making final meeting arrangements with Tracy by phone. By the time I was done I was very happy to see that I had plenty of time to get some selfies in.
Rather than bore you with a description of the outfit, I thought I would share the pictures. Apologies for the quality but it is a bit trickier to get nice shots when you are reliant on balancing the camera on the edge of a chair, at just the right angle and then running across the room to pose before the self timer takes the picture!
I felt good and was happy with the look.
After taking the pictures I left to meet Tracy at her house. Tracy invited me in for a pre-dinner drink. What a beautiful house she shares with her friend. Beautifully decorated, very welcoming and comfortable. their rather old cat was very friendly and despite her advanced years far more athletic than our lump of lard… Tracy is a transgender woman and we spoke about how lucky we were to live where we did and that we were able to go about our lives relatively trouble and worry free unlike so many other LGBT people who may only live a few kilometers away.
We spent some time chatting and finding out about each other, our experiences and what life was like for us. I was quite envious of some of Tracy’s life experiences and the freedom she has. But then again life is full of trades offs and compromises.
I drove us to dinner at Ferdinando’s (a fantastic little Italian restaurant in Observatory) in my hire car. A tiny little lime green Chery. I am no petrol head, but this car was one of the worst I have ever driven. Its engine roared like a sports car but it couldn’t really get over 80 km/h. It was noisy, uncomfortable and ate petrol like a Brachiosaurus (or is that now a Brontosaurus again, I lose track) eating fern leaves. The car was worth a bit of mutual merriment at its distinct lack of cool, that ironically made it cool… Kind of… The restaurant was no traditional Italian restaurant. There were zero red and white checked table cloths, zero Italian flags and a distinct lack of wicker covered carafes. The food was excellent and the service good despite them being very busy and us staying quite late. I can heartily recommend the ravioli and the barman does an excellent Aperol Spritz.
After the meal we returned to Tracy’s house where we sat in front of a lovely fire and chatted some more. I suddenly realised that it was rather later than I had expected and that as I had a breakfast meeting the next day I had better return to my hotel. At the hotel I realised just how late it was… They had locked up for the night and I had to wait for security to open the front door. AWKWARD. I got in, made it to my room and was happy to find that the air conditioning and heating system was far quieter in this room than I had experiences in the other wing two months ago. I got a good night’s sleep and woke up refreshed.
I concluded my trip with another good meeting before flying home a very happy camper. It is great when professional and private considerations merge so nicely. I hope to have made a good friend and hopefully Tracy and I can meet up again in the not too distant future.