This is more of an exercise in embarrassment plus occasional gloating than a real post. Firstly there was the birthday dinner for Cornelia at the Thai place Ah Hua near Lange Strasse, which was very 热情, and made me miss Guangzhou alot, or maybe Bangkok, where I only spent 20 minutes in the airport. Anyway excellent food, fine beer, lots of laughing and poor behaviour.
Last night it was Christa De Carouge’s show for her new season clothes, which we were all modelling/doing performance art for. Plenty of giant white kimonos and corpse-paint, and me wielding a giant 功夫 fighting fan, and as usual slopping around in dirty water. There were lots of exceptionally well-dressed (in de Carouge) people watching, and then eating and drinking rustic food, which is sausage, bread, soup … mmm … pastries … and of course trying on and buying the new season items.
We didn’t come away empty-handed either, and I am now in possession of a fine pair of Crista De Carouge black microfibre pants, custom-made just for me. The material and stitching is like something out of a WIlliam Gibson novel. But rather than gloating, a label is worth a thousand words.
She’s kinda like a Swiss Issey Miyaki, whose idea of a good time is schlepping around the scrappier parts of western China photographing Tibetan Buddhists on their pilgrimages, and her clothes don’t have price-tags which terrifies me, but her shop is just beautiful and the day we were rehearsing outside, when it was cold grey and raining I thought her big wool scarves were the best thing in the world. She’s having a – haha – fashion show this Friday, in which none of her new clothes will be seen.
The Sydney Morning Herald, about the closest thing Australia gets to a newspaper, but still mostly a gossip rag had this piece on transsexual superstar from a previous generation, April Ashley. Cleverly hidden in-between tales of shagging famous people is a little morality tale that applies to Australia just as much as anywhere else.
A lot of marriages between people who had had sex changes, or gender reassignments as they are now known, were deemed null and void after Corbett v Corbett. “It was just cruel. A lot of people suffered because of that divorce,” April says, her dark and velvety voice thrilling in its indignation. “Transsexuals didn’t receive full legal recognition until 2002. It was such petty discrimination.”
She has just sent off her birth certificate and is waiting to hear whether it can be changed to acknowledge that she is a woman. “I said maybe for my 70th birthday you will finally do it.” And so they should. April has added to the gaiety of nations – dancing on tables, drinking champagne from slippers at dawn, hurtling around in fast cars with louche aristocrats.