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Casino Royale, Part 1

Our Crocodile Dun-Dee getting it done, again!

Towards the end of my ten weeks in Australia (I’m married to an Aussie, as explained a couple of Sun-Dees ago in my Crocodile Dun-Dee post), I had a couple of opportunities to visit the Crown Casino in downtown Melbourne. I am an advocate for girls like us to visit casinos, as the guests have a wide variety of fashion choices, they have multiple options to entertain you, and most importantly, they are usually always open.

My wife was meeting a friend at 3 o’clock, which meant she was leaving around 2. She knew I was going out, but these days I generally try to avoid dressing in front of her. As our place in Australia is a two bedroom apartment with a total of five rooms (one bathroom), it’s pretty hard to avoid each other.

There was one other complication; the heat. Although Melbourne had a relatively cool summer this year–more days in the 60’s than over 90 (sorry, I generally stick to Fahrenheit, although after all these years I can translate into Celsius), the temperature was around 100. Dee doesn’t do 100 well. Actually, Dee doesn’t do 100 at all. Wigs tend to create a lot of heat buildup, and that leads to sweat (or perspiration, as ladies don’t “sweat”).

However, the forecast called for a “cool change” around 5 PM, so if I delayed my departure by a couple of hours, the temperatures would be more suitable. Melbourne, being located on a large bay (fed by the Tasman Ocean) and at the southern end of the Australian continent (the cooler “bottom” of the continent), will often have big swings in temperature. Early in the summer of 2023, one day the high was 104, the next day the high was 65.

In the US, or at least in the US Midwest, large changes in temperatures are often accompanied by thunderstorms, sometimes violent thunderstorms/tornadoes. Thunderstorms are pretty rare in Melbourne (as they were when we lived in Sydney in the early 2000’s), and the change in temperature was marked by a few raindrops and little else, other than overcast skies.

The flip side of waiting for cooler temperatures is more people going in and out of our apartment complex as it nears the dinner hour and people return home from work. We live in a ten unit complex shaped in an “L”, and our apartment is located on the second floor at the inside bend in the “L”. Our car is usually parked in the middle of eight cars, under a carport which extends along the long side of the “L”. In short, I have about a 30 yard walk from the bottom of our stairs to our car, trying to avoid our neighbors.

My solution is to generally do my makeup in our apartment, leave off the wig (in masking days, the mask helped hide the makeup), and wear boy clothes over my outfit for the walk to our car. I carry other things like shoes, wig, purse, etc., in a couple of shopping bags. Once I make the car, I drive to the nearby train station, do the final touch ups like adding accessories, putting on my wig, and whatever else to make myself presentable. I have become adept at car changes, often a necessary skill for a crossdresser.

Besides the cooler temperature, waiting a bit longer meant I found a parking spot in the parking lot (“carpark”) nearer to the station than I usually park. I did my final changes, and headed for the train around 5:30, the temperatures a much more comfortable 75 degrees, accompanied by a breeze. It was almost cool enough for a sweater, which I had forgotten to bring.

My choice of an outfit was a colorful summer dress I had bought a few days before on Valentine’s Dee for $AUD 5 at the local Salvo’s thrift store. As I have written before, I never could imagine venturing out in summer (if at all), but I now love summer dresses. I lost long ago the fear of showing my guy shoulders–having bare shoulders is a very cooling antidote to the heat caused by my wig.

It’s about a thirty minute train ride to the main Melbourne station. The station I use is near the end of the line,and our suburb isn’t that big, so the train, especially headed to town at 5:30 on Friday night, wasn’t very crowded. I found a seat in the nearly vacant train and headed into town. 

My favorite Dangerfield store is located opposite the main train station, but it was closed when I arrived in town. I walked a little further along the street to a souvenirs shop, as my GG friend Renee had asked for an Aussie T-shirt. I took about ten pictures of various shirts to later send to her for her opinion.  In the end, she asked for an Australian Pride t-shirt and I found an extremely cute one for her–and I ordered ones for me, for Michelle, and my other GG friend, so we could all be “sistas”.

After the souvenir store, I walked south along the main road, crossing the Yarra River, and headed to an area called Southbank. It’s a popular area with stores and restaurants along the river, and as it was a comfortable Friday night, there were lots of people along the way. My GG friends like pictures of the cityscapes, so I alternated between city shots and selfies of me with the city or objects in the background. I have been taking pictures of a lot of these scenes since my first time there in 1985, and some of the views haven’t changed a lot.

I was looking for a place for dinner as a strolled along Southbank, but eventually made it to the casino. I found a food court adjacent to the casino, and did what everyone does these days; ate my food and played on my phone. Tonight, it was Asian (gambling is a very popular activity in Asian countries, and Australia gets lots of tourists from China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Southeast Asia).

After dinner, I wandered the casino, looking for my game of choice, video poker. I am not quite ready to play table games such as blackjack, and I don’t like slot machines. However, I couldn’t spot any video poker machines, but was just content to walk around. I usually don’t approach the workers to ask questions (like “do you have any video poker machines?”), because although I’ve never had an issue, my voice is not the typical female tone, shall we say?

One thing about the casino did fascinate me. The support columns were large cylinders with a probably six foot diameter, covered in a metallic gold that acted like a mirror. More importantly, it was like a fun house mirror where your image is distorted. The curve of the columns made me look slimmer, and I loved the look of slim Dee. I took pictures and videos of my image in the cylinders, and imagined actually being that slim (a lot of work to do on that front–a lot).

I eventually wandered into a bar, ordered my drink of choice (a hard apple cider, which I pour over a glass of ice), and sat and people watched. Usually the people I watch are women, to see both their beauty AND their outfits, and wonder if I could pull off the same look as them (“not really” was generally the answer) but getting ideas for future outfits.

It was getting late, so I finished my drink, found the unisex bathroom (again) to prep for the ride home, and headed off to the train station. The temperature had dropped into the high 60’s with a breeze, so my missing sweater would have come in handy.

I took a few more selfies in the train station, including the humorous one that suggests “Whiskey Doesn’t Care What’s Between Your Legs”, with the tag line I’d like to think I follow:

“Obey the rules. Miss the fun.”

Getting out in a cute dress is a whole lotta fun. 


4 Responses

  1. I haven’t been back to Melbourne since 1971. Wonder if it still looks the same? Are they having a boom in high raise apartment buildings like is happening in Sydney and Brisbane?

  2. There are tons of cranes around town but what is being built I have no idea.

    I think I read that sometime in the future Melbourne will surpass Sydney as the most populated city (including suburbs). Last I looked, the numbers were something like 5.3 million for Sydney and 5.0 million for Melbourne.

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