When I meet Yi Ling, her long black hair worn over her shoulder and a designer handbag slung over her arm, she is already quite a media personality.
Her story has been covered in both the Chinese and the international press. And no wonder.
At the age of 84 she is being billed as China's oldest transsexual, after finally making her decision, just three years ago, to submit to a life-long yearning to live as a woman.
But very few foreign news organisations have travelled to her home town of Forshan, in China's southern Guangdong province.
My trip was inspired not just by her noteworthy octogenarian status, but by an inkling that her case reflects some kind of broader social change and I was keen to meet her in person.
Yi Ling was born in 1928 in eastern China, a healthy baby boy, and given the name Qian Jinfan.
Throughout a life spanning eight decades of China's turbulent history, from the rigid social hierarchies of the age of her boyhood, through war and communist revolution, and up to the modern day economic boom, she lived as a man. Until now.
"I knew from a very young age," she tells me. "Even at age three I had a sense that I was meant to be a girl."
We are sipping coffee and garish red fruit cocktails in a cafe.