April 23, 2012

Guest Post: What is Netball?

In a first for Joburg Expat, today's feature is a guest post. I was cleaning up my hard drive when I came across some files I didn't recognize. Curious, I started reading, and it turns out that Sunshine must have been busy writing her stories, as she is prone to do. I can always tell by the colorful fonts when it was her.

I thought this would make for a nice little guest post, since she has been asking to write one for a while. Plus it will give you something to read while I sort through our Botswana pictures, which might take years for all I know. I almost miss the days when film was expensive and you thought twice before pressing that shutter button. These days I sit there in agony not knowing whether to keep the picture of the elephant with the trunk up or the trunk down or perhaps rather the one with the trunk slightly in between up and down. And don't even get me started on the three hundred leopard pictures. 

What is netball? 
by Sunshine, age 9

Well, a net is something provided for a ball to go through. And a ball is what goes through the net. So my point is that the whole objective of the game is to get the ball trough the net as many times as possible. 

I for one play netball myself and it is a wonderful sport to play. It does get tiring after a little while but if you love it that much you just have to keep playing. I play center and get tired every five minutes because I am running around the whole court like crazy, and can I just say netball courts are quite big.

But you just have to learn that no ball will come to you if you are floating around like a lost fart.

To learn more about netball, check out these previous posts:


2Summers said...

So cute. And hey, I can't believe you're complaining about too many leopard pics! I'm so jealous.

cat said...

Adorable! My princes is also a keennetball player but she play assistant goal ( very tall girl)

Sine said...

@Heather: you're right, shouldn't do that! Given that it took us two years to get a glimpse. Which is why we took a bazillion pictures. I don't mind my own, but sorting through two different cameras is always a pain. We had like 10 pictures each of each pose, and then deciding which one is better than the other is sooooo slow. But I'll shut up now, you're right!

Sine said...

@cat: my other daughter also plays assistant goal, which I must say was also more to my taste the one time I played netball. A dream for a basketball player - just park yourself close to the basket (in fact you're not even allowed to go too far from the basket) and wait for a pass, then work with the goal shooter to go back and forth and score. It was awesome! (OKay, I admit, we played against 3rd graders:-)

Maria said...

"No ball will come to you if you are floating around like a lost fart." These are words to live by! Where do these kids get such wisdom?

Sine said...

I know! I cracked up when reading it, no idea where she gets it from.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sine
I am from Johannesburg and I discovered your blog today, as I was doing some expat research for a friend that is moving here from India. I must say, I got hooked and spend most of the afternoon reading all your posts!
It is very interesting to see what a real expat’s opinion is of a city that I am so used to and so accustomed to. In that respect it is probably much more valuable for a prospective expat to South Africa to read, as I am sure most Joburgers may be a bit biased.
I live around the corner from Dainfern – More towards the Northgate dome, but I have some friends that live in Dainfern, and that pipe… yes! 
I have lived in Michigan (Ann Arbor) for two years and also in London, but there is no place like home and I love Jozi.
The only thing I have realized that you struggle with here is customer service. I suppose that is something that all expats in a new country find daunting. I can not tell you how many times I wanted to pull my hair out of my skull in the USA. There have been so much red tape, and I found people to be rude in general. People from my point of view always passed the buck, and never apologized if they were in the wrong. A recent visit to Reno in January confirmed this. The airport staff wanted to charge me US$100 for my baggage for a flight back to Johannesburg, from Atlanta airport. I was assured by Delta that there will be no charge for all flights, and I got into a huge argument with them. They basically told me to back off and pay or book on another airline. Trying to locate a manager was almost impossible. I even phoned the call centre (the automatic voice recognition system never seemed to understand my South African English). Eventually someone helped and confirmed that I was right. No one apologized, and they were actually even more rude with me!
This is just one of many many stories I can tell!
About service in Johannesburg – Being back here now for 6 years, I find the service great! I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I know exactly where to go, who to phone in times of need and what to ask for. I have no problems with Telkom, eskom or MTN. I never go into a bank as I have a personal banker that I can phone up every time of the day. I have a handyman on call that can fix any issues 24/7. The other day I had a power failure. A heavy thunderstorm struck out one of the power boxes. I phoned city power and they came within an hour and fixed the problem.
I shop at stores where I get good service. The best for me is Pick ‘n Pay and obviously Woolworths. People may seem a bit slower, but they are always eager to help! I can also find most things I need online. In terms of appliances, why don’t you visit Dion Wired or Samsung store in Montecasino.
I can give you so many suggestions, and maybe will leave it for another day. Being an expat, as I said is difficult as you struggle even after a few years to understand the local way of doing things and the best places to shop! Good luck, and thanks again for an excellent blog!

Sine said...

Hi there,

so glad you found my blog, and please tell your friend he/she is welcome to contact me if they have any questions.

Yes, I suppose your own customer service is typically easier to take than that abroad, because you know it so much better. But I still think it is better in some countries than others. I'm originally from Germany and mostly hate the customer service there. It's efficient, yes, but often so rude and unfriendly. Moving to the U.S., I found I preferred less efficient and friendly, and mostly that is what I think of the service here in South Africa as well. For the most part South Africans are extremely friendly and I cannot tell you how much i enjoy the smiles I get treated to every single day (toothless and otherwise). And I mostly don't mind the inefficiency. And yes, it's there. You have to admit that when people tell you they'll call you back "just now", you shouldn't hold your breath. No?

What I do mind, however, is inefficiency coupled with not caring at all. And that is what you find when you call places like the City of Joburg to report a broken robot, or when you call Telkom to report your internet is not working. And yes, you get the same not caring attitude in the U.S. as well, and the example you picked just goes to show that the U.S. airline industry is among the most customer-unfriendly ones in the world. I well remember the time when a flight attendant pushed her cart against my son's foot, when he was still a toddler and sleeping on the seat, and she didn't even apologize. Just chastised me for letting him sleep that way.

Here in Africa, I mostly know that I'll get what I want in the end, if I'm prepared to wait. So I usually don't feel very anxious going through immigration in Tanzania, for instance, even though I'm told the money I brought for visa fees is not sufficient, because in Africa with a bit of patience you can always come to an agreement (and I refuse to ever pay bribes). U.S. immigration, on the contrary, is always a scary affair to those not holding American passports, I have many stories to tell of that.

Thanks for the Dion Wired tip, someone else said the same thing. I'll definitely have to check it out and write about it.

Bear in mind that I've written most of my blog posts tongue-in-cheek, from the perspective of the newly-arrived, which I think gives a great picture of what to expect when you actually move here. Of course since then I've learned how to navigate and don't have trouble finding the right stores anymore. However, I still maintain that Eskom is a huge pain in the butt, with Telkom not far behind. I mean, they'll bill you wrong, because of some glitch in their system, and then if you don't pay that inflated bill, they turn off your power, and then slap you with a reconnection fee to turn it back on. Not happening in the U.S. There, you can always speak to a supervisor and get it sorted out. I've had to trek all the way to the Rivonia office to speak to an Eskom supervisor, and then they could only help me with one thing, not the other, or not at that time because "our system doesn't show your bill at the moment" or some such excuse. And I've never lived in another place where traffic lights are out months at a time. That is inexcusable.

But on the whole, as you've surely gleaned, I absolutely LOVE South Africa!

Sine said...

Ha, point in case: my home phone is not working (again, but thankfully internet is fine) so I call up Telkom, enter the faulty phone number three times and wind my way through their voice mail system (listening to the same song from three months ago over and over again) and when I'm finally at the point where someone might actually speak to me to describe the problem, I get a busy signal. All in vain. Not sure why I bother but it sure would be nice to reach my kids on the home phone when I need to.

And of course this call is NOT free because I am NOT making it form a Telkom line because the Telkom line is the one that is NOT working.