Model T

The decision has been made. I am leaving the yellow brand and heading red. In fact, as of this morning, I’ve already gone red. And not just with anger at the yellow brand.

Anger because the yellow brand made it extremely difficult to port my number, repeatedly suggesting that it was a huge hassle and that I’d probably be better off sticking with them. But I didn’t want to do that, so I’m leaving my number with them as well. Apart from anything else, it should cut down on the nuisance calls. The incoming ones anyway – I’ll still be making just as many as before.

I’ve had nothing but excellent service from Vodacom with my tablet, so I’ve decided to trust them with my cellphone contract as well. And things got off to an wonderful start with Nicole from their Canal Walk store giving me faultless service and an in-stock handset this morning. Kaboom!

My last 3 phones have all been Sony Ericssons and generally I’ve been hugely happy with them. Sony has now dropped Ericsson, but by all accounts they’re still making great phones, suggesting that Ericsson was probably just along for the ride anyway. After much research and many sleepless nights (the latter more to do with my kids than any cellphone-related troubles) I finally decided on this baby:

Behold: The Sony Xperia T

Isn’t she gorgeous?

Her vital statistics make awesome reading, with a 13MP camera, HD video thanks to the Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine and a rather nippy dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait CPU.

I’ll obviously do a full review on here once I’ve played a bit and seen how things go. But apparently, it’s the phone that James Bond uses in Skyfall, so it must be good. And have lasers or something.

Oh, and I’ll also be keeping an eye on how much difficulty (or joy) changing one’s cell number after 6 years can cause. I’m intrigued to see whether it’s a liberating or encumbering experience.

Right, now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to play.

“Flying down stock from Jo’burg”

One of the most annoying things that has been particularly annoying me lately, aside from all the other annoying things that have been annoying me (and there have been a few) is the whole “we’re flying down some stock from Jo’burg” thing.
I’ve come up against this wall a couple of times in the last fortnight – namely with my cellphone (thanks for absolutely nothing again, MTN) and with a new PCB for my burglar alarm. Neither item is available in Cape Town, but it won’t be a problem because they’re “flying down some stock from Jo’burg”.


I have a couple of issues with this. Firstly, why isn’t there any stock in Cape Town already?
If I were living in Uitenhage or Umtentweni, I could understand it. There’s not going to be a huge call for cellphones or burglar alarm PCBs there, because to have demand, you need people and there are no people in Uitenhage or Umtentweni. That’s how they roll. Emptily.
Cape Town, however, is a bustling metropolis of over 3 million residents. It’s therefore statistically more likely that there will be more of a demand for… well… everything, really. And cellphones and burglar alarm PCBs fall neatly into that “everything” category.
Why then, is there no stock here?

The second issue I take exception to is the location of this “Jo’burg” place. At first, I thought it was just short for Johannesburg, the much… er… “misunderstood” city up in Gauteng. But it has rapidly become evident to me that this is not the case. If this were the case, then “flying down some stock from Jo’burg” would take about 2 hours, because a flight from Jo’burg to Cape Town takes about that long. Be reasonable and add organisation and transport at either end and you could knock it up to 24 hours. Remember that you’re in South Africa and add another 48 and you’re looking at a 72 hour turnaround.

Needless to say, this hasn’t actually been the case for the cellphone or the burglar alarm PCB, neither of which have yet arrived in Cape Town. This leads me to believe that the “Jo’burg” that they are “flying down some stock from” is actually not short for Johannesburg, the misunderstood city in Gauteng.
No, this alternative “Jo’burg” is a mythical place where little elves and goblins ride flying pink unicorns and Julius Malema is sane.
It’s a place where cellphones aren’t required because all you have to do is shout really accurately into huge yellow spoons and the sound magically echoes into your correspondent’s ear. They have no need for burglar alarm PCBs either, because alternative Jo’burg is the ulimate socialist society, where everyone shares everything with everybody else anyway and there’s more than enough fairy dust to go around.
The elves and goblins and unicorns spend their days lying in the sunshine, drinking vodka Martinis served by angry rabbits, nibbling on cocktail snacks and chatting about the latest tennis results – doing anything, in fact, except for sending my bloody stuff to Cape Town. And the chances are that when (if?) I ever see my new cellphone and burglar alarm PCB, they will be covered in glitter and unicorn spit (the combined acidity of which will obviously render them completely useless.)

I’ve been through all the usual stages. Anger, Denial, Despair, Anger, Depression, then some more Anger. I’ve shouted and cried and banged my head against both metaphorical and literal brick walls. I’m almost ready to give up and I need some of that magical Jo’burg fairy dust to keep me going.

One final question. This can’t just be a Cape Town thing, can it? There must be other places in SA which don’t have stock of stuff they really should have stock of and try (with varying degrees of success) to fob you off that they are “flying down some stock from Jo’burg”. And you buy it – at least initially.
But what of people in Jo’burg? Does Jo’burg have stock of everything? Always?
Because the old “we’re flying down some stock from Jo’burg” thing isn’t going to work on them, is it? So what’s the substitute line? 
It can’t be “we’re flying up some stock from Cape Town”, because we haven’t got any bloody stock in Cape Town.

That’s what started this whole bloody problem off, remember?