Bowl a maiden over!
For those who read the title and thought that this was going to help you pick up local lovelies, you're going to be sadly disappointed, as probably the only way that you're going to score with a maiden (or any other woman) at Senwes park in Potchefstroom is with a cricket bat!
Cricket seems to be an enormous source of bewilderment for those who are not priveleged to hail from non-cricket playing nations, so let me try to explain the basics. Cricket comes in many forms, from the three, four and five day games (which, believe it or not, often end in a draw), to the more popular one day format (where you are at least guaranteed a result after a mere day): call me a purist, but I personally draw the line at the 20 over aside Twenty20 format, which I consider to be little more than 'hit and giggle'. Cricket has a fiendishly complex set of rules that make even rugby seem easily comprehensible: try explaining the Duckworth-Lewis method of determining a result for a match interrupted by rain to a novice or - even more challenging - try justifying D-L to an irate fan whose team have just falled foul of this method!
It's fair to say that cricket is definitely an acquired taste, after which it becomes highly addictive! Its popularity is almost exclusively restricted to Commonwealth nations (although the Irish and Dutch are cricketing minnows who have put up a creditable showing in the recent World Cup) - the heavyweight nations being Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India (the world champions at the time of writing), Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England. Indeed, I have a pet theory that a thirsty traveller can only rely on getting a decent cup of tea in countries who play cricket at a test (international) level!
Cricket is, above all, a game of strategy and once you get your head around the rules, it is utterly enthralling ... the downside is that this takes the average person about a decade! The good news is that you don't have to understand cricket to enjoy it, and attending a cricket game is a deeply relaxing experience, especially if it's one of the three, four or five day games. Unlike other more high energy, limited duration sports, frenetic action in cricket comes in short bursts (if at all) which allows you to get on with the serious business of sitting outdoors amid pleasant surroundings and in good company, keeping half an eye on the 'action' whilst chatting to your mates over a few beers.
A note for families: like rugby, cricket is a family game, and one of the most heartening aspects of attending a cricket match is to see stands full of fathers and sons (and often even mothers and daughters). Crowd violence at a cricket match is unheard of, so if the weather is nice, this is a laid back, affordable and very South African way to while away a lazy day, especially in a student town like Potch. However, bear in mind that cricket is a long game and that even the covered stands are not in the shade all day, so go equipped with a hat and plenty of sunblock!
P.S. 'To bowl a maiden over' is cricket parlance for the highly desirable achievement of bowling an 'over' - six consecutive balls - from which your opposition does not manage to score a single run. Basking in the limelight of your achievement and scoring with the local maidens thereafter is entirely optional ...
Why are the road signs in Spanish?
Potch is an exceedingly Afrikaans town, so why is there a series of road signs in Spanish along the main road?
Answer: Potch was the host town for the Spanish soccer team during the 2010 World Cup, and given that their guests were victorious, one can only assume that Potch hospitality was so inspiring that the Spaniards couldn't bear to leave and stuck around until the very end of the tournament!