This is the story of the time my brother and I bought tickets to a show in China, and is a little more interesting that the description suggests.

You see, every night in Hangzhou (at least at the time this took place) there is a show on the West Lake. It’s called ‘Impressions of West Lake’ and it is a very cool show that involves the performers acting, singing, and dancing on a stage that is partially under water. You should definitely see it if you ever get the chance.

When we went, however, we couldn’t find the ticket office. What we found was a man in a clothes stall willing to sell us tickets at a price lower than the official one. Half now, he said, and half later. We were rather skeptical, but in the end we decided to risk it. We coughed up, got our receipt, and were told to meet them at seven o’clock on the second floor of KFC. We spent the next couple of hours wondering if we’d just got scammed. After all, how could they possibly profit from selling tickets at a lower price?

At seven o’clock we duly showed up on the second floor of KFC. There were several other people there, and as it turned out, they were also purchasing tickets from these people. They collected the rest of the money and, somewhat surprisingly, handed out the tickets. We followed the group out the door and to the staging area.

It wasn’t until we had sat down and were waiting for the show to begin that I looked at the back of my ticket. I nudged my brother. ‘This is a group ticket.’

We suddenly realised their genius plan. These people had bought a bunch of group tickets (24, apparently) for what was probably a discounted price. Then they sold it to us for a profit, but a price that was still lower than the full one. It really does say something about both the ingenuity of these people, and the lengths they go to for extra money.