Dealing with Beijing people again.
23.12.2012 - 07.01.2013
Beijing, December 29th 2012
A year ago, I traveled to Wuhan for one thing: Acrobat Show. Nevertheless, due to lack of information, my itinerary missed just one day from the scheduled show. Hence, I deliberately put "Acrobat Show" into my itinerary for Beijing this time. 3 months in advance I already booked a seat in the middle section row of green zone with Theater Beijing for December 26th. The seat was 200 RMB and no advance payment was required. On December 12th, my booking was reconfirmed and I was told to meet Helen at the ticket office of Chaoyang Theater.
Guess what, December 25th, just a day before the show, I received an email notice that the show on December 25th and 26th is stopped. As for the 27th, still needed to be confirmed, so said the email. I required to shift my booking to the 27th or 29th. How funny, December 27th, I was notified that (I copy paste) ... chaoyang acrobatic theater will be stop from 12.27th to 12.29th the open date still need to confirm with chaoyang theater on 12.30th. Honestly, I felt cheated. If they were unwilling to book a single ticket, why not say so from the start. Now, if I say I want to book a seat for January 1st, they would say, Chaoyang Theater has stopped the show from January 1st to January 2nd.
When I said so via SMS, this was the answer (on December 27th):
the show had stop for 12/24 to 12/26th, we received a new sms from chaoyang theater this morning, still not open from 12/27 to 12/29, sorry again!
"This morning". That's funny. So on that very morning, the manager or whoever, decided not to run the show on that very day?? How acrobatic, indeed!
In the next SMS they said, Chaoyang acrobatic change performance and acrobatic group!
I know there are travel agencies that offers a package for Beijing Acrobatic Show which includes show ticket, transportation, and some with an English-speaking guide. However, the prices were dear and moreover, which seat would be received was unclear. To some agencies I asked of what seat section does that package include. I never got an exact answer. That made it difficult to compare prices between travel agencies and to decide whether the price was reasonable or not, because show thickets as you can see here varies from 120 RMB to 400 RMB per person. But why seat location was so important for me was because I wanted to take pictures. Location does matter.
Transportation speaking, I considered that absolutely unnecessary for buses and subways in Beijing were so convenient. But which bus, which subway? Talk to Uncle M. Google! Maps Google, I mean. English-speaking guide? Hmmm, for an acrobatic show, I reckon there's more to see than to hear.
If you wonder why I didn't book a seat directly with Chaoyang Theater, where the acrobatic show is conducted. The answer is because at that time, according to both websites, booking through Beijing Theatre saved more. But with no guarantee -- that I didn't know.
I called Chaoyang Theater, eventually. They have an English hotline. At the beginning of the conversation, I was close to conclusion that I was never to watch Chinese acrobatic show, in China.
"Chaoyang Theater is under construction at the moment," said the lady over the phone. I sank into my seat. "But," she continued. "The group has moved to the Worker's Club."
"Will there be a show on the 29th?"
"Yes, there will be." She sounded very sure.
"Can I book a seat?"
"Sure you can!"
A view minutes later I was sent a text message containing the price list. I opted for Section C - Middle, 180 RMB. Section B - Front was 280 RMB. The other option was Section A - VIP 560 RMB.
I asked how to get to Beijing Worker's Club. Take a subway line 2 to Hepingmen Station, and then take a taxi, was the answer. Taxi? Really? No other option? Is it in such a suburb area? Uncle M. Google, come here, please.
Voila! Here I am! No taxi.
Join me to next post. I'll make you watch Beijing Acrobatic Show through my photoS.