I went to a concert tonight at the Musée d’Orsay, by a British choral group called “The Sixteen” (though, ironically, there were 18 singers…). When I got to the museum, I went up to the ticket counter with my request for a student-discount ticket all planned out in my head. This is what actually happened (translated to English for your benefit):
Lady behind the counter (let’s call her Anne) – Hello!
Me – Hello! I, uh, I would like a ticket fo-
Anne – Yeah. How old are you?
Me – 21.
Anne – What country are you from?
Me – USA
Anne – Ok, that’ll be 8.50€
(I pay her, receive change and a ticket, and move on. Beyond the counter there’s a staircase to get to the auditorium and a door to get to the museum exhibits, which are open late on Thursdays. The docents there wave me on to the door instead of the stairs. This is not good; I look at my ticket more closely and realize it’s for the galleries, not the concert! So I go back to the counter.)
Me – Hi again. I’m sorry, but I wanted a ticket for the concert.
Anne (bemused, but not amused) – Oh, really? So you don’t want that ticket? I’ll have to cancel it. (She turns to her computer screen) It’s 25€ for the concert, you know… Wait, you’re under 35 so it’s 19€.
Me – That’s fine. (She gives me the 8.50€ I paid for the original ticket)
Anne – I need to see your ID for the reduced concert ticket.
(I give her my international student ID card)
Anne – Wait, you’re a student?! You can get into the museum free, you know?
Me – Ok, but I’d like to go to the concert.
Anne – But that’ll cost you 19€!
Me – Yes, that’s fine! (I give her 19€ and she returns my ID card. She seems incredulous that I would want to go to a concert when I could go to the galleries for free, but she gives me my ticket and bids me goodnight)
The concert was well worth the hassle. “The Sixteen” performed Renaissance works by John Sheppard, William Mundy, and Richard Davy, and every piece was incredible. And hey, there’s a good story to go with it, too.