Jason Simms files another report on the Olympic Games:
Other than my ping pong tickets, we didn't buy anything in advance because we had this Chinese hookup who was going to get us in to stuff and the priority was to make videos for English, baby! anyway. But it turned out that our hookup was only able to produce three shooting tickets. There were four of us.
So I volunteered to skip the shooting—although it is the most American Olympic sport possible—and try to scalp tickets for something else on the street. Have you noticed all the empty seats in the background of all the television coverage of the "sold out" Olympics? Yeah, those are out there. You just have to find them.
I guess a lot of those empty seats belong to companies that bought whole blocks and aren't using them. The rest belong to scalpers. I went to the nearest metro stop to the venues to try to buy some tickets and make a video about it. One interesting thing that didn't make the video was that I tried to haggle with the scalper and he wasn't having it. The game had already started, so he cut me a deal: 300 yuan (about $43. Some tickets were going for 10 times that). I demanded half of that. I mean, the ticket was going to be worthless in a few minutes anyway. He told me he'd rather just eat the ticket than give me a deal like that because it drives up the prices. He also wouldn't let me film him (which I sort of did anyway from the hip). I wonder what the penalty for scalping in China is.
Here's the video: