Ticket Frenzy

Today’s biggest mission was to get tickets for the Incheon Korean Music Wave Festival.

Our lessons end at 1PM and the ticket sale started at 2PM. So as soon as our lessons were finished me and Unnie ran back home to our room as fast as we could. It only takes us about five minutes to get back to our room, but we felt that we had to hurry even more, as we had to get everything ready.

Buying concert tickets in South Korea is really… something. If you haven’t tried it yourself you probably would’t believe how crazy it is, especially not if you live in America or Europe where buying tickets is usually a quite calm affair.


So here is my step by step guide:

– First of all one has to be ready at least five minutes before the ticket sales start. Ready means having logged in on the site where the tickets are going to be sold, found the event site, and having ID and credit card close by. Well this is all pretty standard, the real craze starts one second after the ticket sale opens.

– It’s all about clicking on the ‘choose your seats’ button as fast as possible. At this point every second counts. We were fast and got in while there were still tickets to take, that means about two seconds after the sale started. We selected four pair of tickets in a record of two minutes (seats often disappear quickly, so it can be difficult to get a hold of them). During those two minutes neither of us allowed ourselves to breathe. But even with the seats chosen the battle still wasn’t over.

– The most difficult part for us had yet to arrive, and that was the actual purchase of those tickets. If the purchase takes too long of it it fails then the tickets are lost and put up for someone else to get. I reckon this is the most difficult part for foreigners as all of the information is in Korean. Thankfully, since we’re learning Korean, there were quite some things that we understood right away, like address, phone number, etc. But there were also things that we had to look up to be sure. Everything went perfectly until we got to the payment. It turns out that we had to install a program on Unnie’s computer but the installation kept failing. So after a while we lost the tickets.

– We stopped breathing and went seat hunting again, this time around as well we were lucky to find four seats after only about five minutes and headed towards the payment again. This time everything seemed to work but at the end, even though the price matched our expectations we have our doubts about wether we managed to buy four tickets or just one ticket.

This is because it said that we bought 1, just one. It doesn’t state what we bought 1 of, so it might mean that we bought all the tickets in one go, what we have currently come to the conclusion of, or it might just mean that we bought one ticket. The reason that we think that we managed to buy four tickets even though it states that we bought 1 is that there are different words for designating what you are counting in Korean. For example if you are counting books it will be 1권(pro: guon) if it is electronics it will be 1대(pro: dae). For tickets we think that it ought to be 1장(pro: jang), 장 being used to count paper or flat objects such as scarfs. But instead it said 1개(pro: gae), 개 being used to count objects, furniture or anything that can’t be counted with the other ways of counting. So, the only thing that is sure is that we purchased at least one ticket, maybe four. We will wait until the ticket(s) arrive with the post to find out just how many we actually got.

Unnie was nice enough to say that if it turns out that we bought just one ticket she will let me have it, since she has seen almost everyone that is going to perform and I still haven’t seen any of them. I hope that we will get four tickets though, going with more people is so much more fun. In that case Unnie also still has to figure out who she wants to sell the last two tickets to. A lot of people have been begging her to buy tickets for them since Unnie is the only one out of all of us able to buy the tickets, since she is the only one with an alien registration card at this point in time.

The concert is in three weeks and one day so I reckon that the tickets should arrive within the next two weeks.

Almost as soon as we had secured the tickets I had to leave to meet up with my Korean language exchange partner. I met with her for two hours and studied quite a lot. We studied in the central library and going inside that building for the first time was quite something. Like everywhere else at Ewha it was a big and impressive place with a high ceiling. One can’t enter the library with a bag so we left our bags at the bag counter and had a chat with the student workers there before heading in to study. This also explains why I don’t have any photos from our study time.


As I walked back from Ewha I marveled at it’s beauty once again. How amazing it is to walk in the middle of such a busy city as Seoul, yet be surrounded by nature and old buildings and a calm atmosphere, then turning around a corner and being able to see all the tall buildings in Sincheon.

It is true that Bath Spa University, where I attend university in England, is also surrounded by nature, but has a completely different feel than Ewha. First of all Bath is a very small city, especially compared to Seoul, but even if Bath was bigger the University is still so far away from the city that it completely looses that city feel that Ewha has because it is in such a central location.

I wonder how long it will take me to get used to living in a small town again after leaving Seoul. I’ve already adjusted to the busy life in the capital, and the sound of the trains nearby and the cars on rainy days don’t bother me anymore. I don’t wake up at 4am when the first train in the morning leaves Sincheon station anymore, the distant yet persisting sound of city life and the constant blinking city lights don’t disturb me anymore. I’ve even grown accustomed to the sound of children in the morning. Watching all of the elementary school kids play around in the playground is a very good pastime on lazy sleepless saturday mornings and I reckon that I’ll miss it once I leave. And coming from me, the girl who has been scared of children for as a long as she can remember, that is quite a statement.

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And I was worried that I wouldn’t have anything to say again today…

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Thilde Kold Holdt

I am a novelist by profession, currently working an epic fantasy series about 7th century Korea. My epic fantasy trilogy about Vikings, the Hanged God, is currently being published. I have lived

enough different places that the most difficult question to answer is: "where are you from?" I am, quite simply, from the planet Earth, for I have yet to set foot on Mars. Someday, though...

© Thilde Kold Holdt