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Tickets Please
by Mary Nyiri

Tickets for films at the Berlinale can be purchased from the comfort of your own home. The online ticket shop is, and I quote, “a service of” If, however, you want to buy tickets for the Culinary Cinema (Kulinarisches Kino), “service” is not quite what you get. I knew tickets sold out quickly so I was online at exactly 9:59 a.m.waiting for the shop to open at 10:00 a.m. Nothing happened. I tried “refresh” a few times and kept getting the message that tickets were available from 10:00, even though it was ten minutes past. Then, finally, the screen showed: “Sorry! The shop is currently not available. In 30 seconds you can proceed.” I would count down to zero and a new countdown would begin. Repeatedly. ARGH!

I fired up a second computer and had one request through the German website and another through the English portal. Fifteen minutes later I was allowed to choose the dinner/movie with about five minutes between steps. After over forty minutes, when it came time to enter my credit card information, I was told to login later. I lost the reservation! The entire process started over again. #&%$!! ARGH!!! My personal favorite: “SORRY! NOW YOU CAN PROCEED.” But nothing proceeded.

With no success after fifty minutes, I called the ticket office in Berlin and a very disinterested lady told me tickets were sold at 10:01 and 10:03 to people in Berlin and I just needed to be patient! “KLEINEN MOMENT, BITTE!” Being a more patient patient (as in gone mental!) finally paid off when at 11:15 I successfully procured two tickets for The Ways of the Wine (El Camino del Vino) with dinner for 121 Euro. The request for a third ticket on two computers was never accepted with repeats of the aforementioned messages until at 1:10 p.m. the event showed sold out. Tickets for just movies, although complicated as to when available for purchase, were processed more quickly after the initial frenzy of the first hour. My recommendation: before clicking online, brew your favourite cup of coffee and boil a pot of patience!

Shelly Schoeneshoefer says: Thank goodness Mary has so much patience or I would not have had the chance to see this movie and eat a great meal with her.