It's come and gone! Noders in attendance were sloebertje and her non-noder boyfriend, darl, Wiccanpiper, rootbeer277, panamaus, BJuarez, and me, of course.
La Noderísima Reunión 2006
Rendez-vous in Old Mehico
Yep, that's right, folks. In 2006, I will be hosting a nodermeet in
México, titled "The Very Noder Meet". Please come!
Guanajuato, capital of the homonymous Mexican state, in central
México, a region of México known as El
Bajío (the lowlands).
Tentatively, depending on dates that seem more
comfortable for noders, the weekend of October 7, 2006. There's nothing tentative about this anymore, since people have already bought plane tickets for those dates. That's ONE
FULL YEAR I gave you advance notice. I hope you planned ahead!
Because I love you guys, and I want to see you!
Okay, if that's not reason enough, there's also going to be an annual
Cervantine Festival going on at the same
time. Although the festival is nominally in order to honour Miguel de
Cervantes Saavedra's works (*ahem*, "In a place of
la Mancha, whose name I have no desire to call to mind..."), lots of
other things happen at the time, art exhibits, free shows on the
streets by buskers and public comedians, concerts, theatre,
dance... basically, lots of performance arts, plus a few events here
and there in remembrance of the Annals of La Mancha.
The Cervantine Festival is a big deal. There's a Spanish webpage at
and some relevant information in English at
which gives more information. At the present time as I am writing
this node, the festival is going on. Keep checking this node for
updates, as there will be constant changes as more information becomes
available! I'm still checking out the Cervantine Festival and will
have more to report about it after I participate in more of its
Hold on, México?! Isn't that, like, in a different hemisphere?
I'm well aware that noding from México is a lonely task. In
that userpoll that circulated several months ago asking place of
residence, I was the only one that answered "Latin America". Though
there have been some scattered noders here and there noding from México, most noders
simply live very far away from this place.
That is why I'm giving you advance notice! I'm giving you a full year
to think about it and prepare for it! I want people to show up, very
much, I do. I'm not too sure what kind of noder could
come... university and college students are probably going to have a
hard time getting here, as October is smack in the middle of the
school year for most people. I myself will be in school at the time,
although I will take much care to plan ahead and do my schoolwork
earlier in order to be able to entertain guests when you come.
Uh... No falo espanyol... (gosh, I hope that's right)
So you don't fellate
Spanish? No worries! I, your humble host and guide, will be more than
happy to show you around town in English or French (give me a little
more time with the Russian, and maybe I can show you around with that
too). I promise to stick around and be a good little host.
Even if for some reason you mistrust my abilities or intentions for
showing you around Guanajuato, I assure you that you'll be fine
here. Guanajuato has a strong international community and attracts
lots of tourism. Now, I know that normally "attracts tourism" makes
little warning signs flash in the mind of the experienced traveller,
but Guanajuato's tourism is different. For one, what comes here is
mostly cultural tourism, from all over the world. I have met
people from Norway, Germany, Sweden, England, France, Cuba, Switzerland, Canada,
Russia, Spain, Colombia, and even from the United States of
America here! The wonderful thing about the visitors from other parts
of the world is that they come in peace and eager to absorb Mexican
culture, all doing their very best to speak Mexican Spanish and often
succeeding remarkably. While you don't need yourself to make the same
effort if you're only coming for a couple of days one weekend for my
nodermeet, you can probably find a buddy here who can help you get
around if I can't do it. Additionally, many (but not all) of the
locals speak English, and a few other languages, so you'll be able to
get around even without my assistance.
Guanajuato is an important place in Mexican history. The first major
battles in México's war for independence took place here, and
oustanding historical figures have left their imprint in
Guanajuato. Guanajuato is home to one of the world's largest silver mine,
La Valenciana, and geology buffs can have lots of fun touring
the underground passages of this mining town. Vicente Fox,
México's current president is from Guanajuato and used to be
For those so morbidly interested, you can also go see
LIVE NUDE MUMMIES!
(actually, probably dead nude mummies, but hey), although I suspect
that that's not going to be one of the more enticing points about
There is one major university in Guanajuato that attracts students
from around the country and from other countries. There are also some
other major schools, such as the maths school to which yours
truly is currently attending. The result is that there is vibrant
youth culture here and never a dull moment!
Ok, ok... This is getting interesting. How is it going to work?
The first thing, of course, is getting to Guanajuato. The nearest
airport is in León, Guanajuato, and from there it's a 40 minute
bus ride to Guanajuato, Guanajuato for about 30 MXN (about 2 EUR or 3 USD, during October 2005, cheap!). I can
meet you at the bus station when you arrive, or you can easily take a
cab to your lodging of choice (which includes my house). Optionally, you can also fly to México City and take a bus from there. It's a four-hour drive and costs about 250 MXN (23 USD or 20 EUR)
If you are an adventurous soul planning to come by car, I am afraid
there is not much help I can give you. I don't drive myself, so I don't
know how to do it. It may also be more expensive than normal for you
to do this, as tolls in Mexican highways do add up quickly, and if
you're not used to driving styles in México, it can get tricky. If you're willing instead to bus it, I can vouch for the supreme comfort and affordability of Mexican bus services, far superior at least to their Canadian and US conterparts (Greyhound sucks!), but it might take several days to get here that way.
As for immigration issues, Germans, Swiss nationals, Canadians, British nationals, and Americans can stay in the country without a visa for up to 180 days; Australians and French are going to have to leave early, and only get 90 days without a visa (don't ask me why). All foreigners who wish to stay as tourists for this period of time are required to do some minor paperwork at the port of entry. It's a minor hassle, and everyone seems welcome. If you're from a different country which I didn't list here but would like to come anyways, you probably can anyways; just check at the website of any Mexican consulate what your immigration requirements are. I'd be surprised if they were difficult to meet.
Once here, I have floor space for maybe two or three noders (bring
your own sleeping bags!). Additionally, you can also find cheap
accomodations at various hostels in town, sometimes for as little as 60 MXN a night (about 5 EUR or 6 USD), but during the Cervantine Festival, prices may go up slightly, perhaps 80 MXN (6 EUR or 7 USD) for a cheap hostel. There are also nicer hotels such as Hotel Guanajuato, where I have personally stayed myself, and I give it my seal of approval. A double room in Hotel Guanajuato goes for 500 MXN a night (about 50 EUR or 60 USD) during the Cervantine Festival season.
As for nourishment, I will make two meals on Saturday and Sunday. If
you care to sample my cuisine, I can guarantee delicious results, but
I must warn you that I don't eat meat, so you'll have to go elsewhere
to satisfy that craving. I will prepare mild food suitable to the
taste buds of those poor souls who have not yet developed a resistance
to capsaicin (¡Ay, ay, ay! ¡Muy picante! ¡Muy
caliente!). Guanajuato is a relatively cheap town, even
during the Cervantine Festival when prices get hiked up a little, so
you can probably also easily afford eating out. A full-course meal at
a moderate restaurant will probably be no more expensive than 50 MXN
(about 5 USD or 4 EUR as of October 2005), and even a fancy meal
should be no higher than 120 MXN (8 EUR or 10 USD).
The difficult part is getting here. Once here, you'll be well-taken
care of and cheaply fed. Oh, also cheaply partied, if you're up for it.
¿Fiesta? Did someone say fiesta?
Oh, yes. If you get sick of all the artsy fartsy events involving the
Cervantine Festival, we can simply go out bar-hopping to one of the
many bars and clubs downtown, or maybe go out salsa dancing (anyone out
there willing to teach me?).
Hmm... maybe. I'll think about it.
Well, let me know how it goes! I'd love it for people to come to my
nodermeet. I'll be periodically updating this node with more
specific information as the details start to get more concrete. I also
plan to be regularly noding throughout the year relevant information
about Guanajuato and Cervantes in order to lure more guests.
List of potential or impotential worldly travellers
Mines, Mummies, and Music? I'm so there!
- rootbeer277: "Tickets are purchased, I'm comin' to México! I'm flying in on the 6th and flying out on the 9th of October."
- darl: "Ah, hell, why not. I've got a thing for mummies. But please don't advertise this."
- Nadine_2: "More a definite than a maybe."
- sloebertje+1: "Woohoo, our tickets have finally been booked! We (sloebertje + boyfriend) will be in Guanajuato 2-9 Oct. Now for a place to stay..."
- BJuarez: "pos, si no me jode American Airlines, estaré llegando a BJX a las 21:20 la noche del 5 de octubre. Pero me acaban de cambiar el itinerario del vuelo. En cuanto tenga confirmado todo, te aviso. :("
- panamaus: It's official: I'm arriving on 10/5 at 7:23PM in BJX, on the same AA flight as BJuarez. He's still working out ground transport options, but odds are that we shall arrive in GTO together. :)
- Wiccanpiper: "Make that a YES! Flight and Hotel Guanajuato booked, ¡me voy al Nodermeet! I called the Hotel G. and as far as I could tell (my Spanish is very rusty) I've booked a room, in 5/Oct, out 9/Oct, for 520 pesos (not bad!). Lookin' forward to it! :)"
- <Gorgonzola: "A certain document arrived in the mail today, which means I will definitely be there."
- your name here
Er, it sounds like fun, but it's a long trip! I'll get back to you.
- GhettoAardvark: "I'm going to figure out some costs for Noderissima, and if it's reasonable, I will try and bring my fiancee and myself. Sounds like it kicks ass!"
- Althorrat: "[...]So the upshot of this longwinded statement is a resounding, 'Maybe'".
- Evil Catullus: "I like Mexico. Put me down for a maybe."
- NinjaPenguin: "Oh lordy, a year is a lot of time."
- Infinite Burn: "Sign me up!"
- Andrew_Aguecheek: "This depends largely on how the uni term is going to work next year, but it is possible I'll be there..."
- Sofacoin: "Greetings, noders of e2: I am going to make a declaration of my intent to travel to the land of México this coming year."
- futilelord: "You should put me down for a possible. I'm pretty close but scheduling may prove difficult."
- Kit: "I'm very disappointed, but because I was unexpectedly unemployed for a month this summer, I just can't afford to miss a week and a half of work. If I can get Dad to lend me some money, I might still make it, but chances look very slim at the mo."
- Maybe your name here?
México? Are you out of your mind? No way!
- wordnerd: "Country-hopping is not in my future."
- Simulacron3: "This is damn mean of you, Swap. I would SO like to be there, but ... "
- Timeshredder: "Quisiera ir, pero dudo que podré ir."
- izubachi: " I think you'll have to put me down for a no, unfortunately."
- hapax: "Ah, wish I could, but the academic schedule and my fatal allergy to sunshine prevent it."
- ThePassPassPort: "I cannot attend, conditions of my parole and all ..."
- Sir Norris: "The possibilty that I'd be able to is somewhere in the region of zero."
- Arviragus: "I would love to come to Mexico, but in between biochemistry and mathematical analysis, I don't think I'd be able to manage." This is the best excuse I have heard yet.
- Cletus the Foetus: "Not that much of a 'maybe'."
- yclept: "I doubt I'll have the $$ to do it. And one of the shows I'm hoping to get into is at the end of October, so I don't think I can make it. It lingers at the back of my mind as a thing to keep in mind, but without much hope."
- eien_meru: "No. Sorry."
- Heisenberg: "Please remove me from ouatim and the list in Noderissima 2006."
- Altusmens: "I'm sorry buddy, but I'm gonna have to withdraw my participation from Noderissima 2006 . I just realized it's scheduled for Columbus Day weekend . Attending the party that happpens during that time in
Portland is about the only certain thing in my life after death and taxes. Still, I hope I see you in Montreal this summer, and I'mintent on making it to Mexico in the not so distant future."
- Catchpole: "Hi, looks like I won't be able to make your noderissima. Too much going on this year as I'm getting married and working in a new country so a trip to Mexico is just too much. Apologies and hope it's a success!"
- paraclete: "Hey, definitely not going to be able to make it I'm afraid... "
- montecarlo: "I'd very much like to come, but it's beyond my cost horizon, sort of. Cheers, though!"
- Bitriot: "I'm sorry. October is just not looking good for me. I really wanted to meet you. Maybe someday, some gathering ..."
- Halspal: "Hey, Jordi. Please pull me out of the (ouatim) group as there's not much chance of my attendance. Real life has gotten busy."
- Nora can't come because of other engagements.
- hunt05: "So this is the point where I break everybody's heart and announce that I'm not going to be there. My perhaps has turned into a definate no-- work and money (which, as you know, go hand in hand) are strongly preventing me from getting to Mexico."
- DejaMorgana: "Me too, unfortunately. Ain't gonna happen. Sorry, Swap."
- diotina and
- Oolong: "Alas, it is sounding very unlikely. I've been sort of keeping a wild hope alive myself, but it really is looking more and more wild I'm afraid.
Maybe next year...!"
- avalyn: "Sigh, I guess you should remove me from ouatim, because there's no way I'll be able to make it. :|"
- booyaa and
- princess loulou: "i am here to tell you that booyaa and i won't make it to guanajuato this october after all :( there's a load of crap going on at work which has somewhat interfered with our plans. however we do plan to get to the states next year so we'll plan a southerly path and hook up with you then."
- C-Dawg: "I'm sorry to become #27 on the No list. I'm sure many of the others would join me in wishing you the best, and appreciation of the effort you're putting into what will hopefully be a Nodermeet que vivir´ en las memorias de nuestra communidad para siempre!"
- Apatrix: "Due to a combination of unfavourable factors, I'm a definite no. Lo siento. Please remove me from the group."
- Jack: "Yeah, what he said (I ain't gonna make it either, dudes. It's a bad time to be taking time off of work in my business. Have a great time, though.)"
- Andromache01: "I will probably be too broke to make it down to Mexico any time soon. I didn't have the heart to say so earlier when everyone else was pulling out because it was nice to listen to all the usergroup messages. *sad face* I am a lonely, lonely, nodergirl."
- tokki: "What was still tentative and in fact would have probably been a yes (I have the money) has solidly turned into a "can't go." I registered for a financial mathematics exam this morning that falls squarely on that weekend. The reason why I hesitated in answering for so long was because I didn't know what date they would set the exam until last week."
- IWhoSawTheFace: "I'll call you to make it up to you. How's that, big boy? MWAH!"
- BookReader: "Going to have to bail. I’ve got classes to pay for; ironically one is a Spanish class."
- LeoDV: "Same here. No money, too much work. I also had to cancel a study trip to Poland."
- Not too many names here, please
1) What's the weather like down there during October?
Mostly warm. It might get chilly or rainy enough in the afternoons to warrant a light sweater, but I wouldn't recommend much more than that. It can get incredibly windy at times, though, so maybe an emergency scarf in case you have to be out in the wind would also be a good idea. Oh, it also gets rainy. A cautious traveller would bring an umbrella.
2) Are traveler's cheques a good idea?
Probably not. There are accesible banks that will give you cash for your cheques, although they close for weekends. Some establishments will also accept traveler's cheques, but not all, so don't rely on it. If you're going to be coming specifically only for the weekend, it might be a better idea to just bring a little cash in a safe place, as you won't need that much after you've paid your transportation and lodging expenses.
3) I've seen ¡Mucha Lucha!. Any chance of seeing the real stuff there?
There is a wrestling ring in Guanajuato, although I haven't been there yet. I'll go check it out later in case there are people truly interested in going.
Additionally, to get into the spirit of things, maybe you can find a copy of that old classic "Momias de Guanajuato", where El Santo makes a guest appearance near the end. IMDB entry is here.
4) How much should I tip and when?
10 to 15 per cent is reasonable, 20 if you're feeling generous. Tipping etiquette around here parallels American and Canadian tipping etiquette quite well. People who serve you food should be tipped, and everyone else is up to your discretion.
5) If I want to stay longer, what else is there to see and do?
Lots! First, remember that the Cervantine festival goes on for most of October. The official nodermeet is only for the first weekend of the festival, since that's the weekend before the great waves of crowds arrive, but you could of course stay longer for more Cervantine festival shows. There are two more weekends of the festival, plus all the time in between, of course. Guanajuato itself also has some points of interest. Besides the mines and mummies, you can go visit museums, churches, colonial buildings and such.
There are also surrounding towns such as Dolores Hidalgo where the cry for Mexican independence was first heard, or San Miguel de Allende, a colonial small town where the US and Canadian expats hang out in quiet retirement. If you're willing to move around by bus (I can't extoll the virtues of the Mexican bus system enough), you can also travel farther to the state of Oaxaca and see more of the real Mexico, and maybe even find people who only speak American languages and no Spanish.
You can also go see beaches, if you need to catch a tan. There are many to choose from, but if you're the kind of person who's coming to my nodermeet, you probably will want to avoid the touristy beaches and go for something that isn't like MTV Spring Break. For that I recommend Oaxaca or Veracruz beaches, where you're more likely to run into people that speak Spanish than English.
Don't feel like you have to do all of these things. I'm just trying to give you more options. Just make it to my nodermeet and make me the happiest maths nerd in town. :)
6) Where can I stay in Guanajuato?
See my Guanajuato node for this and much more information!
7) What are we going to be doing?
Here it is! A very rough schedule on what's going to be happening. I'd rather keep it flexible and we can chat about it over dinner on Friday.
Welcome dinner at México Lindo y Sabroso
at 20:00. Address:
Paseo de la Presa #59. Will discuss Cervantine festival shows that we
want to see. Depending on when we finish, may go downtown to catch an
or Cervantine shows.
Valenciana tour. Church and mine.
Middle afternoon (16:00-ish):
Lunch chez Swap, featuring the peerless Swappian mole de olla with
Mexican red rice!
Cervantine shows, previously decided upon on Friday's dinner.
Lunch at Van Gogh, in Jardín de la Unión.