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Local transportation guide and useful info

How to get to the CIC, the conf place

From the official hotel of the conf, there will be free daily transportation, once a day to and once a day from the conf site.

Just in case you will have to get to the conf place on your own, here is a photo of the building and the local site map (click to enlarge):

   Postal Address: CIC building, Av. Juan de Dios Batiz unnumbered, cross with Av. Miguel Othon de Mendizabal, Unidad Profesional "Adolfo Lopez Mateos" of the Instituto Politecnico Nacional (IPN). Zip code: 07738. Mexico City, MEXICO.

   Taxi: This is the best way to get to or from the hotel. The taxi from the official hotel should cost about 50 pesos (US$4). Go north by Av. Eje Central Cien Metros until the Subway station "Politecnico," and you are almost here; you can continue on foot or in taxi. Pass the Subway station, pass one building (car dealer Ford MYLSA, a glass building), turn right by Av. Venus, and enter the IPN territory gate. The nearest 3-floor pink building is the CIC. You can print out the following text in Spanish and show it to the taxi driver:

"Vaya al norte por Eje Central Cien Metros hasta el Metro Politécnico, páselo, pase un edificio mas (tienda de automóviles seminuevos Ford Mylsa), dé vuelta a la derecha (por la calle Venus), entre en el territorio del IPN (Instituto Politécnico Nacional), vaya al edificio roso de 3 pisos."

   Bus: Walk from the hotel to the right (direction opposite to Zocalo) to Bellas Artes palace (the nearest large street, called Eje Central). Take a bus going North (to the right) by Eje Central to the Metro Politécnico Subway station (ask the driver if the bus goes to Metro Poli). Ask the driver to tell you when the bus arrives to that station. Then walking along the car circulation by the large street (Eje Central), pass one building (car dealer Ford MYLSA, a glass building), turn right, and enter the IPN Institute territory gate. The nearest 3-floor pink building is the CIC.

   Metrobus: Take Metrobus North at Insurgentes street (to the direction Indios Verdes). Get out at La Raza, and from there take either taxi (some US$2.5 / 25 pesos) or Subway (yellow line) to Subway terminal station Politecnico. See the next item on how to get from Subway to the conf place. You will need to buy a plastic card to get to the Metrobus; the card can be re-charged in a special machine at the bus station. The card may (or may not) be sold at the bus station; ask at the hotel where to buy a Metrobus card.

   Subway: By the Yellow line, go North to the terminal station Politécnico. There are two exits, choose the one to "Calle Diana". Walking along the car circulation by the large street (Eje Central), pass one building (car dealer Ford MYLSA, a glass building), turn right, and enter the IPN Institute territory gate. The nearest 3-floor pink building is the CIC.

   Car: Take North Ave. Eje Central Cien Metros. Pass the large bus terminal "Terminal de Autobuses del Norte" (to the right from you). Pass the tower of the Mexican Oil Institute – Instituto Mexicano de Petroleo (to the left from you) and the Instituto de Petroleo Subway station. When crossing Eje 5 Norte (Montevideo), move to the right lane of Ave. Eje Central Cien Metros. Pass the Politécnico Subway station and go slowly. Pass one building – the Ford car dealer MYLSA (a glass building), turn right into Venus street, and enter the IPN gate. Leave some personal identification document at the entrance gate to IPN. The nearest building is CIC, a pink square 3 floor building.

   Spaceship: See the conf place in Google Earth.

Useful local information

   Currency and credit cards. Mexican peso is a bit less than US$0.10. Payments are usually accepted only in pesos (no dollars, no Euros). There is money exchange in any bank office (numerous in the city). Major credit cards are typically accepted (sometimes except for American Express, while Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted) in restaurants, supermarkets, and most shops (not in taxi!), so you do not need to exchange too much money for pesos. In the city, there are many cash machines (including in any bank office) where you can get cash from your credit card (Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted). For currency, usually the best exchange rates are at the Airport; there is usually no commission.

   Taxi. Taxi in Mexico is cheap and very frequent in nearly any place of the city. Often these are green beetles or green or white & red Nissans; the price is the same. To any place you need to go, you probably better go by taxi. Within the city, you would probably pay from US$3 / 30 pesos to US$8 / 80 pesos and save a lot of time. You should either ensure that the driver has turned on the taximeter (often not used after 10 pm) or agree the price in advance. You do not need to give tip to the driver. Taxis waiting near hotels can be expensive, but you can take any taxi passing by the street.

      On the other hand, taxis in Mexico are considered not completely safe, at least in the night (though other transport would hardly be much safer), so you might prefer to walk to an authorized taxi site to get a safer taxi there (more expensive), or call a taxi from the hotel (much more expensive). Also, sometimes the drivers do not know the city well, so make sure the driver knows the place and how to get there (usually the drivers are honest enough not to fool you about the route, but they might just not know the optimal route).

   Subway and bus. Subway and bus are cheap: subway costs US$0.2 / 2 pesos, tickets are sold at the entrance.

      Buses and especially microbuses (usually green) are also quite frequent. Bus costs from US$0.25 / 2.50 pesos to some US$0.4 / 4 or more pesos depending on the distance. You pay directly to the driver when getting in, there are no tickets to buy. The entrance is from the front door, exit from the rear door. There are no fixed stops for microbuses: to take one in the street, you should signal it with your hand; to get out of the micro, you should ask the driver to stop or press a bell button usually located above, or near to, the rear door. I do not recommend using a bus unless you know how to go; use taxi instead.

      Recently a special bus line was launched called "Metrubus". It is convenient if you know the route; otherwise Subway or taxi are simpler. To use Metrobus, you need to buy a special plastic card (ask at the bus stop how to buy it), which can be then re-charged in a special machine at the bus stop. You cannot pay at the bus itself.

   Food. Food in Mexico is extremely spicy, which can seriously affect you if you do not get used to it. We recommend you to either eat in restaurants or buy food in supermarkets. If appropriate, ask for European-type food; in a restaurant, ask specifically for a food that is not hot ("no picante" in Spanish). I do not recommend you the food sold in the street (tacos, tortas, quesadillas); if you want to try it then do it on the last day of your trip. In restaurants, the waiters expect to be tipped with 10% of the price (the tip is not included in the price).

      Water in the city water supply is not potable. Potable water is sold in bottles in shops, supermarkets, and in the street.

   Phones. Street phones require a special phone card (tarjeta telefónica in Spanish), which can be bought in most shops or booths in the street selling newspapers or sometimes food. The card can cost US3 / 30 pesos, US5 / 50 pesos, or US10 / 100 pesos (some phones accept credit cards). You may want to buy such a card in advance (perhaps at the hotel counter), in case of emergency. Street phones usually permit international calls. From the conf place, you can make a local call for free (contact the organizers) or a cheap international call by Internet; there is also a normal "street phone" in the conf building.

      For international calls, you can buy a callback / virtual card service in Internet, or simply make all your calls via Internet from the conf site. You can get your own account (e.g., Skype), or you can use my personal account (at the conference). A call to a European capital from a street phone is some $2.5/min (from the hotel probably more), and via Internet some $0.026/min, which is 100 times less expensive.

   Electricity. 110 V, American type (flat) plug. Adapter for European type 220 V plugs can be bought in a supermarket. In the hotel there may be (or may not be) 220 V outlets.

   Museums. The museums typically work from 8 am to 5 pm. After 5 pm, you will probably find everything closed. In many museums and archeological zones, on Sunday the entrance is free. Also, in some museums there are discounts for students and teachers. Specifically, please bring with your  (valid) Student / Professor / Teacher ID, and have it with you at all excursions.

   Security. The following recommendations are usual for any travel. We do not recommend you to walk alone in the nighttime. You should avoid carrying with you in the street any valuable objects (even those that do not have commercial value but are valuable for you personally). Avoid wearing any golden jewels, or better no jewels at all. If you are assaulted, it is safer not to resist to a violent robber. Local police is often of no help. Avoid carrying with you a credit card with large credit line (consider using two cards: one with your main account -- leave it in the hotel -- and one with a small sum for one-day use).

In case of any problem

   Call Alexander Gelbukh at +52 (55) 5729-6000 extension 56544, 56518 (tone dialing; just dial the extension when the answering machine starts speaking), or at a cell phone: +52 (55) 3253-0186; see other ways of contacting me.

   Emergency phones: Locatel: 5658-1111, Red Cross: 5557-5757, police (in case of assault): 5625-8008 (please print this out).

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Comments: A.Gelbukh.