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GoudaMeet 3.0: Report

From: Sanity <>
Subject: [F] Report: GoudaMeet 3.0, or "It's not about the size of the meet but what you do with it"
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 22:55:57 +0200

I proposed number 3 in the continuing series of GoudaMeets for 11
september. Whether people daren't travel on that date anymore, or they
wanted to take advantage of the rather nice weather is unclear, but it was
a small meet. In fact, it was probably the first Dutch meet where the
Dutch were outnumbered by the Germans.

Attending, in order of appearance:

The meet started at 13.30 when the German troop arrived by car at the
station. We waited shortly to be completely sure that I hadn't missed any
e-mails of people saying they'd come, and then set out towards the city
centre. It was quite busy, this being a Saturday, and "Open
Monumentendag" (Open Monuments Day), at which day monumental buildings
open their doors and musea are free. We profited from this by going to the
Catherina Gasthuis, the city museum and a hospital in a previous life.
Because of Open Monumentendag there was an exhibition with some nice
drawings about the old city gates and city walls, which were all
demolishes around the 1850s. I gave some explanation about the more
embarassing bits of Gouda's history, like the great defensive move when
the castle was demolished by the locals in the 1570 so the Spanish
wouldn't attack it. That trick actually worked.

The museum has several rooms which are decorated and furnished in the
style of days gone past, which is interesting. The old apothecary room was
received with enthousiasm by Corinna, whose family owned a pharmacy. The
kitchen was nice, though lacking somewhat in actual workspace for such a
huge kitchen, and the poffertjespan was regarded with distrust.
After venturing through the somewhat odd-smelling old Chapel we entered
the old cellar for mad people. It still has an original "dolcel" (mad
cell), where the more excitable guests of the hospital were kept away from
as much excitement as possible. Complete with bed, "relief" and a small
hole for light and air, it was a 3 square metre room that students
nowadays would pay at least 200 for.
The cellar also has a nice display of torture instruments. The central
theme was "spikes where you wouldn't like them", but there was also a
wooden horse with a small top that sits rather uncomfortably when it's
dragged through the streets, bits of leather and metal, and a stone to be
worn around the neck by women. I haven't checked how many objects are also
available at affordable leather, but Graham, if you're reading this and
want pictures I can arrange them ;-)

After thinking about people being tortured we went hungry and did lunch in
the traditional Gouda way (sitting slightly uncomfortable with bits of
other people's lunch on the ground around you). We then spent the time
until we had to get back to the station to pick up Labrat walking around
town to some touristic spots. Windmills were involved here, but they were
*special* windmills, one still being commercially operated and one being
built from bits of old castle. Plans were made to fly a windmill to Cuba,
but it's still standing here. Other touristic spots were the riverfront
and the old orphanage, nowadays the library or "openbare bibliotheek".
This caused some wondering on whether the library was openable and if so,
whether it still could be so even if the door was already open.

We picked up Labrat from the train station and set out to Eat. This all
went well (prices had gone up slightly since last year though), and after
that drinks were consumed and talks were talked. We caused a bit of
confusion when we switched tables (from the back bit to the front bit, so
we'd be more noticeable to the staff). There wasn't a lot of geekery going
on, except at the lady's toilet - or so we heared.

Around midnight, Labrat left, and an hour later I took the rest home for
crashing. This was much approved by Felix, the resident cat, who welcomed
the attention of the strangers and to show his goodwill, used them to
sleep on.

After breakfast and the usual morning rituals, and some more chatting, all
went home again and peace and quiet once again fell over the People's
Republic of Gouda. Despite the low turnout it was still a nice meet, and
at least this time I got the opportunity to talk with everybody. Next year
will certainly see a GoudaMeet again!

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