Eating in Shanghai 1

In the time I spent in Shanghai there was a lot of eating. My colleagues at work did an amazing job taking us out to eat. Below I share a few notes from the extensive eating we did.

Only one subway stop away from the hotel was Chamtime Plaza – one of seemingly thousands of restaurant-filled shopping centers around the city. This is a big, fancy place and we probably ate at ten restaurants there. There was one that specialized in Beijing Duck, and while I’ve had that dish before in the US, it definitely doesn’t compare. I think this is the only place we went to twice, on my first and last day.

Beijing ducks and me.


Beijing duck

In China they use ingredients that aren’t common in western cuisine. This can be a little challenging to a visitor. Things are made worse when said visitor limits himself to ingredients that aren’t intrinsically treif. Helpfully, most menus are fully illustrated and some are even translated.

Here’s a dish that ingredient-wise I could have technically tried but I decided against:

Donkey meat burger.

The hotel had a wonderful breakfast buffet with local food but also your typically Western breakfast. So you could get seaweed salad, made-to-order Ramen, with some corn flakes; all at the same place.

Glorious breakfast buffet at OneHome hotel.
No ramen in this photo, but do notice the rice thingie filled with sweet beans.

Our hosts took us to a lot of great restaurants. When trying things on our own, we didn’t fare so well. One place that was a total success was Lost Heaven in the Bund, a Yunnan-Style restaurant in… wait for it… the Bund.

Lost Heaven In The Bund

One thing I saw in lots of convenience stores was these white glass bottles that people drank out of using a straw. I couldn’t help but be curious. It turned out to be: yogurt. Good tasting for sure, maybe not the most refreshing thing after an arduous workout.

Yogurt in a glass bottle.

The biggest challenge for me was that I suck at using chopsticks. Everyone else in the country seems not to suck at it. I could have starved, had others not felt pity for me and chopstick-fed me.

I could have not done this better myself. Really.

Honorable mention: tea. Especially milk tea. Especially matcha milk tea.

Matcha milk tea.

This post is getting too long for the limited attention span of my readers, so it will have to be continued…


I headed out on my first trip to China for work. This was my first flight on a 787 Dreamliner (very nice!) and my first trip to China (very far!) and the longest I have been away from my dear beautiful family (very hard!).

The legroom on an American Airlines 15 hour flight is… minimal. There was maybe an inch between my knees and the seat in front of me. Seriously.

My first impressions of the city are great. Very modern, clean, traffic is not insane. Great roads, unbelievable skyline. Excellent subway.

We stayed at the very nice Onehome Art Hotel which had everything from fake clouds, elevator music in every hallway, lots of art, a glorious  Chinese breakfast buffet…

Fake clouds
Seaweed salad for breakfast? Check. Ramen? Check. Anything you want is here.
More fake clouds. They also have weird fake bird sounds all over the place.
Creepy and artsy cell phone charging station at the hotel.

More of Shanghai in upcoming posts.

Separated at birth? Like Father, Like Son Part II

Nature’s idea of a sick joke is giving you a hot mom but making you look just like your dad. It happened to my first kid, and it happened again to my second kid:

Left: Late 2017
Right: Late 2018

Third time’s the charm?

San Antonio

Back in December the Austin Kirsch family headed to San Antonio to meet the Mexico City Kirsch family. San Antonio is pretty close, so obviously I never think of going.


  • My beautiful nieces
  • San Antonio Zoo: Perfect for little kids. Not gigantic, but not small. Great variety of animals.
  • The DoSeum: This place makes Austin’s The Thinkery feel tiny. I didn’t even know it existed!

Conspicuously missing: Six Flags (closed), Sea World (closed), The Alamo, Riverwalk. Gotta leave something for next time.


Spoiler-free Star Wars thoughts

Jorge Valdano wisely said: “El fútbol es lo más importante entre las cosas menos importantes” (“Soccer is the most important thing among the least important things”).

He is right. This is my addendum: “Star Wars is the second most important thing amongst the least important things”.

As in soccer, you can get into fist fights about Star Wars. But unlike soccer, Star Wars-related fist fights are quick and unfair because you’re fighting trekkies.

I liked the movie, and it wasn’t a redo of an old one. Go see it.

My little Mexicans

After 3 and 0.25 years (respectively) I’ve finally taken action and ensured that my poor two little kids have a team to root for in the upcoming World Cup.

Last Friday we went to the Mexican Consulate to finalize the process for making them Mexican Citizens. ¡Felicidades!


Ilán puts his fingerprint on his naturalization certificate.
Ari was a little bit more suspicious of the process.
I am quite certain that this is the best family photo we have so far. It’s hard to get everyone to look at a camera at the same time.
The moment before Ari’s acceptance speech.

Barton Hills Farms

Two weeks ago we headed to Barton Hills Farms at the suggestion and accompanied by the Aguilars. I was skeptical: what the hell do you do in a farm in the middle of nowhere?

Turns out there’s much to do. Besides photo ops with pumpkins, which people seem to really like, they have lots of games and activities including Ilan’s favorite: little trains you can ride.

This post is a bit late: they’re closed since November 5th. Make a note for next year.

Friends help friends move. Real friends help friends move bodies.