I’ve posted a lot of photos from the trip to the World Cup in the MKX® Photo Central.
We visited a small private collection of arcades from the Soviet era in Moscow. Given my field of work and the man years I spent playing video games, I found this interesting.
Lots of mechanical, as in little moving parts, displays. This, instead of the raster graphics on CRT displays common at the time. I will have to look more into what kind of processors these things used and how capable they were.
Add terrible video games to the list of why it was crappy to grow up in the USSR.
…continued from Eating in Shanghai 1.
We went with a large group of colleagues to a pretty good dumpling place. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name. It was in yet another large mall but this time in the financial district.
A highlight for me throughout the trip are steamed buns. It’s a genius concept: instead of sticking bread in an oven, steam it in a little basket! Delicious.
One interesting cultural difference is that on this side of the world, we remove the face of the things we eat. No such thing in China.
Hot Pot. Kind of like Chinese fondue. I am not a fan of fondue but mostly because I don’t want to dip my food where others dip their food. Fortunately, we each got a personal hot pot so I got to awkwardly fish pieces of food out with my poor chopsticks skills for minutes without bothering anyone else. You order a bunch of food (lamb was a favorite of mine) which they bring raw. You dip, wait, take the food out, wait for it to cool down to a reasonable temperature, eat. Impatience is not your friend. I know because I got to chew a lot of half-cooked stuff and burned the roof of my mouth. The genius of the whole concept is that if you don’t like the food, you only have to blame yourself (the cook) for it!
Here’s something I didn’t eat: Turtle soup. I was told that if you feel sick, you should eat it. I think what they meant was: if you eat it, you will feel sick.
Another pretty good drink I had: Black rice drink.
There was a little wooden duck in Ilan’s toy box for years. I finally learned what it was: a chic chopstick holder. Ironically, it eventually got decapitated and was thrown away. I say ironic because at this particular restaurant the duck is served with its head firmly in place.
Last, shoutout to my uncle Isi and cousin Rafa who heard I was going to be in China and flew halfway around the world to buy me dinner. Happy birthday Isi!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Honorable mention: tea. Especially milk tea. Especially 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!).
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…
More of Shanghai in upcoming posts.
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.
I took a quick trip and attended the presentation of Thelma Sandler’s new book: “Anclas para la Memoria” (“Anchors for Memory”); a compendium of scripts for theater written by Mexican writer Thelma Sandler.
The presentation was at Centro Cultural Plaza Fátima, where around 200 spectators gathered to see dramatic reading of several of the plays included in the book. It was a very nice event. I highly recommend buying the book.
Disclaimer: Author is my mom. But I paid for my copy of the book in full.
Update July 31, 2017: Newspaper article about the event
Inspired by my handsome uncle’s debut as a male model and my cousin‘s ongoing modeling career, I recently took a small gig modeling for a Russian magazine. You can see it here (Google Translation) (PDF for when the link becomes inevitably broken).
I think this is going to be the beginning of something big. Goodbye engineering, hello exploiting my natural beauty.
Sent by Daniela K.
I used to watch a lot of wrestling growing up. Both WWF (Hulk Hogan is my hero) and Mexican wrestling which was on TV every Saturday night before a Mauricio Garcés movie. I even knew who the real Mil Máscaras was. And while my dad took me to a WWF event in San Antonio, I never went to the famous Arena Coliseo in Monterrey.
Until last weekend, that is. Jaco my brother, Bernardo my nephew, Eli my cousin, Ori his kid, and Danny my cousin headed to the beautiful arena for 4 hours of non-stop fake violence. And the best part: the main event was a 3 vs 3 fight featuring wrestling superstar Blue Demon Jr:
I’d like to clarify some of the rumors circling around the internet about a photo of myself in the ring with no shirt: they are true, the photo exists but will not be revealed. Unless…
Yesterday I fulfilled one of my childhood dreams: I climbed on the ropes of the ring at the wrestling venue Arena Coliseo. I was booed by the audience, they thought I was a heel. If I get 200 likes I’ll post the photo. (link)
– Marcos Kirsch on Facebook
I flew to Mexico City last weekend. Here are some highlights:
The main reason of my lightning trip to Mexico City was to meet my new niece Galia, who also happens to be Ilan’s baby cousin. Lots of hair an big blue eyes as you can see in the picture. On the baby as well! She’s a cutie.
Jacobo and family, my mom, and I went to Xochimilco. People complain it’s dirty and not worth it. They are wrong, it’s great. We got there “early” (Mexico City standards) at around 10 AM and were the only people there. We made the strategic mistake of eating breakfast at the hotel which sucked because the food looked amazing there. On the other hand, the food was amazing at the hotel.
On our way back from Xochimilco we passed the legendary Estadio Azteca, where Pelé (1970) and Maradona (1986) both raised the FIFA Cup. We decided to stop and check if they have tours. It happens that they do.
My brother was in a foodie mood for his birthday. We went to a fancy schmancy restaurant in Polanco called Pujol “ranked 17th best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine in 2013″ according to Wikipedia. And Wikipedia never lies, right?
We had a seven-course dinner that involved everything from mezcal to ants, all in tiny portions. The highlight of the night, in my opinion was the “Mole madre, mole nuevo” which is a little scoop of mole that has been cooking for (I shit you not) 562 days with an even smaller scoop of mole of a more recent vintage. You get a few handmade tortillas to scoop it up and that’s it. It was as good as you’d expect from something that had taken 562 days to prepare. I told the waiter that it was good and he can now bring me the full portion. He didn’t get the joke.