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Meeting Mr. Kim: Or How I Went to Korea and Learned to Love Kimchi

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-1862547971
ISBN-10: 1862547971
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Editorial Reviews


"'It is high time that a new book be written about Korea, and Jennifer Barclay's fresh, amusing and light-hearted take on the country seems to be precisely the right approach' Simon Winchester 'Brilliantly evokes the strangeness of Seoul for a western visitor... a very lively account... invaluable and entertaining reading for any prospective visitor' Margaret Drabble 'One woman's touching and humorous voyage to the very heart of Korea, a country of great diversity, spirituality and charm.' Anna Nicholas" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jen Barclay has written on Korea for the Korea Herald, Canada's Globe and Mail, Lonely Planet: Korea, and the Travelers Tales anthology A Woman's Asia. She is co-editor of AWOL: Tales for Travel-Inspired Minds.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wakefield Pr (July 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862547971
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862547971
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,293,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My blog is at:

My latest book FALLING IN HONEY featured in Heat magazine's Top 5 Books, the Mail on Sunday's You magazine and the Daily Express, and reached #16 in Travel Writing on

My previous book was MEETING MR KIM: OR HOW I WENT TO KOREA AND LEARNED TO LOVE KIMCHI. I also compiled THE TRAVELLER'S FRIEND and THE WALKER'S FRIEND (pseudonym Jude Palmer) as part of a gift-book series, and co-edited AWOL: TALES FOR TRAVEL-INSPIRED MINDS.

I grew up in a village surrounded by hills in the north of England and lived in Canada and France. After a few years back in England I decided to try to fulfill a dream of living on a tiny Greek island. I've contributed to Food and Travel magazine, Thomas Cook Travel magazine, Wanderlust online, Skyscanner, The Guardian, CNN Travel online, Blue Wings magazine, Selling Long Haul magazine, The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star, appearing on BBC Radio, Talk Radio Europe, Australian national radio and Korean television.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jared M on June 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
In 2000, Jennifer Barclay's boyfriend, a drummer, secured a three month gig at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul, South Korea. Unhappy with her life in Toronto, she quits her job, and joins her boyfriend, Gavin, on what would ultimately be an inspiring trip to the "Land of the Morning Calm". The initial excitement quickly peters out as both Jennifer and Gavin struggle to integrate with life in Seoul, finding it unfriendly and soul-less. Gavin's day (night) job means that he spends most of the day sleeping before playing with the band at night. This life leaves Jennifer to her own devices for much of the day. Tiring of the urban sprawl that is Seoul, Jennifer begins to make solo trips away from Seoul, and begins to experience the "real" Korea. It is these journeys of exploration which is the basis of "Meeting Mr Kim".

Much of the author's experience revolves around food - which is not surprising given the wide variety of dishes available in South Korea. The adventure with a dish of "mool naengmyun", as described in chapter three, "The Noodles and the Scissors" is hilarious. Of course, the author's experiences extend to more than just food and range from the challenges of traveling in Korea, dealing with bus trips to small cities and towns, hiking, visiting Buddhist temples (which can be an inspiration in itself), finding places to sleep, camping, as well as meeting Koreans along the way, Mr Lee, Mr Che and many more, some of whom remain nameless. The Mr Kim of the title was one of two older Korean men that the author met on one of the last of her trips out of Seoul, and who remains in email contact with the author.
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