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

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  71 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The world knows more about secret North Korea than the free society of the South. As a peace summit heralded a new era for a country divided for 50 years, Jennifer Barclay searched for the spirit of South Korea, discovering a land full of passion, tradition and spirituality, good humor, and great food. Jen quit her high-pressure job and followed her musician boyfriend to S...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Summersdale Publishers (first published January 1st 2008)
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Paul Cheney
Chances are you are reading this on one of the devices that is made in Korea, and yet around 25 years ago this was a almost unknown country, famous only as a place that America had fought a war in.

This is a few years old now, and even then Westerners were not that common in South Korea. Barclay was there on an extended holiday with a guy who had been given a short term contract to play with his band in a hotel in Seoul. She hadn't visited the country at all, and in this book she describes her fe...more
What a fun way to get a peek into Korea! This is good armchair travel reading. The story follows one foreigner, unfamiliar with everything Korean, as she lives in and explores the country. Each chapter begins with historical info, so readers learn about Korean rulers, religions, wars, etc, including the progression and regression toward a unified Korean peninsula. This is helpful info - I feel like I can talk about Korea with some knowledge after reading this book, and I might even be able to id...more
It's been several years since publication, but this book is still such a fresh outlook on the still relatively unknown nation that is Korea. Even with the "Korean Wave" all people know about korea is the dramas, and celebrities and the songs, if anything at all. But that isn't Korea. It's a face of korea, and in my opinion the most unimportant part of it. Jennifer Barclay had the chance to experience this in a way not many other people can boast to have. She had an amazing experience that most f...more
When looking for a book on South Korea, the options seemed rather limited. I kept running into this book, which got decent to good reviews.

I found, however, that it was badly written. Certain sentences made me read and re-read them several times to grasp what was being said. Odd
and difficult words were used in otherwise simple sentences. On the whole, the writing just felt cumbersome. I've never thought about a book that it was badly written. I told a friend about it and he said "well, then it...more
A fun read before going to Korea! I got some great ideas for my travels and enjoyed Barclay's narrative.
Although a little out-of-date now I thought it was a pretty good read. I agree with below reviewer Jan that it was badly written at times "Odd and difficult words were used in otherwise simple sentences" which I found irritating. But the historical information preceding chapters was really well done and very informative, especially as I am currently living in Korea. Many of her adventures and the personalities she meets are true to my own experience of Korea.
I liked the way she added all the bits of history to the beginning of each chapter....without it it could have been a pointless book, especially for someone who has never been nor will ever go to Korea. But for someone experiencing Korea, it is great. It's refreshing to have someone really talk about and see the good, positive aspect of Korea and it's people/culture. Too often the foreigners here rave about all the terrible things.
Saturday's Child
Reviews of this book almost made me not read it however I wanted to find out for myself what it was like. It should not be read for a background of nor a history of South Korea It should be read for the enjoyment of knowing how a person found her daily life in a foreign country. The author has a great way of telling her story by giving some details of South Korea at the beginning of each chapter.
Chong Go
It's an entertaining, spot-on description of the Korean people(at least from the perspective of an outsider), and it captures the big-city vibe of Seoul along with the hospitality of the countryside. It's also just the antidote for the expat spending too much time in Seoul! The historical bits were also well done and nicely introduce Korean history to the reader.
Liz Wager
Not brilliantly written, and it turned out that Barclay only spent 3 months in Korea, which hardly seems enough time to justify writing about it -- but quite good if you are heading here, but I'd recommend Simon Winchester's book first
Rather a slow start, and perhaps not as ... polished as Theroux or Bryson, but once the author sets off on her own for trips outside Seoul, meeting ordinary Koreans, the book comes to life.
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Living on a tiny Greek island, I work from home in a traditional village and spend my lunch-breaks walking to a beach with my dog, Lisa. I post pics and random stories of island life at

My two books, Meeting Mr Kim and Falling in Honey, are both very personal accounts of places I fell in love with. I also work with writers and publishers. My work blog is www.jen...more
More about Jennifer Barclay...
Falling in Honey: How a Tiny Greek Island Stole My Heart AWOL: Tales for Travel-Inspired Minds The Traveller's Friend: A Miscellany of Wit and Wisdom Falling in Honey: Life and Love on a Greek Island The Irresponsible Traveller: Tales of Scrapes and Narrow Escapes

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