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April 03 , 2011

Cement, Cabbages & Cars

Cross-cultural Misadventures in The Land of the Morning Calm (Korea)


‘Cement, Cabbage and Cars: Cross-cultural misadventures in The Land of the Morning Calm’ is a tale of modern-day South Korea in fictitious prose based on the real-life experiences, travels and adventures of the author and people he has known. The tale takes the reader through a thoughtful yet laughable cross-cultural interchange between a young man from the west and the people of Korea, from Canada to Seoul to the Uisung countryside farming community, to the hub of the country’s industrial center, Ulsan, back to Seoul and eventually Canada. This insecure, inexperienced Canadian farm boy ends up fulfilling his immature preconceived notions of the ‘Orient’ through a series of faux-pas blunders and a lot of dumb luck. The story tells of the complexities of Korean society and sheds light on some of its cultural practices, collectivism mindset and unusual culinary tastes such as eating dog and whale meat, and how the experience of travel and learning can bring forth truth and understanding.

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