You will see neither pictures nor anything about Korea today. Instead you’ll have to bear with me for some soul searching on my part about this contest. You will find that this will be a very short posting as compared to my usual ones.
Today I woke up from my dreams with a jolt. It is now 04:00, 30th September 2009 in my country as I write this. Yes, today’s the day of reckoning for the selection of the next 30 top bloggers in the next round of the contest. I bet I won’t be in the winners list as the prizes in this round are meant only for those currently staying in South Korea or intending to visit South Korea during 14th – 16th October 2009. You see the prizes are visits to regional places in South Korea organized by KTO where the winners will be taken all around the country in a special bus. So if I’m not in the running for this round, how can I expect to win? So does it mean the end of the road for us, the outsiders?
It finally dawned upon me that I have been chasing the impossible dream by entering this Blog Korea! Go Korea! contest. How can I, a rookie in blogging expect to compete against the top three bloggers who are professionals and already well known figures in South Korea unless a miracle happens like getting more followers, visitors and comments. Even before the competition started I had already been a constant visitor to their sites, meaning I already knew who they were. They were already established and better known bloggers in Korea. So now I’m asking myself, how can I compete with them? I put in the visitor counter only recently just to satisfy my curiosity of whether there were people reading my blog or not. The number is unimportant. I do not expect my readers to run into the thousands because I don’t have any ads on my page. I did not cheat, I started with zero, and at least I know now that over a hundred and fifty people have visited my site since then. Actually I was very surprised that I even had ONE follower, a university student in Korea and by becoming my follower he has given me the inspiration to go on with my blogging. Even if only one person visits my site a day I’m quite satisfied because I know that I’m not writing in vain.
I don’t even understand the basics of managing my blog as regards to formatting the settings, layout, html etc. Not to mention also the art/technique of further enhancing my blog like what I see in other bloggers’ websites. I have never even stepped foot on Korean soil so I have to face reality and leave it to the real people who’ve been there or are staying there. My blog is just a fantasy. What I really need to do is to see for myself what I’ve only read about, all this while and take my own photographs and videos. Then only, can I really write from my heart, to express my true feelings. I’m tired of using borrowed facts, photographs and videos. You may ask why I’ve never been to Korea since a package tour to Korea is not that expensive these days. You see, in my younger days I was only interested in chasing English and European cultures and every opportunity I had I would head for England and Europe. I have been there no less than seven times; the eighth was a free trip to France for the 1998 world cup which I won in a contest. At that time Europe was my only passion which has since been replaced by Korea, since my introduction to Winter Sonata. I am not interested in short and hurried guided tours anywhere. I prefer to go on longer trips, at least two weeks to explore “the off the beaten track” places that I might discover by chance, on my own. That is the only way to really know the country of destination. The tour guides only take us to the tourist spots, I want to see ‘the other side of midnight” the side which is seldom seen. I want to mingle with the locals, to eat with them, to socialize with them and to go where they go. And that costs money. So in my greed to make more money quickly in order to indulge in my favorite pastime, travelling, I lost a great deal of money in some bad investments which I made. I also bought a property which was left abandoned by the developers leaving my money stuck there till today. They say it never rains but it pours. Then the company I worked for closed down due to the recession leaving me with 6 months unpaid salary. How much worse can life get? That is why I have put on hold all travel unless sponsored. How I would have loved to go to Japan right now to see my Korean idol Bae Yong Joon at the Tokyo Dome. It was a hard decision for me, I could afford to go but then it would mean a big hole in my pocket when I came back, so it had to be a BIG NO! I’d rather spend that money on a trip to Korea Bae Yong Joon or not. There are so many things I want to see and do in Korea but not in Japan. I have looked at other options like volunteer work but there are none that are suitable for me. So that is why I am now entering contests where the prizes are free trips so that I can at least do some travelling.
I already consider myself out of the race since I don’t expect to be able to beat the current top 3 bloggers. However I shall still continue to blog, on all things Korean, but it will be on my own time and pace. No more stress and deadlines for me, nor the sleepless nights worrying about what to write about. In the meantime I have to look for someone who can teach me how to enhance my blog with all the fancy stuff etc. Any teachers? Of course the dream to go to Korea is still as strong as ever but I will have to find other avenues to do that like tracking down some people who owe me money or maybe buying a lottery ticket. Sponsors anyone? High hopes huh? Guess that’s about all I have to say for today. Thanks for dropping by.