I found this interesting photo-series on the San Francisco Chronicle about what it means to be a "local" of the city. There is also a section for Berkeley, which brings back memories. As someone who lived in both cities for some time I can agree with a lot of the statements made. Most of what you see are pictures and then commentary.
For example, one shows a picture of the public transit map (MUNI) and says, "Know all the MUNI routes by heart."
Another one, for Berkeley, says, "...Cheese board fan." With a picture of the infamous restaurant.
Knowing the city you live in, backwards and forwards seems to be a keen aspect of urban living. After going through the photos and reading the commentary, I wondered what can be said for Seoul. Since I have lived in Seoul for 2 years out of my 4 in Korea, I've got a few I can add.
So then what makes a Seoulite? Here are a few I would like to contribute, but I invite my readers to add their own.
- Know the best kimbop place in your neighborhood, even if it means walking an extra mile.
- Sad when your favorite mom-and-pop coffee shop closes down to become a cell-phone store.
- Remember when the subways didn't have walls to protect you from the gusting winds.
- Recall what it was like to walk down Insadong street before they repaved it.
- Remember hearing beef protests in the distance.
- Know that some of the best food is to be found at a random stall, on a random street.
- You know the best restaurants aren't always in Itaewon.
- You managed to figure out how to use your phone as a T-card.
- When need to transfer in a jiffy, you don't need to look at a map. The Seoul Metro map is in your head.
- Can tell the different seasons of the year by what fruit is being sold on the street.
- Know actual quiet spots in the city (I know one in the heart of Gwanghwamun).
See ...what makes a Seoulite a Seoulite?! If I think of more I'll let you know. **The point is how well someone knows the city they are living in. NOT how "Korean" they have become.**