The 23 steps to becoming a true Austinite

The Austin Experience is different for everyone, since so many of us come from far, far away lands such as "Houston" and "Indiana". But if you've come from afar and are looking to establish yourself, fear not, because the following is a basic guideline for anyone looking to achieve full-fledged townie status:

1. Reserve your vacation days for festivals.

2. Start saying, "y'all" without thinking about it. Have friends from home make fun of you. Stand strong and insist THEY are the weird ones.

3. Go into Allen’s Boots with the mindset: I will go to sleep tonight as a boot-wearing human. Leave when you see the prices. 

4. Agree to check out your co-worker’s band, Karate Carcass. At a questionable venue. Surrounded by a crowd of seven people. Wait, that dude left. Six people.

5. Let your dress shoes gather dust.

6. The minute it drops below 90 and there is a slight breeze -- PATIOS. From open until close.

7. Go to a party, look around, feel old. Because you are 28. 

8. Exchange cash for goods with a stranger in a Starbucks parking lot... for tickets purchased from Craigslist. What did you think we meant?

9. Play "Austin Tour Guide" for a friend from back home. "This is where college dudes in boat shoes party... this is where healthy people jog... this is where band dudes eat burgers... that's the Austin Motel, the sign looks like a giant penis..."

10. Listen to The Morning X with Jason and Deb. Develop a weird crush on Deb. That woman can make even a laser hair removal testimonial sound sexy. Then awkwardly run into John Aielli at a coffee shop.

11. Learn where all the sweet secret parking spots are — give up when they are replaced by lofts and resign yourself to paying for parking. RIP, teacher retirement parking lot.

12. Get your own camping gear -- apparently your friend’s four-person tent is actually made for four toddlers.

13. Start making the veteran move of asking for grilled onions and grilled jalapeños at P. Terry's

14. When visiting your family back home, get used to aunts and uncles calling you "hip" and making references to all your "cool food posts".

15. When ordering delivery, forget Pizza Hut and Domino’s ever existed. Congratulations, you are now on a first name basis with the East Side Pies delivery guy.

16. Find your people. Whatever it is you're into, rest assured, there's a crew and they're taking new members.

17. If you have to name-drop, try to name-drop TASTEFULLY. It's great that you got to party with the guy who changes the oil on Willie Nelson's tour bus, but seriously... calm down.

18. Spend your Saturday afternoon in a brewery's tap room playing Connect Four and Settlers of Catan

19. Have one of your favorite businesses shutter due to rising rent/ city development/ total lack of a business plan.

Dan Gentile

20. Develop your own personal list of best barbecue spots and have an elaborate, nuanced explanation for why you ranked Franklin relatively low.

21. Take great offense when a friend from home says they're having a "barbecue", when they're actually just grilling. 

22. Incorporate some form of taco into your every day.

23. Those days off you took for festivals? Use them to skip town. 

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