Believe it or not, but if you carefully look for some subtle details in behavior and posture, it is possible to spot local guides among the crowd in a shopping street or in a restaurant. Let me list a few of those for your convenience.
If they’re in group, usually during a so-called Meetup, they’re easy to find as they will often flock together around anything that deserves to be photographed – as you can see in the picture taken in Krakow (Poland) during the European Meetup in September 2018. But if they are on their own ‘in the wild’, you really have to know what exactly you need to pay attention to.
In the shopping street, look for:
- the person checking the sign with the opening hours, while it is pretty obvious that the shop (s)he is standing in front of is open – this is a local guide checking opening hours
- the person standing in front of the building where a shop used to be, but is not anymore as there is a for rent or for sale sign clearly on display – that is a local guide checking if the business that used to be there is already marked as closed
- the couple where the wife (just there to shop) often has to wait for the husband to make any progress in the shopping street, instead of the other way around, which is much more common – there’s always one more business to check or picture to add
In the restaurant, look for:
- the person whose first question when seated is not: “Can we have a menu, please” or “Where is the toilet?” but “What is the wifi password?”
- the person who asks to get the menu again after the dishes have been served – to correctly enter the name of the dish when uploading the picture
- the person who will consequently often eat semi-cold dishes, as during the uploading (s)he noticed that there was a notification about a question in the Q&A section or some new comments to a post on Local Guides Connect
When think you have then finally identified a local guide, there is an easy extra test to be 100% sure: just say the words ‘Level 10’ and you will see a special twinkle appear in the eyes – in most cases from the aspiration and hope to reach that status, in some cases from pride of being there (yes, admittedly: this is speaking from my personal experience as I used to be among the former for a long time, but have now joined the ranks of the latter).