North Korea has a caste system which is based on the political standings of the male ancestors during the creation of the state up until 1949 and the Korean War. If your grandfather, great-grandfather, great-uncle or similar was among the few who fought closely with Kim Il-Sung against the Japanese or was among the first to join his party and survived the purges after the creation of the North Korean state, you are probably pretty well off, as long as none of your close family members in brought shame upon your family in the last few decades. By pretty well off I mean you are most likely living in the capital Pyongyang of one of the other economical centers of North Korea, such as the harbor city Nampo 50 km west of the capital.
Your apartment will be on the lower floors of one of the cleaner apartment complexes (due to energy shortages and poor maintenance, elevators are barely working and thus apartments on lower floors more prestigious and harder to get -> more bribing required). Your food rations will be relatively regular and even if they are not, you have got enough cash or imported goods to sell for food on the black market. Speaking of imported goods, thanks to the limited amount of foreign currency your family has access to, you can afford fancy Chinese clothes and other goods such as TVs with DVD players (South Korean soap operas are immensely popular and secretly watched by a significant portion of the Urban population) and sometimes even computers, although access to the North Korean Intranet is very limited and mostly for the highest level, schools, universities and important companies. You will most likely not have Internet access at home, but possibly be among the few with mobile phones . Enjoy your daily propaganda SMS!
As a child, despite being among the elite, you were not spared the usual indoctrinations and participation in youth organizations, but at least your uniforms were made of a higher quality fabric than those worn by people from the countryside, you most likely visited better schools and training facilities. Doors to the best universities and military academies are wide open for you, especially if you are male, as the number of female students is artificially limited and gender discrimination still very common. Speaking of gender, a common sight in Pyongyang and other cities are groups of gender-separated children, as children are encouraged to only associate with members of the same sex, social standing and age group. This among with very traditional and conservative "family values" leads to teenagers who appear more childish and younger than their equals from other East Asian nations.
The world’s favorite hermit state is implementing state-sanctioned haircuts for men and women. Women are allowed to choose one of 14 styles; married women are instructed to keep their tresses short, while the single ladies are allowed let loose with longer, curlier locks.
Men are prohibited from growing their hair longer than 5 cm — less than 2 inches — while older men can get away with up to 7 cm (3 inches).
A North Korean man waves his hand as a South Korean relative weeps, following a luncheon meeting during inter-Korean temporary family reunions at Mount Kumgang resort October 31, 2010
Front of the hotel.
Power outlet on a tree in a Pyongyang park.
Video of grief and mass hysteria in North Korea
If you haven’t yet seen the Vice Guide to North Korea, I suggest you do so before you do anything else, like brushing your teeth or eating or drinking water for sustinence, because it is that damn good. Here’s a clip from aforementioned documentary which highlights the lonely tea girl that Shane Smith visited while touring the country. It gives you a glimpse of the ghostly and solitary nature of the country and makes you want to airlift the tea girl out of the country and lavish her with the comforts of first world prosperity.