Re: Attitute and Geography
I think it speaks to the importance and influence of preconceptions. The points of view of both travelers are colored by their past experiences, and to a certain extent they expect the same in what they will encounter in the future. The old man tells the first man that the town will be good and friendly to him because that is what the first man is expecting. Likewise, the old man predicts that the town will be terrible for the second man because that's what the second man expects.
Only to a certain extent, of course. I mean, our preconceived notions about what something will be like are not the only things that determine how we eventually perceive something, but you know what they say about first impressions. Thinging about how something will be before the actual experience just distorts it. It is best, in my opinion, to try not to have expectations, and just to experience things as they come. Easier said than done, as our society encourages judging and pre-rationalization, but it's a whole lot better than my past philosophy of life, "Always expect the worse; that way, you'll never be disappointed."
Thanks for posting the story; very nice food for thought.