First Impressions

What traveler doesn’t know that initial unrepeatable feeling of excited, almost infatuated expectation which seizes his heart on entering a city he’s never been to before? Each street and alley opens increasingly more secrets to his hungry eyes. By evening he starts to think that he’s fallen in love with the city. The traveler constructs his first, truest, and henceforth unshakable impressions of the city based on the faces of the crowds on the street, the architecture of the buildings, the smell of the market, and finally the color particular to that city alone. Later, he can live in that city for a whole year, study it in every detail, and make friends. Even later, he can forget the family names of those friends and lose the conscientiously memorized details, but he’ll never forget his first impressions.

– Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov, Ilf and Petrov’s American Road Trip