All this talk on my blog about what's 'real'. I remember when LOML and I first saw The Sphinx in Egypt and it was beyond disappointing. You know how you see all those Egyptian photos like this...
... and the Sphinx looks really enormous?
Well, it's not.
It's only about the size of a truck - a bit bigger than dump truck, a bit smaller than a Pajero. Having associated this gigantic Sphinx with the majesty of Egypt for so long it was... disappointing to find that one could walk around it in about 15 seconds. The pyramids were at least 100 times bigger.
From that moment on when something on our travels did not live up to its reputation, we decided it was suffering from "The Sphinx Effect".
The Sphinx Effect was in operation across the world.
Big Ben was... just a clock and not a particularly big one at that. Having viewed it for herself and finding it afflicted by The Sphinx Effect, my mother continues to call it 'Little Ben' to this day.
Have you ever been to the Pantheon in Rome?
It looks like a building worthy of some space and landscaping, right? Sadly it's actually cramped into the busiest piazza imaginable and the stunning view above is achieved through the doors of the Maccas 5 metres across the road.
While there are many, many other examples of the Sphinx Effect in operation, we'll stay in Italy and visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Again, looks huge. Reality is that it is just a rather small marble bell tower that was lucky enough to be built on sinking land. Due to the Sphinx Effect and the fact that the attraction is plagued with health and safety issues, I am worried that its days as a popular tourist destination may be numbered.
The Manneken Pis, Den Lille Havfrue, Stonehenge, the Spanish Steps, Venus de Milo... and The Sphinx Effect is not even exclusive to the not-so-wonders of the world. So much of life is afflicted by it. A longed for party that turns out to be excruciatingly dull? Sphinx Effect. A 'you've got to meet her, you'll really, really like her' person* who you 'really, really don't'? Sphinx Effect.
I could go on. Let's face it, life is disappointing and the Sphinx Effect is rampant.
Have you had any memorable encounters?
* It is my experience that whenever someone says this to you about someone, you really must go out of your way not to meet them. It never ends well.
Edited at 9.45pm: I originally published this post with Sphinx spelt incorrectly as Spinx no less than THIRTEEN times. I don't think I need to explain why I changed it...
[Den Lille Havfrue image from here; Sphinx image by Jerry Burns; Little Ben found here; View of the Pantheon from Maccas found here; Pisa leaning from here]