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Is this a metaphor for the moment when, after "careful" research (often from pamphlets), tourists display their newfound brilliance before natives only to make it so blindingly obvious that they have no sense of the context surrounding said building/relic/person? I understand that feeling pretty well. I'd say that the tourists here had no idea about the history behind the riddle of the sphinx, and that they paid for it. I had a similar experience in the Czech Republic when I brought up the Soviet Union with one of our Czech friends. It's important to know the risks involved in dabbling in other cultures' artifacts: you never know when they might pounce.

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The Outstretched Palm

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