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Wednesday, May 10, 2006
The Amazing Race--I Love the Smell of Fried Crickets In the Morning

The teams are fairly close together at the start; something like nine minutes separate them. They must first travel to Bangkok, Thailand. The Hippies start with a notable disadvantage; only one pair of pants and shoes (maybe why BJ fell last week). Yolanda leaves some pants and one of the Flaming Heterosexuals drops off some flip-flops. Nobody leaves money.

The Hippies get to the airport, but in a major mistake, they decide to beg for money before getting their tickets. Sure enough, while they appear successful at cadging dough from the street, they find the purported earlier flight is now fully booked. But hopes rise as they discover another route that will end up getting them into Bangkok a quarter hour earlier than the other teams.

Alas, that turns out to be a short-lived gain, as their flight is delayed and the other flight gets in early. Teams must now catch a bus to a temple that is dedicated to (and overrun with) monkeys. The Frat Boys and Ray and Yolanda get a midnight bus. Monica and Joseph somehow miss that bus, and head for a hotel since the next one is at 5:00 AM. The Hippies arrive and determine that there's actually an earlier bus leaving.

Well, of course, Mojo realize they're in big trouble when they see they're on the bus alone. But they needn't have worried, because the monkey temple doesn't open until 8:00 AM. So all three teams are in a tie.

The cluebox turns out to have a Fast Forward and a Roadblock. The Fast Forward allows teams to skip ahead of everybody if they complete a task. The Hippies and Ray and Yolanda decide to try to zip ahead.

The task turns out to be to eat an after-school snack popular in Thailand: fried crickets and grasshoppers. Both teams start it, but Ray and Yolanda quickly decide it's not for them.

The Roadblock involves assembling a feast fit for a bunch of monkeys, which involves a whole lot of fruit. The amusement factor is provided by the monkeys themselves, who are an impatient lot and inclined to snatch at dinner before it is served. The teams seem to finish in the order they arrived, although Ray and Yolanda make up most of the time they had lost to Mojo when they tried the Fast Forward.

Meanwhile, the Hippies are starting to have a problem with the Thai cuisine. They'd probably happily eat a roach but they're not enjoying the bugs. It does seem like they keep eating and the amount left to eat doesn't decline. But finally they manage to wolf it down and barf it up enough to get the clue.

They move on to the Pitstop at the Marble Temple:

The next task for the other teams is the detour. One option involves carrying a lot of pots on boards a long way to a potseller. The other is a detail-oriented task, involving painting and decorating a gold buddha. Ray and Yolanda and the Frat Boys pick the detail task, while Mojo, seeing the other two teams already working decide to try carrying pots.

The pot-carrying test appears to be a long way, because Joseph and Monica have trouble recruiting a guide. Monica moans and groans while Joseph tries and succeeds carrying twice as many. The second trip, Joseph allows for the possibility of four breaking, but it is obvious that Monica quickly drops more than that. Despite this, they keep going on, which seems foolish. I could see if they were close to the end, but they weren't far into the task at all. Sure enough, they must go back for a third load, which Joe carries by himself.

The other two teams have both finished the buddha tasks. Once again they don't overdo the drama at the mat; it's pretty obvious that Mojo are doomed and sure enought it ends with them Phil-liminated.

I'm happy with the finals. The Hippies versus the Frat Boys, with Ray and Yolanda hoping they can slip by. All I can say is anybody but the Frat Boys!

As always, check out Eric's Amazing Amazing Race Summary.
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