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Sunday, October 15, 2006
The Amazing Race Recap--Driving On the Wrong Side of the Road

To start off, teams must take a train from Haiphong to Hanoi. The train station turns out to be closed, so this functions as the usual bunching maneuver and all teams get on the same train. Team Coal Miner explains that their hope is for David to get out of coal mining.

From Hanoi, they must fly to Chennai, India. We are told that Vietnam does not allow people to buy tickets at the airport; instead they must buy them at a travel agent beforehand. Team Triathletes notes that Teams Cho, Coal Miner and Gump are cooperating and Peter offers to help out the Beauty Queens. One of the Chos pretends to be talking on a fake cellphone to get a plane reservation. The gag appears to backfire as Peter begs a phone call from another passenger on the train and arranges a flight for Team Triathlete and the Beauty Queens.

There is much back and forth about planes, but in the end all the teams arrive in Chennai within about 1/2 hour of each other, with Team Coal Miner in last place. From Chennai they take a bus to Mammalapura, where they must visit an arts & crafts building. Team Gump makes an amusing observation; they note that in Vietnam their excess poundage attracted attention, but in India the folks have a little more meat on their bones.

Detour: Wild animals or wild rice. Teams must choose between helping to transport a small crocodile or creating a painting with colored powders made of wild rice. As usual, the majority of the teams pick correctly; the crocodile task, while daunting, appears to be much quicker than doing the painting. Only Team Recovery and Team Coal Miner choose the latter chore, and it clearly slows them down. It was especially sad to see Team Coal Miner make this selection as they are in next to last, and are unlikely to make up time on Team Recovery.

Now the teams must take a bus back to Chennai. Peter and Sarah, who are in the lead, just miss the bus and must share the ride with the Beauty Queens. It's amusing because this budding alliance seems to be going nowhere as these two teams are only cooperating when it's in their own interests. Of course, Peter doesn't even seem to be in an alliance with Sarah; he's becoming one of the most annoying racers ever.

Roadblock: One member of each team must take a driving test and obtain an Indian driving license. Some amusement as the driving instructor has them use a little horn for animals and children. However, there does not seem to be any real difficulty here as everybody makes it through (apparently) on their first try.

The Pit Stop is at Chettinad House, a remnant from India's colonial era. Team Triathlete finishes first, followed shortly by the Beauty Queens. Phil asks if they will be the first all-female team to win the Amazing Race. Team Coal Miner arrives last as seemed inevitable from the moment they arrived in India. However Phil has a surprise for them, and us. This is not an elimination leg. Unlike non-elimination legs in previous seasons, they do not lose their money and possessions; instead they must arrive first in the next leg, or suffer a 1/2 hour penalty at the mat.

As always, check out Viking Pundit's terrific recap as well.
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