The Korean flight lands at 9:00, and Vipul and Arti are hoping to catch up. Erwin and Godwin find Beijing a lot like Korea, but with more Chinese characters. Wow, that’s astute. Again, these are the guys with the masters and from Harvard? Duke and Lauren end up at the Gold House Restaurant first, and find the first road block of this race. You know you’re in trouble when the directions say that the task will require intestinal fortitude. One person from each team will be required to eat all the fish eyes out of a bowl of fish heads, a common delicacy in China. Duke decides he’ll eat.
Lyn and Karlyn arrive at the road block, and it’s Karlyn that will eat the fish eyes. Peter and Sarah arrive, and Peter eats the fish eyes, saying they’re gnarly. Well, yeah, that’s one word for it. Lyn and Karlyn finish first, and their clue sends them by taxi to the Forbidden City, once the seat of China’s imperial government. They’ll need to find the Meridian gate, and will look for the kiosk that includes three separate departure times for the following morning. The first “surprise” in this race will be found here.
Duke and Peter finish their fish eyes, and are off. In the taxi on the way to the Gold House Restaurant, Dustin tells Kandice she’s hungry and just realized it. Well, gee, then she’s in luck! In a bit of bad luck/good luck, their cabdriver drops them off that the wrong place, and they set off on foot to find the correct restaurant. Mary and David arrive at the Gold House, and Mary eats the eyes. Tyler and James arrive as well, with James doing the road block. James finishes right after Mary.
Kellie and Jamie arrive at the Gold House and Jamie decides to eat the fish eyes. Tom and Terry land at the roadblock, with Terry deciding to eat. Dustin and Kandice are still looking for the right restaurant. Kellie and Jamie finish the roadblock, while Kandice and Dustin enlist the help of a local to find the Gold House. Rob and Kimberly arrive at the restaurant at the same time as the beauty queens. It’s Rob and Kandice eating the fish eyes, even though Dustin had said she had been the hungry one before. I could be mixing up my blondes, though, as these two look amazingly similar.
Peter and Sarah land at the kiosk at the Meridian Gate first and grab a 7:00 department time. Duke/Lauren, Lyn/Karlyn, and Tyler/James arrive second, third, and fourth, and also pull 7:00 departure times. Vipul/Arti and Bilal/Sa’eed find the Gold House, and Bilal and Vipul do the fish eye eating. Tom and Terry arrive at the Meridian Gate and pull a departure time of 7:15, as do Kellie and Jamie. Kandice and Dustin finish the roadblock and David and Mary arrive at the Meridian Gate in seventh place, getting a departure time of 7:15. Rob and Kimberly find the Gold House and Rob does the eating of the fish eyes. Vipul and Bilal finish eating, just as Erwin and Godwin arrive in last place. It’s Erwin eating the fish eyes. He catches up quickly, and I’m thinking eating fish eyes is probably in their Korean culture.
Vipul and Arti stop their cab so they can get out and ask directions to the Merdian Gate. Bilal and Sa’eed’s cab stops and the cab driver gets out to ask directions. This always amazes me when the local cab drivers don’t know the way to local attractions that are assumably somewhat popular. Vipul and Arti arriveat the Meridian Gate and get a 7:30 departure time. Erwin and Godwin arrive in eleventh place, leaving Bilal and Sa’eed to pull the card that says “last team”. It’s that surprise Phil was promising us.
And look, there’s Phil. He’s standing on a mat wating for Bilal and Sa’eed. I don’t know about them, by my heart just landed in my throat seeing Phil standing there, and all the other teams standing around waiting. Phil tells them it’s not a pit stop, but he’s sorry to tell them they are both eliminated from the race. Bilal gets upset saying it didn’t say it could be an elimination, but Sa’eed says it proves they have no control over their creator. The other teams seem absolutely shocked. Mary, getting the CBS reality shows mixed up, thinks she’s on Big Brother, and says they need to expect the unexpected. My son jokes that someone else is going to think they’re on Survivor, and say it proves they need to outwit, outplay, and outlast.
The next morning the 7:00 AM departure teams of Peter/Sarah, Duke/Lauren, Lyn/Karlyn, and Tyler/James find they need to hitch a ride to their next clue on motorcycles with side cars. They will need to drive to 14 Houhai Northbank Road to get their next clue from the pedicab manager. Sarah is having a problem, though, with her artificial leg. The knee is leaking hydraulic fluid, and she says while it’s not painful, it will make it harder. Peter says it’s like having a slow leak in your back tire, and says it’s one thing he just can’t fix. She’ll just have to be tougher. I’m thinking they probably won’t be to get it fixed until they get back in the states, so she might be stuck with this problem for the duration of the race.
Duke and Lauren feel they have been consistent, and are amazed at how well they’re communicating. Lyn and Karlyn think they’re surprising the others, and Tyler and James say once again that they’ve already fought through something, so they know they can do this. I understand completely what they’re saying, but I hope their whole race doesn’t become about that, and that they’re able to move on once they get used to the fact that they’re doing it.
Then next group to leave at 7:15 are Tom/Terry, Kellie/Jamie, David/Mary, and Dustin/Kandice. As they’re leaving, Peter and Sarah are already getting their next clue. It’s a Detour – Labor or Leisure. In Labor, teams will choose a pedicab and travel one mile to the market, using traditional bricks and methods to pave a section of sidewalk. It’s a physically demanding task, but if they have enough strength, they can complete it rather quickly.
In Leisure, teams will travel by pedicab two miles to Beihai Park, and will need to participate in a relaxation exercise called Taiji Ballong, although here in North America, it’s called Tai Chi Rhythmball. The best way to describe it is that it looks like a combination of tai chi and racquetball. This isn’t physically demanding, but it does require a lot of coordination. Peter/Sarah, Duke/Lauren, and Karlyn/Lyn all decide to do Labor.
The remaining teams – Rob/Kimberly, Vipul/Arti, Erwin/Godwin – leave on the motorcycles at 7:30 AM. Kimberly believes leaving with this last group is a wake up call that they need to catch up. Gee, you think so? How astute. Peter and Sarah arrive at the market, as do Lyn and Karlyn, and both teams start assembling their sections of sidewalk. Neither one of them catch on that the larger bricks need to be placed around the outside, followed by the small bricks. Each of them starts off with the smaller bricks. Lyn says that Karlyn always likes to be in control, and when she’s not, she blows her stack, so she thinks this will be interesting. Duke and Lauren arrive and also start with the smaller bricks. It’s Tyler and James that arrive and figure out that the bigger ones need to go first. Everyone else catches on after this.
Vipul and Arti get lost on the motorcycle, but eventually find the pedicab stop, just after the others.