If you’ve ever had difficulty keeping track of where everyone is, this was the show for you. Lots and lots of bunching. Most of the racers were together in the same location for most of this episode. And what would bunching be without a little team versus team drama?
Even though there were over two hours between the first and last teams, the Genghis Khan hotel agency from which they had to book their tickets didn’t open until after everyone got there. They all line up in nice orderly fashion, waiting for an available agent. The Gay Explosion of TnT walk right past one though, so the Beauty Queens step in. TnT double back and complain that they cut in line and would just not let up. Now, I can somewhat understand their frustration, but really, it was their own fault for not noticing the agent. You snooze, you lose. And the best quip that Tom could come up with? “They’re not queens of niceness.” Y’know, that snipe would’ve been a lot funnier had it been a pun about being Miss Congeniality, but “queen of niceness”? Not so much. All of TnT’s bitching really ended up being pointless because everyone ends up on the same flight anyway, cut or no cut, going to Hanoi via Beijing.
So far, all the locals the Racers have run into have been fairly helpful. However, Duke and Lauren run into the worst local-experience EVER. The teams all take taxis to the Hoa Lo Prison, a.k.a. “Hanoi Hilton.” Duke & Lauren decide to share cabfare with a local so that she can tell the driver how to find the prison/museum. But not only are they last to leave the airport in waiting for this woman, but she tells them MID-TRIP that she has directed the driver to drop her off FIRST, taking them an extra half-hour out of their way. Fun! Dealing with the locals on TAR has always been a bit of a gamble. Sometimes you can find someone who’s a great benefit; and then you’ve got people like this woman who just make everything worse. I don’t even think this was a matter of miscommunication. The Racers had taken her on board because they thought she would give the driver directions, and she ended up just taking them for a ride! Cab drivers are a gamble too though. I would think that the drivers in Hanoi would know how to get to this popular tourist attraction, but we’ve run across plenty of lost drivers before.
After a quick (and I mean, really quick) trip through the prison, the Racers take taxis to a flower shop, the next Roadblock. Duke and Lauren have unfortunately used what was left of their cash on the last cab, so they have to hike the mile and a half. No more begging or selling of personal items. Sadness. Who made up these rules anyway? The rest of the teams find out that flower-selling is easier than bike-riding, and all goes pretty well. Boring! The only amusing part of this is learning that the Vietnamese currency is “dung”. *snort*giggle* Yes, I’m totally being 12 years old right now. Shush.
After the Roadblock, things get all mixed up, as the ‘Win brothers, TnT, and Duke & Dyke (who were 5th, 6th, and last teams to complete the obstacle) become the first, second, and third teams on public buses to Vac. Race leaders Peter and Sarah end up in last. Generally, public transportation has been kinder to the Racers than cab drivers, but not this time around. If you ever truly want to see a city and its people, buses and trains though are the way to go.
It’s time for a Detour! Fuel or Fowl? In keeping with the bunching theme, all the teams choose Fuel. Damn. There go all my jokes about Tom & Terry and a birdcage. However, on the way to the Fuel challenge, TnT hitch a ride with a couple of motorcyclists, something also against the rules, probably for insurance purposes. I guess they’re not the kings of intelligence… hmm… nope, still not funny.
Everyone makes their coal bricks; everyone checks in at the mat. TnT are penalized a half hour for their violation of the rules, allowing everyone from the Fuel challenge to check in before them. Even Mary and David, despite the fact that Mary is hobbling along. And Lyn and Karlyn, who stop to check up on they Kentucky couple, which is interesting considering they wouldn’t stop to check on the car that was broken down on the side of the Mongolian road. And Peter and Sarah… Well, it’s no surprise that Peter is able to check in, considering he is a good number of feet IN FRONT OF Sarah, who is practically crawling through the mud. Can’t he carry her? Or at least walk WITH her to make sure she’s okay? Argh! That short clip spoke volumes about their relationship.
TnT are allowed to check in just before Duke and Lauren show up to be Philiminated. Duke, I know you’re trying, but just a few things…
Finally people, stop using the Race as therapy! Phil’s our travel guide, not a psychiatrist.
Come attend a PFLAG meeting at firstname.lastname@example.org.