Amazing Race 14 starts tonight

What already? Wasn’t it last week when my least favorite team Starr and Nick dashed across the finish line to win the million dollars? Nope. The end of Amazing Race 13 was in December. Tonight, Amazing Race 14 begins on CBS at 8:00 EST.

From a quick glance, I have two reasons to tune in:

One couple, married duo Brad and Victoria are from Columbus, Ohio. According to their bio, their motto is, “life is not a spectator sport and therefore you should always enjoy each moment that life gives you.” Each of them have overcome personal challenges. I’ll have to see how much I like them based on tonight’s episode. Regardless of them being from the city I live in, I’ve never met them. I’ve never seen them before in my life.

The other pair, Cara and Jaime caught my attention because of one of their names. The spelling is different. From reading Jaime’s bio, I’d say the spelling isn’t all that’s different. For one, the other Jaime used to be a cheerleader and I’ve never been able to touch my toes. These two are from Florida, and seem like lovely people, both inside and out. I give them a thumbs up so far.

The other nine teams are made up of an assortment of married, friends, siblings, parent/son and dating pairs.

  • Amanda and Kris are a young dating couple. I’m interested in Kris’s reactions to the world since he has not had the chance to travel much.
  • Christie and Jodi are flight attendant friends who met on the job. I wonder if they tune into Galley Gossip? If not, they should. With their combined travel savvy, I’d say these two are formidable contenders.
  • Preston and Jennifer, another dating couple, are from Columbia, S.C., a city where I lived for two years as a kid. What will make them a fun pair to watch (or possibly highly annoying) is their quest to see if they should break-up or stay together. They haven’t made up their minds yet. Who is ready for some bickering footage?
  • LaKisha and Jennifer, from their descriptions these two sisters from Brooklyn should provide some interesting TV. They haven’t traveled much outside the U.S. and have very different personalities.
  • Linda and Steve might be my favorite so far. From Martinsville, Virginia, they’ve traveled extensively and seem to be a non-traditional married couple who have found out how to live a good life.
  • Margie and Luke are a mother/son pair from Denver, Colorado who could also be my favorites to win. Luke is deaf and communicates with American Sign Language. I have a deaf brother-in-law and sister-in-law. What a great addition these two are to the line-up.
  • Mark and Michael are two brothers who are from Hawaii and California. Their backgrounds make them interesting contenders as well. Both of them are stunt men and one works as a jockey and the other has acting gigs. Because they are using the Amazing Race to work on their relationship, I expect some footage analyzing what makes brothers click or not click.
  • Mel and Mike are father and son with an atypical family history. Mel is gay. That’s not the atypical part. This should be an interesting team to watch.
  • Tammy and Victor are another sibling pair who are a cross between TK and Rachel and Starr and Nick. She’s the laid back one. He sounds like Nick. Both are lawyers with great smiles. He looks nicer than he sounds.

Let’s see how these teams do and how accurate their bios are. Personally, I like the mix of ages and that none of the teams sound particularly full of themselves. Hopefully, this season will do a great job of highlighting the countries where the teams headed. That’s my favorite part.

Here’s a link the preview video of Episode 1. My favorite line so far is “No use standing here looking like dumb asses.” (Or something like that). The first destination country is Switzerland. Cheese and bungee jumping are involved.

Amazing Race 13 recap 10: People in Moscow sure are generous

At the end of last week’s episode of Amazing Race 13, Andrew and Dan were penniless and in last place, but still in the race. Moscow almost did them in. Because it was a non-elimination round, they were granted a second chance. Luckily, with the Amazing Race and reality television, each new day brings a new beginning and more money.

When these frat boys opened their first clue, they found $326 to keep them solvent.

Of all the episodes this season, this particular day in Moscow evoked experiences similar to what it really is like to travel in another country. Most of the tasks involved traveling from one point to another while navigating signage written in the Cyrillic alphabet. For anyone who has tried to navigate another country in a hurry when the written language is unrecognizable, the teams’ experiences may have looked familiar.

Travel Tips:

  1. Check to make sure you have all your belongings with you when you get out of a taxi
  2. When trying to catch a taxi, notice which direction the traffic flow is greater. If need be, cross the street to up your chances of finding one. You can always get a taxi to turn around.
  3. If you loose all your money, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help.
  4. If possible, use a taxi with a GPS system. It can save time and money.
  5. The metro system in Moscow has a map that looks similar to other metro system maps which makes taking the metro look fairly simple to navigate. Try it if you’re in Moscow. It will be much cheaper than taking a taxi and you’ll be out of the quagmire of Moscow traffic.
  6. Do not let one person carry all the money. Each person should at least carry some of it.

Recap and Cultural Highlights-

This episode was one of buzzing about Moscow in taxis, trains and trolleys to sites that play tribute to Russia’s political, literary and dance traditions.

First stop was to the sonar room of a retired Russian nuclear submarine to find the actor who had a role in the movie “The Hunt for Red October.” So far so good in the lack of mishaps department. No one had trouble here. Then it was off to the Graveyard of Fallen Monuments where one of the team members had to find statues of Lenin and Stalin among statues of other people who were also involved with Russia’s complex past. Once the team member found the number of the statues of each dictator, it was off to an antique book store in order to pick up the next clue.

This is where Toni made two big mistakes.

Mistake 1–For some reason, she let Dallas do this task. Of the two of them, she would have known what the dictators looked like. Dallas was clueless. It was a guessing game for him. Mistake 2- Toni gave him the bag with the passports and money–all the money– while she headed to the spot where they would be meeting back up.

Nick quickly figured out the statue riddle and promptly stole Tina and Ken’s taxi. Their taxi had a GPS system and Nick did not have one qualm about taking it from them. Is this guy going into banking or what?

There were 6 of Lenin and 2 of Stalin (62). At the bookstore, Dallas, still not knowing the number combo, was helped out by Tina. In the meantime, Dan & Andrew were once again behind the pack because their taxi driver took them to the wrong park.

At the book store, once the teams told the owner the correct number “62,”–a numbers guessing game for everyone but Nick, the owner handed them a book by Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov. On page 62 was the address of the apartment building on Sadovaya Street where there was another clue and their teammate. From the apartment building, the teams were to take a taxi to Sokol’niky Park to find a woman with a Shetland pony.

The apartment building was this episode’s pivotal point. Andrew & Dan were able to catch up after a guy in the park took Dan to the various statues and then led him to the bookstore and the apartment complex.

Dallas, unfortunately, did the very thing that creates the worst traveler’s nightmare. He left his bag in the taxi when he got out. There went the taxi into Moscow traffic with the money and the passport. Horrified, Dallas tried to chase it down, but to no avail. Toni behaved much better than I would have. She took the high road as the two of them decided they would set off to the next destination on the metro.

I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be the cameraman filming that taxi drive off. Certainly, the people who film the Amazing Race must become attached to the teams they are following all over the world.

For their money woes, Toni and Dallas did find out just how generous people in Moscow are. People helped them over and over again by giving them money for metro fare.

Unfortunately, rules are rules, so when they showed up at the park to find the woman with the Shetland pony, the woman wouldn’t give them the clue because they hadn’t taken a taxi. That meant bumming more money from complete strangers so they could go back to their last location in order to take a taxi. That involved bumming an even larger sum.

In the meantime, Andrew & Dan were off doing their Speed Bump which was learning a Russian dance with a dance troupe. Luckily, they didn’t have to be perfect before they were allowed to proceed. The marching in the last episode was a hopeless endeavor for Andrew, and both of them equally stunk at Russian dancing. Watching them try was a hoot.

As the teams picked up their clue from the woman with the pony, they had to decide if they wanted to Ride the Rails (the metro) or Ride the Lines (the trolley system) to their next destination. On Ride the Rails, the first destination was a snack shop near Ulitsa 1905 where they were to pick up a traditional snack food called a samsa. On the wrapper was the clue to their next destination, a statue of the man who invented the Cyrillic alphabet. This involved a ride to another station where a woman gave them a postcard with the picture of VNDKh Park Station, their next destination, in exchange for the samsa.

The Ride the Lines involved taking a street car to a station where they would find a key maker who would give them a key to unlock a locker at another station. In the locker was a postcard of VNDKh Park Station.

The metro was the most confusing, but quicker. Tina & Ken ended up taking a bus first, but then found out they were on the wrong system. They also made a mistake at VNDKh Park Station because they didn’t look for the clue box that told them where to head to the Pit Stop. Instead, they ran after Andrew & Dan who miraculously came in 2nd.

At the Pit Stop in VNDKh Park, Phil told Tina & Ken to go find the clue. In the meantime, Dallas & Toni valiantly tried to make up time despite their lack of money handicap.

Ken & Tina found the clue box, thus their ticket to the Pit Stop. In a sad, sad scene, Phil found Toni & Dallas to tell them that they had been eliminated.

Who won this round?: Nick and Starr. I have absolutely no interest in these two. I’m wondering when they will be able to take all these vacations they keep winning. With this win, they’re heading to Anguilla if they can find the time to squeeze it in.

Toni & Dallas’s words of travel wisdom: Travel can make bonds stronger. “This had been the best experience of my life,” said Toni through her tears. “Everything I am is because of my mom,” Dallas said.

I’m sure he really feels blessed because she didn’t throttle him for losing that bag.

Next week is the final push as the three teams of Nick & Starr, Ken & Tina and Andrew & Dan race towards the finish line and a million dollars. I’m hoping Ken & Tina win. If they don’t my vote is that they stay married anyway. When they see the footage of this show, I can’t imagine that they won’t see how well they actually get along.

I would have equally pushed for Dan & Andrew, but Andrew said he wouldn’t have lent Toni & Dallas $10 if he had it. Although, if he had, Toni & Dallas would have been ahead of them. He didn’t have the money anyway. Dan had it.

Unfortunately, I bet Nick & Starr will win which makes me think that it’s a dog eat dog world after all.

Amazing Race 13, recap 9: Russians don’t laugh at you, they laugh with you

With Terence & Sarah eliminated, and Starr & Nick coming in 1st four times in a row, it was any one of the team’s game during episode 9 of the Amazing Race 13. As the teams headed off to Moscow, Russia from Almaty, Kazakhstan, I was curious what would trip up Nick & Starr and if Andrew & Dan could dump their status as the team with the most trouble with tasks.

Moscow was shown as a complicated city that is more than a little expensive in the taxi department. The city gave two teams a bit of grief. Language barriers and a lack of being able to find directions were consistent problems. By the end of their day, I hope there were shots of vodka waiting.

Travel Tips:

  • Hotel bedroom slippers will temporarily work as shoes.
  • I would find someone who knows English to write down locations in Russian in order to find places more easily. That’s just an observation I had after watching the teams struggle.
  • Keep a sense of humor. It will help.
  • Work out taxi costs before you get in a cab, but it may not do much good.
  • On second thought, when traveling in Moscow, don’t take taxis. They are EXPENSIVE.

Recaps and Cultural Highlights

Even though teams left the Pit Stop in Almaty, Kazakhstan at different times, they were on the same flight to Moscow. The airport scene in Kazakhstan was a hoot once Andrew & Dan showed up. Because they left their shoes at the puppet theater when they dressed up as a cow, there they were shuffling along in hotel slippers. Luckily for them, there was an open shoe store at the airport despite the late hour. Shoes weren’t cheap, however. From what I could tell, the least expensive pair cost $80.

Each bought sneakers and didn’t complain about them pinching, rubbing, or making blisters later on in the episode. I assume that meant they were decent shoes. If anything, these frat boys were pleased with their shoes, but were concerned that their money stash was diminished. What a funny story they have to tell later.

Dallas and Starr had more time to further their interest in each other at the airport. Yawn. As with any romance that starts on the road, I give it a 1 out of 5 chance of succeeding.

What was more interesting was when the teams hit Moscow. The buildings’ magnificence impressed the whole gang, but everyone was focused more on money once they hopped into a taxi.

Moscow is very expensive. A taxi ride from the airport to the first stop at Krutitske Podvorye Monastery cost $100. Not one dollar. One hundred dollars. Other taxi rides to the other tasks seemed to cost about the same due to the distances the teams traveled. Being lost may have added to the price.

The monastery was a beautiful Russian Orthodox building with a church service in progress when the teams arrived. I gave Toni high points for covering her hair with a scarf when she stepped inside the church to light a candle. The candlelighting led to the next clue. As she said, “It’s history…There’s reverence and respect. ” As she pointed out, when in a place of worship, one should act appropriately.

Once she & Dallas received their clue that directed them to Kolosok Camp, a decommissioned military base, they were off again without a hitch. Nick & Starr were close behind until Nick & Starr got lost.

Once at the camp, teams were to chose between marching with soldiers or serving soldiers borscht. All teams initially picked the marching. From Ken & Tina’s amorous attitudes during this activity, it looks like all they need to do to get rid of their marital woes is to put on a uniform once in awhile.

While Toni & Dallas and Ken & Tina were marching away, Nick & Starr were not having one bit of luck with their driver. It didn’t matter that it was Nick’s birthday. They spent a good deal of the time between tasks during this whole episode lost. To their credit, there was minimal snipping, although Nick did ask Starr how crying could help. He should try it sometimes.

In the meantime, even after Nick & Starr finally showed up, Andrew & Dan kept bumbling along at the military camp which provided great guffaws at my house. First, Dan couldn’t correctly wrap his feet with fabric like a good Russian soldier should. “Neit, neit, neit,” the supervisor kept saying. The boys decided to ditch the marching and headed off to serve borscht to the 75 waiting soldiers. Once they found out they had to wear the uniforms to serve soup, it was back to the marching.

That was a bad idea. Andrew couldn’t march to save his life. I was rolling on the floor and my sides hurt from watching him. I like this guy. Even the Russian soldiers were laughing hard at watching them. To his credit, and to Dan’s, they got a kick out of themselves as much as the soldiers did. Back they went to serve the soup. Despite their abysmal luck with tasks, they looked like they were having a great time. They also seemed to be off of their bickering from the last episode.

Once teams finished marching like a soldier or serving watery borscht, they were off to find the town Zhukovsky and the Zhukovsky Bakery. At the bakery, one member had to move 50 sacks of 55-pound sacks of flour from the back of a tractor trailer to the bakery floor. Ken was able to plow on through this task. Once Andrew showed up, he happily kicked with this task as well. Dallas, although keeping his team’s lead, struggled. Nick struggled even more so. No one pulled out their backs. I was anticipating that. Once the flour sacks were moved, it was off to the Pit Stop at Neskuchny Sad Park. As Phil pointed out during some of his descriptions of Moscow, the city is filled with beautiful parks.

Who Won: Toni & Dallas were able to keep their lead and arrived at the Pit Stop first. Finally, a team other than Nick & Starr won a round.

What Toni and Dallas won: A trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Who lost: No one. This was another non-elimination round. After all the laughs at Andrew & Dan’s expense, I’m happy they stayed in the race for at least one more week.These two said they are fine with their underdog status.

That’s a good thing. If they win this race, it will be the biggest comeback ever. It’s a long shot. They have a speed bump to do and absolutely no money because they gave all they had to the taxi driver who dropped them off at the park. If they are still in Moscow next week, I say they are in big trouble. If they head to a new country, they receive more money. As they said, they need a miracle.

Amazing Race 13 recap 8: Kazakhstan makes Bizarre Foods look tame

India was easy compared to Kazakhstan–sort of. This week’s Amazing Race 13 was a glance into some of the more unusual aspects of Kazakh culture. As teams sped through the streets of Almaty, even though much of the city looked western and urban with architecture that reflects its former Soviet Union ties, the teams experienced more of Kazakhstan’s agricultural tradition than perhaps is apparent in Almaty daily life.

I’m not sure how much more I learned about Kazakhstan, but I do know what not to order in a restaurant. Plus, Borat made this country famous, something the teams referred to when they found out this is where they were heading.

Travel Tips:

  • If you’re a vegetarian don’t attempt to eat the rear end of a sheep
  • If you make a mistake, the quicker you admit it, the faster you can make up time
  • If you ask people directly for help, you’ll have much better luck than just randomly shouting out, “Can someone give us directions?”

Cultural traditions and Recap: If you find yourself in Delhi and want to head to Kazakhstan, there are three options: through Frankfurt; through Dubai; and through Moscow. In the Amazing Race, it doesn’t matter which flight you are on because when your team shows up to the Alel Agro Chicken Factory in the middle of the night, you’ll have to hang out until 7:30 a.m. when it opens. That means the team that went through Dubai (Andrew & Dan) had time to get there by the time the gate opened. As a bonus, the sunrise over a chicken farm was lovely.

Once the gate opened, the first task of the day was the mad dash to the clue box. Nick, in true competitive spirit, snatched a clue right out of Andrew’s hand, thus propelling Nick & Starr towards the Fast Forward with Terrence & Sarah close behind.

While these two teams tried to down soup made from the butt end of a sheep as belly dancers danced, the other teams donned white jumpsuits, masks, shoe coverings and gloves in order to find one of seven golden eggs among the 30,000 chickens that were milling about the chicken shack.

As the chickens clucked and pecked, one person from each team cajoled the chickens to move in order to find one of the prized eggs. As the team members searched, the other team members clutched their masks to their faces and shouted encouragement. Although I wondered about the stench, I’d rather have done this then the Fast Forward.

Downing the soup was a dreadful process that probably Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods would have had trouble with. Both Nick and Starr tried not to barf with each bite while Terrence tried not to barf as soon as he eyed the guy eating the sheep’s head. Terrence, a vegetarian hadn’t eaten meat for 15 years.

Sarah gamely scarfed her gross looking soup down, but it was too much for Terrence. Why they didn’t give up sooner? I have no idea. Instead, they watched Nick and Starr almost make it to the last bite before they headed back to the chicken factory to look for their golden egg. I was curious about what else the restaurant served. Here’s a link to other food descriptions that sound much better, except I would not want to eat sheep’s head.

As soon as each team found their golden egg, they hopped into a giant crane truck with a driver who was to take them through the city to Koktobe Arch at the foothills of the Tienshan Mountains.

Dallas & Toni were off to the foothills first, while Dan & Andrew had the worst luck–again. Their driver had no idea where to go, and in their resulting miffed state, the guys had a hard time attracting positive energy and someone to give them directions. Instead they thought that the Kazakhs were the “worst people,” even though people in this country have a reputation for their great hospitality.

Toni and Dallas made it up the mountain first. There they were met by Mongol warriors dressed in traditional warrior attire riding on horseback. One of the warriors was a falconer who waited with them for a falcon to sweep in with the next clue held in its claws. That was cool. And, there was a brief glimpse of the beauty of the surrounding mountains. No time to linger, though.

Once teams got their next clue from the falcon, it was off to either dress up in a two person cow suit to find a glass of milk while walking through Almaty mooing at people, or to learn how to play a simple tune on two Kazakh instruments. Each team picked dressing up like a cow –even Sarah & Terrence once they backtracked from their failed attempt at the Fast Forward.

The cow costumes were part of a children’s puppet theater troupe. Dallas & Toni had a great time with their mooing and met with many laughs and smiles from the people they passed. Andrew & Dan, growing weary of each other, had a hard time getting people to help them with directions by continuing their poor tactic of yelling out something like, “Can someone help us?” It took awhile for them to attract help.

Tina & Ken found the milk stand fairly quickly, Tina downed a glass she found on the counter even though it was warm. Unfortunately, she didn’t notice the clue on the bottom of the glass. Off this pair went, searching for another milk stand before they figured out their mistake. Back to the stand they went to get their glass. Then they made the mistake of taking off their cow suit at the puppet theater before heading to the meat stall in the Zelyoniy Bazaar, even though, Toni & Dallas, seeing them, told them they needed the cow suit. The meat market person wouldn’t give them Tina & Ken the clue, so back they went to change into the cow suit once more.

By this time, Toni & Dallas had already found their last clue and were heading to the Pit Stop at Old Square where they came in second behind Nick & Starr.

By the end of the episode excitement ensued as Dan & Andrew messed up and took a cab to the Pit Stop from the meat market. Phil sent them back so they could return to the Pit Stop on foot. He told them to hurry. They hustled. The hustling paid off.

Who was eliminated?: Sarah & Terrence. Despite Sarah & Terrence’s success with each task once they gave up in the Fast Forward, it wasn’t enough for them to edge out Andrew & Dan. Andrew & Dan were ecstatic to find out they were still in the game.

Although disappointed, this couple who uses endearments for each other in about every sentence took the loss in stride. Terrence just can’t eat meat. It’s as simple as that.

Words of Travel Wisdom: Saying things like “Good job my love,” makes difficulties easier to take. Even if you don’t win a million dollars, traveling with the person you want in your life can give you great things and make a relationship stronger. Money can’t buy happiness. (It could help though, don’t you think?)

What Nick and Starr won: Horsepower wave runners. This is the first time a team has arrived at the Pit Stop in first place four times in a row.

Personally, I’d like another team to come in first once in awhile. I was also sad to see Terrence & Sarah go. I’ll miss hearing their endearments.

Amazing Race 13 episode 7: Delhi, India where karma can get you

After last week’s dash in Delhi that ended at the Baha’i House, Starr & Nick were the first ones to head out again into Delhi’s traffic for episode 7 of Amazing Race 13. This week’s episode was one traffic jam after another and a mix of what makes life in Delhi so darned interesting. Colorful. Literally. It was also an episode where people who are snide don’t come out ahead. It’s karma, baby, karma.

Travel Tips from this episode:

  • Working with others can benefit everyone. Don’t be a loner all the time
  • The bigger vehicle is not the best one to take through a traffic jam
  • When stuck in traffic, get out of the vehicle and direct the flow to give yourself a pathway to move forward
  • Be observant. When one way of doing a task is not working, don’t keep repeating yourself. Try something else.

Recap and cultural highlights:

If this was Holi in Delhi, the timing couldn’t have been better for an authentic cultural experience with some Amazing Race craziness mixed in, however as a person who has been to a Holi celebration, the volume of this episode’s depiction was turned up several notches.

When each team arrived for the first task at Deshbandu Apartments where a Holi celebration was taking place, one of the team members was to run through the crowd of celebrating people and up a ladder-like tower where dozens of Amazing Race colored envelopes hung. Six of the envelopes had the next clue. The others said “Try again.” As each person ran to the tower and up it to search through the envelopes, the crowd pelted him or her with colorful powder and sprayed water to make a real mess.

In the typical Indian version of Holi, people throw colored powder on each other in fun, but not in the thick clouds as shown in the episode. The idea–sort of–is to celebrate the rejuvenation of spring with colors. People often come wearing white, and have control over how covered in colors they want to be–mostly.

When I went to a Holi celebration, my face was smudged a bit, but I hung back. Kids go nuts. As with any Indian holiday, food is also an important part, and all ages are included.

Unfortunately, the teams in the Amazing Race had no idea what the celebration signifies–and as with any cultural experience that’s not your own, personalities show through. Plus, their version of Holi was not totally accurate.

Christy & Kelly had the hardest time. Personally, I think it’s because they’re so busy making fun of people and thinking that they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, that they miss details. Tasks come hard to them. Last episode they made fun of Dallas. This week, they were making swipes at Andrew & Dan.

This episode showed Holi as payback. Each time Kelly grabbed the wrong clue and had to run once more into the fray of revelers, I looked for a sympathetic twinge in my heart and couldn’t find one. When she tripped and fell, oh well.

Dallas & Toni caught onto the essence of Holi even though they didn’t know it. Later in the episode, when Dallas, still tinted pink, was running down the road in the midst of pack of kids, Toni brimmed with love at the joy she saw in his face.

After the faux Holi celebration, it was off to the Jain Temple where the Charity Birds Hospital is housed. As with all temples in India, people must take their shoes off before entering. Nick wasn’t thrilled with the idea of walking around barefoot and had no idea why the birds were there. Were the birds sick or were they supposed to be therapy for sick people, he wondered. Seriously, Nick. Don’t you have any cultural know how? It says Charity Birds Hospital above the door, for heaven’s sake. The hospital was founded by the Jains in 1956 to take care of wounded or sick birds and is based on the Jain religious belief that has a high aversion to killing.

Sarah was the most in tuned to the plight of the sick and wounded birds as she and Terrence searched the cages for the next clue. I love the way these two keep calling each other “Babe.” It doesn’t matter what they’re doing. It’s endearing.

Before Tina & Ken could look for the next clue in the Charity Birds hospital, they had to perform their Speed Bump. Tina, now with green hair (and green is the worst for not coming out from blond hair) & Ken headed to the Sikh Temple where they helped give water to the throngs of worshipers. Here, Tina was back to being culturally sensitive after calling the fellows that doused her in green powder, “morons.”

This temple scene was a high point of the episode because of the authentic interactions. Tina, in particular, recognized that she was in a holy place and felt compelled to do a good job. Her “God bless yous” as she handed out glass after glass was rather touching.

After the visit to the Charity Birds Hospital came two Road Block choices: Bleary Eyed and Teary Eyed. In Bleary Eyed, the teams were to follow the small numbers of the electrical wires along a very narrow street in Delhi. Once they reached a man with a sewing machine, they were to give him the series of numbers they found. If they were right, he gave them the location of their next clue which would lead them to the Pit Stop at Humayun’s tomb, a complex of mausoleums built in the 16th Century.

This was an older section of the city, I imagine. As buildings are wired for electricity, the tangle increases. The numbers help keep the circuits straight. I can vouch that all of Delhi’s wiring is not like this, however it the wiring and the traffic indicate a city that is teaming with people.

In Teary Eyed, the teams were to head to a market, pick up two 40 pound bags of dried chilies (one each) and carry them to Sharwan Kumar & Sons, a spice business where they were to pulverize 35 ounces of it into powder by using a mortar and pestle. Sarah & Terrence are the only two who picked this option. In the middle of calling each other “Babe” and pounding away, they choked a bit on the chilies’ fiery fumes.

Nick & Starr and Dallas & Toni arrived at Nai Sarak Street for their number hunting in about the same time, and after they discovered the numbers, decided that if they worked together, they’d get finished faster. Both teams plugged in the Ganesha at the store the tailor sent them but, once they were in their Tuk-tuk taxis, skill had nothing to do with who would get to the Pit Stop first. Traffic means everything.

Traffic threatened to do Ken & Tina in after they completed their speed bump and were catching up, but Ken got out of the taxi to part traffic which worked like a charm.

Finding the numbers was a horrific task for Christy & Kelly and Andrew & Dan. It took them forever to find out what to look for. After Ken & Tina figured out the system, they pointed out a number to Dan & Andrew before they hopped back in their taxi they had wait for them. That’s the way to be nice.

Christy & Kelly who have not been nice to anyone on the whole trip arrived at the Pit Stop last. Ha! Yes!

Who won this episode? Nick and Starr–again. I’m growing weary of them winning all the time, but my impression of them went up a notch when they worked with Toni & Dallas and seemed to enjoy it. I do wish Starr would quit cavorting around in her running bra. It irks me. She’s not in Survivor.

What did they win?: A trip to Kauai, Hawaii

Christy & Kelly’s words of travel wisdom: Keep being each others support system. As much as these two bothered me because of their snide ways, I was impressed with how well they got along with each other. No matter how many problems they might have had, they didn’t snipe at each other once.

For recaps and videos from Amazing Race 13, check out the web site.