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October 28

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We're still in Bangladesh and it's hot, smelly and crowded. In other words:TAR heaven.


Phil is on the bank of the river Shambersham Bam Mia Gak (or something like that). Its shores lined with children, dirt, and piles of pumpkins. Ah, Halloween in Bangladesh.


Before we can get excited about the prospect of bobbing for apples in the cloudy malodorous depths of the...whatever...it's time for a brief bit of background to fill us in on some personal news about James of team Rocker/Lawyer. His wife tells him via Skype that his dad has stage four cancer. This will not in any way figure in to the rest of today's race. It's only purpose is to make you feel bad. Are you feeling bad yet? Good, then, it's time to move on.


James/Abba, having won the last leg, start first and make their way to the Jabbara Borey Bor Bazaar (or something like that). Basically they just need to go on foot to a taxi stand and then take a taxi to the bazaar and find the dude standing near a luscious pile of pretty little eggplants for their first clue. The eggplants are called something like Pugoot. For the record, almost everything in Bangladesh seems to have a lot more syllables than necessary.


Team Rocker/Lawyer ace this bit and get a clue telling them to go to, and again I approximate, (because it's more fun than reading the on-screen graphics) Ferry Got Road under Democrat Bridge to get their next clue.


Abbie/Ryan leave next, then the Twins.


Meanwhile James/Abba get their next clue which says, "It ain't heavy. It's a roadblock" and James opts to do it. For the roadblock you have to assemble a bamboo tripod and then hang a crude kind of scale from it, then balance 4 big-ass river rocks and a bunch of wood.


Some time is taken to show James trying, failing, and struggling to complete this task but as they are the only ones on the scene throughout the task it's pretty clear that they have a tremendous lead.


The Twins and Abby/Ryan reach the taxi stand about the same time and one of the twins (the louder one) tells their driver that they must hurry and beat the "goras". It means "white people" but it's not racist. At least that's what she says. I'm not so sure about that. I kinda think that referring to anyone by their color, probably isn't especially nice, but she's the one saying it on national TV so it's her ass that will be responding to all the tweets.


As those two teams hit the full heat of a Bangladeshi day (it's like 10 am) and begin to pour sweat accordingly, James is finishing up his weighing station and scolding a man, who probably doesn't speak English, for not telling him where a rope was. The guy shrugs. I laugh.


The twins and Abby/Ryan meet up at the eggplant vendor's pile and get the clue to the Fairy Godwhatever Bridge.


The Goat farmers are now starting out and then the Monster Truckers.


Kelly of the Monster Truckers confides with the viewing audience that she does barrel racing but that she is totes keeping that on the Down Low so that she can slip in under the radar and get the money. Hah! If the others only knew that she rides horses around barrels they would probably just stomp her face right into the reeking floor of the Bora Bora Bazaar. So, shhhhhhhhhhh.


The Chippendales start out and surprise me by actually showing a little cultural awareness by bidding farewell the townies assembled around them in the native tongue. It's a Muslim country so the crowds of locals are like 99% male. That always freaks me out a little.


Anyway, James successfully weighed his wood (if you know what I mean) and gets the next clue.


It's a detour: Straw Dogs or Bamboo Jungle. So, either you have to go to a factory and slap 20 big twists of jute onto some big nails to loosen the fibers and then carry the bundles to a machine which will make a bag. The bag will have a picture on it of their next destination; or you have to go to a bamboo yard and get 40 poles of various lengths and convey it through town to a construction site where you get a bit of bamboo with the same picture on it.


James/Abba pick Bamboo.


Meanwhile team City Gay/Country Gay get lost while looking for the cab stand. It just must not be their day. No one else had any problem with this.


Abby of Team Dating Divorcees and Nadiya of Team Twins start in on building the tee pee scale. As is usual, Natalie begins bellowing "C'mon Twinnie!" and Ryan joins in since there's no point fighting it.


By now Team Monster Truck and the Chippendales have gotten taxis, The Goat Farmers are still lost and Trey/Lexi finally start their day at 11:30 am.


The Bamboo detour is taking its toll on Team Rocker/Lawyer. Not only are the poles heavy but they are long and unwieldy as fuck and every movement made with them carries the possibility of poking out the eye of a bystander, if not straight-up decapitating someone. This is TAR at its most red-faced and sweaty.


The Twins and Abby/Ryan finish the scale task and move on as The Goat Farmers and Trey/Lexi meet up at the Bazaar (the boys finally found the taxi stand).


As the Chippendale works on his teepee scale he waves to the onlookers and asks how they're doing and tells them that they can cheer if they want. Result: cricket. cricket. Upon completion, he then goes for the hi-5. Result: denied. Dude, just stop.


Eventually everyone completes their scale and weighs the wood, although the Goat Farmer takes For. Ev. Er. because he's got a knot on the wrong side of the metal loop-thing and he doesn't see the problem no matter how loudly I yell at the screen. He has a bit of a melt down but he doesn't lash out at his partner or anyone else. Damn.


James/Abba are first to complete the bamboo detour, painfully wrestling their load to the construction site where a 12-story building is to be erected. I'm shaking my head at the thought of a 12-story bamboo scaffold, but it's best just to move on.


Side note: Does anyone know the story behind the magnificent orange beards some of these Bangladeshi guys have?


The picture clue at the end of the detour is of a famous building--a kind of palace with steps coming up from the river. It's called Blucksh Blup Blup Shubar (kind of) and it's the pit stop. Luckily, all the taxi drivers here seem to know exactly what it is and where it's located.


Back to the Bamboo Jungle detour where the twins are trying not to kill people with 20-foot bamboo murder-poles.


Abby and Ryan are the only team to opt for the Jute Factory where they do well after a couple of tries at slapping the jute wads on the huge nails. The difficult part about this task is that the factory itself is noisy, hot and crowded.


Why aren't the teams fighting and bickering with each other? I count on these hot smelly third-world locations to bring out the tears and the blame. Is it just too hot? The worst pain Ryan can inflict is to make a pun about "Jute force". This is all way too civil.


James and Abba are first to the pit stop mat. Again. They win a trip to Malaysia's tropical rainforest, which has to be the least appealing thing for them at this moment. James gets a little emotional about his dad, but is determined to keep going.


The rest of the teams (minus the goat farmers) are all bumbling around in the bamboo jungle. One of the twins declares that she has burst a blister. This is very hard, awkward work. Team Monster Truck muscle through it, despite a smack in the face from a pole by Lexi.


Goat Farmers finally finish weighing the wood and are able to move on while Abby and Ryan hit the pit stop mat. Ryan isn't happy with second place though. He wanted to beat Rachel and Dave's record from last season. Boo freakin' hoo. He manages to make it sound as if it's Abby's fault while praising her effort.


Team Sri Lanka is close to finishing the bamboo task while the Chippendales explain that they are weak because they've been trying to save money by not eating (they'd been saying earlier that they were really looking forward to a physical task where they would kick ass).


Goat Farmers head off to the bamboo task as the Twins head off to the pit stop.


Finally, drama! As the Chippendales and Lexi/Trey are strapping their poles to their rickshaws there is a co-mingling of the poles and in all the confusion, the Chippies leave three of their poles on the ground.


The Goat Farmers saunter into the bamboo yard where they encounter a little baby goat, a lucky talisman!, and he's cute as the dickens. No worries, boys. All will be well.


Not so for the Chippies who have hauled their load all the way to the construction site only to be sent back for their missing poles. They collapse on the ground and pour bottled water over themselves and founder for a bit in their muddy puddles of despair. They are momentarily mired.


Meanwhile, the Goat Farmers have lost all momentum and are choosing bamboo poles like they're shopping for ripe melons in the produce aisle.


Monster Truckers roll into the pit stop as team #4 and Trey and Lexi are team #5.


The Chippies finish the task and leave the construction site amid a sea of little children, then head for the pit stop where either Jaymes or James falls on his face in his rush to get to Phil. They are team #6. There is much bro-joicing.


Much later, I don't know how much later, but the sun surely looks to be near setting, the Goat Farmers trundle up, wheelie-suitcase in tow, and ready to hear the bad news. But, surprise! It's a non-elimination leg and they live to race another day. Baaaa-aaa-aaa-aaa!

Edited by MockTurtle

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