Survivor
Ready To Bite The Apple

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Miss Alli: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Nobody's That Dumb!

The rewardees arrive at the temple, which is certainly beautiful. The gravity of the situation is implied in the form of shots taken from foot-level show them approaching the temple, and then they enter. They are greeted by two monks, and Peih-Gee says that, as a Chinese person, it was interesting to experience this, which was a "separate, foreign world" to her nevertheless. She says that the monks were playing music and meditating...while not being distracted by enormous cameras, of course. As they walk, Denise tells them that she's taken karate and opened her own school (!), and her black belt is "coming up." One of the monks asks her how long she's been doing karate, and she says it's been eight years. Denise tells us that this was the reward she wanted the most, as we watch them change into temple clothing that's been laid out for them. They all sit quietly and watch a martial arts demonstration as Denise talks in an interview about what a special an experience she found this to be, given that the temple is 1500 years old. The demonstration is pretty amazing, and Denise beams through the entire thing. Some of the demonstration looks...remarkably like breakdancing. It turns out that monks invented the worm. (I have read the stuff saying that these are technically more performers than real monks, but...I'm working with the theme as it's being presented.) It's very graceful and fascinating, and watching it really drives home how much of martial arts is the concentration. There's a great moment where Peih-Gee silently mouths, "Wow," and Denise looks over at her with this great nod, like, "I know, right? Told you." The performers bow, and it's over. Pretty spectacular.

After the main demonstration is over, a bunch of kids emerge from the temple, and Erik, Peih-Gee, and Denise are allowed to participate in a class. The monk asks Denise to show a little of what she knows, and to her credit, she agrees, in what are just about the most intimidating circumstances you can imagine. As she does it, Erik voices over that seeing her do this was pretty cool: "I was like, 'Denise! Who knew?'" Well...exactly. Who knew? Denise interviews that it's an experience she's going to treasure forever.

That night, the rewardees share a delicious feast. Looks better than the Chinese food on my block, I'll tell you that. For one thing, no baby corn. GO AWAY, BABY CORN. Baby corn makes me feel like I've suddenly become twenty-six feet tall. It's very disconcerting. Peih-Gee interviews that this was quite an improvement from "squatting on logs" to eat. Denise, at dinner, is still raving about the demonstration, and they all agree that they love the reward. They do wind up sleeping on mats on the floor. It's not like I wouldn't be incredibly honored to sleep in the temple and incredibly grateful for the generosity, but I freely admit that after almost a month sleeping on the ground, I would be like, "Oh, mats on the...floor...that's very nice of you." I would never let my pain show, though, because I was raised correctly. Peih-Gee says that being at the temple is inspiring, even though she knows she's still in big trouble, game-wise. "Best reward ever," she says.

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Survivor

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