Amazing Race
I Feel Like I'm In the Circus

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Thai'ed Up

That's a dismayingly long Amazing Red Line that tracks the route across and halfway up the Thai peninsula from Phuket to Bangkok. The next morning, the city glistens in the sunlight. Or sweats in it, rather. Ernie and Cindy, the only team on their particular bus, are hoping for the best. Sandy reminds us that she and Jeremy are riding with Justin & Jennifer and Andy & Tommy, and adds that they thought they wee supposed to get there at 5:30 and it's now 6:00 AM. Actually the snowboarders were told 6:00, but the bus is still moving. At least it's in the city now. Aboard Bill & Cathi's bus with Amani & Marcus, he tells us that their bus made some stops, dropping passengers at the side of the road (presumably people who belatedly realized that they weren't supposed to be on a first-class bus), "so this isn't a super-express." Then there are lots of shots of Bangkok in the morning, and the first bus to reach the terminal is, unexpectedly, the one carrying Ernie and Cindy. "The express bus was pretty quick," he says. They check a map and get in a cab, where Cindy tells us that they were in Bangkok two and a half years ago. "I don't think being in Bangkok before is going to help us really at all here," Ernie says. "Unless they tell us to find some ladyboys," Cindy says. Ernie laughs at that a bit too nervously.

The 4:30 bus from Phuket arrives, disgorging the snowboarders, the siblings, and Jeremy and Sandy, as Tommy explains, "Our bus made a lot of stops." They all get into separate cabs, wondering about the other teams' buses and when they got to Bangkok. Team NFL and the grandparents are just arriving in theirs and also jumping into cabs, with Amani and Marcus right behind Bill and Cathi. Laurence and Zac are almost at the end of their night on the bus as well. "A delightful bus," Laurence deadpans. The twins are also back there somewhere, as Marie tells us with typical cheerfulness, "We are dead last, and we haven't seen teams in 24 hours." And now they're going to be on foot in Bangkok, with no money at all. Plus, Marie hates fish. From their favorite animal to their least-favorite.

Ernie and Cindy's cab drops them near the canal, where a telltale red-and-yellow arrow points the way to the canal's railing. They break up their food into lumps and toss it out to a patch of water roiling with very large fish. This looks like more of a challenge for the fish than for the racers. After the food is all gone, a guy presents them with a clue. What could be left but the next Pit Stop? A Detour, I guess, but it's not a Detour. Instead, over a subtitle reading "M.R. Kukrit Heritage Home," Phil tells about the latest Pit Stop, an old-school Thai house in the shadow of modern skyscrapers. Where, of course, the last team to check in may be eliminated. Ernie and Cindy are on their way there in first place. But first, their cabdriver is getting his cell phone out for directions. "He's gonna phone a friend," Ernie explains. "It's always good to have your lifelines." Wrong show, dude. He and Cindy spazz-fistbump in the cab.

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Amazing Race

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