Amazing Race
It Was Like Being Dropped on Planet Mars

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Break It Down

So now that all the teams are in transit to the city, Marcy and Ron talk about how happy she is to be in Vietnam, and she says she really wants to experience and enjoy it. In a solo interview, she talks about how nice the people are, but it makes her "emotional about all the people who died here." Well, yeah, all the hostile people got killed, and the friendly ones are what's left. Seems like there's a Beatitude in there somewhere.

Okay, Keri? At the risk of sounding like Phil at the beginning of next week's episode, this is Ho Chi Minh City. You can tell by its huge traffic roundabouts, skyscrapers, and armadas of mopeds. Gary and Matt marvel at the scene outside their cab windows, which includes one moped with a large, plastic, and completely full lobster tank strapped to the back. Of course, that's only a drop in the aquarium of their traffic woes. Gary wishes the other teams into a similar predicament. But somehow the Globetrotters' taxi has zoomed ahead. In fact, they just spotted the theater, whose sign includes the English phrase "Vietnamese Water Puppetry." Inside, a percussion band is making a hell of a racket, while the "stage" consists of a pool of water in which four long, snakelike dragon puppets are writhing around, sticking their faces up and squirting water out. I have no idea how this works. Are the puppeteers above the pool? In the wings? Under the water, somehow, using the same traditional scuba gear that has been in use since the eleventh century? Later I do some research and discover that they're hidden behind the screen at the back of the pool. In any case, it's clear that even though we can't see them, they can see the racers, because when Big Easy leans over the water, trying to snatch a clue, he isn't fast enough. The puppets keep darting away from him just as he reaches his hand out. Flight Time takes a turn, and admits in a post-leg interview that "Those dragons were quick." Finally Flight Time gets hold of a clue. It's a tiny nylon pouch, inside of which is a small brass cylinder, just large enough to hold a single rolled-up postage stamp. Which, coincidentally, is exactly what it turns out to hold. The stamp is a picture of a stately stone building, which Phil tells us is the Ho Chi Minh City Main Post Office. That's where the next clue is. The Globetrotters leave the theater just as the drummers wrap up a number with a big finish. Well, I call it a big finish, even though it's really not any bigger than the middle and the end were.

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Amazing Race

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