Amazing Race

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Arhats Are Off

Brent and Caite reach Longhua Temple in first place. It's a whole compound, dominated by a towering pagoda that they won't actually enter. One of the outbuildings is called Arhat Hall, outside of which is the clue box. "Who thinks they can sum up Buddha?" reads the opening question. Certainly none of these people. I think the best candidate is Phil himself. And here he is, inside the hall, which is essentially a 10X10 room filled with a large crowd of golden statues on miniature bleachers, like a small, yellow, high school assembly. He tells us that Arhat means "one who has attained enlightenment. And in this Road Block, teams must enter Arhat Hall and attain the knowledge they'll need to stay in the race." Which is almost exactly the same thing. He says they'll have to count all of the golden statues in the room, a number which turns out to be 523. If they get the right answer, a Buddhist monk posted outside will hand them their next clue. If not, they have to wait ten minutes before trying again. "Just don't bother me while I count," Caite says. "I'm not even going to be here," Brent says. "Good," she grumps, entering the hall of those who have attained enlightenment. She takes one look and is like "Oh, my gosh." Brent says he's glad she's doing this, because it will be a chance for her to show people that "she's got it upstairs, that she's not as dumb as everyone thinks." Which she demonstrates by starting to count by columns, even though the Buddhas don't line up in straight columns. I guess we can give her credit for realizing that and switching to rows, though. Not that I'm going to.

Meanwhile, Brent is waiting outside, making the most of this opportunity to respectfully observe the surrounding activity at the temple. "It's really neat to see how other people do things." If this is the show's way of preparing me to not be pissed off if they win the whole thing, it's not going to work. But that seems like a less immediate concern when Caite makes her first guess: 520. Start the ten-minute clock.

Jet and Cord are hiking through the city in search of a Metro station, and stating to wonder why they're constantly being passed by buses, and whether that might not have been a better way to go. It certainly was for the models. "Oh, my gravy," Jet sighs, as he does.

The laggard alliance of Dan|Jordan and Louie|Michael is still up on the bridge. Suddenly, through his binoculars, Michael spots what looks like the trench coats of a naval officer and a woman hanging from a road sign for no apparent reason. They decide to go check it out. Nothing there, of course, and now they're lost and stranded on a highway median. The lesson being, I guess, never underestimate the randomness of China. "The other teams gotta be having the same problem as we are," Michael says optimistically. Yes, I'm sure they were also drawn off course by the irresistible siren song of coats.

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Amazing Race

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