Last week, nine teams continued to race through Indonesia. They acted as waiters, wore forty-pound lion masks on their heads, and generally stayed in roughly the same position that they ended the previous leg in. Abbie & Ryan reclaimed the lead by a hair over Texans Trey & Lexi, copping their second leg win and a trip to Fiji. Best friends Gary & Will got U-turned but still managed to squeak by two other best friends, Caitlin & Brittany, who, like so many past contestants, figured that if the locals can’t understand English, they’ll try “loud English” instead. Eight teams remain. BOMP.

Starting Line - The SMA Negeri High School in Bangil, Indonesia. The racers’ first clue told them to fly to the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and from there find an unnamed bus-repair shop. All the teams left the Pit Stop after dark, so obviously all of them would once again be on sequel footing in the next leg. Not a surprise.

I’m sure Bangladesh has its share of beauty spots, but most of what we saw in this leg revealed the country to be what it is: one of the poorest and most densely populated countries in the world. Traffic is noisy and crazy, and if I ever go there, I’m having my olfactory glands removed, judging by the copious amount of livestock that roams the streets. Anyway, at the bus-repair shop, teams found this leg’s Roadblock, which required one team member to join a repair crew and perform a requisite amount of puttying, sanding, and seat removal.

This leg also featured a Fast Forward, which if won allowed one team to skip both the Roadblock and the Detour and go right to the Pit Stop. Surprisingly, several teams decided to pass on it, secure in their position in the lead. One team did go for it, and it involved the totally gross task of filling a bag with dead rats, a vital task given the amount of trash strewn about this city. Well, it’s Bangladesh, you couldn’t imagine that they’d be picking flowers!

The next clue following the Roadblock was located in the Kawran Bazar Shootkir Market. After digging through a huge bag of dried fish looking for the one orange-and-yellow one, teams were treated to this leg’s Detour, and the choices were Pound the Metal and Pound the Cotton. In the former, teams had to use sledgehammers to help pound a local blacksmith shape some red-hot metal into a spike. In the latter, teams would help craft a Bengali mattress by beating the cotton with a bamboo rod into a fine, linty pulp, and then sewing the stuffing into a hollow quilt. After completing either task, teams were given the location of the Pit Stop.

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