Last week, seven teams continued their trek through Bangladesh. They threw themselves into some of the largest industries of the place, including hauling bamboo and making jute-fiber bags. Team Rockstar, James and Abba, held on to first place for the second straight leg, while goat farmers Josh and Brent wilted under the intense heat and finished last. However, this was a non-elimination leg, and they were spared. And if history has taught us anything, it’s that teams tend to rebound from that position more often than not. BOMP.

Starting Line - The Lok Shilpa Jadughar Museum, where teams checked in at the end of the last leg. The teams’ first clue told them to fly to Istanbul (not Constantinople), Turkey, and to make their way to the Kabatas Ferry Terminal. As per usual, all teams ended up on the same flight, so they touched down in Turkey all on equal footing again.

One major development occurred at the travel agency booking tickets: James/Abba accidentally left a wad of cash (about $100) on a counter, and when their backs were turned, Natalie/Nadiya picked it up and walked out the door with it. Trey/Lexi told them to give it back, but they didn’t, and then they got on my shit list by walking out behind the twins without telling Rockster what happened. That is wrong in just so many ways. Really, it’s down to base thievery now? What’s worse, they didn’t even suspect another team stole it, figuring that they had dropped it in their cab.

Anyway, after taking the ferry from Kabatas to Urskudar, teams were directed to go right back to the Asian side of Istanbul, and from to the Misir Carsisi (Spice Bazaar) to find their next clue. This was the site of the Speed Bump, where Josh and Brent alone had to eat a two-scoop Turkish ice cream cone. Wow, all tasks should be so difficult! (And they still screwed it up… see below.)

The Bazaar was also the site of this leg’s Detour, and the choices were Simit or Scrub It. In the former, teams had transport large quantities of simits (Turkish bagels) to three different addresses, walking through the streets carrying their loads upon their heads. In the latter, teams had to go to a centuries-old authentic Turkish bath house, where they would be subjected to the scrubbing of their lives. Not surprisingly, almost everyone chose Scrub It. I probably would too, especially after Bangladesh, even though the scrubbers are required to be the same gender as you. Awkward…

After the Detour came the Roadblock, which was located at another bazaar called the Kapilacarsi (Grand Bazaar), one of the largest covered markets in the world, covering 61 streets and home to over 3,000 vendors. According to Wikipedia, between a quarter to a half a million people visit there every day. Yikes, that’s a lot. Anyway, one team member had to don a fez and other local garb, strap a large brass object to their back and sell forty glasses of Turkish Sherbet – referred to by Phil as the “world’s first soft drink” to marketgoers. Cumbersome, but not too disagreeable.

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