Last week, the twenty-first season of The Amazing Race got underway. Eleven teams made their way from Los Angeles to Shanghai, China, where they had to play table tennis, eat frogs’ Fallopian tubes (I’m still queasy thinking about that) and scour a huge waterfront area for the first Pit Stop. Dating divorcees Abbie and Ryan edged several other teams for first place, and for this, they will earn an additional $1 million should they end up winning the race. Chippendale dancers Jaymes and James squandered a huge lead, and ended up beating married lumberjacks Rob and Sheila to the mat by scant inches in order to stay alive. Ten teams remain.

Starting Line - The Bund Observatory, where teams checked in at the end of the last leg. Their first clue in Leg Two told them that they would be traveling across the South China Sea to Indonesia, where they would then locate the Alun Alun Stadium near the town of Surabaya. Teams were also informed that the winner of Leg Two would receive the coveted Express Pass, which would allow the team that holds it to skip any Roadblock or Detour that they want to in a future leg.

After the stadium opened, the teams found out that the challenge involved one team member climbing on the back of a moped behind a professional drive, and then they would race alongside a pair of tethered racing bulls. And I’ll tell you this… those bulls were FAST, way faster than most of the pokey mopeds, which took a long time to get up to any kind of speed at all. Anyway, the next clue told them to make their way to the Genteng Kali Bridge.

Once at the bridge, teams got their third Roadblock of the season, which required one team member to operate a bicycle-powered children’s ride called an adongadong, and while pedaling, they would have to make four children a balloon animal and a balloon hat each. The rides were kind of like those quarter-powered machines you see in front of supermarkets. The pedaling wasn’t that hard, but the balloons weren’t made of the sturdiest rubber, if you get my drift.

The teams’ next clue was located at the Wijaya Motorcycle Shop, and it was this season’s very first Detour, and the choices were Ice By the Pound and Fish By the Barrel. In the former, teams had to deliver ten 65-pound blocks of ice by sliding it through an ice-making factory onto a waiting truck. They would then be driven to a local market, where they would unload the ice onto a special cart and deliver it to a specified location. In the latter, teams would go right to the same market, where they would have to sprt through piles of fish and arrange them onto trays for display. Neither task sounds like much fun, to be honest.

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