Amazing Race

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In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

This is, of course Kunming, China, which Phil identifies as "A significant Chinese trading center since the time of the Silk Road." And American viewers all know what that is. Phil also describes the lovely, seagull-populated Green Lake Park as "an oasis in the midst of this bustling city," and the fifth Pit Stop in a race around the world. The seagulls certainly aren't taking advantage of this opportunity to rest, though.

Jet and Cord, who won the previous leg, are departing at 2:14 PM. "It's tea time," Jet reads after opening the clue. The clue doesn't know the half of it. Phil explains that they'll now have to get to Jin Fu Yi Zhan Tea Shop -- still there in Kunming -- to "take part in a traditional tea tasting. What they don't know is that the papaya- and mango-infused tea they'll be drinking will appear in a challenge later in this leg of the race." In what looks like hundreds of cups, no less, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. After they're done tasting, they'll be given a circular brick of tea and their next clue. The Cowboys are on their way. Jet interviews that his family is sacrificing as much as he is to be there, with his wife staying home and looking after their two-year-old daughter and the ranch. "Same as Cord's wife," he adds. Sounds like they're sacrificing even more, then. That's their extra incentive for not wanting to go home empty-handed. I have a similar incentive, but mine causes me to stay home.

Gary and Mallory are leaving only two minutes later, at 2:16 PM. "Are we still in China? Oh no," she sings like she sings almost everything, only this time it's in a minor key. But she looks on the bright side in the cab on the way there: "I used to have tea parties all the time when I was little so I know a lot about tea." Well, almost every task finds someone with an unfair advantage.

Luke and Margie are leaving at 2:48 PM, in third place. Neither of them is too thrilled about this apparent indication that they're staying in China, either. What, six legs in their life here is too many?

Elsewhere, the Cowboys get out of their cab and tell it to wait while they wander around on foot in search of the tea shop. "But nothing's in English," Jet notices with those keen Marlboro Man eyes of his. Gary and Mallory, however, find it quickly, aided by a sign that names the tea shop in Roman characters as well as Chinese. They go in, sit at the counter, and watch patiently as the barista dude brews them a pot of tea and pours them each a small cup. "Peach," Mallory declares after tasting it. Wow, she really is a tea expert. I just hope it doesn't have too much caffeine in it, because that's the last thing she needs. They're about to finish up when the Cowboys wander in, and Mallory hospitably says, "Howdy! Sit and have some tea with us," before they get their clue and leave, Mallory telling them the tea's peach. "We need to take our hats off for this?" Cord asks seriously, like it might be a deal-breaker.

Outside, Gary and Mallory open the clue, which is sending them to Kolkata, India, which until tonight I assumed was still spelled Calcutta. Shows what I know. Mallory throws herself her own little celebration before Phil's voice tells us they now have a 900-mile flight to "one of the most populous urban areas in the world: Kolkata, India." Then they'll have to get to Kolkata's Town Hall to find their next clue. Mallory dances off with her dad while Jet and Cord drink their tea. I am relieved to report that they are still wearing their hats.

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Amazing Race

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