Amazing Race
We Love Your Country Already, It Is Very Spacious

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Out in Africa

Andy has a little clue-ripping trouble as he and fellow snowboarder Tommy start their leg in fifth place, at 8:06 AM. The first taxi driver they flag down clearly has a lead foot, so they're happy about that. "Enough propane to make it to the airport?" Tommy asks as they stick their backpacks in next to the tank. At least they'll serve as padding for the tank if the cab gets rear-ended. "This guy's rad, he almost got in an accident just picking us up," Andy says once they're "safely" inside.

Laurence and Zac are taking off at 8:07 AM, the sixth team to leave. The good news is that everyone's allowance for this leg is $365. Which could also be bad, because that foretells lots of taxi rides, and we know what that can do to people, especially this season. They run for a cab, and once they're on their way to the airport, Zac asks, "A bit winded, Dad?" Laurence admits to being "a bit warm."

Jeremy and Sandy are the seventh and last team to leave, at 9:22 AM. Yowch, and to think they were on the second bus into Bangkok last week. They must have lost a lot of time wandering around the city. Sandy says she and Jeremy have been dating for eight months, but were friends before that. Jeremy says that's a hard transition, from friends to dating, which makes me wonder if they were such great friends before, and adds that the race "is really to figure out what our relationship is all about." Because why not test it under realistic conditions like these? Although I'm glad to see there's at least one team not in it for the money.

Unsurprisingly, Amani and Marcus are the first to the airport, where they soon learn that it looks like everybody's going to be on the same flight. They get their tickets, and we skip right to all the teams loading their backpacks into the plane's overhead bins. "We'll all be together, one big happy racing family," Justin says. And this is not a short journey, as the Amazing Red Line goes south to Singapore before crossing the Indian Ocean to Johannesburg, where it heads north-northeast to Lilongwe, Malawi. That must have taken the better part of 24 hours. In any case, it's daylight in the bustling city, and then we see the teams emerging onto the sun-baked tarmac at Lilongwe Airport and heading off in search of taxis. Jeremy and Sandy seem to find one first, so they're soon in the lead. Justin and Jennifer are in the taxi behind them, and Jennifer says this is their first trip to Africa, so they'll be trying to take it all in. Team Control is the next team to get a taxi. They've also done some homework, as Cindy tells us from their back seat that "Over 60% of the country's income comes from the sale of tobacco leaves." Way to steal Phil's line from later. Andy and Tommy are the fourth team to get a cab. Neither of them has ever been to Africa either; as Tommy explains, "There's no snow in Africa." Spoken like someone who's never snowboarded Kilimanjaro. Laurence and Zac get their cab in fifth. "And we're here in Malawi," Laurence declares from the back seat. No word on whether he remembers being here before. Amani and Marcus are in sixth place, but they're glad they're getting a chance to visit Africa, like they'd hoped. "Bill and Cathi are still behind us," Marcus says, as indeed we see the grandparents racing out of the terminal (the teams must have gotten spread out quite a bit at Customs) in last place. "We need a taxi," Cathi pants. "Yeah, it'd be easier than running," Bill agrees snarkily. They get in a cab and Cathi gets right to work befriending the driver, as she does: "We love your country already. It's very spacious." That's excellent. I used to judge high school speech tournaments, and if you couldn't think of anything positive to say to a kid, you could always go with "good eye contact." I don't know why I thought of that just now.

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Amazing Race

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