Monday, October 12, 2009

Letters to Pauly: The Amazing Race, Vol. 3 - Cambodian Monkey

By Trisha Lynn
New York City

Editor's Note: Let's welcome back Trisha Lynn as a special guest scribe to Tao of Poker.

Dear Pauly,

As my landlord has still not given me the DVR recorder I asked her for about a week ago and she said that she'd ordered, I'm still doing these recaps without the ability to rewind the show and by possibly cribbing from other recap sites. But hey, any advantage is a good one, yes? Just so you know, the oldest of the well-known TV show recap sites has given Maria Ho and Tiffany Michelle the nickname "Team Inside Straight" and I don't know how much I like it because everyone knows that it's easier to draw to an open-ended straight than an inside straight.

After a 44 min. delay thanks to the Patriots and Broncos game (you did get some action off of that, right?) and an internal recap where we get to say goodbye to oldsters Marcy and Ron and remember why we all think that Lawyer Lance is a tool, we find ourselves back in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This doesn't last for long, because the Racers are heading off to their next destination: Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where they will have to meet with their "assignment editor" at the Foreign Correspondence Club to get their next clue.

At first, Tiffany and Maria are able to make the first flight out of Vietnam along with everyone but Lawyer Lance and his fiancee and Asperger Boy and his Hetero Lifemate. The girls are pleased with this turn of events, with Maria saying, "It would be nice to have some breathing room." But wait! Through the magic of either TV producer money or Vietnam Airlines wanting to look good on camera, the last two teams are able to make the flight, which means that things are a bit more even when the Racers get into their taxis in Cambodia.

The girls are in seventh place leaving the airport, but their cab driver isn't fast enough because they're in eighth place when they get to the Foreign Correspondent's Club. They find the suite at the Hotel Royal where Jackie Kennedy stayed during her one visit to the country easily and like most of the other Racers, choose the Wrap challenge. As to why it's a better choice of a Detour, Maria puts it best by saying that getting a family to buy four motorcycle helmets for $10 is "a lot of money for them." Being the nerd that I am, I figured out that $10 USD is about 41,800 Cambodian riels and the average salary can start at $100 USD a month.

They seem to have a lot of transit problems because the next time we see Tiffany and Maria, they're stuck in traffic on their way to the Russian Market where they have to get a scarf from a booth and match it with a random woman walking around the tightly packed and busy market. By this time, they've converted their rolling bags into backpacks, which should make the veteran TAR-watchers one less thing to gripe at. And I have to say that the sight of them and the other Racers manhandling the various women in scarves back to the booth in order to get their next clue is pretty hilarious.

Their next task is a Detour, where Maria has to perform animalilstic dance moves while wearing a monkey mask and tail. Considering that they had to run all the way from the market to the outdoor pavilion, I completely understand why she tipped over at first when it came to the part where she had to balance herself across a low beam with her hands in front of her.

Tiffany is on the sidelines shouting encouragement, "Be more monkey-like!" and pauses to interview sotto voce, "She's not the most athletic, dancery one of the bunch." In contrast, in the motorcycle-cab over to the Pit Stop, Maria says, "I'm very, very proud of how we've done, and I really wish I could have been a better monkey for my teammate." Aww... and this is why we like Maria more than we like Tiffany.

When they get to the mat, they're the last ones to arrive, and I am ready to start planning Sunday evening activities once more...

But wait!

Earlier, Asperger Boy and his Hetero Lifemate kicked ass all over the Race and arrived first at the Pit Stop, but lost a passport. And because they didn't find it before Maria and Tiffany arrived, they got eliminated from the Race, which means the girls get to go on to Dubai.

Oh yes, the girls sucked out at the river to end Day 3, but considering how they've done so far, I see them as being extremely short-stacked and will bust out in the next episode.

Trisha Lynn
Trisha Lynn is a writer from New York City. She's also a contributor to Movie

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Dearest Trisha,

I skipped this week's episode because your Week 1 and Week 2 recaps so much better than the actually shows, so why bother watching? Besides, I had also spent an exhausting 14 straight hours in front of the boob tube watching football and the baseball playoffs. In fact, the Rockies/Phillies game just finished up and I wanted to watch a bit of Mad Men instead of rotting my brain with reality television.

I might watch some of the show on mute to check out Cambodia. Did they go to Angkor Wat? It's one of the five places I have to visit before I die. I'm planning my first trip to Thailand, India and Cambodia in early 2011.

I have one Cambodia story for you. A friend of mine was about to move to Cambodia for several months. The night before he left we had a party. He told me that local working girls cost the equivalent to $5 US. I threw him a $20 bill and told him, "The first four are on me."

FYI... I bet the baseball game on Sunday (Yankees and Rockies) and stayed away from pigskin action. I did not have wager on the Denver/New England, although I had a vested interest in several players (Wes Welker for my Fantasy Sports Live team and Knowshon Moreno as my running back for Uncle Jodd's Band in the Lamont Jordan Fantasy Football League).

Thanks again for your stellar updates.


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