OK, I take it back. I’m not sure how good-natured it is between the twins and Ryan now. Last week I’d said their dynamic felt like friendly banter; their back-and-forth at the roadblock had had a note of affection to it and felt almost sibling-ish. But this week there was an edge. Six legs in and our tired, sweaty Racers’ patience is wearing thin. And Ryan is particularly grumpy these days, probably because his two main goals have thus far been out of reach: Most Legs Won in TAR History and, as he put it, “world domination.” So there’s that. Tonight it seemed that the one and only thing all the teams could agree on is that they were happy to get out of Bangladesh.
We’re headed to Istanbul!
At the travel agency, Abbie and Ryan seemed slightly surprised to see other teams. Per usual, right? There’s always a vague air of bewilderment sprinkled with dismay whenever these two run into other Racers, like they’re kind of alarmed that another team is in their space and doing the race. But tonight Ryan’s typical dismay had morphed into actual disdain. He referred to The Rockers and Twins as “the two most annoying teams” with “hair all the same length.” What? Does he employ a third-grader as his insult-writer? And, really, the Rockers? Granted, Ryan wasn’t on camera when he said it, and his sentences were at noticeably different volumes, so it may well have been edited together in typical dubious TAR fashion. In any case, Ryan announced he was “tired of them all” and dissed the other teams’ smarts. As for the Twins, we already know they find Ryan to be an obnoxious tool, and tonight they had some more words about how he’s an overly-competitive donkey. I’m paraphrasing there.
They’re all so over each other.
But who cares about that! More important things were going on here - like theft.
The Rockers realized their money was missing, and because they are kindhearted non-conniving competitors themselves, they just assumed it had fallen out of Abba’s bag in the taxi. Oh, guys. Their $100 had been swiped off a table by their own racing compatriots, The Twins - with Lexi as giggling accomplice (and Trey as non-giggling accomplice). What? LEXI?? The Twins later split the booty with Team Texas to help alleviate the guilt that they didn’t seem to be feeling. Another bonus to sharing the goods, Nadiya joked: “They’re Christian so they’ll pray for us.” I don’t know, is this playing the game? A matter of Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers? I guess it’s not against the rules because there wasn’t a penalty. But blech.
You can’t keep the Rockers down though, and they bounced back in heroic fashion. “It’s not gonna stop sucking until we take care of it,” James said, unwilling to let Abba marinate in a stew of his own guilt and Bangladeshi sweat, and the two quickly set out to try to rustle up some money on the street. I’m really glad they were resourceful enough to find a way to stay in the race. I want them there. But boy was it disconcerting, the idea of them having to ask locals for money in such an impoverished place - a point which they themselves made as well. It was striking to see them pass that emaciated man on the street at the very moment they were discussing their plan.
NEXT: From Asia to Europe to Asia again