TAR: Happy Birthday Jen!

Amazing Race
Sorry, Guys, I’m Not Happy to See You

Phil checks teams out at the former pit stop of the Tempozan Park in Osaka, Japan where they have to find the building with a hole in it and search the floating garden for their next clue. The hole building is the Umeda Sky Building. I thought the clue was difficult, but since everyone seemed to get in their taxi with the name of the building, it must have been on the clue. I think they should have made them figure out which building had a hole in it. The floating garden is an observatory on the roof.

The order and times that the teams left the pit stop:

  • 7:02 am – Ron & Christina
  • 7:15 am – Nate & Jen
  • 7:21 am – Nick & Don
  • 10:18 am – TK & Rachel

Christina is very proud of her father and the way he has been treating her lately. When Jen and Nate take off, Nate is thrilled that TK & Rachel are three hours behind them. Jen is happy it is her birthday and they have to come in first on her birthday. Why? They haven’t come in first all the other times they have wanted it. I think they just want it too bad. Jen talks about how they are not playing nice Jen and Nate this leg….and I’m thinking when were you ever playing that? Doesn’t everyone hate you? I then decide to look forward to more Nate Logic in this episode. Please don’t fail me Nate Logic! Don talks about how he is old and moves slow. It must be tiring him out this far along in the race, but keep going old man!

Ron & Christina find the floating garden and start heading into the building to catch the elevator right when Nate & Jen pull up and see those two going inside the building. They follow them. When Nick & Don arrive, Nick offers to carry Don’s bag, but he says he is fine. Everyone goes in and finds that the garden opens at 10am. So much for that lead on TK & Rachel. Ha!

At 10am, Ron & Christina run to the elevators and try to close it on Nate & Jen, but they all make it in. Nick and Don walk slowly to get the other elevator. Jen runs off the elevator to take an escalator to the top, but Nick yells at her to wait for him. She apologizes (oh my god!) and makes room for Ron & Christina to get by her so she can ride up with Nate.

Clue: Fly to the Taipei, Taiwan and take a taxi to Taipei Main Station to find their next clue.

Jen doesn’t know how to pronounce Taipei. Instead of saying “tie-pay”, she says, “tie-pie”. I would have thought that capital was well known enough to have heard it before, but I guess not in Jenland. On the way down, Nate wishes they could have stayed in the city and gotten more of a lead on TK & Rachel than bunching up at the airport. I’m thinking, doing a city task just got you all bunched up, and you haven’t even made it to the airport yet. How is staying in the city an advantage? Ah, Nate Logic.

While everyone catches cabs outside of the Sky Building, TK & Rachel are making their way there talking about how they have to do a speed bump at some point, but they are not going to quit until they make it to the pit stop.

In the cab to the airport, Christina worries about Nate & Jen being neck and neck with them again like they were in Japan. Nate is worried about TK & Rachel just moseying on up to catch the rest of the teams. Jen tells him not to worry about them. Nate then says he doesn’t know anything about Taiwan, except they think Thai food is pretty good. Jen doesn’t even blink, so she thinks this is correct. Oh dear lord. Nick is talking about how they have played the game like bitches and there are no competitors left, only pansies. Huh? Does that mean the goths were competitors since they were the last team eliminated, but no one else? Such a random comment out of left field.

TK & Rachel finally show up to the building. They can’t find the garden. They are looking on the ground and have no clue where else it would be. They haven’t looked inside the building yet. They finally go inside and TK is thrilled they aren’t that far behind since it opened at 10am. Rachel says she doesn’t think they should go up and the garden would be on the ground. I’m thinking that they just read a sign that said the floating garden was up top so that’s where it would be! Rachel thinks TK is wrong, but follows him on the elevator.

Airport Fun Times

Ron & Christina run in and check the departing flights. They see a flight leaving at 1pm for Taipei and run to that counter. Nate & Jen arrive and decide to check with an information booth. Nick & Don decide to check with Air Japan. Meanwhile, Rachel is still freaking out about going up the elevator and doesn’t think it would be in the observatory.

Ron & Christina inquire about the 1pm flight and are told they are checking the availability on the flight. Nate & Jen are at a nearby counter, but the teams are far enough away that they can’t really hear the other ones. They are also told about the 1pm flight, and the agent goes to check on availability. Nick & Don are told about a 1:35pm flight on Air Japan and take that one. They are worried about getting in before TK & Rachel, who are busy wandering around the observatory and completely missing the clue.

Ron & Christina get on the flight and she asks the agent to tell others that the flight is full. The agent giggles at her and then goes to tell Nate & Jen that there are no more available seats. I usually don’t think they would want to turn away money so I’m thinking it is true more than Christina really pushing her weight around with random flight agents, but who knows! Jen doesn’t believe that there are no more seats and asks Christina if she said anything. She totally lies and said she didn’t say anything. The agent said that the flight was full, so they gave the seats to Ron & Christina before Nate & Jen. hahaha! There is a pause while they process this, and then Nate starts to talk. Jen waves his hand away and tells him to stop. He gets all bent for her stopping him from asking about other flights and she says she did no such thing. Oh they are so fun. They bicker about that for a while where he says he doesn’t know how he can be with her and she doesn’t know why he is so mean to her on her birthday. TK & Rachel finally find the clue.

Nick & Don find out there is a 1:15pm flight on China Air so they go get that. Nate finally gets to ask his question about other flights and they go off to purchase one on China Air too. It is only 15 min. later and flights are delayed all the time so who knows which one will get in first. It can’t make that big of a difference, right?

Christina said she is willing to play dirty to get an edge, even though her dad doesn’t like it. He stands there saying nothing, but he doesn’t look too thrilled about it. I really don’t think anything they did made a difference, but whatever. Their plane took off and the other two teams were boarding the 1:15pm flight with no sign of TK & Rachel, even though they were at the ticket counter buying tickets.

Taipei, Taiwan

Ron & Christina arrive at 2:51pm and grab a cab to the main station. They know the other teams are right behind them, and they are! They land at 3:05pm. Jen says they should exchange their money now, which they never show teams doing, so this must be a bad thing. They are off exchanging while Nick & Don go to immigration. Apparently the slightly later flight had everyone in the world aboard it because the line is super duper long. No clue how Ron & Christina made it through so fast unless no one was around then. Maybe everyone went on a break and only one person was checking everyone in. Jen freaks out about the line being long while their money is being exchanged. Nate tells her to chill and they have plenty of time.

Uh-oh, there’s TK & Rachel! They just caught up to those two teams due to being stuck in the immigration lines and they are ahead of Nate & Jen in line. haha! Jen is in utter shock that they are there right now. Utter shock? TK & Rachel left the pit stop around the time the floating garden opened. I don’t imagine they would be that far behind since there seemed to be tons of flights headed to Taiwan from Japan. Jen is besides herself with hatred. I didn’t know TK & Rachel were this big of a threat. Rachel had the right attitude. She said she can understand that Jen gets mad when other teams catch up, but it isn’t something personal against her. Jen thinks it is though! She is fuming in her taxi saying she isn’t happy to see them and she wants to rip the dreads out of TK’s head. Nice!

Taipei Main Station

Ron & Christina arrive to find that they must travel by high speed train to Taichung and then take a taxi to Jiji to find Acrobatic Jeep. They buy tickets at the counter and Christina gets a timetable book for later. Ron is impressed with the trains starting on time and moving like German clockwork.

Nate & Jen arrive at the station and get in line to get tickets from the counter. They get upset when they see TK & Rachel arrive. Are they going to get mad every time they see them? TK asks someone nearby if they speak English and if that is the right line to buy tickets for the high speed train. A young guy says they can get tickets from the machines and it is faster. I have no idea why people are standing in line when there are machines with no line! Nick and Don finally arrive while TK & Rachel and Nate & Jen get their tickets at the same time. Nate & Jen are very unhappy when they see Nick & Don make the train since they were hoping for a lead. When they take off, it looks like Ron & Christina are arriving in Taichung.

When the other three teams come off the train, Nate & Jen just run in a random direction without paying attention to their surroundings. They run right by all the taxis and have to back track. This causes them to get a taxi after the other two teams, which is apparently all Nick’s fault, even though Jen was the one running in the lead past all the taxis.

Acrobatic Jeep

Ron & Christina arrive to find a road block asking who is ready for a tricky ride.

Roadblock: One person becomes a passenger in a jeep where a stunt driver takes them up on a huge teeter totter and they rock back and forth 25 feet above the ground. After that, they ride in another jeep that goes completely under water where they have to hold their breathe for 17 seconds without jumping out of the jeep or standing up.

Ron decides to do it. Christina tells him to have fun, but he doesn’t look like he will. He doesn’t like heights. Afterwards he says he is refreshed. They receive their next clue.

Clue: Head back to Taipei and find the GK Teahouse. They need to order and drink a cup of tea. At the bottom of the cup is their next clue.

While heading back in the cab, Christina asks her driver if he thinks they will make the 7:16pm train. He says probably not, but they would make the next one. Ron says the next one is 7:36pm. At this time, TK & Rachel arrive and Rachel decides to do the road block. Nate & Jen show up the same time as Nick & Don. Nate and Don decide to go, but they have to wait for Rachel to be done before Nate goes on the first part. Rachel goes underwater while Nate does the teeter totter.

When Rachel is done, her and TK go over to find out their speed bump clue: take a taxi about a mile away to a field where they will put on suits with helmets and run through an area with fireworks shooting at them. This is all part of a Lantern Festival tradition. Afterwards, they get doused in water. Then they can go back to pick up their clue from the jeep place. They are happy they have few minutes ahead of the other teams and hope it will be enough to stay with the other teams. While they head off, Nate goes under the water and Don gets on the teeter totter part. Don does not like the road block at all. He says, “Get me out of there,” after the teeter totter part and I hope he doesn’t die when he goes underwater! It was touch and go (not really), but he makes it!

At this time, Ron & Christina are back at the train station buying tickets and make the 7:16pm train!

Speed Bump – Run Through Fireworks

TK & Rachel run through the fireworks and firecrackers. TK felt like he was running through a war zone. They just run one way and run back. It isn’t too much for them to do. When they head back to the jeep place, TK comments that if they get eliminated, at least they went out with a bang. Har har!

Nate & Jen have arrived at the train station at this point with Nick & Don right behind them. They try to buy tickets for 7:36pm, but the agents tell them the machine won’t print them. It says it is too late and the earliest they can buy is 8pm. It is 7:31 at this point. Jen whines to the counter agents and wants to kill the machine, but the machine doesn’t care about Jen’s whining! Nick asks if they can get the 7:36pm one, but doesn’t whine when they say they can’t make it on that one. They just get their tickets for 8pm. Those two teams are sitting around waiting and praying that TK & Rachel do not show up while they sit and do nothing. TK & Rachel are headed back their way saying that they think they are only 10-15 minutes behind the other teams. They hope they can make the same train as the other teams or they might be completely out of the race. Oh the tension!

TK & Rachel run to the machine and buy their tickets. They run to make the train. Is it the same one? It is! They see Nick when they run to the train and get on. Nate & Jen are elsewhere and don’t see TK & Rachel right away. Nick tells them they are on the train and Jen “can’t handle it anymore.” TK & Rachel are talking that their hard work is finally paying off. TK is so impressed that they were able to do the road block and the speed bump, while still catching up to the other teams. Jen is fuming saying she doesn’t know why they are working so hard when TK & Rachel slack off and catch up to them. Slack off? Oh I hate her. Nick apparently feels the same way, since he gets up from those two and he and Don head up to say hi to TK & Rachel. Stay away from the negative energy! Nick & Don tell them what Nate & Jen said. TK thinks since they don’t fight and don’t stress out, people might think they aren’t trying hard, but they are. They just aren’t drama queens Jen.

GK Teahouse

While Jen hates life and everyone in it, Ron & Christina are arriving at the GK Teahouse. The tea is super hot so it takes a bit to drink it. The other three teams get off the train. Nick & Don run to get a cab on one side of the station while the other two go to the other side. Nick hopes it will work to their benefit, and it seems to since they are just sailing along in traffic while the other teams are stuck in some kind of traffic jam. Ron & Christina finish their tea and Christina reads the Chinese writing at the bottom of the cup.

Clue: Go to Guan Gong Night Market to find a clown for their next clue.

Freaky clown on a unicycle! Christina can read almost all the clue, but has to ask for help on the clown part. She gets someone to translate it and then gets directions to the night market, which is pretty much across the street. It seems that Ron & Christina find the clown right away. It is amazing me how the other teams have not seen them since the airport. It was only 15 minutes difference in the flights! The clue is a detour.

Detour: The teams have to choose between the primal forces of nature: fire or earth. In Fire, teams go to a park where they participate in an ancient Chinese ritual. They have to write messages of good or bad luck on paper lanterns, light them with spirit money, fill them with hot air and then the wind will carry their messages up to the spirits. They need to light and release 20 lanterns before receiving their clue. In Earth, they have to go to Youth park and walk along a long path with jagged rocks with their bare feet. It is supposed to relieve stress. Once they walk along the path, they have to turn around and walk back before getting their clue.

Ron & Christina are going to do Earth. Even though it will hurt, they think it will be faster. Nick & Don have arrived at the tea house and are burning their mouths trying to drink it fast. The other two teams are still making their way there. Jen is freaking out about the cab driver like she usually does, even though it is traffic that is stopping them, not the driver. Nick & Don finish their tea and run out before TK & Rachel run in. They get someone outside to translate it for them and head to the market.

Rachel says she can’t drink the tea and the clue says they can take it with them, so she wants to go and drink it while they walk. I’m thinking she needs to drink it before they get to their next clue, even if TK finishes his and knows where to go. They are outside drinking and walking and she does finally finish it. Nate & Jen arrive when they see TK & Rachel finishing up outside. They head to the market. Nate & Jen drink their tea inside, find someone to translate and then ask that person to walk with them to the night market.

Youth Park

Ron & Christina arrive at the park. Christina feels like her feet are being “eaten by piranha” and Ron has no problems since he has callous feet. He is also saying to himself, “pressure on, pressure off.” He is doing a great job of encouraging Christina and saying, “Think of it as massage!” while she says she was trying. They make it to one end and start to head back as Nick and Don search the night market for the clown. TK & Rachel only had part of their clue translated for them, so they ask someone in the market what they are looking for and realize it is a clown. They run off looking. Nate & Jen are having the same problem, but someone tells them clown after first saying cow, but that’s because the woman only spoke broken English.

Ron & Christina finish and get the clue to head to the pit stop. They need to travel by taxi to Chiang Kai-Shek Plaza, a monument to the late president of the Republic of China. While heading to the pit stop, Ron says he knows they are one and Christina takes this as a way of saying they are one team instead of two individuals. I think he’s saying they are number one in the race. He follows it up by saying he knows they are number one. I think I’m right!

Nick & Don find the clown at the night market and decide to do Earth. Nick seems surprised that Don wants to do Earth, but goes with it. They run off to find a taxi and TK & Rachel find the clown next. They choose Earth too and run off to get a cab. Nate & Jen find the clown soon after.

Nick & Don are asking locals where Youth Park is located while TK & Rachel are hailing a taxi. Nate & Jen ask someone if they know where it is and if they can take a cab there. The girl says they have to take the subway. Uh, everyone else is taking a cab, but okay! She tells them how to get to the subway to avoid bad traffic. Nick finds someone that knows the park so they can tell their taxi driver where it is located and TK & Rachel get into their cab to head that way. Jen and Nate are going to the subway while Nate is questioning this move. He asks why they can’t take a cab and Jen says, “No! Traffic is bad and it’ll take too long.” They get directions for the right train and bus to take to the park and Nate wants to ask if a cab will be faster. Jen just runs on and says,”Let’s just go!”

Nick & Don and TK & Rachel are both in their cabs, while Jen & Nate are done with their subway ride. They come back onto the street (where traffic does not seem bad) and Nate once again says that a cab will be faster than a bus. Jen asks if he is sure. Then he falters and Jen tells Nate to step up and make some decisions. He gets all bent about her “step up” comment and they bicker about that for a while. Jen has given up on making any decisions and says Nate needs to do it since he’s the man. He says they are only in this mess since she wanted to take the subway. I love it! Jen says, “Oh I said subway,” as if that is the stupidest thing possible and she would never say that. She must not hear herself talk ever. After all their arguing, the bus shows up so they just get on it. Nate tells her she is a poor team mate and Jen thanks him for ruining her birthday. She just didn’t want to fight and he says she makes it impossible not to fight with her.

Just after Ron & Christina step on the pit stop mat, TK & Rachel have found Youth Park. They get there right after Nick & Don. Nick & Don have their socks off and start walking across the rocks. TK tells Rachel that it is perfect motivation to get moving with the other team there. He also tells her that it doesn’t hurt as much if they walk faster. TK practically runs down the path and back, which amazes Don. Nick & Don finish right after TK & Rachel. They all get their pit stop clue, get their shoes back on, and go searching for cabs. They hope that Nate & Jen are behind them, but they don’t know since they haven’t seen them. When they are finishing up, Nate & Jen have gotten off the bus as the park, but haven’t found the path area yet.

TK & Rachel grab a cab before Nick & Don are able to get one. Nate & Jen finally find the rocks. Jen says they need to stay positive and says it is easy. She says they need to be light on their toes while she yells and runs. TK & Rachel’s cab driver doesn’t know where the plaza is located so they go off to find someone that speaks English. Nick & Don are still trying to find a cab. Nate & Jen finish half the path and are trying to get the nerve to run all the way back.

TK & Rachel find someone that knows where it is located and has them tell the taxi driver. Nick & Don find a taxi but the driver doesn’t know where the plaza is located. They search for a new one. TK says he hopes that Nick & Don are not eliminated since they have done a great job getting this far, but it is a competition and he wants to be in it. Nate & Jen finish the detour and get the pit stop clue. Nick & Don finally find a cab that knows where it is located. Nate & Jen find a cab that knows where it is located right away. They always have bad cab luck so I can’t believe it!

Chiang Kai-Shek Plaza, Taipei, Taiwan

Ron & Christina arrive in first place! They are in the final three. Phil comments that they look like they are the happiest he has seen them. Christina is proud to be Ron’s daughter.

TK & Rachel are the second team to arrive, which is impressive with their three hour delayed start and speed bump task. Rachel talks about how hard they have tried all day and they love that they are in the final three.

Which team will come in next and which one will be eliminated? Both the remaining teams are stuck in various taxis. It shows both of them seeing the plaza, but is it at the same time? It could just be editing, but who is running up to Phil? Why it is Nick & Don. Thank god! They are thrilled. Don said their first goal was to not get eliminated on the first leg and now they are in the final three.

Nate & Jen show up and they already suspect that they are the last team to arrive and they are eliminated. They talk about how they learned a lot about their relationship and killed it during the race. Ya think? This causes Nate to cry while saying, “Gosh darnit.” It would be sad if they weren’t such dorks.

  1. Ron & Christina – 5-night trip to island of Curacao in the Netherland Antilles
  2. TK & Rachel
  3. Don & Nick
  4. Last Place – Nate & Jen

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