The Twinkie Times

The life and times of a Chinese American. Born a Jersey boy, lived the expat life, attended boarding school (Lawrenceville), converted to a frat boy (Sigma Pi), got an MBA (Columbia), returned to China, and back to the East Coast now trying to carve out an identity and life as an Asian American dad (gulp) in the midst of a "tertial life crisis" ©

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Episode V: Hennifer Strikes Back

*SPOILER ALERT* - please watch Episode 5 above before continuing

Betty the Lamb

Another day, another Speed Bump, no problem.  We began dead last at the Pit Start and the clue says we have to make our way to the Ancient water town on Xin Shi.  Jenn and I each flag down a taxi and proceed to quiz them both on our destination.  Having been burned one too many times by cabbies already we both agree that the female driver seems confident in the quickest route and we hop in her car.  We definitely made the right choice because we ended up being the 3rd team to arrive at the water town despite how they may have edited the final cut.

This time we are immediately faced with our Speed Bump and when we saw that it was yet another eating challenge we were both dubious.  One look at that giant plate of steaming snails and my stomach turned.  Being a firm believer of "try something new at least once" we sit down and each pick up one small mollusk.  I reach into my MacGyver fanny pack (these had to be worn at all times) and found some toothpicks that I had stashed away.  We manage to fish out the "meat" and chew hesitantly.  Jenn winces loudly and then spits out a pebble the size of a Tic Tac.  We tried our best and managed to get through about 5 of the slimy critters each but the pile of rocks we were building was almost as big as the shells.  I'm sure it's a delicacy but we could smell the river when we walked into the town, saw the dead fish, witnessed the dirty dishes being washed in the waterways, and noticed the chickens/livestock wading in the water.  The restaurant worker admitted that the snails were not washed and there is only so much that soy sauce can mask.  Contact me privately if you want to know what became of the plate of salty rocks.  I can tell you but then I'll have to kill you  ;-)

The next task was very fun and creative.  We stupidly chose the fattest sheep so she would barely move and I had to carry her into the boat almost risking a Grandpa-Ryan-like moment of throwing out my back.  Luckily I remembered to lift with my legs and we got Betty the Lamb into the canoe.  We observed the Fiancés lamb take a nose-dive so our strategy was for me to hold down fidgety Betty while Jenn rowed.  Fortunately, Jenn spent a year doing crew and she had also participated in Dragon Boat racing in NYC so we finished that task quickly.  We were on our way to the resort in 3rd place and we swapped cabs yet another time because one driver admitted that he did not know the way.

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

We arrived at the resort at the same time as the BBQ Cousins and began searching the ground for the right pool.  Luckily we thoroughly explored the area because Xiao Bing and I were prepared to jump into this dark murky pool to see if the clues were hidden on the deep end.  Instead Jenn spies a kayak in the wading pool and I jump into the boat to retrieve the clue.

The choice to head up to the bamboo forest was made because we were concerned about going head-to-head with the all male teams in a physical challenge.  After we climbed into the hills, Jenn's eagle eyes spotted a clue high up in the trees and we brainstormed on how we could get it down.  Nobody told us there were axes further up the slope so I pull out my Swiss Army knife to try to saw through the bamboo, no dice.  I shake the trunk as hard as I can but the clue is securely tied up there.  I try to climb up but it is so dirty and slippery that I can barely get off the ground.  Finally from another part of the forest we hear chopping sounds and spot the Trainers wielding an ax.  They point us towards the hatchets so I run up to retrieve one and then start slashing the bamboo with all my might.

Bubbles in the Brain

So we were on our way to the reservoir and had made a significant comeback from 8th to 3rd.  Unfortunately our good taxi karma was about to run out.  Our driver knew how to get to the resort but he had no idea where the reservoir was.  We circle around the mountains for 30 minutes and finally pass the Fiancés and Socialites on the road.  Nobody knew how to find the reservoir.  At one point, we were a bumbling congo line of taxis heading up the mountain but I really doubted the reservoir was any higher up.  We finally found a local who knew the area and he gave us directions.

When we finally arrived to do our scuba diving, we had already dropped several places.  It just so happened that I have my scuba diving license and although I have never gone since my open-water dive 12 years ago, the little piece of plastic sitting in storage back in NJ gave me the confidence to breeze through this challenge and find the sword at the bottom of the reservoir in no time.

We needed a Light Saber

Another taxi snafu cost us a few places but we made it to the Sword Pond in one piece.  Unfortunately, the hike down went on forever.  Going to the pond was fine but we dreaded the return hike up the steep stairs and our bags seemed to get heavier with each additional step.  By the time we reached the bottom of the mountain it was dark out and we could barely see what we were doing.  Luckily we had packed a headlamp so this helped even though Jenn looked like Inspector Gadget.  We huffed and puffed our way back up the mountain with our heavy packs and finished in 5th place for the 5th Episode.  Yes!  :-)

Big congratulations to the Twincredibles on their first place finish and really unfortunate that their prize was for a destination about an hour away from their tropical hometown.  It would be like if we were back home and won a trip to the Jersey Shore - whoop-dee-doo.  BUT we would gladly take those Phuket tickets off your hands . . . ha ha ha.

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Blogger zeeyyy said...


Luckily you asked the game supervisor about the penalty, otherwise it'll be more than 20 mins if you & Jenn actually ate them!

Looks like they didn't have all the rules down yet...

Pls don't be 6th in the 6th episode. :)

11:56 AM  

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