'Amazing Race' recap, Delivering letters in Berlin, the world's hippest city

April 22, 2013|By Janell Sutherland

This week's Race takes us to Berlin to learn that 1) historical quotes are hard, yo, and 2) hipsters in Berlin win at hipstering.

It’s the Final Five teams, because we lost Chuck and Wynona in Switzerland after some improperly transported cheese. But they’ll always have ... The Mullet.

In the middle of the night, teams leave Switzerland and take a train to Dresden, Germany. In some interviews, we learn that Max and Katie are surprised to not be winning every leg. Joey and Meghan are embarrassed to be in last place. Bates and Anthony want to keep their fake girlfriends close, because, I don’t know, eye candy?

At 5:26 a.m., when most people are sleeping on the train, Bates wakes up to discover his backpack is missing. What? Did someone steal it? And, if so, it’s a train. Unless it made a lot of stops, couldn’t he do a train-wide shakedown? Put on his intimidating hockey player face and, you know, persuade people?

He’s cool with losing his stuff, though, mainly because his passport is on his person. Oh, did you hear that, James and Abba from last season who are still stranded in Germany because of a lost passport? Always keep your passport on your body! Then you can lose your stuff, borrow some underwear, and call it good.

Who was alive in the '80s?

In Dresden, the teams pick up some fancy new Fords with talking text messaging. The car will ask them three questions via blah blah gadgetry, and when they answer correctly, they’ll get their next clue.

Question One: Which American president said, “Tear down this wall”? It helps if you imagine a female computer voice asking it with robotic inflection. The answer, if you’re of a certain age (well, even if you’re not of a certain age, it’s the same answer) is Reagan.

Max first guesses JFK, which, no. Shamefully Max says that Reagan is his favorite president, and that he is a cigar-chompin’ conservative. Who wears pink plaid shirts. I’m just sayin’.

Joey and Meghan are clearly not old enough to know the answer, but Meghan has good guessing intuition.

Jennifer and Caroline wonder if the quote refers to the Great Wall of China. Okay, are they that young? Maybe so. Maybe that explains a few things.

Question Two: Which leader was it directed to? Answer: Gorbachev. Well, once you know Reagan, you should be able to guess Gorbachev, unless they just don’t teach that in history, which they probably don’t because it happened in my lifetime so it can’t be historical yet.

Question Three: Where did Reagan say it? The Berlin Wall! How many famous walls are there, anyway? The Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, and the Gum Wall in Seattle, those are the top three, right?

It’s pretty close with the question/answer period, but the Singers leave before Hockey. They kind of feel bad about it, with their fake-love alliance, but then again they’re trying to not be so nice, and “not throw all of [their] love around all day.”

They pick up their next clue at the Brandenburg Gate of the Berlin Wall. Somewhere in my parents’ house is a chunk of the Berlin Wall, because I went on my grand European adventure a year or two after it was torn down (spoiler alert! If you haven’t made it that far in history class!) and chunks were popular souvenirs.

Then again, my parents have done a lot of house cleaning and probably saw a piece of cement with a smudge of paint and threw it away. It goes to show that you should label your rock collection.

Advice section

From Katie: “I think if you can make it through the Race and not kill each other, you can make it through just about anything in marriage.”

That’s very similar to my parenting advice, which is, “If you can make it through the day without anyone dying, then you have made it through another day without anyone dying. Congratulations! Have a cupcake.”

It’s as easy as falling off a thirty-seven story building

The teams drive to the tallest building in Berlin, the Park Inn Hotel. It’s getting dark. They have to base fly, which is like base jumping, only instead of parachutes they have wires. It’s a controlled fall that begins by being dangled face-first over 37 stories of nothing.

Katie and Max jump with some enthusiasm. Meghan and Joey are next, then the Moms, Hockey, and Singers.

M is for Museum!

The Detour options are Train Trials or Font Follies. So, Berlin loves its museums. They have a train museum, and they have a Museum of Letters. Like, alphabet letters. Big, light-up letters.

It’s very "Sesame Street." You can picture Super Grover stopping at the Museum of Letters to fetch a C so that someone can make the word Chair, because all they had was Hair and they kept falling down when they tried to sit down and eat their breakfast, landing in a pile of hair. And that’s just not appetizing, so Super Grover saves the day.

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