The rest of the Racers were already off the ferry and on to the spice bazaar Misir Carsisi, where everyone easily located the stall that housed their next clue (which came with a pretty box of Turkish delight that looked delicious but not as delicious as all the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups I'm eating out of my Halloween stash right now). The Detour: Simit or Scrub it. In "Simit," teams would have to transport tens of dozens of simits ("Turkish bagels") to three different addresses. Not as simple as it sounds, though, as the simits would have to be stacked in a specific pattern, then carried on a tray on one's head balanced atop a little hemorrhoid seat cushion. "Scrub it" would send teams to get scrubbed and massaged in a 16th century marble bathhouse, explained PHIL IN A ROBE.
WHO WOULDN'T CHOOSE THE BATHHOUSE? Aside from the bonus of getting pampered, there was the added benefit of sitting on one's ass, turning off one's brain and not doing anything at all, just having something is done to you. WHO WOULDN'T CHOOSE THIS?! [I'M YELLING.]
Here's who wouldn't choose it: The Truckers (duh) and the Beekmans. But we'll get to them in a sec.
"Scrub it" was a spectacle in the best sense of the word. Racers were naked save for their bits which were swathed in flesh-colored cover-ups that resembled the nude pantyhose material that ballroom dancing and ice skating costumes use. Something about seeing all our Racers stripped down to their little armorless selves made them look vulnerable (and, in some cases, extremely attractive)(Ryan!). Plus it was nice to see everyone's tired bodies get some TLC after such a rigorous couple legs. I liked how the attendants got creative with their technique by throwing bowls of cold water down the front of the Chips' shorts. Jaymes was at his reliable Jaymesest during this whole challenge - which is to say basically naked and performing with a lotta pizazz.
Ryan's handler was having a blast.
Teams Beekman and Truckers inexplicably chose the simit challenge, but first Josh and Brent had to tend to their Speed Bump, which actually turned into a double speed bump since they initially went to the wrong ice cream stand and had to go back and do the whole snack again. I'm really wary of clowns, and this challenge, with its "charming" vendor-performers, was hysterical to me. As Brent put it, "There's some magic acts, there's some lewd things to be done with the cone" and, yes, both ice cream vendors the Beekmans visited had THE BEST TIME EVER offering and withdrawing the cone, bonking Josh and Brent in the face with it, oopsie daisy fake dropping it, just a whole lot of whimsical merry-making, if you like that kind of thing. Clowns are such a nuisance, especially in a race, so it was fun to watch Brent try his hardest to be patient as he laugh-groaned through the guys' shows. It's like enduring a tickle torture; your body is laughing even though you're begging for it to stop.
Their bellies full of ice cream, the Beekmans finally got going with the simit challenge, but despite Brent's nice flat head, the guys had a tough time getting directions to the drop-off locations and Brent was an irritated, wilting mess under the bagels. The Truckers more or less sailed through it, like they do with every task involving hoisting and carrying. Rob even danced.
NEXT: Soda slinging