04 March 2010

Amazing Americans

So I am a little behind from watching my favorite show on the planet, The Amazing Race. I just finally watched the first episode. I know, I am 3 weeks behind.

But anyway, upon seeing the first episode of the current season, I am reminded at why I like this show. Because it showcases the amazing characteristics of various things.

First, the excitement. I always get excited at the thought of travel. There are these 11 teams, starting from Los Angeles, and they find out that they are heading to Santiago de Chile. Wow. To fly like that halfway around the planet into a different hemisphere, I suppose the excitement in flying will always be with me, no matter how often I do the route. It just has something to do with experiencing something that is not in the ordinary. Heck, I am flying back to Manila in a couple of months, and I am getting excited, partly because this is the first time I am flying via Alaska!

Second, the amazing stupidity of some Americans. I always enjoy seeing the faux pas and the blunders of the contestants. So, one contestant apparently was in a beauty pageant, and she was asked why 20 percent of Americans cannot even point where in a globe the United States is, and her answer was so idiotic. Wow. Another team figured that since they were going to Chile, they needed to change money, but they changed it to Brazilian money, not Chilean! Another team decided to just barge in a house and trespass and paint a wall when they were instructed to paint an outside wall, thus not following directions. What were these people thinking? It seems that their brains are turned off. It's as if they don't realize that there is a whole world outside their backyard!

In a way, I find it almost offensive that some people assume that the things they take as normal should also hold for a foreign country. Assuming that American dollars would be valid for Chile, assuming that Andale! Andale! would be comprehensible in Chile, assuming that things would always be the same in a foreign country, when the correct assumption to make is that things would be by default different in a foreign country. I find it difficult to grasp why people, Americans especially, make that assumption. When I travel to a foreign country, I know that that country would have its own currency, I know that that country would have a language of its own, and in fact, I would be surprised that my norm actually holds in a foreign country, such as when I first learned that Ecuador uses the American dollar as its own currency!

In any case, I love this show. I love the sights, and it gives me ideas on where to head to next when I find the time to traipse the world yet again.

(The Well, from my Capitol Hill Series)


  1. Like you, I love the travelers' stupidity. Like speaking Spanish in Brazil, assuming that because they beg someone will miraculously find them a direct flight between X and Y, begging people for money "because ya know it's for a TV show..."

    Very entertaining.

    Feng and I always brag we could do so much better! :-D

  2. Zhu,

    I know. I think I could do better when it comes to those strategic thinking skills as well.

  3. I love this show a lot since its first season when the nail-biting finish was at the Unisphere close to where I live. I'm really curious how the cameramen can keep pace with the contestants and fly with them on fully-booked flights.

    Since you mentioned you'll be passing by Alaska (Anchorage I bet) on your way to Manila, I guess you're flying either Korean or China Air Lines.

  4. TNP,

    I know. I believe that they rotate the cameramen and they are trained to chase the contestants. The contestants are also instructed to be always with each other physically as much as possible, for filming purposes. And also, when they book tickets, they actually book 4 not 2 tickets, since they always have a cameraman and a soundman with them. I know, I looked it up once, too bad I am not a US citizen so I cannot join the show.

    And yes, you are right, I am flying on China Air Lines, as I can earn Delta Skymiles with them as well.