'The Amazing Race' recap: Zodiac Yak Attack

In my entirely unprofessional assessment, China is probably the third most interesting country in the history of humanity. (It's behind only Monaco and Narnia, and who can prove that Monaco is actually a real country?) Roughly a sixth of the world's population lives in mainland China, and the country has become the second largest economy in the world -- not too shabby for a nation with a cultural history that stretches back to before the Bronze Age. The People's Republic's complex mix of communism and capitalism is difficult to understand  -- especially if you're someone who, like me, only subscribes to The Economist to read the hilarious photo captions -- and depending on your perspective, the country's political system can look vaguely totalitarian or precisely totalitarian. Certainly, China's rise to prominence hasn't come without negative side-effects. (Although that's hardly unique: let's not forget the Trail of Tears, orslavery, the decades-long battle for women's' suffrage, the Gilded Age, Herbert Hoover…) Still, whatever your feelings on the country's political system, there is undoubtedly something worthwhile about taking a trip to China to learn more about the place.

Zev would beg to disagree. "A lot of people in China," he deadpanned. "I'm not much of a people person." Zev wasn't too happy about Race's travel itinerary: Teams had to fly out of Tokyo and make their way to Jade Dragon mountain outside of Lijiang. Ron and Christina were decidedly more excited, since they both speak Chinese. Other teams were tormented by bad memories – Jen remembered an unfortunate run-in with Luke ("I called a deaf guy a bitch!") and Jaime claimed that being in China on her first Race was "probably one of the most miserable days of my life." Read More...



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