Friday, February 12, 2010

1 Freelance Friday: The Amazing Race

This Sunday is the season premiere of one of our favorite shows: The Amazing Race! We love the travel logistics, the culturally-specific challenges, and, of course, the drama. And as any avid fan knows, the success of each pair is heavily reliant on their ability to work well as a team. We'd be killer competition (are you reading, CBS?) because when we travel, we adopt very clearly defined roles that enable us to operate seamlessly as a team.

Patrick is the navigator. Katrina has always had a rather poor sense of direction, but she's grown so reliant on him that she now gets lost in our own neighborhood. Give him a map and Patrick can tell you where he is, where he wants to go, and the best way to get there in a matter of seconds. Actually, he usually doesn't even need a map. His natural sense of direction is so good that we'll come above ground at a subway stop and he'll innately know which way to walk to to get to a restaurant we've never been. Finding the next route marker would never be an issue for us on The Amazing Race.

Katrina is the communicator. She knows some German and French, and Patrick speaks a bit of Spanish, but overall our foreign language skills don't get us very far. What is much more advantageous, however, is Katrina's ability to pick up on the general message and mood of someone's words even if we can't understand their meaning. She's also good at choosing what English words to use that will be more easily understood or most likely similar-sounding in another language. And we're not sure if it's because she's less threatening as a woman or just more endearing in general, but strangers seem to take to her more. She'd be in charge of asking locals for directions and help in figuring out the clues' riddles.

Patrick is the negotiator. A tad more competitive and overall more patient, he treated the bargaining process like a game and after he learned the rules, was all about winning the best price. Katrina was much more easily frustrated and offended when the sellers would laugh at her suggested prices. Plus the fact that in many cultures, vendors really only approach and want to deal with a man when it comes to money. Patrick would be the one to make sure the dollars allocated at the beginning of each leg of the race took us far.

Katrina is the eater. The Amazing Race is known for making its contestants eat live octopus, four pounds of heart and intestines, and street fried scorpion. Patrick can generally eat more in quantity, but Katrina enjoys trying new (AKA weird) food much more whole-heartedly than Patrick. To his credit, Patrick tried pretty much everything Katrina did during our trip, but who ordered the whole pig knee in Prague? Who ate the first bug in Siem Reap? Who researches the local culinary specialties/peculiarities to add to our to-do list in any destination? Katrina.

We're looking forward to meeting the new contestants and seeing our old friend Phil Keoghan on TV this Sunday. We hope this season holds something even half as riveting as Mika refusing to go down the water slide. And Phil, if you are interested in meeting us too and maybe giving us a million dollars, you know where to find us.

Remember to send questions for the mailbag to

1 comment:

  1. Hey guys,

    Love your site - well done!

    We're also doing a rtw as well.... which is great fun.

    Amazing race is one of our fave shows, too, but we decided we would probably kill each other if we were on together. That being said, we love watching it. How did you guys keep up with the show while traveling?

    Feel free to respond... Thanks!


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