Saturday, February 19, 2005

My Ox is Broken

Eliot at the Great Wall wearing his treasured "My ox is broken!" t-shirt

As some of you know Julie and I are great fans of the CBS TV show "The Amazing Race", in which two-person teams race around the world in order to win 1 million dollars. In each leg of the race, whichever team arrives at that leg's checkpoint last is eliminated. The last team left wins the bucks. We like it because its entertaining and because it involves travel to interesting places (some of which we've been to, such as Sweden and Sri Lanka in the last season). We like to image how we, as seasoned travelers, would do in these situations.

On this trip I'm having a really hard time not thinking that I'm in the amazing race. We are traveling in exotic and unfamiliar places (China) with a number of couples under conditions of significant stress and fatigue. I keep having the urge to say to taxi drivers "faster! faster! we're in a race", as many contestants often do.

Yesterday, on our shopping for baby trip, we all trooped out of the bus to the department store, where we rushed up the escalators. It was all I could do not to race up the stairs pushing other couples aside and exlaiming "we're going to win this thing!" I keep reminding myself it's not a contest. We're all winners on this trip and Phil's not waiting at the last checkpoint with a big check....


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