Travel writer Edward Hasbrouk has a blog (called Practical Nomad) in which he discusses The Amazing Race (as well as other travel related issues). Here is what he writes about Colin’s blowup and near arrest in last week’s episode:

Travellers, in their inevitable ignorance relative to locals, make lots of mistakes, but that doesn’t entitle them to demand their money back after the fact. That’s even more true where, as here, a relatively poor local person has, in effect, extended credit to a much wealthier traveller by not demanding payment in advance …

Colin complains that it was unsafe for the driver to start the journey with a “compact spare tire” on one wheel. But the “doughnut” spare would have been plainly visible had Colin given the cab even the most cursory visual inspection. That should be standard practice before getting in almost any vehicle, certainly for a journey as long as two hours. Before buying a bus or train ticket, especially when there’s a choice of companies or classes, I always try to go down to the station or bus yard to inspect the vehicles.

He also dissects the choices that the competitors make with respect to their travel arrangements:

Several of the teams of racers make matters worse for themselves by assuming. in typical tourist fashion, that a First World airline will have the best service even between points in the Third World.

I love that this analysis doubles as really great travel advice. From experience, I can say that the advice that Mr. Hasbrouck gives is particularly relevant: these long taxi rides, while essential for getting around, require that passengers and drives discuss their desires and intentions in great detail.