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Excerpt from Monkey Dancing by Daniel Glick, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Monkey Dancing

A Father, Two Kids and a Journey to the Ends of the Earth

by Daniel Glick

Monkey Dancing
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  • First Published:
    May 2003, 368 pages
    Jun 2004, 384 pages

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Right now, we are with the whole family up in Tahoe. We only have a few more days up here until we go down to San Francisco. From there, we head off in to the wild blue yonder, never to set foot on American soil for another five months. As of right now, I am nothing but excited to get going. We travel a lot, and its not a big deal to be away for a week, so I am fine right now, but I know I'll start missing home soon enough.

Australia is a place that I have always wanted to go, so this makes me even more excited right now. When my dad very first mentioned that we could go on a trip all of us, around the world, I was super psyched, I had heard all kinds of stories from my mom and dad's travels, as well as the travels of my dad in Africa with grandma and grandpa. But I had no idea that we would actually go, so when he asked I just decided to say yes for the time being, thinking that my dad was just blowing off steam.

Somewhere around one month after he had originally mentioned it, he brought it up again. Zoe and I were so surprised that he still had the idea, so we actually took him a little more seriously than the last time. This time, I had just come in from a fun day skating with Sam, Ben, and Michael, so the thought of going away for an extended period of time seemed out of the question. My overall message to him from this discussion was that I didn't want to go, but if we had to, only for the last 2 months of summer. That way I got some fun and I also got to play football that next season. I was still fairly confident that this was still one of those things that he would "grow out of," so I still wasn't too worried.

By April or so, my dad had talked enough about this that I realized this was a big enough mid-life crisis that he might actually follow through. At this point, I said forget it to football and set another limit of being home for Christmas. I tried as hard as I could to sound like there was no budging on this part for me, but then again, I had tried to do it for the football thing too and maybe I would change my mind again.

'To skip forward in time a little bit, when the school year was over, my dad had bought the tickets, so we were going for sure. I had the best month of my life in that little lapse of time between school being out, and us leaving on the trip, which made it about ten times harder to leave. I was pretty pissed, and if I had had the power I might have cancelled, but I didn't, so I couldn't.

The goodbye between me and most of my friends was pretty awkward, it consisted of a "see ya later man", and a hi-five. I was still pretty excited at this time, but whenever I thought about how long I was gonna be gone, I was a little nervous.

The day before I left, I was talking with Sam. We were talking about the trip, and Sam said "Dude, there is no way that you are going to last the whole five. Either your dad is gonna get too fucking fed up with you and Zoe, or one of you is gonna get some kind of nasty ass disease, and you'll have to come home. I would bet money on it." This had never occurred to me before, and I thought about betting him, but it made too much sense at the time.

I wonder if we will make it the whole five months, that's a long time.

Zoe, a few days later:

My Around the World Trip

My uncle was sick, he had breast cancer. Everyone in my family was sad. We visited him now and then, but mostly we stayed home. After a cople of months we thought he was better, but it was spreading worse and worse into his bones. We didn't know until it was too late. He took some medicine, but a few months later he died. One day my dad had a strange feeling, he came up to us and said "hey kids wanna take a trip around the world?" Next thing I knew I was on the plane to Australlia.

Copyright 2003 by Daniel Glick. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher PublicAffairs.

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